The 10th of July is celebrated as International Oil Day, also known as International Dab Day. It has been celebrated since around 2012 and complements the traditional 420 celebrations on April 20th. 710 is associated with oil because, when you turn the number upside down, it looks like the word ‘oil’. The formal 710 celebrations probably came about because of the 710 Cup which celebrates all things to do with cannabis oil and concentrates. Whereas the 420 celebration is one which is decades old, the 710 festivities are more recent and reflect that fact that dabbing only really gained significant mainstream popularity over the last decade.
Dabbing involves placing a small amount of cannabis concentrate (e.g. cannabis oil, or shatter) onto a preheated metal/ceramic surface and breathing in the cloud of cannabinoids produced as the oil/concentrate sizzles. Usually, dabbers use a bong-like device known as a dabbing rig. But various devices, including portable dabbing devices are available.
Dabbing is a fast way to get very high. It only takes a second or two, and in that time a substantial amount of THC and other cannabinoids can be inhaled. Instead of spending 5 or 10 minutes slowly relaxing and enjoying a joint or vape, the entire process is compressed into a short process. Some people claim that the intensity and enjoyment of cannabis is improved. It is a quick way to get high.
One distinct trend seen over the past few years in the USA legal cannabis market has been the trend towards cannabis concentrates. Buds, or ‘flower’ sales are always popular. But more and more people are growing cannabis from seed and converting the crop into concentrates. Cannabis concentrates come in many different names and types. Shatter, BHO, hash, wax, budder, cannabis oil, hash oil etc. What they all have in common is the fact that they are concentrated extracts of the resinous cannabinoid-containing parts of the cannabis plant. Solvents such as ethanol can be used to produce these concentrates, so can Carbon Dioxide, Butane and various other liquid/gas solvents. These concentrates can have a glass-like appearance, or they may be a dark opaque liquid oil depending on the extraction process used. But they all usually contain high levels (>50%+) of cannabinoids. This makes them considerably more potent than cannabis buds.
10 grams of cannabis buds can be concentrated to just 1-2 grams of highly potent extract. For some cannabis users, it is simply more convenient to own, carry and store a couple of grams of oil/concentrate than a large bag of buds. It’s also more discreet. You can have a stash of several grams of concentrate and have less concern about the smell produced. The new range of portable vaporizers and portable dabbing devices has resulted in some attractive and easy ways to enjoy cannabis concentrates on the move. A quick online search will show various electronic vaporizer-style devices which heat concentrates to deliver a powerful and compact hit. Walking down a street smoking a joint could get you in trouble even in areas with legal cannabis. Smoking in public places can be illegal even with tobacco. That is one of the factors which has driven the trend towards concentrates, and devices which can use them. No-one really knows that you are getting high, and you can do it almost anywhere.
There are a range of different ways to dab. Some prefer a nicely produced glass dabbing rig to enjoy with their friends at home. They range in price from around €25, to over €1000 if you want a hand-blown uniquely crafted rig. Usually they come with a metal, glass or ceramic ‘nail’. This is the heated surface which you dab your concentrate on to produce the cloud of cannabinoids which will be inhaled. Although it is called a ‘nail’ it is usually a bowl-shaped titanium/ceramic surface around 10-20mm across. It is usually heated with a small kitchen butane blow torch, similar to the ones used by chefs. Once the nail is red hot, it is usually left to cool for around 10-15 seconds before the concentrate is dabbed on to it. When the concentrate is dabbed onto the hot surface, the organic compounds boil, producing a cloud of white vapor. Often the cloud of cannabinoids is bubbled through water to cool the vapor and make the experience even more enjoyable.
Small pen-sized devices now exist for using your cannabis concentrates. They can be filled with oil, diluted oil or shatter/wax. Heat is generated often from electric batteries and the resulting cannabinoid cloud is inhaled. These devices look just like the traditional vaporizers sold on the high street. They are convenient, small and discreet devices to take with you and use wherever you wish.
You could also ask ‘Are cannabis concentrates here to stay?’ The answer would also be definitely yes! In areas with legal cannabis production, such as the USA, the large cannabis producers have all seen a trend towards cannabis concentrates. Cannabis concentrates allow a producer to convert several hundred kilograms of buds into a few litres of extract. This makes it easier to handle, transport and package.
Many cannabis home growers produce their own concentrates these days. Cannabis is grown in the normal way from feminized seeds or autoflowering cannabis seeds. Extraction kits are readily available online for home growers making it easy to produce your own ice-hash, butane honey oil, cannabis oil or any other type of concentrate.
The main advice to anyone interested in dabbing, or cannabis concentrates, is to conduct thorough research and make safety your only priority when making cannabis concentrates. Use of flammable solvents to produce cannabis concentrates is perfectly safe when done is a professional manner. Trying to make a solvent extraction of cannabis, indoors and with no safety equipment/training can be a recipe for disaster. Perhaps the safest way to start is to consider making an ice-hash extraction.
Consumers love cannabis concentrates. As well as being used for dabbing, concentrates are easy to incorporate into edible cannabis products too. Thats another huge growth market in the cannabis industry. Dabbing is here to stay because cannabis concentrates are an irreplaceable part of the modern cannabis industry.
July 10th 2019