Bud Tender's Corner Dabs, "A Little Dab'll do Ya"

Bud Tender Danie Hartman at Grower’s Outlet

Bud Tender Danie Hartman
at Grower’s Outlet

     Much of the old “pot smoking” terminology has become as obsolete as has the hair cream referenced above. Yet for some of our older customers, the slang monikers “doobie, joint, bomber, roach, giggle weed, ganja, and Mary Jane—just to name a few—are familiar and comfortable. The term “dab”  is is a simple name for a very popular, concentrated, modernized vehicle for getting you high. It may not sound too groovy, far out, or right on, but trust me: A little dab will definitely do ya!
     Dabs are a huge topic in the industry on the retail and production side. Limitless information can be found on this topic and, for good reason, it is overwhelmingly popular. That being said, at times it is difficult to keep up with the demand. Dabs come in many different forms but all have the same general purpose: To get you loaded, stoned, zonked and trippin’.
    As a budtender, I tend to steer my customers away from purchasing products based strictly on the numbers they see on the back of the packages we offer. The THC or CBD content are not all that matter when picking out a flower strain. Obviously, along with potency, great flavor, a clean smooth hit and, in general, a good, well-rounded product are important. There is a lot to be considered when choosing a classic product. However, in my experience, the same cannot be said about concentrates. When it comes to Dabs, numbers are important.  Everyone has a preference because there are so many different consistencies and concentrates to choose from. This is unlike in my parents’ day, where they were happy to have any of it, whether it was pressed hash, honey oil or kief.
     Making dabs is the process of using butane, carbon dioxide, propane or another solvent through marijuana buds to pull out the cannabinoids, and then purging or evaporating the solvent and gathering the resins left behind”.That explanation makes the process sound simple; but it’s not. The industry has it down to a science and we appreciate all the mad scientists who put their brains to work to bring us these awesome products.

     Below is a simple rundown of the most popular forms of concentrates in our shop. Keep in mind that we won’t always have all of them and what sells in my store is probably not the same as what sells in your store. My experience is limited to my store only.  (I welcome any information and experience that you would like to write in and share.)
     Shatter. After the extraction process, the resin is cooled into large hard slabs. They are typically full of holes and can be a beautiful golden to a dark amber color. The appearance depends on the product the oil was extracted from and the temperature of the the extractor. Shatter is typically more potent than wax because it goes through a more extensive refinementprocess to remove all of the fats and lipids. This leaves an extremely high cannabinoid content. The downside to this refinement is a loss of terpenes , which provide an awesome flavor and can affect the high. Depending on terpenes and temperature, this process may also have a Snap & Pull or Oil outcome as well.  The final product is called shatter because the it resembles a sheet of glass and is shattered prior to packaging.
     Wax. This is a broad term used to describe dabs with an array of different consistencies. Due to agitation during the extraction process, the oil loses its transparency, leaving a solid, more buttery consistency. Wax tends to be a little lower on the potency scale—typically 60 to 70 percent cannabinoids. In my opinion, it has more flavor and a more defined high. I also believe it has a better taste and can be easier to deal with than shatter. The moisture content and heat are big factors in whether the wax is oily or has a dry, crumbly consistency.
     Live Resin. This concentrate is extracted using BHO, but the difference between live resin and other concentrates—and the reason behind its amazing flavor—is thatthe process uses fresh or frozen whole buds instead of dried cured buds. This gives it a unique taste and smell because it retains some components of the plant that are lost in the curing process. In a nutshell, live resin is full of terpenes and is delicious.
     RSO/Honey Oil. Although this concentrate has been around for a long time, Rick Simpson—a huge advocate of medical marijuana studies—reintroducedRSOs into the medical marijuana field. The process for making honey oil is to decarboxylate flower with a source of heat, which activates the cannabinoids. Then extract the plant matter in an alcohol solution, which concentrates the cannabinoids and produces oil. This product is unique because it can be smoked, ingested orally or used as a topical. RSO is frequently requested in the medical side of the industry, but the market is good in recreational, as well.
     With all of these awesome concentrates to choose from it’s no wonder that the tolerance of today’s consumer is so much higher than that of consumers of past generations. I am amazed to see how much progress the industry is making. The focus is not just on growing an awesome plant anymore; it’s morphed into an art form, with many options.
     Dispensaries that sell dabs need to o stock plenty of nails, dab rigs and any other paraphernalia that your customers like.

     The choices are no longer limited to a bong or a joint, a three-finger lid doesn’t exist anymore,  and drying pot in the oven or sprouting seeds in a wet paper towel are no longer necessary. Science, chemistry and legalityhave made their way into this new, exciting and flourishing industry. Your customers will be amazed to see the variety in your shop. The older generation customers as well as the new will be content as they experiment with these ingenious products, open their minds and giving a “dab” tinge to a new and terptastically delicious way of getting stoned. There is something for everyone. If you are interested, don’t hesitate to give them a try.