Dabbing can seem pretty intimidating, even if you’ve been consuming marijuana for years. For this cannabis consumption method, you use a dab rig or pen to heat cannabis concentrates (shatter, wax or oil) to a high temperature, then inhale the resulting vapor.
Dabbing imparts a large dose of marijuana for fast and immediate effects. What was once thought of as a purely recreational way to consume cannabis, dabbing is now catching on in the medical marijuana community. It’s become the consumption method of choice for those dealing with acute pain or PTSD, because it delivers a high dose with quick effects.
Here are our three most popular Q&As about dabbing from our Answers page. The information comes from knowledgeable members of the HelloMD community. Hopefully, their answers will help clear up any of the questions you have about how to dab as well as dabbing’s benefits.
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Q: I’ve heard that pesticides are concentrated in wax. Is it true if you dab you may intake a bunch of chemicals?
Unfortunately, many concentrates are made from flowers grown indoors with the use of pesticides (generally to combat the nearly unavoidable infestation of broad mites and russet mites). Often indoor growers also use chemical fertilizers. If these chemicals are present, then extraction methods used to create concentrates do indeed concentrate the chemical components. It’s incredibly important to know the source of your flowers, and search out dispensaries and vendors that carry only pure, tested and if possible, outdoor-grown source material.
Read more answers to this question.
Q: I’m a medical patient that dabs with wax. It controls my chronic pain, is it bad for me?
I read a recent article in the New York Times that claimed dabbing is horrible for people. I have used marijuana for years to control my pain, and dabbing is by far the most effective. Is there a reason I should be concerned about my health? I do not hallucinate or have psychosis, but find it takes away pain immediately.
Answer: @canada The article you read, did it mention that smoking dabs using a combustion method was more harmful than smoking flower/dry herbs using a combustion method? This has some studies that back it up, but it also depends on how much you are consuming. Dabs are much higher in THC levels, so you do not need to take as many hits. If you are not already, you should be using a vaporizer for dabs instead of a lighter/flame.
RELATED: DABBING MARIJUANA FOR GOOD HEALTH
Q: What’s healthier on the lungs, dab vs. vaping dry herb?
I am an ex-smoker and have recently been told to completely cut out any form of smoke going into my lungs. However, cannabis still has medical benefits I can take advantage of. What is healthier for my lungs—a dab vape pen or a volcano-type vaporizer?
Answer: @hoppercaroline Consider the difference in materials. Concentrates have added ingredients to extract the oil from the plant matter. There is not much data about the health effects of this form of marijuana consumption. Flower has no added ingredients and can be found in the most organic form with clean processing and growth practices.
Dabs have always seemed to be more harsh of a hit to me. Likely, this is because there is much more active ingredient packed into a small amount. You might want to look into a vaporizer with the portability of a dab pen, but with flower capabilities.
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If you’re new to cannabis and want to learn more, take a look at our Cannabis 101 post. HelloMD can help you get your medical marijuana recommendation; it’s easy, private and 100% online.