Dabbadabba Do – or Don’t?

There was a new odor dominating this year’s High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, a smell replacing the skunky fug of previous years. That odour was concentrates. Vaporizer blog takes a first sceptical look at the dabbing phenomenon.

Our recollection is of some dabbing going on last year, notably with the amazing mask from XXXX. But this year it was prominent; there were several stalls selling the dab-friendly e-pens and tools, visitors were sucking on pens more than spliffs.

The hottest ticket at the Cup was for the DAB A DOO party hosted by the legendary Mila from the Pollinator Shop – 75 eurobucks to try out 15 different waxes, shatters and oils.

Not willing to splash that kind of cash, our Vaporizer blog  reporter nonetheless managed to gain access for a look around, in the hopes of chatting up some dabbers.

He found the atmosphere a bit intimidating; dozens of lone individuals hunched over glowing glass and steel contraptions, blue flames spurting from torches; it had a kind of coffeeshop-crackhouse vibe, frankly. He hung around awkwardly before making his exit, undabbed.

We did sample some oils, waxes and shatters over the course of the Cup. It’s certainly a different high to an old-fashioned joint or bong. We were really impressed by the Sublimator high but that was probably more about the delivery method than the substance in it (see feature).

Since it’s not a subject any of us down-home weed vapers at Vaporizer blog are that familiar with, we’ll be getting some experts to give us their opinions and tips in the New Year.

In the meantime, here are some first thoughts on the phenomenon, the pros and cons of dabbing.

On the pro side…

  • Reduction of combustible plant material to +/- 0%
  • Pure cannabinoid vapor
  • Less odour
  • Stronger effect
  • Super discrete and rapid medication
  • Possibility to downsize to e-pen
  • Potentially more economical

One the other hand…

  • Possible solvent residue from some production techniques
  • Loss of some terpenoids, little flavour, no depth or richness to the high
  • Too strong, leads to rapid acclimatisation
  • Loss of sociability of a passed joint (for you old-schoolers)
  • Looks a bit sleazy, frankly, with the gas torches and glowing nails
  • It’s too expensive or you need to make it yourself
  • More illegal than weed in most countries
  • Concentration of plant compounds has a bad history (Heroin, Cocaine)


What do you think? Are we missing something? Is it the 21st century way to get high, medicate or is it a new abomination? Super-healthy or a slippery slope to bad consequences?

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