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What is Dabbing: Everything You Need to Know

Over the last few decades, marijuana consumption has gone far beyond just smoking its dried version. We now enjoy different ways to consume marijuana whether it is through edible versions or using it as oil for vaping. One such version is dabs or wax. But, what is dabbing and how do we use it? Dabs are concentrated wax versions of cannabis that is used as a vapor. People smoke these wax dabs due to their high levels of THC and other cannabinoids. THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana which causes all the enjoyable effects.

What Are Dabs?

Dabs are simply waxed version of the high levels of THC that was extracted from cannabis plants. The wax is then heated and the vapor is inhaled through what is called a “dab ring”. These dabs are very potent and are commonly reserved for those who have tolerance for such high levels of THC. Dabs are created to extend and heighten the feeling of getting high. It is very unlikely that you will find dabs that are made from CBD.

Why Choose Dabs?

There are several other options to choose from when it comes to marijuana consumption. Some like to go with the common way which is to smoke weed. Others would love to enjoy a more concentrated version so the high can be more enjoyable. Dabs are usually chosen as they are easy to produce and easy to measure. They are also very convenient to use as you only need to stick the wax in and then smoke it however, the result is far more appealing than the usual way of smoking marijuana.

How Dabs Are Made

Dabs are made through a process called butane extraction. This happens when a container filled with marijuana buds is mixed with butane. Butane extracts the oils from the buds thus separating them from the plant. This results in a butane hash oil. However, butane is a toxic substance and is also very flammable hence caution should be done in the most extremely careful way.

Once the cannabis has been dissolved, the butane must be allowed to evaporate so that all the toxic compounds found in the substance dissipate. This is the part where it should be left with the experts as it can be very difficult to determine when the solution is safe for consumption. Once the butane solution has dried out and is safe, it leaves an oily substance that has high concentrations of THC. When it fully dries out, it begins to harden and form into a wax.

Safety Precautions

Knowing how much dabs are very potent for consumption, it is always essential to know that these are only for experts who have experience with consuming and making dabs. The extraction process that is incorporated in making dabs are quite complicated and should be studied well. Amateurs are highly discouraged to try and make dabs on their own. It involves the use of flammable materials and substances and could cause injuries when done incorrectly.

Additionally, dabbing needs to be done in a controlled environment where temperature and other factors need to be managed appropriately. The extraction process can be quite intense and uncomfortable even for those who have experience. Nevertheless, leave the process of dabbing to the experts.

While many are entice to use dabs over the traditional way of consuming marijuana, there is still a lot to think about when it comes to using it. The high levels of THC can cause overconsumption which can lead to an adverse reaction to the substance. These side effects include extreme paranoia, hallucinations, frequent vomiting, and even psychosis.

Due to the high levels of THC in dabs, users are most likely to develop a tolerance thus enabling a chain reaction wherein users will need a higher dose to satisfy their need. This often leads to marijuana addiction. Treatment is done if you are struggling with the addiction from marijuana especially with dabs.

Overconsumption of wax or dabs can lead to loss of consciousness. Should you encounter someone overdosing on dabs and is already showing signs of psychosis, you should always seek out medical help. Addiction treatment is done if you are struggling with the addiction from marijuana.

Alternative Methods in Making Dabs

While making dabs through butane extraction is still a very complicated and risky process, there is a safer method for creating one. It involves the use of isopropyl alcohol. The use of isopropyl alcohol is still a volatile process but the risk is much lesser than involving butane in the process.

First, you need to dry out your cannabis in the oven for 20 minutes at around 200F of heat. Do note that this is not the process of decarboxylation wherein it activates the cannabinoids in the plant. It is merely a process of drying out the buds. While waiting for the buds to dry in the oven, place the alcohol in a bottle into the freezer and leave it for three to five hours. Pour the cold alcohol into the dried cannabis and make sure that it is completely soaked leaving around an inch of alcohol solution above it.

Swish the mixture for a few seconds to around 20 seconds and pour the contents over a bowl through a mesh to remove the cannabis. Get an unbleached coffee filter and pour the solution to another container. Make sure to squeeze the coffee filter thoroughly. Let the alcohol solution evaporate by soaking the container in warm water. If you are in a controlled and safe environment, place the container in warm water and put it in a stove at very low heat. This should speed up the process of evaporation. Just make sure that you do not bring the warm water to a boil.

Once the alcohol has fully evaporated, there should be waxy material forming in the container. Scrape it out and place it another container and you have yourself your dab.


Overall, dabs should be taken in smaller doses due to its high THC content to make it a very enjoyable and tolerable experience. Those who want to know more about what is dabbing should learn that this is a great alternative way to enjoy cannabis but it should only be done seldomly.

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