How to Make Dabs at Home? Step-by-Step Guide


How to Make Dabs at Home

Want to make your dabs?

Follow our guide to dabbing and find step-by-step instructions on how to make your weed wax at home without blowing anything up.

What is a dab?

What is a dab

A dab is any form of cannabis concentrate, usually about one hit's worth.

Cannabis concentrates refer to substances in which sought-after parts of the cannabis plant including cannabinoids and terpenes have been isolated, extracted, and concentrated into an oil or wax.

Since dabbing is most commonly associated with cannabis concentrates, we refer to them as dabs when being dosed in this way.

What is dabbing?

Dabbing is the process of heating and inhaling vaporized cannabis concentrates or extracts.

Dabbing uses a heating tool such as a dab rig, e-rig, or vaporizer.

The most common form of dabbing involves applying high heat directly to the nail or banger of a dab rig using a blow torch and then inhaling.

Depending on its consistency, some dab wax can also be sprinkled into a bowl full of flowers or inside a joint to be smoked.

However, dabbing wax delivers the most potent, hard-hitting experience.

Dabbing is hands down one of the most potent methods of dosing cannabis; the cannabinoids in weed wax are highly concentrated, and you can feel its effects within seconds of inhalation.

Dabs can contain up to 80-90% of the plant's major psychoactive cannabinoid, THC.

Comparatively, raw cannabis flowers contain up to about 30% THC at most.

For this reason, always remember to start low and go slow when consuming dabs.

With concentrates especially, it can be easy to accidentally consume more than you intended to, which can lead to unpleasant side effects.

What are the different types of dabs?

Dabs are an extremely versatile method of consuming cannabis, boasting a variety of textures, colors, flavors, and purposes.

Fortunately, there are lots of options to choose from at the dispensary.

Some of the most popular forms of cannabis concentrates include:

Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil, sometimes called distillate, is a thick, oily liquid. Because it’s so runny, it’s not the best material for dabbing.

However, it’s commonly used in vape cartridges, and it’s great for cooking edibles. Oils are also a good base for isolating particular cannabinoids.


Wax is a catch-all term for several different types of dabs that are soft and pliable.

This includes several grades and consistencies, such as budder, sugar wax, crumble, and honeycomb.

It’s most commonly extracted via a butane extraction method, and it’s very versatile.

In addition to dabbing, waxes can be mixed into joints, blunts, or bowls to boost their potency.


Budder has a reputation as the cleanest concentrate available, as well as one of the most potent.

On average, you can expect an average of 90% THC and 99% purity.

The production process is labor-intensive since it has to be whipped repeatedly during preparation.

The end product is a cream or gold-colored material with the same consistency as butter.

Then again, because of the labor involved, as well as the incredible potency, budder is more expensive than most other concentrates.


A crumble is a loose, dry extract that breaks apart easily when handled.

It’s normally yellow, although it’s not all that uncommon to find a dark dab wax, too.

Because it breaks up so easily, it’s harder to handle.

On the plus side, you can get good potency for a relatively cheap price.

You might be surprised to learn that crumble is produced the same way as shatter up to a certain point.

But at the end of the process, it stays in the vacuum oven longer.

This is why it’s so dry and crumbly.

However, the extra-low moisture level makes it virtually impervious to mold contamination.


So, do the dab extracts in your dabbing device have to be full-spectrum?

Not always. Diamonds are similar to crystalline in their purity.

But instead of being a full-spectrum extract, they’re made up of a single cannabinoid, such as THC or CBD.

Due to their purity, the crystals can be shiny, much like a diamond.

Because diamonds are isolates, they have little, if any, flavor or terpenes.

For this reason, people often mix them with terp sauce when dabbing them.

How to make homemade dabs: Alcohol extraction

Note that isopropyl alcohol is unsafe for human consumption, and even food-grade ethanol shouldn't be consumed at high concentrations.

Also, both compounds are highly flammable, so if you cannot use them safely, use a 190-proof grain alcohol (like Everclear) instead.

Okay, warnings aside, you'll need the following:

  • Cannabis
  • Isopropyl alcohol 99% or higher or high concentration food-grade ethanol
  • Glass jar with an airtight lid
  • Coffee filters or a strainer
  • Glass container for evaporation
  • Spatula
  • Parchment paper

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Break your cannabis into smaller pieces to increase the surface area for more efficient extraction.

Step 2: Dry it thoroughly in an oven for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Freeze the cannabis and the alcohol for four to six hours to preserve terpenes and prevent some compounds from dissolving in the alcohol.

Step 4: Place the cannabis into the glass jar and pour alcohol over it, completely submerging the buds.

Step 5: Close the lid and swirl the mixture for 30 seconds.

Step 6: Strain the mixture into the second glass container.

Step 7: The liquids now contain all the compounds extracted from the plant matter.

Step 8: Let the alcohol from the mixture evaporate fully and naturally at room temperature.

Step 9: You can also use a warm water bath or double boiler to speed the process up.

Never use an open flame near the mixture (remember, alcohol is flammable!).

Step 10: Once the alcohol is completely evaporated, you can scrape the residue onto a dish lined with parchment paper and store it in an airtight container.

Always work in a well-ventilated area and keep the alcohol far from any open flame.

Of course, do not smoke when you're working!

How to make homemade dabs: Ice water extraction

homemade dabs Ice water extraction

Another fairly easy DIY method for making weed wax at home is known as ice water extraction, which freezes and separates trichome heads from whole flowers. 

Ice water extraction is similar to alcohol extraction but utilizes ice as a solvent, and the dabs require a bit more time and elbow grease to produce. 

Dabs formed from ice water extraction are known as bubble hash and are well worth the effort. 

For the absolute best results, try to ensure the water you use, and even the air around you during the process, are as cold as possible. 

If time allows, you can pre-freeze your weed in the freezer before getting started.

You'll need:

  • Cannabis
  • 10 to 15 lbs of crushed ice or ice cubes
  • Large bucket
  • Mixing spoon
  • Bubble bags or screen
  • Water
  • Parchment paper

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Freeze your cannabis for a few hours. 

This will preserve terpenes and help with separating the trichomes

Step 2: Stack the bubble bags or screens in the bucket, starting with the finest mesh at the bottom.

Step 3: Fill the bucket with ice and water, allowing it to get as cold as possible so that trichomes become brittle.

Step 4: Add the frozen cannabis to the mix.

Step 5:Make sure the plant material is completely submerged.

Step 6: Stir the mixture with your spoon for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 7:This agitation will cause the trichomes to break off and be collected in the screens.

Step 8: Allow the mixture to settle, then carefully remove each screen, starting from the top.

Step 9: The top screen will have collected the least pure form of hash, while the finest screens have the best quality.

Step 10: Place the collected trichomes on parchment paper and let them air dry for a few days.

You can also speed up the drying with a food dehydrator on a low setting.

You've got bubble hash!

How to make homemade dabs: Flat iron extraction

To be sure, the best way to make dabs at home is to use the Rosin method. 

Rosin is not only accessible but uses no solvents and only takes a few minutes. 

Honestly, making Rosin with cannabis is almost too good to be true, but it is.

You'll need:

  • 2+ grams of your favorite high-quality weed
  • Flat iron or hair straightener
  • Oven mitts or protective gloves
  • Razor blade, spoon, or knife
  • Non-stick parchment paper

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Heat the iron to about 180°F to 220°F (82°C to 104°C).

Step 2: Cut the parchment paper to about the size of your hand.

Step 3: Pick a nice, juicy nug.

Step 4: Fold the paper in half with the nug in the middle.

Step 5: Apply the iron to the paper and get the nug as flat as you can.

Step 6: You will hear the nug sizzling, which means the dabs are melting and melting onto the paper.

Step 7: Hold the iron down for 20 to 60 seconds, and be sure not to vaporize them accidentally.

Step 8: If you see smoke or vapor, there's too much heat.

Step 9: Once done, carefully remove the paper and collect the rosin with a dab tool or spoon.

You're done!

It takes a while to get the hang of using the rosin press method, and you might damage or waste a nug or two. 

However, once you've mastered the technique, this is the easiest and quickest way of getting some prime dabs!


Now you have all the info you need for DIY dabs. 

Keep in mind that dabs are not for the faint of heart, as the cannabinoid content in concentrates and extracts is very high. 

So it's important to start low and go slow when dosing —a little goes a long, long way. 

Note that while some dabs can easily be made at home, most types of extraction methods should be left to the professionals.