Dabs are the latest thing that media and non legal cannabis states have been buzzing about. They erroneously call it the "crack cocaine" of cannabis. They warn it may kill you, or even worse! They use no science in their scare tactics, claiming 1 dab is equivalent to anywhere between 10 and 100 joints.
If you're interested in the science, here it is in a nutshell. One gram of cannabis flower is about 15% THC. One gram of concentrate contains between 75% and 85% THC. So concentrates are equal to about 5 times the same amount of flower. There is about 1 joint per gram of cannabis. There are 20 - 30 dabs per gram of wax or oil. Some strains are higher in THC, some waxes are made better, but for this calculation, I will use 15% for the flower, 75% for the wax, and 20 dabs per gram.
1 gram Cannabis Flower = 1000mg x .15 = 150mg THC per joint.
1 gram Wax = 1000mg x .75 = 750mg / 20 = 37.5mg per dab.
This means that, on average, 3 or 4 dabs equal 1 joint. Not 100!
What exactly is it? Concentrates are just that, the essence of the plant stripped down to an oil or wax. It can be extracted using Butane, CO2, or Nitrogen. The active ingredients are held in what are called trichomes that grow on the plant.
Concentrating is the act of stripping those trichomes off the plant and leaving the plant material behind, which is why it is stronger than the bud itself. Each method of extraction as well as processing will yield a different consistency.
ow is it smoked? There are a few different ways, the most popular being a "Dab Nail". You super heat a "nail" made of titanium, quartz or ceramic. There are even "e-nails" which heat themselves. When it is hot enough, you take a small amount of your concentrate on a dab tool and touch it to the surface of the nail, which vaporizes it, while you inhale. There are also versions of something called a "nectar collector" which works really well, and you kind of look like a hummingbird while you're using it. There are a myriad of glass pipes made for oils as well. One of our favorite ways around here, which has led to the saying, "There's hash on that!" is the "green screen". We pack a bowl of flower, and place the dab on top. When you first light it, it melts and coats the flower, which actually makes the bowl last much longer, and many people can enjoy and share a dab that way.
Since concentrates are stronger, I urge you to take a small dab first and don't take a second one until after 10 or 15 minutes have passed. We see people trying dabs for the first time, who take 2 dabs in quick succession, when 1 would have been enough. You can always smoke more, but you can't smoke less. We even had a little lady in once who wanted to try a dab. At first I said no, it was too strong, but on further reflection, I applied my own rule. Instead of giving her a "dab" I gave her a "dot" (very small dab) and she enjoyed that very much. When trying something new, take it slowly. What you just smoked will be taking effect for the next 10 minutes. See how that feels before you take another dab. While there is no actual overdose possible from cannabis, taking in too much can be very unpleasant. As always, have fun & smoke responsibly!