The latest cannabis craze is a technique for making highly concentrated marijuana extracts, also known as “dabs,” by simply applying measured heat and pressure to a marijuana bud using a common hair straightener.
This DIY method only really began taking off among hashish connoisseurs a few months ago, yet there’s already a commercial market for what aficionados call Rosin Tech—including industrial-sized production setups—and a growing sense among foresighted weedheads that these chemical-free, explosion-free, quick-and-easy concentrates will soon come to dominate the market.
It started when Instagram extraction guru @soilgrown “squished the bud seen around the world” after accidentally stumbling upon the technique while pressing some hash at home. Now he’s the widely acknowledged founding father of a large and growing movement.
“I was sitting in my garage pressing out some half melt [lower quality] hash to dab, when I accidentally over pressed, separating the oil from the contaminant,” said @soilgrown, who prefers to remain anonymous, but says he’s been involved in the cannabis industry since 2007 and specializes in solventless extraction methods. “Without even thinking about it, I rolled it all back together into a ball and repressed it. Months later, however, that experience inspired me to place a ball of hash inside a hair straightener and press as hard as I could. The oil again separated from the contaminant, but this time I collected the oil and dabbed it, finding it changed from a 3 star melt to a 6 star melt”—based on a standardized measure of the potency and purity of various cannabis concentrates—”so I quickly shared my finding with the world.”
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).
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.
Cannabis Dab Wax
Cannabis dab wax is a soft, opaque oil that lacks transparency after being extracted from the cannabis plant. Its molecules crystalize due to the results of prior agitation. Also, its irregular molecular density does not allow light to travel thus leaving a more solid and non-transparent oil.
Wax may vary in consistency, depending on heat, texture of the oil and moisture. The oil is key on making wax, as for runny oils often compose the known “Budder wax” while more dense and gooier oils are used to make “Crumble” and “Honeycomb”.
Marijuana “dabs” or wax are highly concentrated and potent, not advisable for novice users. Many of those who look to get their hands on this particular product tend to smoke or vaporize it, sometimes it may be ingested.
To smoke wax, a water pipe or vaporizer would be ideal if homemade. However, if purchased in a store a simple bong would do just fine.
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.
Respect the THC waX
Like any herb, this potent form of THC must be used with care. These are some pros and cons:
|Pain is gone. Medical users claim pain is blasted away like never before.Get higher. Recreational users and Psychonauts will find a stronger and more hallucinogenic high.Treats withdrawals. There are anecdotal reports it may cure withdrawals of stimulants, alcohol, and opiates.It only takes a little. A very small amount can treat pain and other problems for a longer period of time compared to traditional treatments.
|Pace yourself. You will be taking lighter tokes of a small ‘dab’ of your weed wax and taking careful note of the effects so that you don’t get too high and begin to hallucinate. Overdose is believed to be non-fatal but can lead to extreme discomfort or dangerous actions.Don’t blow yourself up. If you make THC dabs using flammable solvents like butane, you could burn your property or yourself (use safer methods like Rosin Tech) unless you are extremely well experienced in chemistry.Go solventless, if possible. Although many of the solvents are removed or harmless with solvent-extracted weed wax, solvent left in the final product can irritate the throat or lungs, though there are few reports of this.