Welcome, so let’s go over what dabbing is and where it came from. Dabbing is a method used for consuming concentrated cannabis substances. These substances are placed on a super-heated surface and the concentrate is vaporized to be inhaled. With its roots in various cultures and traditions, dabbing has evolved from basic techniques of placing it on a hot stone to a more refined, technologically advanced process, used among the counterculture and mainstream alike. This article takes us into the history of dabbing, highlighting a few key developments, prominent figures, and regional influences.
The Early Days of Dabbing
Dabbing began as a form of consumption of concentrated substances, especially among Middle Eastern communities who developed techniques to consume resinous materials made from cannabis like hashish. The method’s popularity increased in the Western world in the late 20th century, particularly in the United States.
The progression of concentrates designed for dab rigs has been a journey of innovation and refinement, mirroring the evolution of dabbing itself. Early on, hashish was the primary concentrate used, often impure and inconsistent in texture, the process has been honed over centuries. Traditionally, hashish is crafted by separating the resin glands, or trichomes, from the cannabis plant. This was often done by hand-rubbing the fresh plants, causing the sticky trichomes to adhere to the skin, and then scraping off this resin.
It can also be produced by sieving dried plants through fine mesh, collecting the powdery substance, and then compressing it. This technique is similar to how one makes bubble hash but uses ice also. These techniques create a concentrated product with potent effects, and the resulting hashish is often a symbol of quality, cultural heritage, and skilled craftsmanship in the region.
As technology advanced, methods such as butane hash oil (BHO) extraction became popular, leading to purer and more potent forms like shatter, wax, and crumble. These concentrates offered varying levels of viscosity and flavor profiles, appealing to different preferences among dabbing enthusiasts. Then came CO2 and other methods of extraction.
The introduction of solventless methods, such as rosin, marked a shift towards a more natural extraction process, often prized for preserving the terpenes and offering a more authentic flavor. The wide array of concentrates now available, each with its unique characteristics and extraction methods, showcases the incredible ingenuity and craftsmanship that has become synonymous with the dabbing community. Whether favoring the glassy consistency of shatter or the creamy texture of budder, dabbers are presented with a rich selection, reflecting the sophistication and diversity of modern-day dabbing culture.
The Dab Rig Revolution
The development of the dab rig marked a turning point in the culture of dabbing. Initially, rudimentary tools like hot knives were used, but the early 2000s saw glassblowers like Jason Harris creating artistic and functional dab rigs. Glassmakers in the dabbing world have truly stepped up their game, offering rigs to suit every taste and budget. On one end, you’ve got your entry-level, wallet-friendly rigs that don’t skimp on functionality. These economical pieces make dabbing accessible to just about anyone.
Then there’s the mid-range, where quality meets affordability, providing a balance that appeals to many. But for those looking to flex, the high-end, or “heady,” rigs are where it’s at. These aren’t just dab rigs; they’re works of art, often handcrafted by renowned artists, with intricate designs and top-tier materials. The price tag may be steep, but for the connoisseur, the experience and aesthetic are well worth the investment. It’s a range that reflects the diversity of the dabbing community itself, from the casual enthusiast to the dedicated aficionado.
Different types of dab rigs emerged:
- Quartz: Known for purity and flavor preservation
- Titanium: Durable and holds heat well
- Ceramic: Offers a smooth taste but delicate in handling
Understanding the proper usage and handling of these rigs became vital for safety and enjoyment.
Entering the Electric Era: Electric Dab Rigs
The introduction of electric dab rigs in the late 2010s brought unprecedented convenience and precision to dabbing. Companies like Puffco and Dr. Dabber pioneered this technology, making some of the best electric dab rigs in the industry, offering temperature control and consistency. Electric dab rigs allowed for more leisurely consumption without the need for a torch, attracting new enthusiasts and further embedding dabbing into popular culture.
Electric dab rigs are in spotlight for a reason, and it’s not just because they look like they’re from the future. First off, they offer temperature control, letting you dial in that perfect heat level for a smooth, tasty hit every time. Forget the torch, nail, rig, tank and the huge bag of traditional glass rigs; electric rigs keep it easy. Plus, they’re often more portable and user-friendly, making them a go-to for both newbies and seasoned pros. Then you toss in some sleek designs, LED lights, smart phone apps, and it’s no wonder electric dab rigs are becoming the new go to in the dabbing scene. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be the traditional dab rigs, these will always be here. But electric rigs are a great addition to the collection.
The Modern Culture of Dabbing
Dabbing transcended its functional purpose to influence art, music, and fashion, particularly in urban centers like Los Angeles, Denver, and Seattle. Artists like Wiz Khalifa and brands like Supreme embraced dabbing, both in terms of the method and the broader cultural significance.
Legal considerations and regulations continue to shape dabbing, with many regions adopting progressive stances on cannabis consumption. These shifts have fostered more widespread acceptance and continue to fuel future trends and innovations.
Dabbing is one of the few allowed ways to consume cannabis indoors at a lot of places now in America. In some California recreational dispensaries, you can consume on premises, but only use electric dab rigs of the portable types indoors. No torches allowed there. Cannabis consumption lounges, vape clubs and even hookah lounges are starting to be dab rig friendly; as long as its legal of course.
Reflecting on the Legacy of Dabbing
The history of dabbing is a complex journey, reflecting broader societal and technological trends. From the traditional methods once used in remote communities to the high-tech electric dab rigs of today, dabbing has been transformed into a multifaceted cultural phenomenon. As it continues to evolve, one can only anticipate the next wave of innovation and inspiration. Not sure what else can be made from cannabis, but I am sure we will be surprised. In appreciating this history, we recognize the artists, inventors, and pioneers who have shaped this unique aspect of modern life. To all the 710 crowd, concentrate snobs and hash heads, hope you enjoyed this, and stay elevated!