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Leafly’s glossary of dabbing terms

O nce upon a time, buying cannabis oils for dabbing came down to choosing from a small selection, but today’s display cases are often loaded with dabs of all varieties as shops cater to increasing demand. If you’re new to dabbing, your head is probably spinning with questions about extract types, costs, and so on.

Glossary of dabbing terms

Having a grasp on some commonly used dabbing terms will go a long way as you deliberate over the glass dabbing case at your local dispensary or rec shop. This list of jargon may look long, but don’t worry – a lot of these are just different names for the same thing.

Budder – Refers to extracts that take on a creamy, butter-like consistency.

Butane Hash Oil (BHO) – The most commonly used extract for dabbing, BHO uses butane to strip essential compounds like THC, CBD, and terpenes from the cannabis plant, concentrating them in an oil of varying consistencies (see also: shatter, wax, budder, crumble, pull-and-snap).

Concentrate – Broadly refers to any cannabis product that concentrates cannabis compounds from raw plant material.

CO2 Oil – A type of cannabis oil that uses pressure and CO2 to extract essential compounds like THC, CBD, and terpenes from the plant. This oil tends to be soft or runny, and often takes on an amber hue.

Crumble – Refers to extracts that take on a soft, crumbly texture.

Dab(bing) – “Dabbing” refers to the method of flash vaporization in which oils are applied to a hot surface and inhaled (see also: dab rig, nail). “Dabs” can refer to any extract used for dabbing.

Dab Rig – Also called an oil rig, a dab rig refers to a water pipe with dabbing attachments (see also: nail).

Honeycomb – Refers to extracts that take on a soft, honeycomb-like texture.

Nail – A nail refers to the metal, glass, or ceramic spike attached to a water pipe. Dabs are applied to the nail once it’s been heated by a torch or electronically.

Oil – A broad term that refers to many different cannabis concentrates. It implies a runny, oil-like consistency, but cannabis oil has become a ubiquitous term that describes extracts of many forms and consistencies.

Pull-and-Snap – Refers to extracts that take on a taffy-like consistency that may “snap” when bent.

Purge – Refers to the process of removing solvents during extraction. (Note: high levels of residual solvents can be unsafe for consumption, so make sure the product you’re purchasing has been lab tested).

Rosin – A solvent-less extract that uses heat and pressure to concentrate essential cannabis compounds.

Shatter – Refers to extracts that take on a transparent glass-like consistency.

Solvent – A solvent refers to the chemical compounds (e.g. butane, alcohol, propane, etc.) that strip cannabinoids and terpenes from plants. Some concentrates (e.g. rosin, ice hash) can be produced through heat, pressure, and water — these are called “solventless” extracts.

Wax – Refers to extracts that take on a soft, waxy consistency.

Dabbing FAQs

Have a question about dabbing? Check out these frequently asked questions!

What equipment do I need to dab?

Before you buy dabs, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need to deliver one. Traditional dabbing setups include a water pipe, a nail, a dome, and a torch. Check out this article for more information on the equipment you’ll need to get started.

How does the price of extracts compare to the price of flower?

A gram of flower costs a lot less than a gram of oil, but keep in mind the difference in potencies: while bud tends to test between 10-25% THC, a concentrate can reach heights of 50-90%. The initial investment will be steeper, but keep in mind that a little bit goes a long way with dabs. Concentrates can be more cost-effective than flower, but it all depends on the product’s potency-to-price ratio.

Because flower and oil prices can vary significantly in different markets and across different brands, it’s always best to check your local dispensary’s menu. For example, I’ve bought a half gram of BHO in Seattle for as little as $25 and as much as $70 for high-potency oils; it all depends on the brand, potency, and regional market.

How long will a gram of oil last me?

This is another question that has to be answered with, “it depends.” A half gram of oil can tide the occasional dabber over for a couple weeks, whereas a heavy, high-tolerance consumer might blow through that much in a day or two. Depending on the size and potency of your oil, a half gram can typically provide up to 20 dabs.

How do I determine an extracts purity and potency?

Extract quality is determined by multiple factors, many of which cannot be determined by the eye. Light, gold-colored oils is often a mark of quality, but contrary to popular misconception, texture and consistency don’t signify purity or potency. The most important thing in determining oil quality is lab testing; there’s no other surefire way of measuring residual solvents, contaminants, or cannabinoid content.

What’s the difference between shatter, honeycomb, crumble, and wax?

When talking about BHO, there isn’t a lot of difference between shatter, wax, crumble, honeycomb, budder, etc. beyond their consistency and texture.

An oil’s consistency is essentially determined by the amount of moisture the oil held onto and molecular disturbance. In other words, if an oil is agitated during the extraction process, it may lose its transparency and become a softer, waxier texture. Some strains also have a tendency to “sugar up” when processed into extracts due to their lipid contents. Changes in temperature, humidity, and oxygen exposure may also affect the texture. Some dabbers actually prefer the sugary oils because they often taste better due to terpene preservation – but beyond that, you don’t need to place too much importance on consistency.

How do I store dabs?

Although most dabs are purchased in plastic containers, dabbers typically prefer to store their product in silicone dab containers afterwards. Dabs won’t stick to silicone, so it’s a great way to both prevent wasting oil and keep your container free of annoying stickiness.

What kinds of oils are safe to dab?

Your local dispensary or rec shop might have a number of cannabis extracts on the shelf, but keep in mind that not all are meant for dabbing. For example, alcohol-based extracts like RSO, ISO wax, and tinctures are meant for oral ingestion and should never be smoked or dabbed. When in doubt, check with your budtender to see if an oil is safe for dabbing.

Will all dabs get me high?

A lot of people avoid dabbing because cannabis extracts have a reputation of getting you pretty ripped. For sure, most dabs are made to contain high levels of THC – but you may not be aware that some extract producers use high-CBD, low-THC strains to create oils with little to no psychoactive effects. One of my favorite oils right now is an ACDC wax that induces almost no cerebral euphoria – just a hefty dose of relief for pain and muscle tension. A product like this is ideal for the patient who needs a potent and fast-acting medicine without getting totally donked.

Can dabs be medicinal?

Absolutely. Patients needing a swift dose of THC to ease nausea, stress, appetite loss, pain, insomnia, and other symptoms may actually find dabbing to be an efficient way to deliver relief. As mentioned above, there are also high-CBD dabs with a myriad of other therapeutic benefits. Clean, pure concentrates are also commonly preferred by health-conscious consumers because they strip out resin-producing plant material.

This post was originally published on December 16, 2015. It was most recently updated on June 26, 2020.

What should you look for when buying dabs? This resource is meant to help guide your first purchase of cannabis extracts.

The Beginner’s Guide to Buying Cannabis Extracts and Dabs

In the world today, dabs are the most popular method of consuming marijuana. Dabbing allows you to vaporize marijuana extracts. Marijuana extracts are also referred to as dabs or concentrates. The dabs are made using various processes that strip marijuana plants of their THC and cannabinoids. Besides, the dabs tend to have high levels of THC, which ranges from 50% to 95%, making them extremely potent. The THC potency of the concentrates makes dabbing the best way to get an intense high from a minute quantity of marijuana extracts.

To get the most out of dabbing, you need cannabis extracts that are pure and potent. There are several types of dabs, and their names correlate with their outer appearance and physical characteristics, or the process used to extract them. To get started, new users should buy the concentrates as well as the pieces of equipment required to set up a dab rig.

Consumers can choose from the list below when buying cannabis extracts:

Shatter

Shatter’s name correlates with its glass-like characteristics. When it is broken apart, it shatters into small pieces. Its color is clear or amber. It is stable, a little sticky, and its molded into thin sheet resembling a candy. Butane solvent is used to extract shatter and is filtered twice to ensure its purity and potency. The level of THC in shatter ranges from 70%-90%. Finally, it is wrapped in a parchment paper and stored at room temperature.

Budder

Budder is sometimes referred to as whipped wax. Its texture and appearance are like that of peanut butter. It can be molded into different shapes. Budder tends to change color from yellow, or golden brown.

Oils

Oils are produced using carbon dioxide (CO2). They are used in vape pen cartridges or stored in syringes. CO2 extraction of oil preserves terpenes because it uses low temperatures. The terpenes give the oil unique taste different from those produced with butane solvents. Fat is most common in CBD products, and it is used to make edibles.

Butane Hash Oil

Butane Hash Oil is popular among dabbers. It uses butane to strip the cannabis plant of its THC, CBD, and terpenes. The levels of THC in BHO ranges from 70% to 90%.

Crumble

Crumble is extracted using butane solvents. The THC levels range from 60%-90%. It is also referred to as sugar wax as it resembles sugar particles. It is the driest form of marijuana extract. It is stored in glass jars at high temperatures. Crumble can be dabbed or vaped.

Rosin

The method of extracting rosin is relatively easy. You can do it from home since no additives or solvents are used. It would be best if you had heat and pressure to dry the marijuana plant. It brings out the terpenes and cannabinoids in their cleanest form. Not suitable for mass production.

Wax

It is sticky, and it is likened to earwax. It is yellow in color and can be dabbed or vaped. Wax concentrates are either less sticky or stickier with a honey-like feel. Variation in texture is due to the amount of heat and humidity used during extraction.

Live Resin

Live resin is extracted through flash freezing the marijuana bud immediately after cultivation. This helps in preserving the terpenes and THC content of marijuana. Compared to other extracts, the live resin has a robust and intense flavor. It resembles a wet wax. It should be stored in silicon jars at room temperature.

Cost comparison of dabs and flower

One gram of concentrate costs more than that of marijuana buds. But it would help if you took note of the difference in potency. The THC potency in a bud ranges from 10% to 25%, while that of a dab can go up to 95%, and the lowest level of THC is at 50%, which is still higher than the flower. Although the cost of dabs is high, you will only need to use very little unlike buds while you need to smoke several joints. When buying concentrates, take note of potency to price ratio of both the bud and concentrate. Prices of dabs and flowers vary across markets and brands. Thus, it would help if you also compared the prices of different cannabis extracts and brands before buying.

The time factor of one gram of cannabis extract

The duration of one gram of marijuana concentrate depends on your THC tolerance and the number of times you dab. If you are an occasional dabber, then one gram can serve you for at least two weeks. But, if you dab and your THC tolerance are high, then no doubt, you will consume one gram in less than two days. If you use once daily and the concentrate is potent, one gram of hash oil can keep you dabbing for 20 days.

Determine the purity and potency

Before buying, you must determine how pure and potent your cannabis extract is. You can use several factors such as color, texture to assess strength, and purity. When buying oils, choose those that are light gold in color since they are of the best quality. The most accurate method of determining purity and potency of marijuana extracts is through lab testing. Through lab testing, you can measure the level of CBD and other solvent residues.

Safety

Dabber should buy their products from legal outlets and dispensaries for quality and safety. It is also important to note that not all concentrates are meant for dabbing. Alcohol-based marijuana extracts such as RSO, ISO wax, and tinctures are ingested. Always double-check with the seller to see to confirming how the concentrate is used before buying.

Effects of the Cannabis Extracts

Contrary to popular belief, THC concentration is not high in all marijuana extracts. Although most are made up of high levels of THC, some marijuana strains produce extracts with a high level of CBD and low levels of THC. This makes them non-psychoactive. An example of such strain is the ACDC Marijuana Strain. It is ideal for relieving pain and tension in the muscles. Extracts from ACDC are suitable for patients in need of potent and fast-acting medicine, which does not have to capacity to knock them on their ass since it’s not psychoactive.

Patients who are suffering from nausea, loss of appetite, insomnia, pain, stress can use dabbing to manage the symptoms.

Storage

Most retail outlets, such as dispensaries, sell dabs in plastic containers. But consumers prefer to store concentrates in silicon containers. This is because it does not stick to the sides. It is also a perfect way of preventing oil wastage.

After buying the concentrates, now choose the dabbing equipment from the list below

  • Oil rigs
  • Atom bomb rigs
  • Vape pen or vaporizers
  • Dabbing pens
  • Domeless nails

Benefits of dabbing

The concentrates used in dabbing have high potency than any other form of marijuana. And, through dabbing, consumers get an immediate effect. This makes it ideal for people looking for a quick fix or pain relief.

Dabs provide you with ways of controlling the dosage. This enables you to budget and plan your daily consumption. Dabs with high levels of CBD can be used for medical purposes.

Go and buy some concentrates and dabbing the equipment and start dabbing.

The Beginner’s Guide to Buying Cannabis Extracts and Dabs In the world today, dabs are the most popular method of consuming marijuana. Dabbing allows you to vaporize marijuana extracts. Marijuana