Diving Deeper Into Dabs

By Leighana Martindale Photo credit: Andres Rodriguez

Dabbing is a new craze that has swept the legal marijuana industry, as well as the not so legal industry. But with dabs just being the umbrella name what else is there to know? Here I break it down for you, from types of extracts to their consistency.

BHO, PHO, CO2, and Rosin

There are four main types of dabs or extracts; BHO, PHO, CO2, and Rosin. Each one is unique in its own consistency and terpene profile,  as well as potential THC activation. Terpenes are oils within the cannabis that give each strain it’s distinct smell and flavor.

Butane hash Oil also known as BHO is the most often created and used of the extracts. BHO can come in a variety of different consistencies.

Butane Honey Oil

Photo credit: Vjiced

Shatter is going to be the most stable extract, it has a glass-like consistency and can break into pieces when trying to break off a dab. A way to get your dab without shattering your stash is to slightly heat your dab tool so you can cut through the slab instead. Shatter tends to be a popular choice for most, this is because shatter tends to have not only higher amounts of THC but also is one of the best consistencies for holding terpenes.

Sugar Wax has the consistency of wet brown sugar. Shatter can transform into sugar wax if not kept properly at cool temperatures. This consistency of BHO tends to release the most amount of terpenes when being decarboxylated.

Sap, I’m sure you can guess by the name, tends to have a very sappy and extremely sticky consistency.

Crumble has the driest consistency and can be powder like at times.

Wax is a consistency in the middle of sap and crumble. It’s wetter than crumble which helps it keep in bigger blobs. Pull ‘n’ Snap is similar in look to shatter but not as stable, think mendable shatter. To get a small dab from your slab you would literally pull and snap in a jerk like motion; it can be manipulated easily.

Another type of extract is PHO, propane hash oil. This extract has only two main consistencies: sap, and crumble. The crumble from PHO tends to be even more like a powder than most BHO crumbles I've noticed, however.

Yet another popular type of extract is CO2 oil. CO2 oil is made with CO2 and high pressure. This tends to be sappier and has a more liquid consistency. For that reason, this oil is mostly seen in cartridges. Cartridges are pre-filled receptacles that attach to a battery which creates a vape pen. CO2 oil can also be dabbed liked BHO as well; it tends to have consistencies like sap and shatter.

The final type of extract is rosin. This is the purest form of extracts there is. Rosin is made without chemicals. Instead it is pressed by a machine which essentially, juices the bud. This consistency is sap like when it comes out due to the heat, but once cooled it can either remain sap like, or be similar to a snap ‘n’ pull. This oil holds terpenes well and since there are no chemicals it's very similar regular flower, just a more concentrated version.

Smoking Extracts

So now you know the types of extracts out there, let’s go over smoking them; the ideal vaporizing temperature for cannabis oil is between 300* and 400*. Dabbing within this range is optimal for THC activation and for experiencing the terpene profile. For that reason taking low-temperature, dabs are the best way to go.

When you heat up your nail or banger, you do not want to take your dab right away. For a quartz banger, when it’s red hot that’s about 1200*F when it is faint red that’s about 900*F. When I smoke out of my quartz banger I wait 50 seconds after I heat it up until I consume the wax. A good thing to remember is titanium cools quicker than quartz. Every nail or banger will be different so my rule of thumb is to wait a minimum of 40 seconds for quartz and 20 seconds for titanium, then it’s trial and error until you find that perfect temperature for you.


Now you’ve gotten the breakdown and are ready dab! If you’re still unsure how it works head to my Instagram page, @leighanalynn I’ve got dabbing videos up so you can physically see how dabbing works.

About the Author: Leighana is a young and ambitious women working in the cannabis industry. With a passion for cannabis and writing she strives to share the knowledge she has obtained; as well as to help fight the stigmas cannabis users face daily. Keep your eye out because she's only just started to get back into her writing. 

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