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A Dab Will Do You 

A primer on extracts, concentrates and other cannabis products


Even if you don't partake, virtually everyone understands that you smoke the flowers from a cannabis plant to get the THC, CBD and other cannabinoids that have physical and psychological effects and benefits. About the same number know that you can add that same flower (or trim) to virtually any food that has fat/oil, and get an edible.

Then you have dabs.

"Dabs" is a term not only for the serving size doled out for ingestion via smoking or vaping, ("a dab'll do ya"), but a catch all for concentrates and extracts—which include a number of products in which the same aforementioned THC/CBD and other cannabinoids and terpenes are removed from the cannabis plant and turned into a product with a very high THC/CBD content.

Remember hash? That's arguably the oldest form of dabs that most people recall, and as it's made by either removing the THC via screening/shaking it off or using ice water. It's considered a "solvent free" extract, meaning no solvents were used in its production.

You also have BHO/PHO, and no, not the soup. It's short for butane hash oIl and propane hash oil, in which the plant matter is immersed in either gas under pressure, which serves as a solvent and strips the good stuff off and concentrates it into an oil. When done properly, it's safe. When it's not, it blows shit up real good. Whenever you hear of a house fire started by someone making "hash oil," it's usually some Cleetus yokel using store bought butane and homemade equipment. It's not only illegal to make your own BHO/PHO at home in Oregon, it can be fatal, so, you know, don't do that.

CO2 Oil is what's commonly found in vape pens. It uses—that's right—CO2 to extract a concentrated oil.

By manipulating the extracted BHO/PHO oil, you can create a multitude of products with different consistency and names, such as taffy, wax, shatter, pull and snap, sap, crumble, honeycomb, budder and live resin. That last one is made by freezing fresh cannabis before performing extraction, which preserves more of the terpenes, which give the finished product a more pronounced smell and taste.

Fussypantses such as myself prefer solvent-free extracts, which along with hash can come in the form of products known as keif, the THC power that collects from the plant via screening/shaking/ice water extraction, full melt bubble hash, named so because the product completely melts when consumed, leaving virtually no ash, and the hot new trend, rosin. It's made by solely using heat and pressure to "bleed" out the THC/CBD into an oil/soft solid that is both strong and flavorful.

You can add any of these to a bowl or joint, although for maximum effect and taste, they are consumed using a "Dab rig" (using a small blow torch to heat up a piece of metal) or "E-nail" aka electronic nail, allowing you to lose the torch.

So there you go—and remember, a dab will do ya!

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