Stuff Those Crazy Kids Do: Marijuana Dabbing

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Stuff Those Crazy Kids Do: Marijuana Dabbing

Dabbing is the hottest thing

Dabbing is here. Right off the bat, this is not a how-to-catch-your-kids-and-punish-them-by-making-them-watch-DVR’ed-“American Idol”-on-a-Saturday-night-with-you kind of thing. This is more of a hey-dude-it’s-2014-and-you’re-an-L7-Weenie kind of thing. This is the first in a series of articles that spotlight some of the things that go on right under your nose. Embrace your inner 21-year-old and you might just find a fun new hobby to replace “SVU & Sudoku Sundays”on your calendar.

Think back to the first time you passed around a joint in your friend’s backyard. Maybe it was a blunt. Maybe you smoked it out of an apple. Maybe you crushed bong rips while Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” played in the background. Regardless, the majority of people in America have experimented with marijuana at one point or another, and Mary Jane’s public image is getting a major facelift these days. New legislation is being passed all the time that decriminalizes, and in some states even completely legalizes, the recreational possession and use of the plant. With laws being relaxed, and longstanding stigmas being lifted, more and more people nationwide are partaking.


Even with the fear of using being whittled away, some of the dangers of smoking remain. This means people are finding fun and creative new ways to enjoy weed, that in most cases are less harsh and more enjoyable than your traditional mini Dutch with a side order of whooping cough. One of the methods sweeping the nation is dabbing, which is one way to consume marijuana wax, or concentrate.

How to Get Down

Dabbing refers to vaporizing a very tiny morsel of the wax concentrate. If you’re used to smoking weed traditionally, you’re accustomed to intaking roughly 15-30% THC (the active component in marijuana that makes you high). Whereas with wax, you’re looking at north of 80% THC, hence the name “concentrate.” Because of the potency, you need only a small amount to get the job done. There are a few different ways to vaporize the wax, and each have their advantages.

One way is by using a bong-like rig made specifically for wax. Instead of a bowl-shaped tip at the end, this bong has an exposed nail with an enlarged head. You heat up the nail using a butane torch, as a traditional lighter won’t heat the nail up to the levels of heat you need to vaporize. Once the nail is red-hot, you take a “dab” of the wax and drop it onto the head of the nail. This fills the bong with a milky-white, light smoke that you proceed to inhale. First-timers can probably handle one or two dabs before being higher than they may have ever experienced with traditional marijuana. Here’s a video on how to dab using a rig.

The fastest-growing method of using the wax is with personal vaporizer pens. It allows you to take the dabbing experience on the road, while leaving the huge bong and blowtorch at home. These devices are literally not much larger than a standard pen, and they are extremely efficient. Users can put under a gram of wax into their pen and hit the pen up to 400 times before a refill. Because of its size, and the inherently stealth, almost entirely scentless nature of wax vaporizing, these pens have become great companions for when you hit the bar, go to a concert, or go on even family vacations (very helpful when the political discussions at Thanksgiving get started). Here’s a video on how to dab using a vaporizer pen.


I asked three experienced wax users which method they preferred:

Anthony, 23, was an avid smoker that switched over to dabbing on a rig. He said, “I started dabbing because of the high. It would instantly hit you and you would be lit for hours, a nice clean bake. Not burnt out, feeling awake, alert.”

Ryan, 26, uses a mini vaporizer pen, and isn’t looking back. He told me, “Once I tried it, I realized it was better and stronger than anything I’d tried before. That, along with the fact that it was cheaper and more convenient with the pen, it was a no brainer.”

DJ Semi, 27, travels the country as the touring DJ for hip-hop artist Chris Webby. He told me he uses the wax out of “pure convenience. I’m not a big drinker, but being a DJ, the pen lets me get my dose in the DJ booth. There’s little to no smell, so that’s what attracted me to it. Perfect for hotel rooms on the road. We’ve been evicted from hotel rooms because of smoke in the past, even though all we did was roll a joint. The Cloud Pen solved that problem!” (The Cloud Pen is one popular brand of pen, available for about $80). I went on to ask Semi if he did it purely out of convenience, or if he liked the high better than smoking, and he explained, “I still love traditional smoking. There’s a time that I actually thought wax was ruining my tolerance for bud, so I had to give it a break. When you first get into it, you kind of go overboard and it will make dry herb feel less effective. I like the dab high too, but I found my balance between that and dry herb. You can make the two work well with each other if you do it right. A dab should really only be a dab though. It’s highly concentrated THC, so it can be easy to get too high if you overdo it. You don’t want a face-melting experience. Not a good day.”


The Pros

  • It’s inexpensive. While it costs more per gram than marijuana in plant form (roughly $15/g for dry herb and $30-$40/g for wax), you can make it last far longer, rendering it much more cost efficient.
  • The high. Plain and simple, you’ll get higher than you ever imagined possible on weed.
  • Spy-level stealthiness. Using a vaporizer pen, you can get high pretty much anywhere now. I don’t recommend airports or the DMV, even though those probably top the list of places you’d need it.

The Cons

  • The real dangers lie in making the wax. It involves butane, and you can blow up. I won’t go into full detail, but don’t try it.
  • You’ll eat far too much junk food, way too late at night.

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