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What Are Dabs?


high times bay area cannabis cup entries 2013 dabs dabThe dab phenomenon has taken over the Western United States and is moving eastward at a rapid pace. If you live on the West Coast or Colorado, chances are you’ve taken dab hits with friends in recent years. If you haven’t, you really need to get out more.

Whenever I talk about dabs on social media or with my family that live off the West Coast, people often ask me, ‘what are dabs?’

I don’t know that there is an ‘official’ definition yet. I’m waiting for it to turn up on one of those ‘new words of the year’ lists and then maybe an ‘official’ definition will finally be out there. I look at the definition of dabs like the the former Supreme Court Justice Stewart looks at the definition of obscenity – I don’t have an official definition, but I know it when I see it.

What are Dabs?

old school hash

This is the hash your dad used to smoke in the 70s. This is not a dab.

To oversimplify things, dabs are various forms of high-grade hash, usually made with a process involving butane. Urban Dictionary defines it as “bho (butane hash oil), a medicinal marijuana product extracted from the plant and concentrated into a smokable oil. also an adjective to describe the mind state of those who smoke bho or ‘dabs'”.

I don’t really like the Urban Dictionary definition because it doesn’t necessarily have to be for medicinal purposes. I personally smoke dabs to get as recreationally high as I possible can! Realize, we are not talking about the hash that your dad used to smoke in the 1970’s.

The butane hash oil (BHO) made these days is far stronger and purer than the hash pictured above. Below is a picture of what I’m talking about:


This is BHO or a dab!

I posted the question ‘what is the best answer to the question what are dabs’ on my Facebook, and below are some of the responses:

“concentrated cannabis extracts that get you really high really fast.”

“essential concentrated extracted particles from the cannabis buds and leaf’s”

“pandora’s box”



 For a nice selection of products you can use for dabbing check here: Dabbing gear.


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  1. That seems a crackhead wasteful way to make this “DAb” which somebody asked me about… I appreciate its basically a way of making “Hash” though a Jedi Master wouldn’t waste anything so there is a better method… Which might make something that ponder if is akin to what they call “Wax” only better… Basically something along the lines of what the call Pollen or powder type substances… Takes technique which is like something out of BReaking Bad hahah… BAsically if strain with metal right after making the vape then should easily have something along lines of a Dab/Hash/Wax if use VG purely not Glycol or other poisons. Let it sit a day or so it wont dry out will stay moist… Can even sorta press it together if wanted or eat it probably if hungry :). Metal on Metal is the way to go like an Oster Blender… Though it can take 5/6 hours keeping at right temp so most are probably too lazy to do it ;). It is interesting to see what kids to these days… Remember in HS usually stuff would be like brick hard then later it was more like a sugar for baking cookies or whatever people do. There would be different colors or styles like a light brown or a dark black. I remember people telling me they smoked it on a pin or shit like that. Seen an interesting video where they like burn pollen into hash folding it in a foil or so maybe there a machine can’t remember… Seen a pollen press though not sure how to use that just know they have the screams for grinders mentioning that. The video is poor quality for what exists these days it should be clearer and list a step by step method before to know what to have etc.

    Bothers me some idiotic way of portraying people who smoke pot like drunken idiots… IF its pure enough should almost feel like normal or aware not like a bad B movie character… People should want to aspire to be like Breaking Bad having the best quality like his special color or so… I never really watched the show only the finale yet the pride in cooking perfect is how anything from cookies to dab should be done. Hash has always been processed one way or another making it difficult to nail down an exact type or method.

    How things are extracted what products can be used or substituted… Seen claims of Grape Seed Alcohol to strip or help make vape from pollen or what not… Never tried it since probably is expensive anyways haha… Many seem to be going to pure VG since PG dehydrates a person besides other problems. Interesting how all this is evolving its confusing to know what would work best with “wax” or to vape “dab” if its soft VG style hash very sweet tasting. If something is toxic to eat then smoking it probably is not a good idea nor vaping ;). Used to have dreams about bringing a bong around places though always ended badly :).

  2. http://thehash.org/2015/10/the-trippy-untold-40-year-history-of-dabs/
    Honey oil, kids. That’s what it was dubbed originally. Been around for 46 years, in that form. Always use 5 times refined(filtered). Never do it near an ignition source – open flame or electronics.
    I’ve seen an old head make some on youtube so the electronics would have to have a significant power source to cause combustion. Nevertheless, don’t take any chances. Always do it in a secluded area away from others and other peoples property!! Well ventilated(DO NOT USE FANS!!)
    Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll add this for the haters referring to cannabis as a ‘weed’. When you weed a garden or pull a weed in your lawn, what happens most of the time? It grows back. It’s a nuisance plant. If someone found a cannabis plant growing in their yard, deemed it unwanted, and then yanked it from the ground – guess what? It doesn’t grow back.
    Now I’m not a religious person, however I offer this to people who think cannabis is ‘the devils weed’. It’s not. The ancient Hebrew term for it is Kaneh Bosm. It’s in the bible. One of the main ingredients of Christianity’s holy oil. That’s right. The plant you haters that love Jesus (cough – Cesare Borgia) gave Yahweh his ‘magical’ powers. Let that sink in for a moment.
    The devils weed is actually a variant slang term which refers to Datura. Very potent and dangerous hallucinogenic flower which can kill people who are foolish enough to consume the seeds after they’ve matured inside a pod that looks like an apple had sex with a porcupine and then had a baby.
    Don’t believe it? Do your own research. Turn off the boob tube and learn something. Stop letting MSM fill your heads with manure. It’s getting stinky in there.
    Peace and wellness to those who accept it. For those who won’t – evolve already, damn it!

  3. Would you endorse your 12 uear old to hang around people even family that did this weed or other drugs? How do you rate parents that do this around their kids?

  4. t.j.g16@alabama on

    wish i could try this. but this sorta stuff isn’t very easy to come by where i’m from. maybe one day. then maybe i can stop taking these physically addictive opiate pain killers & just smoke! thanks for the look into a possible future for a free world.

  5. you all smoke marihuana and still fighting? what’s the purpose at the end of the day… doesn’t matter if you smoke “dab” or “hash” or a simple and non-sofisticated joint… make peace!!

  6. Just send him a bible and he’ll be O.K. !!! Or we could kidnap him and get him stoned then let the dice fall where they may !! :)

  7. I hear ya Painkills2, I have Ankylosing Spondylitis, and can’t afford the stuff that is covered by insurance, I want to get some MMJ but My Mormon controlled state won’t allow it !! Gasp…After all MMJ isn’t about getting high Just because you can ! It’s about the debilitating daily pain that never goes away, Regardless ! I’d give kidney right now to have a years supply of CBD Oil !! BTW Freeloader isn’t in the definition “Disabled” esp. when the disability comes as no fault of your own…Peace!

  8. Captain Sarcasm on

    Or… you could just instill some discipline in your son?

    Nah, that’s crazy talk. We should totally legislate morality for the rest of the world. Also, news flash, even where it is recreationally legal, the drug is not intended for minors. Especially not 14 year-olds, who of COURSE are not going to medicate responsibly. You should be the one controlling that! Not me and the rest of the electorate. Listen, Susan, if you do not want a “free for all,” how about starting that policy in your home?

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, my six year-old is into the Alprazolam again. She started using it for her anxiety when she was 2 (she is a very rambunctious little free spirit), and all the other kids at her playdates are trying to turn her on to Special K. They really need to regulate this stuff, for crying out loud! I know it serves a legitimate purpose for millions of grown-ups, but how long is D.C. going to be asleep at the wheel here?!

  9. Captain Sarcasm on

    You look like the paragon of success. Maybe someday I can grow up to be a sexual Tyrannosaurus and homo-superior like you.

    Were you able to defeat Bowser and save the Princess finally?

  10. Claus Terkildsen on

    to me it seems like a waste of perfectly good cannabis….all that burns or are exhaled are waste…like pouring liqor on the ground to some….

  11. Princess Libby on

    Nice try. You have control over your emotional state. When you come down, the depression remains so…. weed is no cure. Just be real and admit you like to smoke. Nobody is hating on you because you get high. Anyone could go buy some useless recreational drugs and make excuses to avoid the responsibility of facing reality and solving actual life problems.

  12. ICsMouse InvertedCow on

    You need to do research before you go judging people who use anything organic for medicine! Cannabis oil is used to treat things like Epilepsy!! Get off your Holier than thou pedestal you’ve put yourself on & get informed & stop buying to what the media tells you to believe. Find out the truth for yourself. I did. I know the real truth. Get your nickers out of the twist they’re in & inform yourself. Judgmental attitudes only cause people who need the help that this MEDICINE provides & are being denied it by big Pharma & the UN! Get informed & leave honest working people alone. You do NOT have first hand experience with this obviously.
    As far as dabs go, I don’t believe I’ve ever done one. From what I’m seeing here, My system would find dabbing too powerful. Thanks Johnny Green for the information. Information = knowledge = power.

  13. never heard this. I was looking for the dance thing. Why does this article assume anyone who doesn’t smoke weed is worthless. Seriosly you guys are looked down apon not avg. people. Get a job and have a family this is depressing that all you do all day is sit in a chair staring at the sky going “wooohoooo”

  14. You sorry ass hipster mother fuckers always think you invented something new.
    I was smoking thai-stick, lambs bread, blonde lebonese, & black opiated hash, before you were a sperm in your daddy’s nutsack.
    Dab this!!

  15. Terry viljoen on

    How meany times can u put butane throw the weed befor you can’t use it any more?

  16. Jeff Gabriel on

    Theyre the exact type of people who give people who just smoke a bad name. Not everyone is an idiot like this dude. So for you concerned parents that stumble across this dumbed downed version of learning please don’t worry. Some of us run million dollar business and just smoke. Like having a beer.

  17. Jeff Gabriel on

    Not hating at all just recognizing idiocy. I smoke weed but I sure don’t talk like this idiot “like totally bro we chillaxing over here with my brain and your brain and wait a minute? What’s a brain?” You may have a bachelor degree but you probly needed a masters. Do people actually talk like this dude? What a toolbag

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