Recently a different form of smoking has become popular amongst cannabis users. Dabbing: the smoking of concentrated THC at much higher temperatures, has been around for over 15 years but gained recognition and popularity as states started legalizing.

What is it?

One of the most popular forms of concentrate is BHO (Butane Hash Oil) with  a percentage of 70-90% THC. One type of BHO is usually gold or amber and see through, resembling hard candy. Its called “Shatter” for being breakable like glass. Dabs are much more intense than weed. You need extremely little to feel much stronger effects. Another consistency is known as crumble, which tends to look lighter, almost blonde, and has a different texture. Unlike shatter which should snap apart, crumble tends to fall apart and “crumble.”

How Do you Smoke it?

Actual bud can be lit from an average flame, concentrates are different. To properly burn BHO a much higher temperature is necessary.

In order to obtain that heat you must use either a butane or propane torch and heat up your “Nail.” The nails used are normally titanium, but they can also be made of quartz, ceramics, or glass.

The nail should be placed on a bong where the bowl piece would go. Most people refer to dab pieces as “rigs.” The nail is the best temperature between 650 and 800 degrees F (you can tell its ready as it starts to turn a bit red). After its heated you take your “dabber”or tool and scrape the oil onto the nail while inhaling. Concentrates are known to be much harsher than flower, not just the potency but also the feel and taste. More coughing after a dab is to be expected, but the after taste should never leave a chemical taste in you mouth. That can indicate it wasn’t purged correctly.

Is it Safe?

Not many large scale tests have been done to understand the health hazards of BHO on the body. But one main problem that many are concerned about is production. Often, people who “blast” wax don’t have the proper experience or equipment. Many extraction setups are done in houses where health codes and safety precautions are nonexistent. If they miss or altercate a single step the product they are making may come out tainted. The correct process to make BHO is extremely meticulous and dangerous. The butane used in extraction is extremely flammable, and people can cause an explosion or fire. This is one of the controversies surrounding concentrates and how to regulate it. Trained professionals understand the extraction process and can create the safest type of medicine. Wax is already around, and due to its new found popularity, their is a huge ride in demand.  Many unprepared citizens believe they can duplicate this intricate skill. More than often the results are life threatening. Governing and standardizing BHO productions could eliminate a safety issue many legalization opposers fear. 

How’s it Made?

Oil is made by packing dehydrated weed into a tube (normally glass) and blasting butane through it to remove the THC. After the THC has been extracted from the plant matter its time to get rid of the butane. The next step is placing the pyrex and substance into heated water (100 degrees F) until the violent bubbles calm and slowly pop. You need to be outside and in a well ventilated area during this process. Then the concoction must  be transferred into a vacuum purge to cook and stabilize. The temperatures and time in the purge range depending on what type of consistency is desired. Making BHO is a  long and tedious process, do not attempt unless you have prior knowledge or someone who knows what they are doing.