As the nicotine vaporizer craze heats up and is beginning to be seen, broadly, as a healthier replacement to cigarettes it hasn’t taken long for pot smokers to adapt this technology for their own uses. Dabs, a marijuana extract that boasts incredible purity, is being used in conjunction with these cutting-edge portable vaporizers in order to provide a healthier cannabis smoking option on the go.
Much like hash, dabs are a refined marijuana product which is extracted and purified from the resinous trichomes of the cannabis plant. Unlike hash, however, dabs are often created in laboratory conditions and reach extreme purities of 90%+ mixed cannabinoid content. This waxy or oily substance is then dripped on the hot vaporizer coil and smoked in the same way that an e-cigarette is.
In order to reach such incredible levels of purity the crude extract is refined, often through fractional distillation or column purification. The fractional distillation process relies on the wide range of boiling points present in these cannabis compounds in order to separate and purify only the active ingredients. Column purification is similar, with the extract dissolved in a carrier solvent before being run through long columns packed with inert silica or alumina sand, which separates the constituents of marijuana using density.
Dabs are becoming popular because of their intense, low-odor high and full-spectrum of cannabinoids, making the experience a lot like taking one huge hit with every puff of the vaporizer. This method of smoking cannabis is also great for travel, since the dabs are vaporized using modified e-cigarettes which are becoming more popular, and inconspicuous, by the day.
How Much is Too Much?
Unfortunately law enforcement is also taking notice, due to their concerns over the exceptional purity of these extracts. It can be easy for an inexperienced user to overdo the experience and find themselves anxious, unsettled, and upset. Much like marijuana edibles, which have garnered much of the same attention due to unpleasant experiences caused by their strength and long onset time.
Proponents of this new method of marijuana ingestion are quick to point out that an experience with dabs is easier to control than one with edibles, since the effects are felt immediately, making it much easier to stop before a user goes too far with the product and experiences intense side-effects. Dabs are also being touted as being much healthier than smoking cannabis leaves, since the product is a nearly-pure extract with none of the organic components, like leaf material and waxes, which can turn carcinogenic when lit up.
The Next Big Thing
Regardless of their intensity, and despite the wishes of law-enforcement, dabs are experiencing a boom in popularity in part because of their widespread use at trendy Los Angeles, New York, and Miami nightclubs. They’ve become the hottest new method of cannabis consumption in a country that’s already growing more and more accepting of the legalization movement, so don’t be surprised if you start seeing dabs spread to a club, clinic, or living room near you.