How to Make Dabs at Home
Embark on a journey into the world of cannabis concentrates as we delve into the art of DIY dabs. Dabs, or concentrated cannabis extracts, offer a potent and immersive experience, taking enthusiasts beyond the realms of conventional consumption. From the meticulous process of extraction to the diverse forms of concentrates, each dab tells a story of craftsmanship and potency. In this exploration, we will unravel the intricacies of different types of dabs and guide you through the steps of creating your own potent cannabis concentrates at home. Whether you’re a seasoned dab enthusiast or a curious newcomer, this DIY guide opens the door to a personalized and hands-on experience with the world of dabs.
Table of Contents
Ice Water Extraction
Flat Iron Extraction
What are dabs?
A “dab” encapsulates a nuanced world within the realm of cannabis, signifying not merely a hit but an immersion into the realm of concentrated cannabis extracts. These extracts, the very backbone of dabs, involve a meticulous process of isolation and extraction, wherein the most coveted elements of the cannabis plant—cannabinoids and terpenes—are concentrated into a transformative state, be it an oil or a wax. This journey starts with the delicate art of isolating and extracting, a craft that separates cannabinoids and terpenes from the bulk of plant material, resulting in a concoction of heightened potency.
The outcome takes on distinctive forms, ranging from the viscous allure of oils to the crystalline beauty of waxes, each carrying a concentrated amalgamation of the plant’s therapeutic and psychoactive compounds. Dabs, therefore, represent not merely a method of consumption but an experience—intense, flavorful, and potent. The very act of dabbing transcends conventional approaches to cannabis consumption, offering enthusiasts a profoundly immersive encounter into the rich world of concentrated cannabis.
What is dabbing?
The Process of Consumption
Dabbing, in essence, is the act of heating and inhaling vaporized cannabis concentrates or extracts. This process requires specialized tools like a dab rig(A), e-rig, or vaporizer. The conventional method involves applying high heat directly to a “nail” or “banger”(C) of a dab rig using a blowtorch(B), followed by inhaling the vapor produced. Alternatively, some concentrates, depending on their consistency, can be sprinkled into a bowl of flower or added inside a joint for smoking. However, it’s important to note that dabbing wax delivers an intensely potent experience.
Potency of Dabs
Dabbing is acknowledged as one of the most potent methods of consuming cannabis. The concentrates used in dabs can contain significantly higher concentrations of cannabinoids compared to raw cannabis flower. Dabs can reach up to 80-90% THC, the major psychoactive cannabinoid, whereas raw cannabis flower typically contains up to about 30% THC at most. Consequently, the effects of dabbing are rapid, often felt within seconds of inhalation.
Caution in Consumption
Due to the highly concentrated nature of cannabinoids in weed wax, it is crucial to approach dabbing with caution. The potential for accidentally consuming more than intended is higher with concentrates, leading to potentially unpleasant side effects. Therefore, a “start low and go slow” approach is recommended when embarking on the dabbing experience to ensure a controlled and enjoyable consumption journey.
Different Types of Dabs
In the intricate tapestry of cannabis concentrates, “Shatter” emerges as a distinctive and visually captivating form. Renowned for its glass-like appearance, shatter derives its name from its breakable consistency and is celebrated for its transparency and often golden or amber hue. The creation of shatter involves a meticulous extraction process that results in a brittle, crystalline cannabis extract with a texture that, true to its name, shatters easily when handled.
The glassy allure of shatter is a testament to the purity and quality of the cannabis concentrate. Its translucent nature allows consumers to appreciate the clarity of the extract, providing a visual indicator of the meticulous extraction process. Shatter is one of the most commonly dabbed cannabis extracts, offering users a potent and visually stunning experience. The fragility of shatter adds a tactile dimension to the consumption ritual, emphasizing the delicate craftsmanship involved in producing this particular form of cannabis concentrate. For enthusiasts seeking both potency and aesthetic appeal, shatter stands as a crystalline embodiment of the artistry within the world of dabs.
Among the diverse spectrum of cannabis concentrates, “Wax” stands out as a prominent and widely appreciated form. This type of concentrate earns its name from its characteristic appearance and waxy texture. The process of creating wax involves an agitating phase during extraction, prompting the oil to crystallize and solidify into a substance with varying consistencies. The texture of wax can range from gooey or creamy to more solid and flaky, with high-quality variants often exhibiting a softer, amber-toned composition.
Wax, a subset of butane hash oil (BHO), captures the essence of the cannabis plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes in a concentrated form. Its versatility in texture and color provides consumers with a range of choices, ensuring that preferences for consistency and appearance are catered to. Whether it’s the silky smoothness of softer waxes or the intricate patterns of harder, amber-toned varieties, wax offers a multi-sensory experience that extends beyond its potent cannabinoid profile. This popular form of cannabis concentrate has become a staple for enthusiasts seeking both potency and a visually appealing consumption experience.
Within the expansive landscape of cannabis concentrates, “Distillate” emerges as an extraordinary pinnacle of purity, often revered as “liquid gold” or the epitome of “pure” THC. Distillation, a sophisticated process, is employed to create this cannabis concentrate, resulting in an exceptionally potent and refined cannabinoid oil. The hallmark of distillate lies in its freedom from taste, smell, and flavor, offering a pristine canvas for consumers to experience the unadulterated effects of specific cannabinoids.
This translucent and runny concentrate, often displaying a golden hue, is a testament to the meticulous purification process. Distillate is crafted by isolating a particular cannabinoid, such as THC or CBD, from the entirety of cannabis plant materials, including terpenes. This process involves winterization, decarboxylation, and distillation, ensuring that only the purest essence remains.
Distillate serves as the foundation for various cannabis products, acting as the core ingredient in edibles and vape cartridges. The absence of plant material imparts a clean and potent experience, making distillate a favorite among consumers seeking a highly refined and concentrated encounter with cannabis. Its transparency and consistency make it a versatile component for diverse consumption methods, marking distillate as a shining example of the cutting-edge innovations within the world of cannabis concentrates.
In the rich tapestry of cannabis concentrates, “Hash,” or hashish, holds a unique position as a product of time-honored craftsmanship. This concentrate is meticulously produced by pressing or rubbing together the resin glands of the cannabis plant, resulting in a compressed brick, slab, or rolled pieces. Hash can manifest in various colors, including chocolate brown, greenish khaki, or sandy brown, each hue reflecting the nuances of the extraction process and the source cannabis strain.
The creation of hash involves a process that transcends modern techniques, relying on traditional methods that have been passed down through generations. By manipulating the resin glands, hash artisans generate a product that encapsulates the essence of the cannabis plant in a concentrated form. Its distinct colors and textures offer a visual journey into the diverse world of hashish, where the final product can range from pliable and malleable to more rigid and solid.
Hash, with its cultural and historical significance, provides enthusiasts with a connection to the roots of cannabis consumption. The artisanal nature of its creation adds an element of authenticity, making hash a sought-after choice for those who appreciate the craftsmanship and time-honored traditions embedded within the world of cannabis concentrates.
In the realm of cannabis concentrates, “Bubble Hash” emerges as a testament to the elegance of extraction through water, revealing a meticulously crafted product that captures the essence of trichomes. This concentrate is created using a process that involves ice water, agitation, and a sieve to separate whole trichomes, or resinous glands, into a paste-like consistency.
The name “Bubble Hash” derives from the characteristic bubbling that occurs during the agitation process, a visual indicator of the separation of trichomes from the cannabis plant material. The creation of Bubble Hash often involves the use of specially designed bags, known as “bubble bags,” which aid in the filtration and extraction of these resinous glands.
Bubble Hash boasts a versatility that allows enthusiasts to explore the diverse world of cannabis concentrates. The paste-like consistency, derived from the trichome-rich extract, offers a unique texture that ranges from pliable to more solid forms. As a water-based extraction method, Bubble Hash stands out for its ability to preserve the integrity of cannabinoids and terpenes while minimizing the inclusion of unwanted plant material.
For those who seek a hands-on approach to concentrate creation and a nuanced experience with cannabis, Bubble Hash remains a captivating choice. Its artisanal production, reliance on water as a solvent, and focus on preserving trichomes showcase a dedication to craftsmanship within the ever-evolving landscape of cannabis concentrates.
Within the realm of cannabis concentrates, “Crystalline” emerges as a dazzling manifestation of purity, resembling coarse sugar in its crystalline structure. Also known as THC crystals or diamonds, Crystalline is a solid cannabis concentrate that consists of a single type of cannabinoid, typically THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), CBDA (cannabidiolic acid), or CBD.
The creation of Crystalline involves a meticulous purification process, where specific cannabinoids are isolated and refined to their crystalline form. The result is a visually striking product that glitters like crystals, reflecting the high degree of purity achieved through the extraction and refinement steps.
Crystalline stands as a testament to the technological advancements in cannabis concentrate production. Its potency, often reaching high percentages of the targeted cannabinoid, provides consumers with a precise and controlled dosing experience. Whether consumed on its own or as an ingredient in other cannabis products, Crystalline offers a unique perspective on the potential of cannabinoids, showcasing the pure essence of cannabis in its crystalline structure. For those who seek a concentrated and refined cannabis experience, Crystalline represents a pinnacle in the world of cannabis concentrates.
In the diverse landscape of cannabis concentrates, “Rosin” emerges as a testament to simplicity, relying on the application of heat and pressure to extract cannabinoids from cannabis flower. This sticky end product maintains a consistency that can sometimes resemble shatter and is distinctively made without the use of any solvents.
The production of Rosin typically involves squeezing cannabis flower under heat and pressure, a process that is both straightforward and effective. This method is celebrated for its DIY-friendly nature, making it accessible to enthusiasts who wish to create their concentrates at home. The source material for Rosin can vary, ranging from whole cannabis flower to another concentrate called kief, also known as dry sift.
Rosin, with its sometimes shatter-like consistency, holds appeal among medical cannabis DIY-ers due to its solvent-free production. Whether made using a dedicated rosin press or through simple DIY methods, Rosin offers a hands-on approach to concentrate creation, allowing individuals to experience the essence of cannabis in a form that reflects the natural intricacies of the plant. With its simplicity and versatility, Rosin stands as a testament to the accessibility and creativity within the realm of cannabis concentrates.
In the expansive universe of cannabis concentrates, “Live Resin” stands out as a unique and flavor-rich creation that captures the essence of fresh cannabis flowers. This form of concentrate is produced using fresh, flash-frozen flower instead of dried and cured buds, allowing for the preservation and extraction of potent cannabinoids and flavorful terpenes in their most vibrant state.
The distinctive characteristic of Live Resin lies in its ability to maintain the original flavors and aromas of the live cannabis plant. By freezing the flower immediately upon harvest, the extraction process can capture the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes without the degradation that can occur during the drying and curing process. This meticulous approach results in a concentrate that offers a taste and sensory experience remarkably close to that of smoking actual cannabis flower.
Described by cannabis consumers as tasting and feeling the most like smoking fresh flower, Live Resin appeals to those who prioritize the full spectrum of flavors and effects that the cannabis plant has to offer. Its connoisseur-level quality, achieved through the preservation of terpenes, makes Live Resin a sought-after choice for those who appreciate the nuanced and authentic profile of the cannabis plant.
Badder, Batter, and Budder
In the diverse world of cannabis concentrates, the trio of “Badder,” “Batter,” and “Budder” introduces a delightful twist, offering consumers a range of appearances, textures, and consistencies reminiscent of delectable desserts. These terms collectively describe a set of cannabis concentrates that undergo a unique process involving whipping under high heat, resulting in a soft, cake batter-like texture.
Budder: Smooth and Buttery Brilliance
True to its name, cannabis Budder is often characterized by a smooth, thick, butter-like consistency. Ranging in colors from vibrant greens to radiant golds, Budder’s texture can evoke the creamy richness of actual butter. Its malleability makes it easy to work with, providing consumers with a versatile concentrate that can be enjoyed in various ways.
Badder: Saucy and Luscious
Badder shares similarities with Budder but may exhibit a looser, saucier consistency, resembling cake batter or frosting. The term “Badder” aptly captures the malleable and soft nature of this concentrate. With a texture that falls between Budder and Batter, Badder offers a delectable experience, combining ease of use with a potent cannabinoid profile.
Batter: The Sweet Spot Between Budder and Badder
Sitting at the crossroads between Budder and Badder, cannabis Batter encompasses a range of consistencies, from cake batter-like to frosting-like textures. This concentrate provides enthusiasts with options, allowing them to explore various textures while enjoying the intense potency that concentrates are known for.
These whipped cannabis concentrates can also manifest in crumbly forms, adding an extra layer of diversity. The extraction and whipping process can influence the final texture, resulting in crumbly variations that offer a unique tactile experience.
Whether it’s the smoothness of Budder, the sauciness of Badder, or the versatile textures of Batter, these whipped delights bring a touch of culinary artistry to the world of cannabis concentrates. As versatile as they are flavorful, Badder, Batter, and Budder offer a delectable journey for those seeking both potency and a diverse sensory experience.
Crumble: A Dry and Tasty Adventure in Cannabis Concentrates
In the array of cannabis concentrates, “Crumble” takes center stage as a unique and delectable form that marries a dry, malleable texture with exceptional flavor. Also known as crumble wax or honeycomb wax, this concentrate is characterized by its distinctively crumbly and often honeycomb-like consistency. Crafted using a solvent-based extraction process, Crumble stands out for being one of the driest yet most flavorful forms of cannabis concentrates available.
Texture and Consistency: The Crumbly Appeal
True to its name, Crumble boasts a texture that falls apart or “crumbles” when handled, making it easily manageable for consumption. This consistency is achieved by subjecting the cannabis extract to lower heat for an extended period during the extraction process. The result is a concentrate that crumbles effortlessly, offering users a tactile and hands-on experience.
DIY Delight: Making Crumble at Home
While creating most cannabis concentrates is best left to professionals, Crumble is one of the few varieties that can be successfully produced at home using solvent-based methods. This accessibility has made Crumble a favorite among DIY enthusiasts who wish to embark on a flavorful and hands-on journey into the world of cannabis concentrates.
For those seeking a dry yet tasteful adventure, Crumble offers a delightful combination of texture, flavor, and the craftsmanship inherent in the creation of cannabis concentrates.
Making Your Own Homemade Dabs: A DIY Guide
Introduction to DIY Dab Making:
Embarking on the journey of crafting your own dabs offers a hands-on experience in the world of cannabis concentrates. Whether driven by curiosity or a desire for personalized products, understanding the basics of DIY dab making is crucial. This section provides insights into the various methods and safety measures involved in creating dabs from the comfort of your own space.
Before delving into the DIY dab-making process, prioritizing safety is paramount. Working with volatile substances, such as solvents, demands strict adherence to safety guidelines. Ensure proper ventilation in your workspace, use quality equipment, and don appropriate safety gear, including gloves and eye protection. Familiarize yourself with the properties of the substances involved and be vigilant throughout the entire process. Additionally, be aware of local regulations governing cannabis extraction to ensure compliance and a secure environment for your DIY endeavors.
Alcohol Extraction with Everclear:
Alcohol extraction with Everclear is an alternative method for creating dabs at home, utilizing high-proof grain alcohol. This process involves using Everclear as a solvent to extract cannabinoids and terpenes from cannabis flower.
|High-quality cannabis flower
|2.5 grams for this example
|Everclear (High-proof grain alcohol)
|4 oz for extraction
|Metal mesh screen
|For initial filtration
|Unbleached coffee filters
|For finer filtration
|Oven and freezer-safe container
|Pyrex or glass container for handling heat and cold
|To protect hands during handling
|Mesh, micron, or wire strainer
|For straining the mixture
|Knife, spoon, or razor blade
|For scraping and collecting the final product
|Non-stick parchment paper
|For storing and handling the dabs
|Optional: Pan + hot water for heat bath
|For controlling temperature during extraction
Time needed:2 days
- Break up the flower:
- Break up 2.5 grams of cannabis flower.
- Dehydrate your flower:
- Heat the weed in an oven-safe container for about 20-30 minutes at 200°F to remove moisture. Note: This step is not for decarboxylation.
- Freeze your weed and Everclear:
- Place the dried weed and the bottle of Everclear in the freezer. Allow freezing for 3 – 5 hours. Ensure containers are oven and freezer-safe.
- Cover your frozen flower in Everclear:
- Pour cold Everclear over the cannabis, ensuring generous coverage. Swish the mixture for about 30 seconds using rubber gloves.
- Strain the flower:
- Separate the mixture by straining it through a metal mesh screen into another container. Set aside the remaining plant material.
- Strain the flower again:
- Strain the mixture once more by pouring it through an unbleached coffee filter into a new container.
- Cover and let sit:
- Cover the container lightly with a coffee filter and let it sit for 24 hours or until the Everclear completely evaporates.
- Collect your dabs:
- Once the Everclear has evaporated, scrape the dabs formed at the container’s bottom using a knife, spoon, or razor blade.
- Store your dabs:
- Store the dabs using non-stick parchment paper in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
- Repeat for more extraction:
- Optionally, repeat steps 1 – 9 with the same batch of cannabis flower to extract more dabs.
As with any extraction method, prioritize safety, precision, and adhere to local regulations when using Everclear or any high-proof grain alcohol.
Ice Water Extraction
Ice water extraction, also known as making bubble hash, is a solvent-free method to create cannabis concentrates at home. This process involves using ice water to freeze and separate trichome heads from cannabis flower.
|High-quality cannabis flower
|3 – 4 oz for this example
|10 – 15 pounds of ice
|For creating a cold environment
|3 – 5 bubble bags
|Vinyl bags with silk/micron screen bottoms
|2 five-gallon buckets
|One for mixing, one for wet bags/screens
|For creating the ice water mixture
|For additional filtration
|To protect hands during handling
|Wooden spoon or stir stick
|For agitating the mixture
|Optional: Dry ice
|To further cool the mixture (optional but recommended)
- Break up 3 – 4 oz of your favorite high-quality cannabis flower and any shake or trim you have.
- Layer your first bucket with 3 – 5 bubble bags or micron filters. Your largest bag should be on top.
- Add your cannabis to the bucket, followed by as much ice as possible, about half a bag, and enough purified water to ensure your cannabis is submerged.
- To help evenly cool the mixture, consider filling the bucket with layers of ice, weed, ice, and so on until the top is nearly filled. Ensure the top layer is ice. Optionally, add dry ice to enhance cooling.
- Stir the weed and ice water using a wooden spoon for about 15 – 20 minutes, agitating it consistently.
- Add ice periodically to maintain a cold temperature. Increase stirring speed as time passes. Let the mixture settle for another 20 – 30 minutes.
- Partially remove the first (largest) bubble bag or micron screen out of your bucket.
- Shake the bag gently, allowing water to drain into the bucket until only ice and flower remain. Avoid squeezing. Set aside the bag or place it into your second bucket.
- Remove the next bubble bag and scrape off the material left on the bottom of the screen using a spoon or knife.
- The resulting dabs may appear darker and sticky. Deposit them onto cheesecloth or non-stick parchment paper. This first layer may contain more plant residue but is still usable.
- Continue to remove each bubble bag and scrape out your dabs until you’ve reached the last one.
- Each bag removed will yield purer and lighter-colored dabs. The smallest screen usually produces the purest hash. Turn each bag inside out to collect any remaining concentrate.
- Dry your dabs using cheesecloth or a micron screen to filter out any remaining water.
- Optionally, place your dabs in the freezer to further dry them. Removing moisture is critical, so do not skip this step.
- Repeat steps 1 – 8 with the same batch of cannabis to extract even more dabs.
- Agitation becomes easier with experience.
- Dab your bubble hash.
- Different grades of dabs may be obtained; feel free to separate or mix them. Store your dabs using non-stick parchment paper in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
This ice water extraction method provides a solvent-free approach to creating dabs, emphasizing the importance of cold temperatures in preserving the quality of the final product.
Flat Iron Extraction
Flat iron extraction, also known as rosin tech, is a solventless method for crafting dabs using heat and pressure. This DIY technique allows you to create concentrates using a flat iron or hair straightener.
|High-quality cannabis flower
|2+ grams for this example
|Flat iron or hair straightener
|For applying heat and pressure
|Oven mitts or protective gloves
|For hand protection during the extraction
|Razor blade, spoon, or knife
|For scraping and collecting the final product
|Non-stick parchment paper
|For storing and handling the dabs
- Heat up your flat iron or hair straightener to around 250 – 300°F.
- Handle the tool with care as it heats up, and place it on a clean, heat-resistant surface when not in use.
- Break up 2 or more grams of weed into four smaller, even nugs.
- Flatten them slightly by hand.
- Fold a piece of non-stick parchment paper in half.
- Place one nug in the middle of the paper and fold it again.
- Put on your oven mitts for safety, and place the folded parchment paper containing the nug in the flat iron or hair straightener.
- Iron the parchment paper to press on the bud for a few seconds.
- Collect the concentrate that has formed on the parchment paper by scraping it off using a razor blade, spoon, or knife.
- Repeat steps 2 – 5 for all nugs. Leftover weed can be used to make edibles or cannabis oil without decarboxylation.
- Dab away.
- Store your dabs using non-stick parchment paper and an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
In the world of cannabis concentrates and DIY dabbing, the journey from raw flower to potent dabs is an adventure filled with diverse methods and techniques. Whether you choose alcohol extraction, ice water extraction, or flat iron extraction, creating your own dabs allows for a personalized experience with this potent form of cannabis consumption.
*Important Reminders for Dabbing:
Dabbing, with its high concentration of cannabinoids, demands careful consideration and responsible use. Here are some important reminders:
- Start Low and Go Slow:
- The potency of dabs can catch even experienced cannabis consumers off guard. Begin with small amounts and gradually adjust to find your preferred dosage.
- Safety First:
- DIY dabbing methods involve handling volatile substances, so prioritize safety. Follow instructions meticulously, use proper equipment, and operate in a well-ventilated space.
- Know Your Concentrate:
- Each type of concentrate, from wax to shatter, has its own characteristics. Understand the consistency, potency, and effects of your chosen concentrate.
- Respect the Process:
- Whether it’s extraction or consumption, respect the process. Patience and precision yield better results in the world of DIY dabbing.
DIY Dabbing Considerations:
Creating your own dabs opens a realm of possibilities, but it also comes with considerations:
- Local Regulations:
- Understand and adhere to local regulations regarding cannabis cultivation, extraction, and consumption. Stay within legal boundaries to ensure a trouble-free experience.
- Quality Matters:
- Use high-quality cannabis flower for the best results. Starting with premium material enhances the flavor, potency, and overall experience of your homemade dabs.
- Experiment Responsibly:
- DIY dabbing is an art. Feel free to experiment, but do so responsibly. Understand the chemistry behind each method and continually refine your process for optimal results.
As you embark on your journey into the world of DIY dabs, may your endeavors be safe, enjoyable, and bring you the satisfaction of crafting your own potent cannabis concentrates. Happy dabbing!