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Dabbing for beginners: Confessions of a cautious concentrate newbie

IMAGE: PHOTO COMPOSITE: PUFFCO/BOB AL-GREENE/MASHABLE

This post is part of our High-tech High series, which explores weed innovations, and our cultural relationship with cannabis, as legalization in several U.S. states, Canada, and Uruguay moves the market further out of the shadows.


It’s 2018, and marijuana vape pens are so common in California they may as well be on the state flag. (They’re certainly more widespread than bears. Sorry, bears.)

Pens are not the preserve of stoner stereotypes, either: Walk through the Financial District of San Francisco on a sunny day after work, and at the outdoor tables of wine bars and pubs alike, you’ll easily spot dozens of those slim, telltale cartridges being casually withdrawn from suit jackets and purses for a politely discreet two-second sip.

In a few short years of legalization, vape pens have become the cocktails of weed: pretty, classy, concentrated, available in many intriguing varieties, dinner-party friendly; a nice little sippable pick-me-up, presuming you don’t have too much. It’s fair to say I am familiar with (and respectful of) pens and cocktails in equal measure.

Then at the other end of the spectrum, there’s dabbing. Until last week, like a lot of people, I would have described dabbing as the crack-smoking of weed; the thing you do if you want to get seriously messed up, like downing a pitcher of a particularly strong cocktail.

But I also would have had no idea what I was talking about. Because it turns out dabbing is a lot closer to downing a double espresso than chugging martinis.

The rhyme and reason of rigs 

From a chemistry-class perspective, dabbing and vaping are almost the same thing. The pens heat liquid cannabis concentrate (added to various kinds of oil) very fast to create vapor, whereas dabbing is simply about heating solid cannabis concentrate very fast to create vapor. The solid version unadulterated by oil may be a little healthier because you don’t add anything in the extraction process, but dabbing has historically involved a cumbersome, daunting industrial setup.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Chris Taylor on Mashable

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Published: December 09, 2018

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