What is the Best Way to Do Dabs?
Dabbing is the common terms for smoking or vaping concentrated cannabis. While it has been around for nearly a decade, there are still some uncertainties as to how to perform this technique. TWB has posted about dabs before, but we wanted to give you the lowdown on different ways to do dabs so you can decide which method is the best for you.
The preference for the concentrated version over the cannabis flower lies in its much stronger and powerful kick. The potency comes from its 70 to 90% THC content and no dead plant matter. With the heightened popularity of the ‘dabs’, the increased attention to consumption methods are growing. The below methods are guaranteed whether you are novice or pro.
- Dab Rig
This is only advised if you know what you’re doing and have a high tolerance. The rig consists of four components; oil rig, torch, nail and wand. The concentrated marijuana goes on the wand. You heat the nail with the torch and once hot, dab the the concentrate and inhale.
A similar but alternative method is using the electric nail. Similar to the Dab Rigs, except that instead of a torch, the nail is plugged in to heat up. You get more control over the temperature this way and can be sure to vaporize concentrates rather than combusting.
- Health Stone
This stone is a porous rock that you place in your bowl-piece. The marijuana is placed directly on the stone; no dab tool required. You still need a torch to heat the stone which then vaporizes the dab. This method works best for any concentrates like hash or crumble.
- Dab Pen
This is the most convenient way to use highly-concentrated cannabis. The pens are easy to use and portable and you don’t need a torch or any tools. The biggest complaint of the pens is the plastic aftertaste that gets left in your mouth, but it is not the worst thing, considering you can just pour the liquid in and go.
- Pre-Filled Vape Cartridges
Easy to use, these cartridges can be used in a dab pen that allow for refills or an e-cigarette or vape pens. These are very discreet and convenient but can be pricey too.
When you have super potent cannabis, you can mix it with some dry herb, creating ‘twax’. It offers a pleasurable experience but the high is sub-par to other methods. When rolled with flowers, the dab will burn slower making it perfect to share.
Whichever method you decide upon, one of these popular methods will be the better choice. Then all you have to do is decide what type of concentrate you want, shatter, crumble, wax or oil, and in a short matter of time your dabbing experience will be under way.
As the weather warms up, so do most smokers. There is something about the spring and summer months that brings out the toker in all of us. And, sometimes, it brings out our green thumbs, too!
For the more enthusiastic cannabis lover, their attention often turns from rolling joints to another facet of the plant—cultivation. Around this time every year we get flooded with questions from the home hobbyist asking about growing “just one little pot plant” in their own home.
Well, that’s music to our ears here at HIGH TIMES! After all, we’ve been doing this for 40 years, and now it is 2015 and marijuana is (mostly) legal in over half the country. And to be sure, no law enforcement is going to harass you over just one plant, even on their slowest day.
How to Begin
First, let’s remove any fear you may have that this is going to be difficult. It is not.
We call it “weed” for a reason—because it grows easily and anywhere, like a weed. That being said, there is one central aspect to growing a pot plant that everyone needs to understand, and that is that cannabis is a flowering plant, meaning that in nature it bears its fruits only once a year, during the fall season when the daylight hours grow shorter.
This is important for the home indoor grower because the light period, or photoperiod, of the plant must be controlled. What this simply means is that a pot plant must be placed in 12+ hours of light every day in order to keep the plant from flowering.
You might ask, “Why not just let the plant flower immediately and harvest some nice buds and get to the smoking?”
Well, in truth, you could do that. But if an immature plant flowers too early, there won’t be much harvest to be had. Ideally, a pot plant need to grow, or “vegetate,” for at least a few weeks before flowering. Otherwise, the harvesting of it’s fruit will be extremely disappointing.
In order to keep a plant in vegetation and to garner a healthy, well-developed specimen, a young seedling should be grown for four to six weeks before flowering is induced. During this time, the plant should get a minimum of 16 hours of light, but 18-20 hours is a safer bet. To do this indoors—even near a window with good sunlight—a lamp will be needed to ensure the proper length of its photoperiod.
Your lamp is going to be the most expensive part of the process, but there are relatively inexpensive lamps available that will do the job. Serious growers use more specialized and expensive lamps, but to grow just one plant at home, many lights will work. A 250-watt HID (high-intensity discharge) bulb—either an HPS (high-pressure sodium) or MH (metal halide)—can be found in hardware stores such as Lowe’s or Home Depot for as little as $25. However, these bulbs do require a specialized HID fixture and/or ballast, as they do not screw into any standard home fixture safely. (These fixtures may run as much as $200.)
Alternatively, if you do have a window with very good light and the power of the sun for a good portion of the day, you can also use fluorescent bulbs to supplement the sunlight after sunset. Fluorescent bulbs such as T5’s, T8’s or even CFL’s can provide enough light to keep your plant in a vegetative state.
However, remember that the less intense the light, the less the plant will develop. The option of fluorescent bulbs should only be used as supplemental light for plants that receive strong sunlight during the day. If the light provided during the day is too weak, a plant will stretch wildly and not develop well enough for a harvest. If this is the case, consider using the 250-watt HID option for the full 12-hour photoperiod during flowering, away from a window in it’s own enclosed location.
Triggering the Flowering Cycle
Once your plant has developed enough and reached a point that she can produce enough flowers for a decent harvest, it is time to bring her light cycle to an even 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark each day. This does not mean that you will no longer need your lamp though. During the 12-hour photoperiod of flowering, the plant will need the strongest light possible to help her produce energy for her fruit.
If your plant could be in direct sunlight for these 12 hours, you would not need strong supplemental lighting. However, even outdoors this is usually not possible. Your best option for flowering is to move your plant into an enclosed location such as a closet or cabinet where you can hang your lamp overhead and control the light cycle exactly as needed. To do this, use a standard outlet timer and set it to a 12-hour cycle.
During the dark cycle, it is extremely important that no light enters the plant space. Any light leaks can disrupt the plant’s flowering and cause stress or confuse the plant, forcing her to hermaphrodite (creating seeded flowers) or severely weaken yield and quality.
Other Tips & Tricks
Aside from your light and the possible need for an enclosed space, other considerations for your plant include container types, mediums and nutrients. Because this discussion pertains to a single plant, there are many viable options for these aspects of cultivation.
The best options for plant containers are those that offer breathability, such as fabric pots. Other considerations for plant pots include drainage holes and saucers to catch run-off. Remember not to let your plants sit in stagnant water for long periods of time as the pH will change and eventually be redrawn by the medium and the plant. Siting water also attracts bugs and molds.
In terms of medium, a small bag of organic potting soil usually will do the trick just fine. Peat-, coco-, or sphagnum-based mediums are also excellent choices. Remember to choose an airy medium that will allow air to penetrate the root zone. Roots breath in oxygen, while the plant above ground breathes in CO2.
Some mediums, especially organic soils, may come with mild organic nutrients such as guano or sea kelp already mixed in. This will lessen the amount of nutrients you will need to give your plant and may not require any feedings at all until you begin flowering. Recommendations for nutrients also tend towards the organic side whenever possible. Steer clear of salt-heavy synthetics such as Miracle Gro and other artificial nutrients, as they will cause more problems than they are worth.
Other than those points, remember that growing a pot plant—or any plant for that matter—is an exercise that connects you with nature. The goal is to enjoy the process, to learn and to have fun!
Thanks for reading everyone and remember: Grow… And help the world grow, too!
To the surprise of many, tinctures are actually a form of extraction — concentrating herbs into their most potent form with the use of alcohol (similar to how vanilla extract is produced).
A simple dropper full of tincture can do amazing things for anxiety, sleep, focus, pain, immunity boost, allergies (the list goes on). Tinctures are a simple way to replenish and infuse your body with herbal power.
Tinctures are versatile — they can be taken directly under the tongue or mixed into your favorite drink for a more soothing experience.
Alcohol-based tinctures are the standard in most herbology practices because of their long shelf-life of several years and the effective way alcohol strips all the beneficial goodness from herbs. However, there are plenty of alternatives to alcohol extraction. I personally love glycerin tinctures because they’re sweet like honey, making them a great addition to tea. Apple cider vinegar can also be used as an alcohol substitute. For a tasty compromise, many herbalists combine alcohol and glycerin to take away some of alcohol’s bite in their tinctures. If you’re avoiding alcohol but want to make an alcohol-based tincture, you can use the tincture in hot drinks or foods so that the alcohol evaporates off before ingestion.
Herbal Tincture Recipe
What You’ll Need:
A clean glass jar with a lid
Enough herbs of your choice (see below) to fill half of the jar
Consumable alcohol that’s at least 80-proof (Vodka or Rum work great, as do Apple Cider Vinegar and food-grade Vegetable Glycerine if you’re avoiding alcohol)
Let’s Talk Herbs…
This tincture is designed to reduce anxiety, so we’ve selected herbs that are known to be calming. A tincture is really a blank canvas, you can add any herbs you want to achieve your desired effect. Check out this article about herbs to help you sleep and this article about herbs to help you focus, then try them out in your tincture recipes. It’s fun to experiment because you can’t really go wrong!
Valerian is an incredibly calming herb used to treat PTSD, anxiety, and panic attacks.
Skullcap is an effective, tension-relieving herb that helps reduce restlessness and racing thoughts.
Passionflower helps melt stress and anxiety while restoring healthy, productive energy.
Kava is one of the most potent anti-anxiety herbs in the world. It is typically consumed as a tea but can be added to tinctures for stress and anxiety relief.
This recipe can be made with or without cannabis, but all of us here at Marijuana.com can attest that adding cannabis will take your tincture to the next medicinal level.
Cannabis is an incredibly powerful medicinal herb. However, when it comes to anxiety, things can get a little tricky. Marijuana has the notorious reputation of instilling a sense of paranoia, and thus, anxiety. High doses of THC without the proper counterbalance of CBD can produce feelings of anxiety, and in some cases, induce a panic attack. This is why it is important, especially for an anti-anxiety tincture, to source high-CBD cannabis. This will make all the difference. High-CBD cannabis is classified as a 1:1 ratio of CBD:THC or higher. Marijuana that tests in this range is very effective at reducing and eliminating anxiety.
Fill your jar halfway with herbs, without packing them down. You can mix your herbs in any ratio you please to fit your specific needs. I wanted mine to be cannabis-dominant so I’m going to add 1 cup of CBD cannabis flower (hash works great as well, just add about half). I carry a lot of my anxiety as shoulder and neck tension, so I’m going to add ½ cup of skullcap which is great for reducing muscle tension. And to finish off my jar I’m going to add ¼ cup of valerian to calm my racing heart and thoughts.
Optional step: Add boiling water, just enough to dampen the herbs in order to activate and release more medicinal benefits.
Fill the rest of your jar with alcohol (or a substitute). Remember, you can always do a combination of alcohol and glycerin (or honey if you don’t have glycerin on hand). I’m going to add a couple tablespoons of honey to ensure some extra sweetness in my rum-based tincture. Stir with a clean utensil to mix all that goodness together!
Tightly close the lid, place the jar in a cool and dark location, and patiently wait. Make sure to give it a little shake every couple of days. In 4-6 weeks it will be fully infused and ready for the final step!
Here we are, 4-6 weeks later and your tincture is fully infused and looking beautiful. It’s time to strain out the herbs and collect the tincture. Use a cheesecloth to strain the herbs as you pour out your liquid concentrate. You can either pour your tincture directly into a dropper bottle or into another airtight container to transfer into dropper bottles later. The used herbs make great compost or chicken snacks.
Now, it’s time to finally enjoy your tincture! For dosing, take 1-2 droppers full at the first sign of anxiety. For me, an alcohol-based tincture is a little too much to put under my tongue so I typically place my tincture into a hot cup of tea which will evaporate the active alcohol.
I’d love to hear about your experiences and your personalized tincture recipes in the comments below.
“The First Time I Got High” is the name of a short story that most of us have written in our heads, but of course the ending is different for just about everyone. In an ideal world, they all have happy endings. Maybe you a new crawded friend, or you understand the misunderstood nature of a scopion, or run around town using a dog’s belt as hats (all of which are true stories according to Leafly reviews).
Unfortunately, not everyone has such a whimsical time. Some first experiences come with anxiety, paranoia, dissociation, racing heart or thoughts, and/or other unpleasant sensations. A bad trip can even be enough to swear off cannabis for a lifetime, so when introducing someone to cannabis for the first time, it’s important that you know how to do so properly.
So listen up, trip sitters. Here’s some semi-obvious advice that will help ensure your smoking buddy will sing songs of cannabis’s glory forevermore (or at least smoke with you a second time).
1. Create a comfortable set and setting.
Think about how much your environment affects you while you’re high: when you’re around your best friend versus a crowd of strangers; when you’re inside versus outside; or when you’re at home versus at a busy grocery store. Setting and mood is everything.
If it’s someone’s first time trying cannabis, help them do so in their happy place. Anxiety-prone individuals might want to try it out at home first with a friend that he/she is comfortable around. Put on some music. Plan an outdoor adventure. Load up on funny movies (may I suggest The ROOM). Order in food or have a picnic. Boot up Mario Kart.
There are endless ways to design a perfectly chill first-time experience. What’s most important is that the person feels in control of their environment and surrounded by people and activities he/she enjoys.
2. Know that THC sensitivities differ from person to person, and consider a high-CBD strain.
Too many times, I’ve heard heavyweight stoners pushing cannabis on newbies. “Come on, that was a wimpy hit. DO IT AGAIN,” like they’re an initiate at THC boot camp. If someone’s putting THC in their body for the first time, let them process that wimpy hit. That might just be plenty for them at this point.
If your curious friend or family member is iffy on high-THC strains, try offering something high in CBD. A minimally psychoactive strain or product can be the perfect opportunity for one to dip a toe into the world of cannabis. It also helps to demonstrate that cannabis doesn’t have to be about becoming a twice-baked potato. Relaxation and stress relief, it turns out, doesn’t have to cost your ability to function.
3. Don’t whip out the 3-foot bong first.
Unless your friend demands the 3-foot bong because that’s how he/she always pictured this moment, maybe start with something less intimidating. Consider a small pipe, or better yet, a vaporizer. These apparatuses allow for better dose control, and they’re less likely to scorch your buddy’s throat (redemption points for the sensei who keeps throat coat tea with honey on hand, just in case your friend biffs the inhale).
4. If you’re doing edibles, start small. Very small.
I’ll start out by saying that edibles are a bad idea for first timers. Anyone who’s tried cannabis infused edibles knows that they can push euphoria’s ceiling to the psychedelic heavens, and large doses can drive one into temporary insanity. To the cannabis virgin, even standard doses can be overwhelming.
So, for the love of all things good in this world, start small. Try a 5mg edible (that has been tested and confirmed), and let them ride the peak before introducing more.
5. Key into your friend’s head space and know what to do if they’re having a bad time.
Despite your best efforts to create a perfect first-time experience, sometimes cannabis just doesn’t agree with its consumer. Keep a pulse on your friend’s mood and head space by checking in with them; if they’re experiencing unpleasant symptoms, here are a few ways to help them manage them.
Some people experience increased heart rate, dizziness, headaches, and other unpleasant symptoms, but know that these should pass with time. Most bad trips induced by cannabis manifest simply as anxiety or paranoia (my friends and I like to call this beast “The Fear”). In this instance, try exercising a few of these tips:
- Relocate to a comfortable place if you aren’t already. Sometimes simply being home solves everything.
- Relax with music, a hot shower, and/or aromatherapy (black paper oil is particularly clutch for acute anxiety).
- Laughter is the great weapon of anxiety; throw on a stupid movie, crack some jokes, or read some strain reviews
- Pump the water. Hydration can help prevent many discomforts caused by cannabis.
- Get some fresh air. Going for a walk outside and filling your lungs with fresh, clean air can be immensely therapeutic for anyone undergoing anxiety, whether induced by cannabis or not.
- Try a CBD only products. CBD is known to counteract some of THC’s anxious side effects, especially when combined with any of the relaxing activities listed above.
And above all, remember that no one on earth has died of a cannabis overdoseand everything will be okay. (Besides, if our friend Josh survived a 2,080my edible, we’re confident your friend will make it, too.)
“Traveling leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller,” said the great traveler Ibn Battuta.
This statement couldn’t be truer of traveling through Canada. We have an enormous country geographically and with that “embarrassment of acreage” comes a widely diverse population, spread across great distances but still sharing the common traits of what it is to be Canadian.
Now with upcoming legislation that will allow the country to sell recreational MJ nationwide, the opportunity for cannabis enthusiasts to see the great white north is upon us, and tour companies are planning to roll out “cannatourism” packages as soon as legally possible.
One such company based in BC, CannaTour, is billed as “The number one leading tourism agency that provides individuals with access to the Canadian cannabis industry in its entirety.” Ashley Moore is the Customer Service Manager and Sales Rep and she is confident that this is going to be big. “We are born and raised residents of BC and have access to growers, producers, dispensaries, and other amazing experiences.” Moore wants the tours to reflect the diverse country of Canada by introducing travelers to the men and women of the cannabis community.
Moore has been getting ready to provide her services on a broader scale once legalization is in place and she has seen increasing interest in marijuana tourism. “The demand for tourism in Canada, in general, is exploding, the cannabis tourism scene is also growing fast in terms of suppliers who want to work with us and the customer lists we are gathering. At the end of the day, millions of people around the world will visit Canada for tourism, and many of them will want to try cannabis and use our service.”
Moore is restricted in her activities to a certain extent, but not for long. “What we offer [right now]is somewhat VIP in the sense that we do things that can be considered a ‘grey area’ [in the eyes of the law]. Clients will get to tour cannabis growing operations, experience production facilities for Co2 oil, etc., tour the dispensaries in Vancouver or Toronto on an air conditioned bus, tons of outdoor activities like mountain biking, fishing, hiking, skiing all done while using cannabis.”
They’re also helping educate people on the new marijuana industry coming to Canada and assisting interested entrepreneurs who want to enter the cannabis business. “We will offer packages to meet business owners if a client’s desire is to enter the Canadian cannabis industry, we help with networking and sending people in the right direction.”
So the preparation continues for Ashley and her team as well as others looking to offer travel packages to cannabis lovers, and she is excited to expand once Trudeau opens the doors. “Right now we are offering some exclusive tours to hand selected clients. When legalization takes place, we will open that up slowly to a wider audience using what was said above in the context of tourism. Over time, we hope to be a liaison for those interested in Canadian cannabis and those who want to experience tourism here.”
No matter who you are or where you came from, as long as you are not a member of ISIS you will be welcomed in Canada. For those of us who love to travel (and that is most of us) the only thing better than visiting a new destination, would be if you were able to do it with your friend Mary Jane. Barring any red tape issues from the feds, by next year that will be our reality.