Dabbing is the street name given to butane extracted hash oil (BHO). It is a potent new high that is giving marijuana smokers a whole new way to get their THC.
BHO is manufactured by packing marijuana, usually shake left over from buds, into a tube and forcing a solvent, usually butane, through it. The solvents eventually evaporate, leaving just the resins from the plant. The resin emerges in one of two ways depending on how the extraction was done. There is shatter, which is a hard substance similar to amber, and wax, which has a softer, jellylike quality. Regardless of the form, BHO can be over 80% pure THC.
Basically, you have is an entire joint in one hit.
Upon deciding to try this popular new form of consumption, I was rather shocked to learn that I was going to have to part with a $100 for one gram of wax! But in the interest of new adventures in smoking I agreed. My guy “X” showed up the following evening with a gram of wax that was like a very thick honey and his vape pen. We retired to the smoking room.
I put on some music and watched as he proceeded to load the device. He informed me that about .01 of a gram was all you needed. He loaded it into the chamber of the vaporizer, being careful to get it near—but not actually on—the heating coil. Once this was complete, he screwed on the mouthpiece and handed it to me.
Pressing the button that engages the battery, I took my first hit. I was impressed by how smooth the smoke was. A delicious taste coated my mouth. I sat back and held it for a few moments, then exploded into a coughing spasm. It was then that my guy said I should probably go small at first. Then he explained how the wax should be treated more like a dessert and not the main course on your smoking menu due to the increased potency. Too late.
His words became distant and no longer important. A David Gilmour solo was going on the music box (something about sheep I think) and it drew all my attention along with a sudden urge to go see what I had for munchies in the kitchen. After an unknown amount of time had passed, “X” asked me if I was OK, which snapped back to reality. He asked if I would like another hit. Thinking that there couldn’t be much left and not wanting to waste an expensive product, I agreed.
The wonderful taste filled my senses again. I’d adjusted so I didn’t have to repeat the lung spasms. Then I sat back and turned to wax in my own way. The high was instant and intense. I’ve smoked weed regularly for 30 plus years. I’ve done everything from drive big rigs to coach little league while high on marijuana. If there is a such a thing as a functional stoner (with reference to the AA phrase) then I would be it.
But now I was so stoned that even the birds were staring at me. And I had a lot of this stuff left! “X” made sure I was ok and clear on how to use the equipment. He left his pen with me to use up the balance of my wax. It was clear I wasn’t going to need any more for a while, so I settled onto the couch and spent the next few hours scrolling through the Netflix menu, never actually watching anything.
The next weekend I invited some of my fellow oldsters over to try out the new toy. Food was prepared, guitars were uncased and I brought out the pen. Within one trip around the room, it had grown quiet. Apparently dabbing had the same effect on my friends. At the end of night, and the end of my wax, we were completely toasted. And the feeling was rather unanimous— while vape pens were a nice place to visit, we didn’t want to live there.
Realizing that we rarely go backwards when it comes to our recreational drugs, the Pandora’s Box of vaping has been opened and is probably here to stay.
Some have speculated that the process of extracting BHO, using chemicals, could be a setback because of the likeness to meth lab processes. There have been injuries associated with those attempting the process without being aware of the explosive possibilities.
Also, a popular form of smoking wax is to use a “rig,” which is basically a bong with a nail where the bowl would be. To the untrained eye, this method looks a lot like smoking crack, an image that prohibitionists could feast on.
And there’s the fact that in places like Colorado, where dabbing is already popular (and legal), some have speculated that heroic feats of consumption could lead somebody to do something stupid.
Dabbing is not the mellow stoner smoke most associate with marijuana these days. So let’s be careful out.