Dabs are all the rage, but what exactly is a dab? And where, exactly, did the dab come from? In my opinion, the art of dab began with the humble great: hashish. Wax, oil, distillates full-melt and bubble hash also all fall under the classification of cannabis concentrates. In this list, I’ve compiled our favourite types of concentrates, how they’re used and what type of effect they’ll deliver.
Hashish, or hash, is made from the resin of cannabis plants. It was around 900 AD when hashish was first noted as commonly used across what was known then as Arabia. The word hash actually comes from an Arabic word that means ‘grass’. Hashish varies depending on how it is created. Water extracted bubble hash can be produced in a hard, pliable consistency or even a paste-like substance. It is generally dark brown verging on black, but it can also appear in a light yellow, tan, or even a reddish colour. There are also pressed hashes available that come in bricks or even giant rolled balls.
Wax can be classified as an extraction because a solvent is used to extract the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemical compounds from the raw plant matter. This type of cannabis concentrate is often called shatter, crumble, oil, or butter. There are also terpenes which are clear or light yellow clear oily liquids. The method and solution(s) used in the extraction dictate what the finished product will look like. This is why wax has so many names because there are tons of different methods and solvents used to create these widely varying types of cannabis concentrates.
Technically, oils are considered a wax because they are generally extracted using a solvent. But I often regard cannabis oil as a separate product. Oils are usually a bit easier to manufacture than other types of wax. They don’t take as much delicacy during the extraction and purging processes. Some people do dab oil, but we prefer to vape it in a tank or cartridge. It is also quite delicious when it is rolled over a raw bud and topped with kief. These are called moon rocks and tend to be one of the most intense ways to smoke cannabis. Oil is generally a thicker substance, like that of molasses.
Distillate & Isolate
A lot of extraction artists fine-tuned their methods with wax which inspired them to expand their technical skill set. This is when the cannabis community started using common scientific extraction methodology to completely isolate certain cannabinoids. CBD and THCA are the most commonly found distillates available in the recreational and medical cannabis markets. While whole plant medicine is definitely preferred for all-around healing and prevention, medicating with a pure cannabinoid can sometimes come in the clutch. For example, imagine getting a little bit too high from some Sativa. Personally, this will make me super anxious, but a dab of CBD distillate can re-balance those emotions and bring me back to an even keel stone.
Each of these types of cannabis concentrates has its own value. All of them are more potent and deliver longer lasting effects than smoking cannabis flowers.