When I turned thirty, I realized that I was a suburbanite in the Bible belt—which requires a bit of conformity if you’re an avid fan of THC like myself. This conformity isn’t really an issue because I grew up in the suburbs—just not in a house. At that time, I would have to hope that my Mah wasn’t home because I smelled like a milk carton gravity bong, the sad, flat smell of plastic, and shaky sour diesel. I remember the look on a close friend’s parents’ faces; that kind of disappointment sticks with you. So, I made a vow not to get caught by that parent again. However, I got caught by others, more so out of bored experimentation. I was a kid, though. Now that I am a big kid, I have been introduced to the comfy world of dabs. Dabs came into my life at the perfect time because my neighbors were not about any sort of THC; in fact, my neighbor called it “really nasty stuff.” Come to find out, he thought I was talking about Opium. This is where we have failed as a society, a true understanding of cannabis; we’ve lobbed schedule I drug into a group—without explaining what their medicinal purposes are, how they affect you, what the difference is between drug abuse and social use. Delta 9 THC should not be in the same category as opiates. It’s absurd.
ATLRx is adamant about education because, through this knowledge, you’ll begin to come around to understand the “why” and how hemp-derived products can help in everyday life. Once the basics are down, you can learn about forms of consumption. One of my personal favorite forms of consumption is dabbing. Dabbing brings potency and discretion. The discretion is limited, though; you still have to blow out smoke—but there isn’t a massive drift of the burning flower. Depending on the strain, it can smell slightly sweet, or floral, but you have to be pretty close to someone to smell it. But there is a process that comes with dabbing that you may or may not love. I love all of the procedures; it’s like making arts and crafts with THC. Plus, there would be more of a cannabis plant wasted without dabs.
What are Dabs?
Dabs are the same thing as concentrates. Concentrates can be made into various forms; you can have diamonds, budder, sugar wax, rosin, shatter, crumble, and live resin, amongst other beautiful forms. These concentrates can come from various cannabinoids, including alternate cannabinoids; ATLRx has Delta 8, THC-O, and HHC dabs. These vary in texture due to the type of cannabinoid they are; each requires its own processing. Your traditional dabs are concentrated butane hash oil. Dabbing is similar to vaping, except dabbing can be more potent, bringing a more intense euphoria that is all at once rather than a gradual intoxication that takes place over a certain amount of time. What is required to consume a dab is a glass dab rig, dab pen, or an electric dab rig. These are rigs specifically designed to take dabs. ATLRx carries dab rigs Lookahs, but there are dab rig converters for water pipes. Next, you’ll need a dab tool and a torch to use a glass rig. I use parchment paper to put the concentrates on because they’re not as adhesive, and the parchment paper can take the heat.
Glass Rig Process
With a glass rig, a torch, a dab tool, and parchment paper, there is more of a process that can be dangerous. So please, be careful when handling a rig. A glass dab rig has more to it, but it’s the original way that dabs have been taken and, through general consensus, usually the most favorable course of taking a dab. You will need water for the water chamber, generally having it a little above the percolator diffusion, which is on the same side as the nail, and joint (usually the shorter side of the rig). Then, of course, you have your mouthpiece and the neck on the other side.
First, scoop up the concentrate with your dab tool. I put the concentrate on the parchment paper, and as a side note, it’s a fantastic way to store your concentration. Set it on the parchment paper. Then use the torch to heat up the nail, the bowl-looking spout in the front of the piece. But do not heat the nail (or banger) too much! If you heat it too much, it can be an extremely hard hit that can injure your lungs. If it’s red hot, wait until it cools down a bit. The average temperature ranges from 300-to 500 degrees; this depends on what form of wax you have. Sugar waxes, for example, require less heat, while your thicker concentrates like budder require a bit more.
Now, take your dab tool with the concentrate, move the dab in a circular motion in the bowl-looking area, and slowly begin to pull from the mouthpiece. You will see that dab smoke will accumulate inside the glass in the water chamber after it. Never try to take out the nail as if it’s a water bong; it’s extremely hot—and unforgiving. Trust me. Once the smoke is in the water chamber piece, you will cover the dab nail or banger with a carb cap. The carb cap allows for the smoke to go through the mouthpiece. Once you cover it, you can inhale the smoke. Dabs are more concentrated and can be immediately triggered in your ECS (endocannabinoid system). Depending on the concentrate—taking one large dab can be equivalent to smoking a joint or even more. For this reason, ATLRx recommends that you have an active tolerance so that you’re not locked on the couch for an entire day. Dabs mean business.
Electric Rig Process
With an electric rig such as a lookah, you’re put in an easier situation. Looks have an activation mode that requires you to press the button three times; from there, the device heats up—readying to touch base with the dab. This is where parchment paper really comes in handy because it’s where you can put your concentrate and directly inhale the dab from the parchment paper. Lightly touch the lookah quartz tip to the concentrate until you see the filter fill up with smoke, remove it from the wax, inhale the smoke, and retouch the quartz to the concentrate three or four times. This will give you a standard dab hit. Be aware that there is a time limit for the lookah’s prep mode. If it shuts off mid-hit, you can just hold the button down to continue your process. You have three temperature settings on a lookah, white is the least hot, blue is hot, and pink is the hottest. I never find myself breaching the second level at blue; it seems to be the sweet spot. But remember that temperature requirements vary depending on the concentration.
Risk of Dabbing and Its Other Uses
Dabs are one of my favorite forms of consumption because I have a higher tolerance, plus I have things to do. I can’t take twenty minutes to roll a joint and smoke it. It’s 2022. But dabbing does come with some risks that we need to pin down, so you know how to avoid making those mistakes. Overdosing on THC is a real thing; we’ve all experienced taking too much THC at one time or another—generally, you will hear this in a way that’s more geared to edibles because it’s metabolized in your liver. The most potent form of consumption, there’s no turning back all at once. Overdoses with THC aren’t fatal but are known to trigger extreme anxiety, nausea, panic attacks, paranoia, and sometimes hallucinations. What is happening is that you have too much THC latching to your receptors in your ECS (endocannabinoid system). There are various ways of combatting this as it’s happening, but obviously, we don’t want to get there in the first place. Concentrates can be smoked with flowers, especially with lighter forms such as sugar wax. Many of our guests love putting our Delta-8 THC Fruity Pebbles sugar wax on their joints. This may be a route for some to go, but remember that it will still be potent; get familiar with your tolerance—and learn when your body says, “we are good on that!” THC is magical, but with all magic (figuratively speaking), there has to be a form of discipline to get the most out of it. You’re still receiving those amazing benefits such as stress relief, relaxation, alleviating anxiety, ridding of inflammation, and chronic pain relief. That’s not to even mention the euphoria that will have you grazing skyscrapers with the tips of your fingers. So dab away, but with caution—so you can keep dabbing!