Dabbing is on the rise in the UK herb scene. More and more beginners and seasoned stoners are turning their hands towards dabbing and concentrates. It is generally seen as the better option for medicinal users as the effect of several joints worth of THC can be found in a much smaller amount of dab. So it saves the user’s lungs from being subjected to a load of harsh smoke and carcinogens.
Dabs work by using a superheated nail to instantly vaporise the concentrate. The nail is usually made of titanium or quartz and it heated by a butane torch. Once sufficiently heated you simply use a dabbing tool to pick up a bit of concentrate and drop it onto the nail.
Be aware when you take a hit that concentrate is several times more powerful than an equivalent amount of herb. There’s a huge amount of THC in it, enough to even give a veteran herb fiend pause.
How is concentrate made?
Concentrates like shatter are extracted from the flower part of herb. It is many times stronger than any other form of herb material. Concentrate comes in several forms including wax, honeycomb, oil, honey and of course, the purest form: Shatter.
While herb is known to have a range of medicinal healing properties these active ingredients are known to have a negative cumulative effect over time. Concentrates allow a user to get the same level of high from a smaller amount of material and completely rule out the carbons released by combustion.
Concentrates are purified by solvents such as CO2 or Butane the THC and CBD can be forced out of the herb in the form of waxes or shatter. This process is illegal unless you get the nod from your government, and can be very dangerous thanks to the volatile nature of butane.
Shatter is the purest concentrate that can be produced through this process. It has an orange/yellow colour and a similar brittleness to glass, hence the name! When a licensed professional wants to extract shatter they go through the following process.
How Shatter Is Made
You need plenty of high trichome herb, trichomes are the tiny hairs you may see on plants. The trichomes help strengthen the resultant shatter
Once you’ve gathered your herb you pack it into large, hollow glass tubes. You start pumping in the butane and it will filter your concentrate out into a measuring cup. Once it’s in the put you need to purge the butane from your concentrate with evaporation until it turns into candy like resin. Butane purges are usually done in a vacuum oven at about 91`degrees fahrenheit for about half an hour. It’s important to pay attention to the pressure inside the unit and the temperature, as too much of either could result in your concentrate being cooked off.
Once you’ve gone through this rather arduous process you should be left with some pure shatter. The brittleness and/or viscosity of your concentrate helps define the level of purity it holds. That is why the ascending scale of herb concentrate purity goes oil, wax, and at the top shatter. It is all defined by the amount of solvent left in the concentrate.
Don’t worry, butane isn’t harmful to humans in the form that is used to purify herb, so you're not too likely to inadvertently poison yourself.