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Home » Blog » Hemp Education » What Are CBD Dabs? The 101 on Dabbing

What Are CBD Dabs? The 101 on Dabbing

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Many CBD users swear on dabbing. They believe it’s the best way to reap the maximum benefits bar none. For newbies in the industry, there’s some questions on what dabbing is and what CBD dabs are. Is this the best method for you?

What Is Dabbing?

First, an explanation of dabbing is in order. Once you understand this term, then dabs will make a lot more sense. Dabbing simply refers to the use of cannabis or any other medicinal herb or whatnot through some sort of inhaling instrument, such as a vape pen or bong. In other words, you are vaping the substance, as opposed to ingesting it or applying it topically.

To dab CBD, you have to first heat the CBD of choice. If using a vape pen, this is done by placing a smidgen of the substance on the tip of the pen, which contains a tiny coil that heats the material, turning it into vapor.

Why Should You Dab?

Many users find dabbing beneficial over the more common method of administration by oral ingestion. The latter has a bioavailability of about 15%. This is due to the substance having to first enter through your intestinal tracts and then bypass your liver where it undergoes a number of chemical changes and breakdowns. Not only is bioavailability greatly diminished by the time it reaches your bloodstream, but the effects are not immediate.

Dabbing is said to increase the bioavailability by around 50%, and you also feel the effects much more quickly, even immediately for some users. This isn’t to say that you should never ingest CBD or hemp products, but it’s clear that dabbing offers a much more efficient pathway for benefiting your body and mind.

High bioavailability is especially beneficial in a compound proven to aid in a number of health issues, such as preventing prostate cancer1, offsetting neuropsychiatric disorders2, and alleviating symptoms of multiple sclerosis3.

What Are CBD Dabs?

Now that you understand dabbing, we can get to the meat and potatoes of CBD dabs. As you may know, CBD comes in various concentrates and extracts. The most common is, of course, CBD and hemp in oil form. These usually come in those small bottles with a dropper for a lid. While you can dab CBD oil, they are more often intended for oral ingestion.

Dabs are any CBD products intended for dabbing. They typically come in the form of wax or similar concentrates. Other common extracts you’ll see a lot of include shatter, budder, crumble, honeycomb, and live resin just to list a few. The consistency and texture vary depending on the type, thus providing a slightly different taste and effect to varying degrees.

Misconceptions About Dabbing

Before moving on, we must dispel some common myths about dabbing. A lot of these myths are peddled by politicians trying to outlaw CBD use in any form. Other times, the falsehoods or half-truths come from sincere albeit beginning users who parrot what they heard from a secondary source.

Misconception #1: Dabbing Is Dangerous

A lot of people for some reason compare dabbing to cigarette smoke. This is just absolutely puzzling. Legitimate dabs contain cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. There are absolutely no studies showing any of these substances to have negative health impacts on adult users. With this in mind, though, CBD products from a shady site or amateur maker may potentially contain dangerous residual chemicals from the extraction process. This is why you should only buy CBD dabs from a reputable site.

See our Where to Buy page for a listing of trustworthy manufacturers. This is also why we don’t recommend attempts to make your own extracts.

Misconception #2: Dabbing Gets You High

Dabbing does not get you high unless the dab contains a significant concentration of THC. This is the cannabinoid with the strongest psychoactive effect. THC concentrations above 0.3% is also federally illegal. CBD extracts from a reputable supplier does not contain THC above the legal limit, hence another reason to only purchase from a verified source.

Misconception #3: Dab Overdose Can Be Fatal

There has never been a verified case of a user dying as a result of overdosing on a CBD extract. Symptoms of overdose may include lightheadedness, sleepiness, or fainting, but certainly not death. Of course, you should always dab in moderate doses and not go on a reckless binge.

Misconception #4: Dabs Are Equally Dangerous as Crack

Seriously, we don’t even know where to begin here. There is a stigma that dabs are dangerous; this is likely due to images of teenagers smoking cannabis using all sorts of crazy rigs and a blowtorch. Some of these dumb self-made contraptions have also resulted in explosions that maimed the user. Dabs only pose a risk when extraction is done improperly or when smoked from an unsafe rig.

Keys to Safe Dabbing

Even though dabbing has been proven safe, we still recommend certain precautions.

  • Stay away from low-quality products. Think twice before buying from that Craigslist seller promising a homemade extract at an outrageously low price. Always check the vendor site; ideally, they should have a verifiable certificate of analysis (CoA), confirming they have lab-tested their products.
  • Whether you use a vape pen, a bong, or some other rig, learn how to use it the right way. Be mindful these devices have heating devices and hot surfaces.
  • Never attempt to make your own dabs. Without commercial equipment, there’s no way of knowing how pure the product is and whether dangerous extraction chemicals remain in the substance.
  • If you’re a first-time user, start with a small dose. Remember that the bioavailability is a lot higher than if you were to ingest it.

Stick to High-Quality CBD Dabs

Hopefully, if you’ve read this far, then you now have a baseline understanding of CBD dabs and the nature of dabbing. The practice is absolutely safe as long as you do it responsibly. Most importantly, for the sake of quality assurance, only acquire dabs from a verified seller.

Remember, CBD and hemp are healthy, but they should only make up one part of a total health regiment. Remember to exercise, breathe fresh air, cultivate happy relationships, and use natural supplements like Floracil50 for promoting gut health.

Medical References

1.
De P, Ligresti A, Schiano M, et al. Non-THC cannabinoids inhibit prostate carcinoma growth in vitro and in vivo: pro-apoptotic effects and underlying mechanisms. Br J Pharmacol. 2013;168(1):79-102. [PMC]
2.
Devinsky O, Cilio M, Cross H, et al. Cannabidiol: Pharmacology and potential therapeutic role in epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Epilepsia. 2014;55(6):791-802. [PMC]
3.
Rudroff T, Honce J. Cannabis and Multiple Sclerosis—The Way Forward. Front Neurol. 2017;8:299. [PMC]
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Christopher Walker

Christopher Walker has a degree in Neuroscience from Duke University, and is the research writer for The Universal Plant. He has dedicated his life to helping men and women around the world educate themselves and take action to improve their health with natural plant-based and nutrient therapies. Follow him on Instagram @_christopherwalker

2 Comments

  1. Vitalized Hemp | A Guide to Using CBD Dabs on July 16, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    […] is the process of using a semi-solid concentrate and placing it onto a heated surface. The dab nail should turn bright orange or red – this is […]

  2. Vince on August 15, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    Thanks for this great write-up and solid advice to stay away from low-quality products. The people deep into dabbing / marijuana culture often overlook important things like verifying lab reports when it comes to CBD.

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