Health & Wellness

Explaining Dabs to Mom: An Introduction

Here's a primer to forward to that interested someone in your life

By Josh Hall

Depending on their knowledge of CBD, many people who talk about CBD “dabs” think they are talking about a specific product. Rather, they’re referring to the delivery mechanism in which one inhales a specific product. “Dabbing” is a common practice that involves smoking in short, strong bursts of smaller, more concentrated hemp extracts.

The product most typically dabbed is best known as wax, though there are variants of concentrates that include shatter, budder, crumble, and a whole host of others. Confused? Read on, and we’ll explain.

What are CBD dabs?

As we said, dabs aren’t so much a thing as they are a way to classify a grouping of things used in a certain way. In this case, the preferred method of usage is by dabbing. One of the most dabbed products is a sticky, viscous, and potent product called CBD wax. This CBD concentrate is the outcome of an extraction process that uses carbon dioxide to remove unwanted substances from hemp plants systematically. The result is one of the purest forms of CBD you’ll find, possessing very low levels of THC—meaning it does not contain a psychoactive or mind-altering ingredient—and an ability to provide nearly instantaneous benefits of CBD.

The other similar products—shatter, budder, crumble, and honeycomb—are all like wax, but differ in the formation process.

For instance, CBD shatter is like wax, but smoother and without the crystals. It has a glass-like appearance, even resembling rock candy. Budder is creamy in texture and similar to, yes, you guessed it, butter. Crumble is like budder, but the CBD oil is pre-purged during the production process, which makes the finished product moister and flakier.

How to use CBD dabs?

To use any of these dabs, you’ll need to first heat the product of your choice. There are a couple options to choose from when it comes to how you heat that product, though the device you decide to do it with will likely depend on your experience with dabbing. The simplest and most convenient way to consume a CDB dab is through a dab pen.

This device works similar to a vape pen, but the biggest difference is that a dab pen is able to accommodate substances beyond just e-liquids. Users place their wax or other CBD dabs directly onto a dab pen’s coils, which in turn melts the substance down and creates a vapor to inhale through a mouthpiece. Dab pens can easily fit in your pants pocket or a small bag, which makes them accessible at nearly all times. They also require little maintenance and minimal operational know-how.

A more complicated method, and one that is somewhat daunting for beginners, is dabbing through a dab rig. This device consists of several components, including a glass water pipe; a chamber that you heat to vaporize your concentrate, which is also known as the “nail;” a dome that is placed on top of the nail to trap the vapor; a blow torch; and the “dabber,” or the wand used to place your concentrate in the nail. First, you’ll use the torch to heat the nail to proper dabbing temperature (somewhere between 300 and 400 F). Once your nail is hot, you’ll use the dabber to select and drop your concentrate into the nail. The heat will vaporize your concentrate, which you can then inhale. If you’re not able to inhale the entirety of the contents, use your dome to cover the nail so that the vapor doesn’t escape.

Regardless of the device you choose, it’s essential that you relax and take slow and steady puffs as not to overwhelm yourself.

How to measure a dose of a CBD dab?

As with all initial doses of CBD, starting slow is for the best. For most CBD dab users, 1-2 rice grain-sized pieces of the product is an adequate amount for a dose. In terms of weight, some people recommend a dosage of 20 to 25 milligrams daily to maintain your health. However, we suggest you sample a very small dose to see how your body reacts. If you feel like you’re able to accommodate a larger dose, you can move on from there. This is particularly important because CBD dabs are incredibly pure and potent. Dabbing is also a more direct way to receive a dose than compared to some other methods like tinctures or vaping. Always remember that a reputable retailer will include the concentration on the labels of their products, so pay close attention to the packaging before dosing for the first time.

What are the benefits of using CBD dabs?

The health benefits of using CBD products are abundant, and by consuming dabs, users may realize these benefits sooner than with other delivery mechanisms. For everyday aches and pains, CBD dabs are excellent options for those in search of fast-acting relief. It’s also that type of high bioavailability, or the body’s ability to absorb CBD into the bloodstream, that has shown CBD’s influence on significantly inhibiting the onset of prostate cancer. The final forms of these concentrates are easy to regulate or adjust when it comes to dosage, which is an added benefit for the user.

What are the negatives of CBD dabs? 

Since CBD dabs, unlike some CBD oils, have only trace amounts of THC, they are safe for consumption without fear of developing an addiction or experiencing mood-altering effects. However, dabbing can involve the use of high heat and an open flame, so you should exercise caution whenever using these products.

What else should I know about CBD dabs?

CBD dabs and the devices needed to vaporize them are legal in all 50 states and are readily available. Because users who seek out CBD dabs are interested in pure products, it’s crucial that you always shop from a reputable retailer. A trustworthy seller of CBD is one who holds a certificate of analysis for each of its products, confirming the completion of lab testing and the product’s validity. It’s also critical that amateurs not attempt to make their own dabs. Manufacturers who produce CBD dabs have commercial equipment and rigorous processes in place to ensure the resulting substance is quality and free of dangerous chemicals that can harm you.

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