What Are Dabs?

 Posted by at 6:36 AM on January 8, 2014  Cannabis Tips and Tricks
Jan 082014
 January 8, 2014

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 have 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.

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, as seen in the picture below:

old school hash

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


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. If you have a solid definition for dabs, please place it in the comments section so that others can benefit from your knowledge:

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

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

“pandora’s box”

About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • garritt

    Its what used to be called butane hash. New age kids renamed it dabs.

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    • Jon

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    • JoBLow

      fucking scammers

    • jet

      but…….do you ship to states where its still illegal???

  • http://www.bitcoinseedstore.com BitcoinSeedstore

    This stuff is still pretty much unheard of in the UK

    • Mike

      no its not its BHO we’ve had it for years

      • http://www.bitcoinseedstore.com BitcoinSeedstore

        Yes but if you ask the majority of people under 50 they don’t have a clue about either!

  • Clear head and lungs

    Dabs – just another form of cannibis used by dead end pot head losers to cope with the fact that they cant enjoy life without the frequent ingestion of sometype of mind altering substance. Dab away u fucking losers – get more ignorant with each hit.

    • danny

      Im guessing you are not one of the millions of losers who find an excuse to get hammered off of alcohol and pretend that you are better than your counterpart because the substance you choose to ingest is not illegal???

    • Capwhan

      Just because you don’t like it or perhaps you are scared of doing it doesn’t warrant you ripping on it. Have you ever tried pot? I kinda think not. But I’ll bet you smoke tobacco. Don’t knock it if you never tried it!

      • whateverFloats


    • mel

      I would love for you to call a sick chemotherapy patient a dead end pot head loser for being sick……
      Dabs may be the next big thing, but is not for everyone. However, it should not matter what any person chooses to do with their life.
      Im sorry for you. I will pray good energy be sent your way. Hopefully in the future you do not choose to reach out in a negative way.
      Remember this person has every right to share their feelings, and please send your positive energy their way. Maybe with enough love this person will have a better day and will not pass negative vibes to the world.
      Peace and love

    • nightsralker

      Some people like beer some people like weed some like coffee or cigarettes. all of them would be illegal if found today but thank God none of them are where I live. everybody has a vice whether it be nicotine caffeine drugs or even religion. I have a little piece of paper from the state saying I am legal to consume marijuana so if I’m not breaking any laws and I’m not hurting anyone else I guess no one has any right to judge me. I won’t judge the guy next to me who play is illegal poker once a month with his friends in his basement or the person who goes to a strip club after a hard day at work or even a person who goes to church every Sunday morning. I know I’m going to catch some hell calling religion a vice but it is to everyone who doesn’t believe in the religion

    • Lifeishortbutsweet

      My lower back and hips are reinforced with metal. My spine is fused from T2-S1 (from the top 1/3rd of my back to the bottom) then my spine is fused to my hips. Pot, hash and dabs have made me able to function without getting hooked on pain killers. Remember that everyone who smokes or takes pain pills and has an addiction aren’t all taking them for recreation. Also pot doesn’t make u dumb, it opens your mind.

      • Ty

        I used marijuana recreational for 4 years. The initial reason for back pain. I began to enjoy the relaxation it produces and mind opening experience that comes with it. I experienced music differently, it altered my perception of life and life situations. After prolonged use, I started to lose my inherited thought process and perception of my life. I took things less seriously, depression was easier to fall into and harder to get out of and lasted for months at a time. I lost ambition/motivation to achieving and progress in my life. I was going backwards and weed was making me complacent with how I was living my life. Haven’t smoked in 2 years and looking back on the experience made me realize that the “open mindedness” I thought weed was creating for me, was not reality. In actuality, it was taking me further away from realities of life allowing me to think that everything is fine. For me, I figured out that marijuana suppressed that innate “panic button” I once had, the thing that made me recognize that something wasn’t ok and that I had to be proactive in making some sort of a change to get a different result. Instead of the pot response, “everything will be fine”, “I need to relax”. Sometimes stress is good, it forces you realize you need to make a change.
        Maybe some people can still do these things with pot, I could not. I don’t believe it “opens your mind” to realities of life, I think it opens up your mind to escape the realities you don’t want to deal with.

        • Daniel

          “Maybe some people can still do these things with pot, I could not.”

          You knowingly began to use marijuana to suppress or ignore issues in your life. If you were prone to depression, and “panic” before you used marijuana, how do rationalize attributing your problems to prolonged use?

          • MamaJune

            Did you even read the post? He used pot for back pain, and found it to eventually be a demotivater, found himself to be too complacent with the crappy things instead of trying to better himself. I’m an avid smoker but I understand completely what he’s saying, pot stops me from stressing, but sometimes stress and panic is an excellent means of motivating oneself.

    • Chris

      Aggression & verbal abuse – Just another form of fear control used by wacko right wingers to cope with the fact that their parents didn’t give them any hugs when they were young & can’t enjoy the frequent abuse of their children because they’ve run away from home. Scream away you ignorant bible thumper & keep giving $ to the Catholic Church to defend another child molester.

    • evergreen

      I may be stupid, but I’m not smart…

    • Thatonestoner

      The only one who’s ignorant is you my friend.

    • Nana

      I agree with you! They get more retarted with each hit ! Jus pure ignorance with all of these drug addicts! Enjoy life in a healthy way people

      • You are both ignorant

        Fuck you are both too damn retarded I’m valedictorian and can go to any damn college I want and I smoke every damn day

    • Damian Pritchett

      You probably cant enjoy life without coffee in the morning.

    • Monica

      Dead end pothead losers? I work a full time job and attend college full time where I have kept a 4.0 GPA the entire time I have been in school, which is over 3 years. I have a wonderful life and live every facet of my life. Tell me again how I fall under your pathetic argument.

    • Gama

      Pot head engineer loving father right here, I wonder what you do for life.

  • Elle Marie Miller

    Im such a loser lol i want dabs lol

  • Teve

    I think the word “dab” just refers to the point that you only need a little amount of bho to get really high. Does anyone know who actually invented dabbing? They should give it a official name, and a crown lol

  • james

    basically its honey oil which is not new its been around the east coast for years just new names for it.

    • greendevil

      I’m from the west coast and that’s what we’ve called it for decades too… Just a new name for those who wanna be cool and sound like they’ve come up with a new fad, when all they’ve done is coined a new term lol.

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  • 1978

    I cant help but wonder how high one needs to be and at what point does weed become the drug we all defend it not to be?

    • jessi

      Thats exactly what Im saying! Weed is weed. Don’t try to change it into something “better” it’s supposed to be natural. That’s what makes it different from all the other recreational drugs. And why the hell do you need to feel like your in “pandoras box”?? There is such thing as too high.

    • AnonymousAndy

      That’s exactly what a lot of us think. Well said. That said, I’m like most, a supporter of Medicinal Cannabis and am myself. I do not mess with BHO. I tried a Cloud V pen and Blackberry Shatter but it tasted like burnt plastic and gave the affect of multiple edibles. I do prefer ingestion over inhalation though, simply because it’s far less cerebral. I suffer insomnia, anxiety, PTSD and cramps thanks to genetics. And Cannabis helps me sleep like a baby. Oh also I have prostate issues and cannabis actually relaxes muscles so well that I empty bladder completely and don’t have to wake every hour to use toilet. Anyways. What you said is true. When having to get so high actually make people notice it’s being abused just like a drug and a dependency. Best example is that guy on youtube mixing multiple dry herb with multiple concentrates. It’s too much. Cannabis is amazing but should be treated with respect and people need to calm down about smoking in public and getting as high as you possibly can. It’s demonized reputation is barely changing because of this. PS where I live the County put a moratorium on rec shops. And continue extending it because of these negative reasons. Thanks for reading.

      • buddy

        i totally agree, some of these products are a bit much. I did try the shatter mixed with glycol in a vape pen from a site called bc medi pens and it was def tasty but a bit expensive.

    • http://weeddealer.ca WeedDealerVancouverBC

      Ever hear of hard alcohol? Well, dabs is the hard alcohol version of marijuana only its better for you because it has less carcinogens. So quit thinking like you are from Ontario… Or are you, cause that’s what you sound like you know.

  • miguel

    4dollars for 2 stickers. what better price could i get, indeed

  • joe

    Watd he say? Keyed as ish?

  • Blunthit

    Personally to me dabs and weed they just a good ass combination I hit em both up In the same bong get fucked up with freinds and I have had a good day

  • Ray

    “You really need to get out more?” What’s with you idiots constantly bashing those who choose not to take a hit or do it in general..? If they don’t judge your choices to do it, what gives you the right to pass judgment on those who chose not to? Talk about closed minded.

    • Nina

      Bruh you need to chill. Thats just stuff people say all the time. Dont get offended over one line out of that whole post. Obviously this site is for stoners thats why the writer said that and if you dont do it then why the fuck are you on here anyway? Lol

      • tiger

        I kinda took offense to that too. I choose not to smoke because I won’t risk my job (I have a family and house to take care of) but I am a long time marijuana advocate. Apart from being carefree enough to be an all day user, I have always been interested in the fact that its medicinal properties haven’t been exploited.

  • occasional toker

    Why do people want the strongest weed possible? How do you even enjoy yourself if you cant even move and with stuff strong enough to make you paranoid? Take a break from weed and let your tolerance let you enjoy mids again.

    • Tim

      thanks mom

    • YabbaDabs

      Lol you’re username says it all, for people that smoke weed all day every day, the process of smoking throughout the day can be a chore, or you can just take a couple dabs and be set for the rest of the day

      • Mike

        Lol. A chore. And they say pot isn’t addictive? Lazy fuckers complaining about smoking pot like it’s too hard. Take out the garbage and do the dishes unless that’s too much of a chore also. Choke on your own filth.

  • hattaways1627

    I live in a small town of central-west coast of Fl jus recently started “researching” dabs but cannot find sum newhere out here! Plzzz Help

  • http://weeddealer.ca WeedDealerVancouverBC

    What are dabs, and why should we switch to dabs instead of smoking flowers?
    Dabs are the way to go if you are into efficiency. You can smoke an entire joints worth the THC in one hit that only takes about 30 seconds. Saving the 20 minutes it takes to roll and smoke a joint is way too much for me now that I’ve found dabs. A little hint too, everyone uses cold water in their bongs right? Do you find your self coughing a lot? Try using warm-hot water in your bong. Its weird, the smoke actually feels much more humid their for not causing you to cough as much. #McChronalds is a great place for Canadian’s to get their thc extracts for dabs.

    • http://twincitiescommons.blogspot.com/ Sully Bach

      It’s not that efficient. you waste a lot of weed making it.

      • http://weeddealer.ca WeedDealerVancouverBC

        Yes, but what about smoking it. You only need to take 1 toke to get where you need to go. Say you just buy your thc extracts, it takes you literally 40 seconds to get the entire effect that rolling and smoking an entire joint does. So, if you are a busy person, dabs is going to save you tones of time, you wont get stinkey clothes or fingers and you wont get munchies like smoking a joint. So not to argue, but with my busy life style, dabs are the way to go for the most part.

        • Slick Richard

          here in the uk. Its only growers who get ‘Dabs’, usually. They make it off the head leaf they trim off the Bud. If they do sell it, you pay a premium for it. My advive, grow a few plants yourself, an then you can keep your own trim to make your Dabs (honey oil,UK name)

  • Slick Richard

    we call it honey oil in Liverpool. Also cal the Hash you make off the head leaf, Scuff or Isolator weed. Knot for the faint hearted

  • Nig

    Did you even read the post?

  • allie

    Stay ur all high

  • allie

    Stfu ur all high

  • Thepastorteddy

    “God’s truth about marijuana” jesusworksministry.org

  • fuck you

    your bong looks like a dildo dude

  • betterlivingthruchemicals

    This is fine for some, and dangerous for others. I came here to find out what dabs, or dabbing, is. My reason? Well I have 2 young grandchildren that spend half time with each parent. I have provided transpo for them to and from school. Many times I have dropped them at their dad’s and found his girlfriend sleeping…middle of the afternoon with two other small children basically left on their own while their mom sleeps off her recent high. I have to wake her up to take care of the kids. No she doesn’t work outside the home,,,and not much inside either based on the filthy conditions of said home. She and my son are now into dabs. If this is a quicker and more intense high, then the crash can only be just as intense. So my question is, what happens to these 4 kids ages 5-9? They are exposed to the smoke daily, also the lack of cleanliness in the home. They say they are “recreational” users….on a daily basis. I have nothing against marijuana, but I do have a problem with people’s irresponsible use of it…

    • kh

      wtf is wrong with your kids, they should not be smoking that young, they’re fucked

  • jess

    In simple English i think dabs are oils from really compressed dehydrated weed lol just my opinion