As the US celebrates Dab Day in all states where recreational and medicinal cannabis is consumed, we think it’s time to celebrate the people who create that sticky, golden goodness. But first, let’s talk about dabbing.
What is a Cannabis Dab and How is it Used?
Dabbing is a way many people like to consume cannabis. It starts with a product that is refined from the plants in a cannabis extraction facility. The first part of the process is to separate the trichomes from the rest of the plant material. Trichomes are the part of the plant that contain the THC, CBD, and terpenes that are the most valuable part, and what dabs are made from. Processors use a variety of methods to achieve this separation.
After this separation, the trichomes are processed to create concentrates, also called extracts.
Because consuming concentrate requires a lot of heat, a rig usually starts with a glass water pipe, to cool the smoke prior to drawing it into the lungs. The concentrate is heated in an attachment called the nail. The vapor is directed into the rig, through the water that cools it, and then inhaled by the consumer.
Why Do People Like to Dab?
Dabbing has some advantages over smoking cannabis flowers. Let’s start with terpenes.
Terpenes are the compounds that give cannabis its flavors and aroma. Because concentrates… ummm… concentrate the terpenes, the flavor and aroma experience is enhanced.
Potency: The psychotropic effects of cannabis consumption are also much more intense in extracts. Where a flower is typically 15-25% THC, the THC percentage in concentrates is typically 60-90%.
Rapid effect: Many medical marijuana patients report more immediate relief from their symptoms when they use concentrates.
How Do Cannabis Extraction Facilities Make Concentrates?
Humans have been consuming cannabis for thousands of years, and extracting the valuable compounds for many hundreds of years. Modern extraction labs use a variety of processes to separate the plant material from the products humans consume for medicinal and recreational use.
Processes called “solventless” include dry sifting and rosin pressing. Solventless processing produces rosin, live rosin, and hash. Ice water extraction is sometimes considered solventless, and produces bubble hash. Keif is a product of either dry sifting or ice water processing.
Solvent processing involves the use of chemical agents to perform the separation. Solvent extraction on commercial scales requires special equipment and compliance with strict fire and life safety regulations. Though it is more expensive to start the business, producers often choose to use solvents because they produce higher yields, I.e., more extract per pound of plant material. Producers do a lot of experimentation with solvents, and new processes regularly come to market. The primary solvents used today include hydrocarbon (butane), ethanol, and CO2, The resulting products include shatter, crumble, budder, distillates, and isolates.
The processors, along with growers, create the products that you enjoy, and which are boosting state economies across the country.
Thanks Cannabis Extraction Professionals! You Make Every Day Into Dab Day!
If you have a commercial facility that does extraction, find out how you can fine-tune your systems for throughput.