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What is a Weed Dab? Different Forms? Benefits? Side Effects?


a background of dried cannabis buds with the pictures of diffenet forms of dabs with the text what is a weed dab?

Cannabis has been used for centuries and overtime that is typically smoked using a joint, hand pipe or bong.

Dabbing has become increasingly popular in recent years, as users seek out stronger and more potent forms of cannabis.

With this increased use has come a surge in the popularity of dabs. So does the curiosity surrounding its techniques, benefits, and potential health risks.

Here, we'll look at what you need to know about cannabis dabs. we'll explore what they are, how dabbing works, and much more about the fascinating world of concentrates.

What is a Weed Dab?

a dab of golden cannabis extract on a dab tool

Dabs are a very concentrated form of cannabis or weed, usually ranging from 60% to 99% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

They are manufactured using solvents like carbon dioxide or butane to extract cannabinoids from flower and sugar leaf.

Concentrates are similar in appearance to honey or butter and are either brown or gold in color.

The resulting concentrates go by many different names, depending on their consistency, including shatter, wax, and BHO.

These concentrates are usually smoked by heating them on a hot surface, called a nail, and then inhaling the resulting vapor through a dab rig, much like taking a hit from a bong.

What is Dabbing?

a woman using a small glass dab rig with a metal nail and dab tool

The act of smoking dabs is called dabbing.

Dabbing involves heating the concentrate on a hot surface, usually a nail, and then inhaling the vaporized oil through a dab rig.

This method allows for a more potent and immediate effect, making it a preferred choice for patients seeking rapid relief from their symptoms.

Different Forms of Dabs

a picture showing six different types of cannabis dabs

Different processes can result in different forms of dabs with different textures, from oils and waxes to a hard brittle form called “shatter.”

Different types of dabs can influence the user experience in various ways. The most commonly used forms of dab marijuana are:

1. Wax

This concentrate has a texture akin to ear wax and is one of the most popular forms. Wax is opaque and less brittle than some other forms, such as shatter.

2. Shatter

Characterized by its translucent, glass-like appearance, shatter is named for its tendency to break easily. It is often lauded for its purity and high potency.

3. Budder

More pliable and softer than wax, budder has a creamy consistency similar to peanut butter. It is created by whipping the extract under heat, which incorporates air and results in a lighter, fluffier texture.

4. Crumble

This form is similar to budder but has a more crumbly texture. Crumble is dried longer than other concentrates, which helps it maintain its structure when handled.

5. Live Resin

Made from plant material that was immediately frozen after harvesting, live resin preserves the original flavors and aromas of the cannabis, resulting in a concentrate that is both high in quality and rich in flavor.

6. Butane Hash Oil (BHO)

BHO is a potent oil made using butane as the extraction solvent. This process involves passing butane through cannabis material to extract the active components, which are then purged to remove the solvent.

How are Dabs Made?

The trichomes used to make dabs are taken from the Cannabis sativa plant by harvesting entire plants.

Then, the trichomes and other materials are taken from the plant using a solvent. This is called extraction and can be done using: Butane gas (Most used), Propane, Carbon dioxide (CO2), Ethyl alcohol and more.

Butane is a highly volatile gas, and using heat alongside butane to extract THC could not only cause severe burns but possibly produce an explosion if handled incorrectly.

What are Marijuana Dabs made of?

a picture showing the chemical structure of the THC compound

One of the primary active compounds in cannabis is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for its psychoactive effects.

THC is the ingredient responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana use—feelings of euphoria, increased insightfulness, heightened sociability, sexual pleasure, and relaxation that many users say that they experience and enjoy

There are also other compounds in dabs, like terpenes, flavonoids and other cannabinoids.

Terpenes are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in plants. They're responsible for the aromas, flavors, and even colors associated with various types of vegetation.

Cannabis flavonoids are primarily responsible for giving cannabis plants their pigmentation. They may also have an array of beneficial medical effects including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, and neuroprotective effects.

These are all concentrated in dabs, creating a product that is much more potent than dried cannabis flowers.

What are the Benefits of Taking a Dab?

Cannabis benefits are limitless in the medical field to provide immediate relief for medical marijuana users suffering from chronic pain. Some more prominent dabs benefits are given below:

1. Smokeless and Healthier

Dabs are smokeless and consuming cannabis dabs is different than smoking marijuana flower.

Dabbing involves heating a cannabis concentrate at high temperatures to turn it into a vapor.

This vapor is cleaner than smoke from cannabis flower, users are not exposed to the carcinogens created by burning plant matter.

2. Fast Acting Effects

Some dabs may have a THC concentration close to 99% – much higher than the 20% THC concentration found in regular cannabis. Therefore, dab weed causes a far quicker and stronger “high.”

In addition, Using dabs makes cannabis quickly available to the cannabinoid system of the body.

People report using dabs to help treat symptoms or relieve chronic pain or anxiety.

Dabbing is the best way to get quick, immediate and effective relief from some health symptoms.

3. Full Flavor Cannabis

One of the major experiential benefits of dabbing is its favorable property.

You can enjoy rich cannabis terpene flavors when dabbing by controlling the temperature of the dab rig.

A great dab carries the original aroma from the plant, making consuming dabs a very layered cannabis experience.

What are the side effects of Taking a Dab?

Since dabs are so much stronger than marijuana flower, they can cause far more serious adverse effects to your physical and mental health.

1. Higher Risk for Addiction

Due to its higher THC concentration, short- or long-term use of dabs can lead to a much higher chance of becoming addicted or dependent on marijuana.

Regular dab users might find that they feel depressed and lethargic if they try to stop.

2. Higher Tolerance

Higher THC concentration leads to the problem of increased tolerance.

When you have a tolerance to marijuana, it means you need to ingest more and more to experience the desirable effects.

Unfortrionatly, this also means that you'll experience more negative side effects.

3. Health Risks

Chemical contaminants and residual solvents are also used in the production of some oils and can be considered hazardous to one's health.

In addition, the extreme heat levels used to produce the vapors can cause lung injury and other respiratory diseases.

Many people who dab also report developing a dry, wheezing cough that would later lead to serious illness if their lungs become irritated or infected by bacteria.

4. Mental Side Effects

Additional side effects of smoking dabs include bloodshot eyes, Vomiting, poor memory, shakes, blackouts, paranoia, and anxiety. In some cases, this can also lead to hallucinations, psychosis, or panic attacks.

While the physical symptoms of smoking dabs are similar to smoking conventional cannabis, dabs are much stronger. This means that the negative effects of the drug are greatly exaggerated.

How to Smoke a Dab? Different Types of Dabbing Devices

Smoking a dab is completely different than smoking a regular joint – it requires a totally different technique and apparatus.

While you can sprinkle some dab in your joints, it's much more effective to smoke it through a dab rig.

Because dab smoking has been very popularized in recent years, you can find all sorts of dab rigs and other dab-smoking devices.

1. Traditional Dab Rigs

A glass dab rig with quartz banger and a female hand using a hot knife dab tool to drop some wax into the dab rig

Dab rigs or oil rigs are a type of water-filtering pipe that are used to vaporize wax and oil concentrates. They are usually made from glass, or silicone.

Dab rigs are similar to bongs but use a nail instead of bowl where the dab is placed after being heated with a butane torch.

Once placed on the heated nail, the dab begins to vaporize and is inhaled.

2. Electric Dab Rigs

The Lookah unicorn electric dab rig in neon green being held in a hand

Electric dab rigs or e-rigs are portable, convenient, electronically-powered dab rigs that offer powerful temperature control.

Using a battery or a plug-in power source, electric dab rigs heat up a heating element using electricity, allowing for dabbing without any flames or other tools. Extremely convenient and perfect for on-the-go dabbers.

Electric dab rigs even come with glass chambers with percs - for an added level of filtration and indeed transitioning the gap between traditional dab rigs and these hybrid electric ones.

3. Nectar Collectors

A seahorse pro plus electric nectar collector with charging cable connected

As a relatively niche dab rig variation, a nectar collector (dab straw or honey straw) is not as popular as the traditional dab rig, but is just as effective.

Nectar collectors are vertical and small-sized dab rigs with a tube-like design that are easy to carry around and disassemble when needed.

Instead of dropping in a small dab of extract into your glass dab nail, a nectar collector requires you to heat the tip of the device and gently apply it to the concentrate in your glass dish.

Nectar collectors come in electronic and manual styles. You can use them to dab concentrates of all types. some even have water filtration function.

4. Dab Pens

The lookah python wax pen with the flip top open

Unlike dab rigs, a dab pen does not require a torch lighter because it has an internal heating element that vaporizes the dab wax almost instantly.

Dab Pens can be used for dabbing THC oil and all types of waxy dabs, including shatter, Budder, Crumble, Live Resin, etc.

Many people prefer the dab pen than dab rig because the process is faster, No need to use torch, much more portable and discreet.


Dabs are a great alternative to smoking conventional cannabis flowers, as they offer the potent and fastest way to consume marijuana.

However, their high is a little shorter, the cost is more expensive, and the chance for hallucinating is also increased.

One of the best things is that you can decide the type of dab you want to go with- shatter, wax, oil, or resin.

Ensure you're using clean and tested products to avoid any contaminants.

The high THC content can be overwhelming for some, so it's recommended to start with a small amount and see how your body reacts.

Additionally, A good quality dab rig, dab straw, or dab pen is recommended to enjoy the best concentrates.