Dabbing Cannabis Concentrates: 101

dabbing 101

According to various cannabis connoisseurs, wax concentrates are the next big thing. Dabbing cannabis is becoming increasingly prevalent in the medical marijuana community, however, it’s powerful effects have produced mixed opinions about its usefulness.

There are many different ways to experience the healthy benefits of ingesting cannabis. Some of the more common methods include:

Smoking, vaping, consuming edibles, and using topicals.

These are all highly effective methods, however, some claim that cannabis dabbing has a few specific medicinal benefits that are worth exploring.

While vaporizing and dabbing cannabis have been well-known ways of ingesting marijuana for the past decade, it’s recent spike in popularity has people putting down their pipes and rolling papers to try out this new, concentrated method.


What is Dabbing?

Dabbing CannabisDabbing is one of the many ways to ingest medicinal cannabis. Leafly explains:

“Dabs are concentrated doses of cannabis that are made by extracting THC and other cannabinoids using a solvent like butane or carbon dioxide, resulting in sticky oils also commonly referred to as wax, shatter, budder, and butane hash oil (BHO). While it’s possible to extract non-psychoactive compounds like CBD, THC is what’s behind the potent effects of dabs, making them the fastest and most efficient way to get really, really medicated.”

As mentioned above, “dabs” usually come in the form of a wax or oil, similar to what is used for vaporizing, though much more highly concentrated.

What Tools Do I Need For Dabbing?

Dabbing CannabisFor some patients, dabbing cannabis oils and waxes is a potentially great way to quickly receive the medicinal benefits of cannabis. However, dabbing involves a somewhat more complicated method of heating– much more intricate when compared to the traditional lighter/pipe, lighter/joint method– and should only be attempted by experienced cannabis users.

First, collect the essential tools. You will need: Dab Rig (this is a specific type of glass bong or pipe designed for using dabbing wax), small Blow Torch (these can often be found online and at kitchen supply stores), Dome and Nail (the nail is what you will use to heat up the wax concentrate, the dome is what will cover part of the nail and help guide the vapor), Dabber (this is a utensil used to take the wax from it’s container and into the dome– this helps avoid a sticky mess!). Lastly, the Wax/Oil itself. Wax and Oil concentrates meant for dabbing can be found at almost any dispensary that provides regular, dry cannabis. These tools can also be found at many dispensaries.

The type of wax concentrate that you choose can vary in intensity and THC levels, just like dry cannabis! If you are unsure about which type to purchase, your dispensary budtender will be able to guide you in the right direction.

How Do I Dab?

Step 1: CAREFULLY heat the Nail directly with the flame from your Blow Torch.

Step 2: When the nail is hot, place the Dome over the nail. Wait 10 seconds for the nail to slightly cool.

(It is very important to not over-heat the nail. It can be difficult to determine how hot is too hot, especially for beginners. The results of over-heating can be foul tasting wax vapor and reduced THC content).

If you are feeling unsure about this step, consider using an Electric Nail. These can be slightly more expensive than regular dabbing nails, but they can be pre-set to maintain a consistent temperature, allowing for optimal vapor and flavor.

Step 3: Use the Dabber to apply a very small amount of wax (think grain of rice small) onto the tip of the nail.

Step 4: Inhale from the mouthpiece of the Dab Rig. Slowly rotate the dabber over the heated nail and dome to ensure that all of the wax is being used. Exhale!

Is Dabbing a Useful Medicinal Method?

Dabbing CannabisUsing dabbing as a method for ingesting cannabis is a controversial subject. Some studies show that if monitored, dosed precisely, and ONLY used by patients experienced with high doses of cannabis, it can be effective for treating high levels of pain.

Other doctors fear that dabs can irreparably spike THC tolerance in a patient, making them unable to feel the medical effects of cannabis from using more traditional consumption methods.

Cannabis wax can produce vapor three times more potent in THC than regular, dry herb. This means that patients can get a much higher dose quickly, and without having to ingest potentially harmful smoke. However, when not dosed correctly, the incredibly potent vapor may sometimes cause intense lethargy and paranoia.

If dosed appropriately, dabbing cannabis is very useful for patients dealing with chronic pain, nausea, and other persistent ailments since the body can rapidly feel the medical effects of the dab vapor.

Cannabis concentrates are sometimes considered to be more “pure”, meaning that only the beneficial cannabinoids and components are being extracted from the plant matter. If heated correctly, it will often smell and taste like the cannabis it was extracted from.

Dabbing cannabis is an effective way to medicate thoroughly, however, inexperienced cannabis users are not encouraged to explore this method.

In addition to this, experienced “dabbers” sometimes attempt to make their own wax concentrates, which can be a potentially dangerous fire hazard. It is HIGHLY recommended that you purchase pre-made waxes and oils at your local dispensaries instead of making your own!


Unsure about how much to dab, or whether this method is right for you? Feel free to contact PrestoDoctor for an updated treatment plan! It is always important to check with your doctor before using any new method of cannabis consumption. Your physician will help you determine how much wax to use in order to properly medicate for your condition.