So you wanna know how to make dabs, huh? You’ve come to the right place! We here at Honest Marijuana have been doing this so long (and so well, we might add), we’ve forgotten more about cannabis production (in all its forms) than most people will learn in a lifetime.
That makes us uniquely qualified to tell you everything you need to know about making dabs…even if we do say so ourselves. So that’s what we’re going to do.
But jumping right to the “how to” is a bit like going on Dancing With The Stars without any training: the end result isn’t going to be pretty. So before we tell you how to make dabs, we’re going to give you a bit of background on the subject (dabs, not Dancing With The Stars).
Along the way, we’ll answer such questions as:
- What is dabbing?
- What exactly are dabs?
- What is wax?
- What equipment will you need to dab?
- Why choose wax over other concentrates?
After that, we’ll explain how dabs are usually made and then give you a DIY recipe for how to make dabs at home (safely, and without exploding). Sound good? Let’s get started.
What Is Dabbing?
Dabbing is the process of heating a special form of cannabis and then inhaling the vapor. Dabbing gets its name from the tiny dabs of wax that are used with a special rig (a dab rig) to get high (THC dabs) or get your medicine (CBD dabs).
Let’s take a moment to clarify those two sentences by talking about dabs, wax, and equipment specifically.
What Are Dabs?
Think of dabs as “bite-sized,” single-serving hits that are usually no bigger than your pinky nail (though that’s actually a lot!). You scoop a dab onto the nail using a dabbing tool and then apply a flame to turn the solid into vapor. Finally, you inhale as much of the vapor as possible. That’s dabbing in a nutshell.
What Is Wax?
Wax is a type of dab (the other being shatter). And if you’re wondering why wax is called wax, the answer is really very simple: the stuff looks like earwax. Sounds gross, we know, but you’ll get over it after you’ve tried your first hit.
What is weed wax (THC dabs)
Before we get into how to make dab wax, let’s have a quick glimpse into what it is. Weed wax or dabs is resin extracted from marijuana which is potent and concentrated. It is usually smoked or vaporized (though sometimes the purest forms are ingested). People smoke it, use water pipes, or vaporize when they make THC wax for personal use or purchase it from a vendor. Some simply smoke it from a bong like a regular weed.
Why does everyone want to make cannabis wax?
The reason everyone wants to make pot wax or purchase it is that the THC is more concentrated. Those who know how to make pot wax can get up to a 20% yield from their bud with pure THC making up to 80% of the yield. That is like extracting only pure THC and powerful cannabinoids and leaving all the cellulose, irritants, and sugar behind. That produces a stronger, faster, potentially cleaner and even more hallucinogenic effect.
Consider the dish you’ll infuse
The first step in cooking with concentrates is to give some thought to the final product—are you making, say, a plain salad dressing? You may want to opt for a distillate rather than RSO as RSO’s concentrated form may leave a bitter aftertaste.
“All types of cannabis concentrates can be used in cooking,” said Jay Denniston, director of science at Dixie Brands. “However, the myriad of different types of concentrates, with variability in potency, form, flavor, and aroma, can create difficulty in choosing the right type of product to use in an infused dish.”
“Full extract cannabis oils like RSO will deliver a heavier botanical flavor and aroma than crystalline extracts,” continued Denniston. “If a food will be consumed in small concentrated doses, like olive oil, the cannabis extract flavor will be present to a higher degree.”
Consider using concentrates with stronger flavors (like RSO or full-spectrum extracts) in sweet edibles, where the flavor can be more effectively masked.
Denniston also suggested opting for high-fat foods like peanut butter, olive oil, or ghee as they more easily accept concentrates for infusion.RelatedAre edibles for everyone? What to consider before ingesting cannabis
Choose your concentrate
Know your concentrate before infusing it.
“Concentrates that occur in semi-solid to solid states, such as live resin, terp sauce, budder, wax, and especially sugar wax, have the potential to contain high amounts of THCA,” said Denniston.
For those of you wondering what THCA is, it is the non-intoxicating compound that converts to the euphoric THC over time or when heat is applied.
Some concentrates are easier to work with than others. Crystal isolates, for instance, often come in the form of a white powder that’s easy to manipulate.
“The main advantage of using distillate is that it’s flavorless, scentless, and completely ready to be incorporated into the fat component of your chosen recipe,” said Troy Ivan, CEO & Founder of ExtractCraft.RelatedCannabis oil distillate concentrate: pure THC
Distillate, then, has a lot of appeal considering its potency and the fact it doesn’t need to be decarboxylated. However, each choice comes with its own unique challenges as well.
“The disadvantage [with distillate] is that all other cannabinoids and desirable cannabis components have been purposefully removed,” said Ivan. “Any synergistic and ‘entourage effect’ benefits contained in full-spectrum oil are not present in distillate and many would argue that it’s less medicinal with a lower efficacy.”
Others, like Brandin LaShea, chef and host of the digital cooking show Pot Pie, prefer to go the RSO route for its ease of use.
“I sometimes prefer to use certain concentrates like RSO because you can skip the decarboxylation step, and add them directly to your favorite recipes, which makes the process a lot easier for someone just starting out,” said LaShea.
Make sure you only use concentrates that have third-party lab test results. You want to be absolutely sure of what’s going into your edible.