Dabbing, for those unfamiliar with the term, is a process by which oil aficionados superheat BHO (butane hash oil), shatter (a potent, properly purged product), or other forms of THC concentrate using a hand-held mini torch and smoking medium of their choice (often a titanium or quartz nail). The concentrate is then pressed, or dabbed, onto the hot medium and inhaled through the attached water pipe or other device. This process has gained popularity in the past two years, especially among the younger generation of smokers. However, despite its benefits, many see it as a step backward for the legalization process and stoner culture.
One of the advantages of smoking THC concentrate is the potency and efficiency. Most oils contain between 75 and 100 percent THC, making it an extremely powerful high. The result is often potency 5 times that of traditional smoking, and for the medical marijuana community, this equates to a quick, relatively easy process by which patients can alleviate their illnesses. This is seen as a viable alternative for many who may not have the time to smoke traditionally. Many smokers have found that smoking a joint or bowl does not give them a sufficient high to address their symptoms. Rather than smoking more—many encourage them to smoke smarter by experimenting with dabbing, which also allows patients to better regulate their doses.
Purity of the final product is an additional concern in dabbing, given the assortment of chemicals that are at play (bringing into account improperly cured or flushed original plant matter). If not done in correct fashion, not only will you concentrate the THC, but you’ll also concentrate the chemicals used in the growing process. This exemplifies why oils should be legalized and regulated, but naysayers see impurities as unavoidable as long as dabbing maintains its popularity—which is assuredly will.In the eyes of many, the benefits outweigh any negatives that come with dabbing, but its opponents remain. One of the many arguments against dabbing is the potentially dangerous extraction process for those who set up shop at home. Given that butane is a highly flammable gas, if common sense is not used, catastrophic consequences can result. Many explosions due to improper procedure have become a black eyes to marijuana activists everywhere. These butane blasts fuel propagandists, who use the disaster as a means to link stoners and meth heads. The basement oil enthusiast is thrown in the same batch as the meth cook. While it is assured that Walter White would produce the best BHO known to man, the comparison should stop there. Both the at-home producers of THC concentrate and those who might be the target of such propaganda need to be educated as to avoid a legalization blowup. As of now, two states have already outlawed such concentrates in their entirety—California and Washington. If the perception is allowed to spread, many states will follow suit. In such a volatile time for the marijuana legalization movement, it is important to tread softly on the ground that we have claimed.
The percentage of THC concentrate products found in dispensaries only continues to grow. It is important for us as consumers to stay educated and safe, whether you are a first time dabber or a do-it-yourself producer pushing your hundredth batch. Remember that we are still fighting for our rights, and public perception is as important as ever. If you’re going to indulge in the most efficient way to get high, make sure to educate those around you. Legalization has come a long way, but there is plenty of road left to travel.