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?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Round About Place

    Magic Flight Launch Box is
    the best portable vaporizer among all those which I have used.

  • Zab

    Well with higher concentration there is less smoke to be inhaled for a greater effect. Vacuum chambers are used for commercial products to remove any potential solvent residue which is why you have the different grades of extract (oil, wax, shatter…). The large ‘sleazy looking’ devices could easily be pushed aside by more portable options such as vapor pens. Which can then be passed around just like a joint but with fewer carcinogens. Although the fact that higher doses makes it more habit forming is a concern for those who want to ‘chill’ and smoke just for the act itself and less for faster results. But for those who can simply take a puff and put it down when they feel the desired effects it should be overall better for the respiratory system.

  • Raj

    “Loss of some terpenoids, little flavour, no depth or richness to the high”
    This is probably the most ignorant statment here, you guys must have smoked some tane soup. I’ve smoked concentrates with more flavour than any flower I’ve smoked, and I’m a huge OG fan. You just have to make it right or buy it from a professional who uses professional equipment. It saddens me that you’ve narrowed yourself to this view point based on some terrible wax or terrible heating techniques when actually dabbed. That means you’ve never experienced a true coating of flavour on your tounges and mouth.

  • YghTuii

    My main concern would be that the solvents used are carcinogenic.

    Saying that, if you smoke weed which has been grown using rock phosphate (a by product of uranium mining)… gosh the industry doesn’t want to talk about that 🙁

    I haven’t had oil for decades, but when I did, you needed to lie on the ground for ten minutes whilst feeling sick, before you could enjoy being incredibly high. I will be sticking to weed as I like the simplicity.