Can You Eat Dabs?
The introduction of dabbing and cannabis concentrates has turned the marijuana world upside down. Not only are they the most potent type of cannabis product available, it requires a completely new set of skills and equipment to consume. Whether you’re just staring out or are a seasoned dab lover, you’re bound to have lots of questions about the smoking material themselves and what you should and shouldn’t do with these potent concentrates. Once you start to partake in cannabis wax and other marijuana concentrates, it won’t be too long until you start to wonder, can you get high if you eat dabs? Some of them look quite tasty if you ask me. But filling up the car with petroleum isn’t the only type of oil with a high price tag these days, top shelf honey oil and other cannabis concentrates can also put a dent in your budget, so you may not want to experiment with your precious dabs. We’re going to answer your burning questions like can you eat dabs and get high, how to make edibles with dabs, what decarboxylation is, how to collect cannabis reclaim, and much, much more.
Can you eat dabs?
I think the real question you want to ask is can you eat dabs and get high? The quick answer is no. Despite its amazing aroma and beautiful golden color, no, you will not get baked from eating cannabis concentrates right out of the container despite its high THC content and potency. This is the same reason that eating a bag full of raw dry herb won’t get you high either, although you will have more than your daily allowance of fiber and vitamins. The reason for this is actually very simple. It all has to do with naturally occurring chemical compounds that are produced by the marijuana plant called cannabinoids. The act of lighting cannabis flower or vaporizing dabs changes these chemical compounds from their natural carboxylic acid state by releasing carbon dioxide (CO2). This process is called decarboxylation, which in layman terms is simply the act of heating the cannabis material up (more on this later). As you probably know very well from all your years of lighting up, once heat is used turning THCA into THC, the psychoactive properties are released, absorbed into the body, and you’ll get you baked. Now that you know the answer to the question of “can you eat dabs,” it’s time to learn about other ways you can eat concentrates.
How to eat dabs
As previously mentioned, dry herb and marijuana concentrates like cannabis wax and other dabs need to be decarboxylated in order to be consumed and feel any psychoactive effects (aka getting high). You can’t simply purchase shatter or weed wax at the dispensary, grab your dab tool and take a bite. Nothing will happen and you’ll have wasted a ton of money for nothing. You may be wondering how can you eat dabs and get high if the cannabis concentrate needs to be heated? Doesn’t that just mean it needs to be smoked? Actually, there are two ways to consume cannabis wax. The first is cooking your dabs into a weed edible and the other is collecting and eating leftover decarboxylated dabs from your dab rig, which is called cannabis reclaim. The first option is almost always best since you can measure out each dose and serving so you know approximately how much THC and CBD you’re getting. Edibles made from cannabis wax are also much more tasty and satisfying than munching on reclaim. However, if all you want is a quick and cheap way to get high but don’t have any dabs on hand, start collecting that reclaim. Be warned cannabis reclaim is extremely potent, so start very small and eat it with care.
What is decarboxylation and why it matters
The average cannabis smoker probably doesn’t know that decarboxylation is the name of the game and without it, there’s no high. To explain the chemical process, you’ll have to understand a little bit about cannabinoids. While all plants including cannabis produce terpenes, which are compounds responsible for aroma and taste, cannabinoids, as the name suggests are only found in cannabis plants. Researchers believe that there are hundreds of naturally produced cannabinoids, but the most important and sought after for smokers are usually tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both of these chemical compounds are originally produced by the marijuana plant as THCA and CBDA, which will not get you high. The “A” stands for carboxylic acid, which is removed from the chemical structure through decarboxylation (heating). Right about now I bet you wish you paid more attention during chemistry class. Instant decarboxylation is normally done via a lighter or torch for dabbing or smoking dry herb or by using a dab pen heating element such as a coil or oven. The process of converting THCA to THC can also be completed slowly over a longer period of time through baking or heating the material on the stove. Some, though not all of the decarboxylation process also occurs during the curing and drying process, which happens right after a harvest.
Can you eat reclaim dabs?
As we already mentioned when answering the question can you eat dabs to get high? A quick and easy way to get high eating dabs is to eat cannabis reclaim. If you live the 710 lifestyle and don’t know what cannabis reclaim is, you should. Reclaim is the leftover cannabis resin that builds up inside your dab rig after smoking marijuana wax and other cannabis concentrates due to the recondensation of the vapor. It looks like a brown or yellowish gunk and lines the walls and dab nail joint. This is not the same as the build up that occurs when smoking dry herb with a water bong, which is fully burnt up cannabis flower that has no cannabinoids or terpenes left. Because cannabis reclaim is created from dabs that have been heated and vaporized, it has already gone through the essential decarboxylation process and can be eaten as is to get high. Some of the benefits of eating reclaim dabs are:
- Waste less material and save money.
- Still extremely potent and will get you baked.
- Already decarboxylated.
- Easy to collect.
- Can be eaten straight without having to be made into edibles.
- Get the very most out of your cannabis.
You may be thinking, well, if I already lit it and smoked it, how potent can cannabis reclaim really be? While reclaim won’t be as potent as raw dabs, it does still have more THC on average than flower. A study was conducted on cannabis reclaim by the Director of Methodology at MCR Labs, Scott Churchill. He ran cannabinoid tests on different types of reclaim with various textures and colors and also compared different collection methods. Churchill found that all the types of cannabis reclaim from dabs that he analyzed still contained a very high potency of cannabinoids. On average, his tests produced a range of roughly 30% to 60% THC, with trace amounts of THCA left and around a 1% to 3% CBD level.
How to collect reclaim
While it may not look as appealing as raw cannabis wax, reclaim is still potent and will get you high. If you’re part of the 710 community, you know how precious weed wax and dabs are because of their high price tag and THC levels. If you’re looking for a way to get the absolute most out of your smoking material and not let anything go to waste, it’s time to start collecting and consuming the reclaim buildup inside your dab rig. Here’s a quick step-by-step method of how to do it:
- Dirty dab rig with reclaim
- Dab torch
- Wax paper or cannabis wax storage jar
- Optional: Dab mat
How to collect reclaim step-by-step
- Begin by examining your dab rig. There should be visible reclaim stuck to the inside walls of your rig. It will take several uses before there is enough to collect. If it looks like there’s enough reclaim, dump out the water and let the oil rig dry out completely before moving on to step number two. This is key since you don’t want to have any water mixing in with the reclaim you collect.
- Just like raw cannabis wax, reclaim is also very sticky, so you’ll want to prepare your workspace with care. If you have a silicone dab mat, you can set it on the table or counter to protect the surface. Place a piece of wax paper over the table. You can also use a silicone marijuana wax storage container in place of the wax paper if you have one.
- Remove the banger and turn your dry dab rig upside down so the mouthpiece is over the container or wax paper. Begin to slowly heat up the areas of the dab rig that has visible reclaim using your dab torch. Hold the dab torch quite far away from the glass and never let the flame point directly at a single area (always keep it in motion). This is essential since you just want the reclaim to liquify and not vaporize. If the reclaim vaporizes, it’s wasted and lost. If it doesn’t vaporize but still gets too hot, valuable cannabinoids like THC will be burnt off. Don’t forget to also check the dab nail joint and downstem for any reclaim buildup.
- As the reclaim turns to liquid and slowly drips out of the oil rig, be sure to keep the mouthpiece directly over the jar or container to collect every last drop and refrain from making too much of a mess.
- Leave the wax paper or cannabis wax jar open on the table to cool off before wrapping it off or closing the lid. Once cooled, the reclaim will solidify and is ready to use! Since all the usable marijuana wax has been removed, it’s also a great opportunity to give your dab rig a deep clean. We know, it’s super annoying, but your dabs will taste so much better! Do this by filling the water pipe with isopropyl alcohol and leaving it to soak in a Ziploc bag. After soaking, give the bag with the rig a few shakes, empty the alcohol, rise, and dry. That’s all there is to it.
What to do with cannabis reclaim?
Now that you’ve collected the reclaim from your oil rig, it’s time to do something with it! Many cannabis enthusiasts simply toss it in the trash either because they prefer pure marijuana wax or they simply don’t know what to do with it. There are three options: eat it as is, dab it, or make weed edibles. If you decide to dab it or eat it straight up, be warned that it won’t have that dank, earthy flavor you’re used to, but it will still get you blazed. If dabbing, try adding it to your raw cannabis wax for a better taste or eating it alongside something else to give it a batter flavor.
How to make edibles with concentrates and dabs
If you really have the urge to eat dabs, but don’t want to go through the hassle of collecting reclaim, you can still make edibles! Because these are raw concentrates, you’ll need to have it decarbed. If you have butane hash oil concentrates, all you need to do is bake it on a parchment paper lined baking sheet at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for around 20 minutes. Avoid overheating by using a thermometer and keeping an eye on it. Remove it as soon as it starts to bubble. Now that your weed wax is decarboxylated, you can measure out the dose needed based on the number of servings in the edible recipe and crumble, scoop, or drizzle your dabs right into the baking pan or cooking pot. Just be sure that your recipe has some type of fat such as oil or butter so the cannabis can infuse. Time to eat your dabs!