One thing you hear from cannabis old timers is that life used to be so simple back in the days when it was a straight choice between smoking a joint, a bong or a pipe. Well it’s time to move on grandma and grandpa, because these days there is a whole lot of technology revolutionizing the consumption of weed!
Two of the biggest trends in recent years have been dabbing and vaping weed. For those who already do, then there is no explanation required. But if you’re new to cannabis, or just looking to explore a new way to consume, then here’s a brief guide to two cannabis trends which have firmly established themselves amongst weed consumers – vaping and dabbing.
Cannabis trends: Vaporizing
Vaporizing is a method of consuming cannabis by heating it enough (through the process of convection) to release the cannabinoids and terpenes but not burn the material. One of the reasons for its popularity is that there is no combustion involved, producing vapor as its end product rather than smoke, which means it has less harmful to the lungs.
Cannabis vaping has become a popular method of consumption for such health reasons and it also provides a very user friendly experience. Rolling a joint takes a bit of practice (especially if you are rolling a custom number such as the ‘cross joint’ – as modelled by celebrity Seth Rogen!), but vaping is very easy. The consumer just needs to grind their weed and then place it in the chamber and they are ready to go!
At this point, it’s important to make the distinction between types of cannabis vapes. On the market are devices for using with dried herbs (some devices will also do other concentrates such as rosin) and devices which use pre-prepared vape cartridges (containing extracted CBD and THC) which deliver a measured dose with each hit. Always buy vape cartridges from a trusted supplier Most of the vaporizers are powered by an internal battery which is charged by USB.
Many aficionados choose cannabis vaping because the flavor is just so much better. Because of the controlled heating method, the vape user benefits from the full taste of the terpenes.
A recent study has shown that vaping may release more THC into the body, but for many cannabis users, used to the smoking experience the effect can seem quite mild with some dried flower vaping devices and takes a bit of getting used to. On the flipside, some users prefer the subtler effect – especially medical users who can vape through the day without losing functionality
Cannabis trends: Dabbing
Cannabis dabbing involves the use of a ‘rig’ to smoke cannabis extract in the form of highly concentrated hash oil. Made using solvent extraction (most commonly butane) to extract THC and other cannabinoids, this sticky oil comes in varied consistencies and is known by several names, the more common being BHO (Butane Hash Oil), wax, shatter and budder. The dab rig has its origins in British Colombia (Canada) in the mid-2000s.
The equipment used for cannabis dabbing includes a ‘rig’ which looks a bit like a bong, with a ‘dab nail’ (for those new to dabbing, this is basically the bowl and it’s sometimes known as a quartz or a banger). The banger/nail is heated to high temperature using a high intensity flame (ie ‘torch’ lighter) before the oil is dropped in, using a ‘dab tool’. The vapor is inhaled through water.
Dabbing is a method of consuming cannabis which is similar to vaporizing in its method ie cannabis is heated at temperature, however there is some confusion over whether a dab produces vapor or smoke. The answer to this lies in how much heat is used – above approximately 425°C combustion occurs producing smoke – and for this reason a banger thermometer (or electric nail)
Dabbing is healthier than smoking and the strength of its effect is immediate which makes it popular with medical users seeking instant relief as well as recreational users seeking a smooth but highly potent hit
The strength of that concentrated THC hit can be overwhelming for some consumers who are new to the method. and there have been concerns raised about the side effects of prolonged use, due to higher THC levels (one of these being a cycle of increased tolerance leading to the need to consume more). The extraction process – to create concentrated cannabis oil from dried herb – has potential risks too due to the volatility of solvents such as butane which have been responsible for numerous home extraction accidents in the form of explosions.