In the world of cannabis products, CBD dabs offer one of the most concentrated forms of CBD available. Read on to learn what CBD dabs are, how they might make you feel, and how to use them.
What are CBD dabs?
Put simply, a CBD dab is a CBD (cannabidiol) concentrate derived from marijuana or hemp. Unlike other CBD products that mix the concentrate with other ingredients (to make an edible or tincture, for example), CBD dabs are unadulterated.
You can buy dabs as wax, crystals, crumble, or shatter. Budder, pull-and-snap, and honeycomb are other popular CBD dab products. Each option has a different consistency to bear in mind when shopping and putting products in the cart. For example, budder is smooth and creamy, while pull-and-snap stretches out like taffy. Regardless of texture, flavor, or consistency, all CBD dabbing products contain high concentrations of CBD.
Do CBD dabs get you high?
Not exactly. CBD dabs will either contain very little or absolutely no THC, the cannabinoid that gets you classically high. So while you won't experience a classic THC high, you won't necessarily feel perfectly sober either. Even at relatively low doses, CBD consumption can cause a reduction in anxiety and more restful sleep (as reported in 2019 in the Permanente Journal), which technically constitutes a psychoactive effect. When consumed in high concentrations, CBD can cause drowsiness and a heavy body “high.”
When consuming CBD in any quantity — but particularly CBD dabs — it's important to start with the lowest possible dose and gradually increase that dose until you feel the desired effect.
What does a CBD dab feel like?
If you've used other CBD products, such as oil, you can expect dabs to feel similar, except that the effects will likely be quite intensified due to the potency of the product. If you have experienced pain relief from CBD oil, dabbing CBD may produce similar effects. CBD has also been reported to potentially offer a range of other therapeutic benefits, from fighting inflammation to slowing the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's.
It should go without saying that the information contained in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease. The effects of CBD have not been evaluated by the FDA (except in the case of Epidiolex, the CBD-derived pharmaceutical treatment for childhood epilepsy). Be sure to consult your physician before using CBD dabs or any other cannabis products.
How long do CBD dabs last?
The effects of dabbing CBD are not as long-lasting as other CBD consumption methods, such as oral. While the effects of swallowing CBD can last seven hours, the effects of inhaling CBD vapor from a dab rig will last less than half that time, usually about three hours.
However, inhaling vapor may be preferable to ingesting edibles, as Dr. Adie Rae, scientific adviser to Weedmaps and a neuroscientist at the Legacy Research Institute in Portland, Oregon, explained: "Vaping CBD is a better choice than eating/swallowing it because the lungs are far more efficient at getting CBD into the bloodstream. The bioavailability of CBD is greater through the lungs than through the gut. Specifically, about half of the CBD you inhale makes it into the blood, but only 5% of the CBD you eat gets into your blood."
Dabs can provide a quick but powerful hit without the intense intoxication many other cannabis products provide. And with higher bioavailability, you'll need less CBD to achieve the same results as other consumption methods.
How do I use CBD dabs?
Using CBD dabs is easy once you've perfected your technique. But before you begin, there are a number of factors to consider. First, what kind of dabbing device would you be most comfortable with? Traditional dab rigs require a butane torch to heat up but offer the most classic dabbing experience. E-rigs or e-nails offer a flameless way to have a traditional dabbing experience. There are also dab pens that, on the upside, require the least amount of set-up and practice. On the other hand, they offer a much more subdued experience than you would expect from a traditional dab rig.
For more information on dabbing devices, different types of dabs, and how to dab, check out the Weedmaps' Guide to Dabbing.
Where can I buy CBD dabs?
Whether you're shopping online or in-person, make sure to buy from a licensed cannabis dispensary and choose organic when available, advised Dr. Rae. She also stressed, "Like any other CBD product, be careful if you're taking any kind of prescription medication that has a 'grapefruit' warning on the label: CBD can interact with these medications, sometimes dangerously."
Start searching for the right CBD product for you and confirm with your doctor before starting a new regimen.