With the tide of legal cannabis continuing to rise, so has the popularity of hash oil concentrates and dabbing — accompanied by the trend of concentrate aficionados using homemade videos to showcase their love for inhaling slabs of oozing, golden THC extracts. The average dab is well below a half gram (just a small pearl of the potent stuff), but stoners like those in the videos have taken dabbing to an extreme. So now that taking a dab that weighs multiple grams in one hit has become a trend in cannabis culture, we have to ask: Is it effective? Is it worth it? And are people insane?
Social media, of course, is the avenue for sharing these moments of massive dabbing. For example, a Colorado artist who calls himself Visualfiber runs a group on Facebook that has over 6,000 members dedicated to dabbing and often features videos of people dabbing multiple grams at a time. After dabs became his preferred way to ingest cannabis, Visualfiber says taking hits of up to 6 grams at a time became a personal challenge.
“I started pushing myself to see how much I could dab,” he says. “And if there was an audience, I would try to make it look fun.”
Unsurprisingly, many dab videos on the internet or dab stunts at events are part of building a personal or professional brand. In his case, Visualfiber usually includes his dab-related artwork in his videos alongside his globbing and says that he uses his platform to help others with questions about dabbing.
But what risks are these artists running in the name of fame? While it’s impossible to fatally overdose on cannabis (and these videos are certainly proof of that), dabbing all that hash at once isn’t without its drawbacks.
According to Regina Nelson, Ph.D., a medical cannabis specialist, author and a founder of eCS Therapy Center, larger dabs increase the chances of experiencing unpleasant side effects like drops in blood pressure, which can lead to fainting, paranoia and coughing fits.
“Other than for recreational shock effects, few people really dab large amounts,” she says. “Most people will take several days to a week or more to consume only one single gram of cannabis concentrate via small dabs.”
Especially for folks that do not regularly consume cannabis, a tiny dab is definitely the way to start off. It’s easy to take a second hit, but impossible to erase a first one that was too ambitious. Dabs take effect within moments of consumption, so taking it slow until finding the right level is easy and recommended.
Rig choice matters, too — especially when it comes to making sure that you’re not too wasteful in your quest for excess. Pick a rig that won’t easily clog, will cool the hit by filtering through water and will allow reuse of the excess hash. This residue, called reclaim, is still good useable material. While not as potent as the initial concentrate, a study done by Massachusetts-based MCR Labs showed that among four samples of reclaim, the residual THC percentage ranged from 23 percent to 58 percent.
The reclaim is decarboxylated, good for both dabbing and edibles. Even in legal states, concentrates are pricey because of the amount of material and processing expertise required to produce them, so the ability to reuse is important. Using a drop-down attachment to separate the nail from the rig and give the reclaim a dry place to collect is ideal, making it easy to harvest in an immediately useable form.
Ultimately, the goal of cannabis consumption should be to have a positive experience medicinally or recreationally, not to try to impress anyone. Even for experienced users, it’s important to know the body’s limits. Since multiple-gram dabs involve taking many inhales in a row, Visualfiber recommends stopping if it’s hard to take a full deep inhale or the cold sweats start. Those are signs it is time to sit back and enjoy the high, rather than pushing it further.
In the end, it is much more efficient to take many small dabs than a single big one. So instead of 10 grams all at once, consider that even though such a feat is possible, the potency of concentrates means that little is actually needed to achieve a delightfully stoney result. Plus, less hash consumed now means more hash left for later!
TELL US, have you ever taken a multi-gram dab?
Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE