Those unfamiliar with dabbing are likely to associate it with stereotypical stoner culture or a millennial dance move. But in this context, dabbing is a method to consume CBD that’s quickly gaining popularity in the mainstream cannabis industry. Read on to learn more about this practice that’s taking the CBD industry by storm, and find out if it’s the right delivery method for you.
How to Dab CBD
Dabbing is the practice of inhaling small quantities of concentrated vapors, typically cannabis products like hemp or marijuana, which can come in the form of wax. There are two methods for dabbing CBD extracts.
The most simple way to dab CBD oil is through a CBD dab pen, which functions a lot like a standard vape pen, but is designed to work with non-liquid substances. Simply place a small amount of CBD wax on the dab pen’s coils and it will heat up the substance to create a vapor that can be inhaled through a mouthpiece.
Another more complicated way to dab CBD is with a dab rig. This is a device typically made up of a water pipe, a dome, a blowtorch, and a dab tool. Use the handheld blowtorch to heat up the bowl, then use a dab tool to place a small amount of CBD extract inside the nail, vaporizing the substance. Finally, inhale the vapor and place the dome on top of the nail to prevent vapor from escaping.
What is a CBD Dab?
The most commonly used CBD dabs are treated so that they crystallize and solidify. These concentrated substances are derived from a process that extracts compounds like THC, CBD, and terpenes out of hemp oil. The resulting substances come in varying forms, the most common being wax, a sticky concentrate. Other similar CBD concentrates are budder, crumble, shatter, pull-and-snap, and honeycomb.
Beyond their texture and consistency, there aren’t many differences between these substances. Their texture is determined by how much moisture they hold, and how agitated they are during the extraction process. As their names suggest, “budder” is creamy and butter-like, while “crumble” has a crumbly texture. “Shatter” is transparent and glass-like, while “honeycomb” has a soft, honeycomb-like texture. “Pull-and-snap” extracts are taffy-like, and usually snap when stretched or bent.
Though most CBD oils cannot be used for dabbing, CBD dab oil is highly concentrated and designed specifically for dabbing. With a thick dark gold liquid, it’s also referred to as honey oil. Another dabbed substance is the CBD crystal, or isolate, which is a highly purified substance that is tasteless and odorless.
[Related Article: Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, Isolate, & PCR: Decoding the Difference]
What are the Benefits of Dabbing CBD Wax?
If you’re familiar with CBD products, you probably know that they’re a lot cleaner than smoked cannabis. Smoking cannabis produces resin and smoke. Extracts do away with most of these toxins while still delivering the benefits of cannabinoids. CBD dabs can be derived from hemp, the non-intoxicating and legal variety of cannabis, for those who do want the benefits of CBD without getting high.
CBD products are more commonly ingested orally or applied topically. It takes some time to feel the effect of edible CBD, as opposed to dabbing, where CBD wax vapor is able to quickly enter the bloodstream within 5 minutes. CBD dabbing is also considered a very bioavailable method, which means that much of the CBD content enters the bloodstream quickly.
According to research, only 13-19% of orally-consumed CBD makes it into the bloodstream. With dabs, they’re believed to significantly increase that absorption rate, meaning users need to consume more to get the same effect of CBD dabs. While that would explain the stronger effects experienced with dabbing, we haven’t found reliable studies to prove that fact yet.
[Related Article: What is the Bioavailability of CBD?]
Compared to vaping, dabbing is more effective as it uses a much more potent form of CBD. Vape oils are blended with several ingredients to create a liquid substance while dabbing uses pure CBD extract.
People who suffer from soreness, anxiousness, and trouble sleeping but have not felt much relief from vaping may have more success with dabbing. Many also prefer the flavor of dabbed CBD to vapes, as they’re quite flavorful. However, people who are new to dabbing should be prepared for stronger effects as compared to other CBD products.
While some dabs contain extremely high levels of THC, a pure CBD isolate extracted from industrial hemp only has trace levels of THC, up to 0.3%, if that. This means their consumption won’t lead to addiction or other intoxicating effects, making dabbing ideal for people who want relief and soothing benefits without getting high. If you’re buying from a dispensary, make sure to ask questions and for a lab test about the THC content so you know exactly what you’re purchasing.
What are the Drawbacks of CBD Dabbing?
Most of the dangers of dabbing revolve around extraction. Though the process is quite complicated, many amateurs try extracting their own dabs, which can lead to contaminated finished products and even explosions. Therefore, it’s best to leave the extracting to the professionals and always buy from a reputable company.
Apart from the extraction, CBD dabbing is quite safe, although it’s not as accessible as, say CBD edibles. Most of the health risks linked with dabbing are related to the excessive-high that some people get when dabbing marijuana. However, hemp-derived CBD has very little amounts of THC, so it doesn’t get you high, and side effects are quite mild, such as fatigue.
Some say that the effects of CBD dabbing don’t last as long as orally consumed CBD. While the effects of swallowing CBD can last up to seven hours, the effects of inhaling vapor typically only last two to three hours. Also, for many new users, working with a blowtorch may seem daunting. If conventional dab rigs are too intimidating or off-putting, using a dab pen or electric nails is a great workaround.
Because dabbing is a fairly new practice, there are many misconceptions around the practice, especially when a person is using a dabbing rig with a blowtorch. But CBD dabs derived from hemp containing less than .3% THC are legal in all 50 states. Still, CBD dabs can be hard to find in states where recreational marijuana isn’t legal.
How Much CBD Wax Should You Use?
Different CBD extracts have different potencies, so it’s always good to know how concentrated your CBD dab is. Generally, it’s recommended to start small and see how your body reacts. Most CBD dab users use 1-2 crumb-sized pieces per dose. Though it doesn’t look like much, note that these substances are very potent. Start with a very small serving, then add more if you feel like your body can take it.