By Justin Alexander

It seems as if right now everyone is talking about dabs — highly concentrated extracted doses of cannabis inhaled from an intimidating-looking glass device known as a rig.

Utilizing a super-potent dab, extracted by either CO2 or butane, reduces the need and time that goes into smoking flower or rolling a joint. Terms for these concentrates—referring to their consistencies—include everything from live resin, cake batter and budder to shatter, crumble or oil, with new ones popping up all the time.

Dab products comprise the largest sector of the cannabis concentrates market, says Kynd Cannabis Company’s Ryan Clendenin. “Oftentimes, heavy flower smokers who are first-time dabbers have the feeling of being “high” for the first time…again,” Clendenin says. “While the high-potency of dab products is appealing to many consumers with higher tolerances, dabbing is actually an extremely healthful and convenient method of dosing for cannabis patients who are in need of immediate relief from chronic ailments without the potentially harmful effects that come from combusting plant materials.”Despite the complicated aesthetics, industry experts agree that there isn’t a more effective method for delivering immediate relief for ailments.

“The demand [for concentrates] is increasing because the market in Nevada is starting to mature and experiment a little,” says Ronan McConnon of Kabunky Concentrates. Previously the only thing you could buy was flower or terrible dirty black market hash. Now the quality of concentrates has improved significantly and almost anybody that tries concentrates can taste the difference and feel the difference as well.”

Curious to give it a try and see what all the fuss is about? Check out a rig and a sampling of dabs available in the Las Vegas market.

THE RIG

Get started on a dabbing adventure with Dr. Dabber’s Boost eRig, Budder Cutter and Honey Mat. This low-heat system creates a thick, potent vapor that is smooth and flavorful. And since every terpene is unique in its therapeutic benefits, the flavors it produces, and sensitivity to heat, there are numerous unique vaporization points. The temperature at which you dab or vaporize concentrates can greatly affect the flavor profile and the synergy created between concentrated cannabinoids and terpenes.

“Our low-heat technology ensures optimal terp flavor and exceptional performance,” explains Dr. Dabber’s Johnray Strickland. “Knowing which temperature to heat your concentrates to, however, is a crucial detail and can be the difference between experiencing delicious flavors and profound effects or tasting the burnt disappointment from temperatures too hot to vaporize effectively.

Temperature control is so important for dabbing because of terpenes, which are the compounds in cannabis that give the plant its unique smell. Although cannabinoids are also extremely sensitive to temperatures, THC and other cannabinoids are odorless, so each strain’s compelling fragrance depends on which terpenes predominate.”

MASTER KUSH LIVE RESIN SHATTER, THE+SOURCE

Master Kush Live Resin Shatter contains flower grown by The+Source and then turned into a concentrate by Moxie. Live resin is a form of shatter or BHO (butane hash oil). The flower is fresh, not dried and cured, thus more of the delightful forest-like flavor of the Kush comes through.

At 75.5 percent THC, after a dab of Master Kush you will feel as relaxed as you do when waking up from a nap—without the fog commonly associated with an Indica strain. It is both a body and a head high but the mind snaps easily back into activity mode. Master Kush is recommended for those who need anti-inflammatory and anti-insomnia medicine. It also simulates appetite and is an anti-convulsive and anti-depressant.

With new products coming out all the time, The+Source currently has over 60 concentrates, the concentrate experience has become easier and more effective for patients.

“We are seeing an increase in the demand for concentrates,” says Chris Vickers, general manager of The+Source. “Patients are starting to realize it’s healthier than smoking dried cannabis. The effects typically last longer compared to other products and they’re cost efficient.”

WI-FI O.G. LIVE RESIN, MOXIE 710

Short for White Fire O.G., this hybrid strain produces a heavy sedative feeling. Its consistency resembles “cake badder” (as it is referred to at Moxie LV) because the live resin has a smooth, creamy appearance.

Sweet and fruity with earthy notes, at 77.4 percent THC/0.17 percent CBD, Wi-Fi O.G. helps to power through ailments including chronic pain, loss of appetite, stress and anxiety.

“It is much easier to take one small dab than to go through the whole process of rolling a joint or smoking a pipe,” says Moxie’s Michael Tulimero. “Concentrates also vaporize instead of combust which saves your lungs from unnecessary abuse as well. The future of dabbing is in the terpenes. It is getting easier every day to study the effects of various strains and the terpene modulation that they create based on the entourage effect. This should lead to a better understanding of the plant’s effects on a broader scope.”

Specializing in concentrates and with the goal of driving the scientific use of cannabis, Moxie has been developing cultivation and extraction procedures for the past two years. They have also partnered with universities abroad to seek federal funding, where available, to study and develop new therapies derived from the cannabis plant.

KABUNKY CONCENTRATES, NEVADA MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY

“Shatter is typically very stable, cracks like glass and if it’s good is light yellow and translucent,” says Ronan McConnon, laboratory manager of Kabunky Concentrates. “It is my preferred consistency as it is very easy to dab and you can pick out a good shatter just by looking at it.”

At the end of a stressful day, turn to the Mix Master, a go-to for ease of mind with a floaty high that promotes relaxation and comes in at 85.33 mg/g. On the other hand, Grape Ape Live Resin, a strong Indica, soothes physical pain, offering a body buzz and relief for joint aches with a THC level of 77.45 percent. “The high levels of Bisabolol in the terpene profile give a distinct giddy body high,” McConnon says.

All raw materials for Kabunky extracts—which come in crumble, shatter and live resin—are sourced from its in-house grow. Mix Master is a blend of strains including Cherry Diesel, Mammoth, Casey Jones, and Grape Stomper; and Grape Ape Live Resin is made from fresh frozen raw material.

“If the concentrate is made with fresh frozen raw material, it is considered live resin,” McConnon says. “Fresh frozen means it was cut down and then frozen immediately. Live resin will always have more terpenes
in it than its cured hash counterpart because terpenes are volatile and evaporate. By extracting material when it’s fresh, the terpenes do not have the opportunity to evaporate.”

McConnon says Mix Master is Kabunky’s first attempt at a customized blend. “We extracted the four strains at peak freshness and produced a shatter that not only has excellent color, but also tastes great,” McConnon relays. “The Grape Ape live resin was so beautiful after the extraction that I couldn’t allow it to be whipped into crumble. Its clarity and aroma needed to be locked into a shatter.”

SOUR DIESEL/RINGO’S GIFT #1 DAB SAP, KYND CANNABIS COMPANY

It might be the perfect mix: the energetic sativa Sour Diesel tested at 29.59 percent THC blended with the therapeutic 37.74 percent CBD-rich Ringo’s Gift #1, known for its relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties. This Dab Sap—the term Kynd uses to brand its extractions—promotes alertness and focus, while also relieving anxiety and depression.

“Kynd Dab Sap is 100 percent cannabis hash oil extracted in a research-grade closed loop system using CO2 as a supercritical fluid,” says Kynd’s Extractions Manager Ryan Clendenin. “The oil is then winterized/filtered with lab grade ethanol for purity and blended to the perfect viscosity, capturing and preserving all the best aspects of the plant for patient consumption.”

Ranging in color from amber-red to golden-honey, Kynd Dab Saps come in many different flavors and blends including LAOG, LAOG/Ringo’s Gift #1, Ghost OG, MTF and Gorilla Glue #4. Cadillac Purple, Critical Kush, Chemdawg and more Ringo #1 blends are on the horizon.

“Kynd Dab Saps are extracted from large batches of whole plant material to provide the full spectrum of plant benefits,” Clendenin says. “We strive to achieve truly medicinal grade extractions, complete with all the plant’s available cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other botanical compounds. We ensure quality measures and constant analysis of the oil in its varying stages on its path to becoming the perfect hash oil.”

Kynd Dab Sap is the only CO2 dab product of its kind and the company brings the benefits of CO2 extracted medicine to the world of BHO shatters, waxes, crumbles, butters, and live resins. “Many CO2 dabs are messy, runny, and often delivered in plastic syringes that can leave mainstream cannabis oil consumers baffled when it comes time to consume their meds,” Clendenin says.

Kynd has developed CO2 oil that was designed for dabbing and aimed at solving the problem of making CO2 dabs as reliable, flavorful, and as attractive as the more popular BHO-based oils.

SUICIDE SAP, KANNABIS

Equal parts Indica and Sativa, Suicide Sap from Kannabis offers a cerebral, uplifting sensation, without paranoia or couch lock. Made of flower from The Grove’s master grower, it is a hybrid with Afgoo, OG Grape Krypt, Star Killer and Strawberry Chem that combines to a 79.36 percent THC count.

“We named [it] Suicide Sap because of the great mix of strains that I pulled together for this,” says Robbie Wright, head of production for Kannabis. “This is strictly an ethanol-based extract, but I do some pretty cool things during the extraction and winterization process so I can maximize the flavor and terpene profile. No butane, and not even CO2. Most people would not consider an ethanol extract to hold up against a butane or CO2 oil, but I definitely have methods to make it happen and taste great with great potency.”

The flavor is eclectic with notes of floral and candy— each strain’s own terpenes are distilled out and reintroduced at the end of the process to ensure they are all present.
Wright says the inconvenience of the dab consumption is balanced out by the quality. “People are well-versed in the art of dabbing now,” he says “But, it still sort of remains a method of intake that is usually done at your house. It’s not a convenient way to vaporize your medicine with the equipment needed, but it’s certainly very effective and a favorite for most. The future of dabbing will definitely need to move towards making it more convenient to do. People don’t need to walk around with a rig and blowtorch. Dabbing has a long way to go before you’ll see people pulling out dab rigs in public to take their medicine.”