The Dab-Curious First-Timer's Guide to All Things Extract and Concentrate

It's always 7:10 somewhere. Here is how to act accordingly.

Nearly a quarter of the way into 2017, if you’re down with weed, but have yet to be initiated to the dabbing experience, you’re maybe living under a rock, and just too stoned on flower and edibles to notice rising trends in essential cannabis consumption.  Or perhaps you simply lack the requisite tools and skill set required to vaporize marijuana concentrates for a highly potent, way flavorful, and potentially (if done right) controlled, measured high.

Trust us; you'll be dabbing like a pro in no time at all.

Dabbing, and marijuana-vaporization in general, is arguably the most innovative consumption method within the cannabis scene. A 2016 data report from Seattle-based business intelligence platform Headset notes that in Washington State, “The vapor market is extremely promising, with a growth rate more than double that of the overall market." According to the WeedMaps-powered weed media site marijuana.com, "More and more people who are understandably new to dabbing are asking Google, 'How to Smoke Dabs.' " 

Screenshot via marijuana.com.

The dabbing demographic is changing weed as we know it, while simultaneously growing more widespread than ever among cannabis consumers. According to BuzzFeed, concentrates made up nearly 40 percent of 2015 sales in California dispensaries. And as KINDLAND has previously uncovered:

“The concentrate scene is shedding its social stigma within the cannabis community as the ‘crack cocaine of weed.’ Displayed now on the top shelf, retail wax sales are gaining traction among consumers outside of 'errl's' niche core. New extraction processes yield dabbable products testing at all-time-high levels for potency and flavors. 

"If a bowl of hybrid flower nugs is a fresh green salad; a dab is cold-pressed juice.”

There is a catch. Getting high on dabs is more work than participating in the traditional smoking circle, but not much more difficult. If it was too complicated, it wouldn't be so popular.

Do not be dissuaded by your unfamiliarity with the dabbing gear and process.  Sure, you are an extract-rookie today. But you have found and are about to read the KINDLAND-compiled guide on all things extracts, perfect for the first-time dabber.

Trust us; you'll be dabbing like a pro in no time at all.


In order to truly dab, more tools and paraphernalia are required than you would bring to the average smoking session. The basics include:

Rig: Preferably glass-blown, this water-pipe resembles the traditional bong and is the most necessary tool needed to dab. Without filtering the wax vapor through water, the hit is much too harsh on the throat. 

Nail: Normally made from quartz glass, ceramic, or titanium, the nail is the surface that is inserted into the rig, which is then heated to an extreme temperature in order to vaporize extracts. Depending on the rig, nails come with a glass "dome" covering, or are domeless.

Dabber:  The dabber is the tool that picks up any to-be-dabbed cannabis concentrates. Some look like dentist tools, others resemble pencils.

Heating Element: The most popular method for heating a nail is via butane torch, like what foodies utilize when making crème brûlée. Electronic "e-nails" that use titanium coils wrapped around the bottom of the nail are a bit simpler to use, and allow for a more dialed-in temperature setting.


Choosing the right wax to dab is a decision that is not-to-be taken lightly. According to Al Jazeera, some concentrates test at more than 90 percent THC-content. Though desired THC levels are based on personal preference, and are indeed important, other factors to take into account include quality and strain of flower used, the type of solvent employed for extraction, and ease of use. 

If you want to know what to look for, just consult KINDLAND past

“Concentrates come in many shapes, sizes, textures and consistencies. They vary based on the method of production and the intended consumer. There’s glass-like shatter, crumble that looks like honeycomb; buttery resins that resemble cake and cookie batter. " 

A representative from the Killer Dabs brand told KINDLAND at the inaugural High Times Concentrate Cup in San Bernardino, California, that: "Live resin is the cleanest made product, [it contains] no plant matter. The more golden the better. Clarity counts." 



As KINDLAND has previously waxed on about:

"Typically the consumption process resembles free-basing, or smoking harder drugs, in that a surface is heated with a butane-powered blowtorch before the substance is placed on it to be inhaled. Hence the negative stigma."

Still, dabbing provides a more efficient means of medicating with marijuana, or a quicker route to the land of being stoned AF. 

According to Leafly, "the amount of flowers that would have to be smoked or vaporized to get the same effect is just unfeasible for some patients who need potent medicine quickly." 

With that in mind, if you can get over the hump that you're doing weed even though the consumption process looks like doing real drugs, then dabbing is indeed for you.