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My Path to Dabbing
The Frosty Ice Bong
When my friends and I started out smoking cannabis, we would use whatever paraphenalia we could get our hands on – a metal pipe, a glass pipe, a cheap plastic bong, and for those who knew how, a rolled blunt or joint. After college, I began solo use, and brought dugouts and one-hitters into my habit. These methods seemed harsh after a while, so I invested in an ice bong. I would say to myself at this time, “what could be a better consumption experience than a frosty ice bong hit?”
Eventually, the burned throats and coughing fits got to be too much for me. While those ice bong hits were smooth on the inhale, they also tended to be harsh on the tail end. So, I started to look for alternatives. I had a friend who had obtained a desktop vaporizer years back for medical use and gave that a try once or twice with him, so figured I’d take the plunge myself and picked up my own vaporizer. While it was much more gentle on the lungs, I found that vaporizing dry flower just never got me high the same way I did when smoking flower directly. I tried to stick with it for as long as I could, but after a few months, I was back to the ice bong.
Next up was the vape cart, containing THC distillate. I got access to these and was all about it at first. Here is something with the portability of a dugout, and seeming to carry the same benefit to me as smoked cannabis. And it’s easier to sneak into a concert. One can enjoy a puff on a vape pen in almost any situation. But then, for the first time ever, I started having shortness-of-breath. Although I have no direct evidence, I attribute this symptom to the carts, because when I stopped using them, the symptom went away. Sorry, but I’m not willing to put up with shortness-of-breath just to have a more convenient and discreet method of consuming cannabis. As I learned more about THC distillate, I learned that substances such as propolene glycol were probably part of what I was vaping. [While this substance is generally recognized as safe by the FDA for human consumption, the FDA has no comment on its fitness for human inhalation. -Ed.] I strongly believe my breathing discomfort was caused by the additives.
The Dabbit Hole
I attended Burning Man a couple of times, and it was quite an adventure! A great example of how when you see something in person it looks a lot different than hearsay, which applies to pretty much everything. When the Big Sick first hit, Burning Man 2020 was canceled like so many other events, and they did a bunch of virtual online events instead. I met an experienced solventless extractor at one of these events, he taught me that not all concentrates. Having thought in the past that all such concentrates contained adulterants and/or harsh solvents, I was intrigued to learn that there were ways to produce concentrates without the use of any chemicals at all. From there, I went down the “dabbit hole.”
I researched all kinds of methods for dabbing and got myself a dab pen. I haven’t turned back since. I tried doing ice bong hits out of curiousity once about 6 months ago, and I almost coughed out a lung. Enough of that! Dabs or bust. Solventless rosin is the best of all cannabis worlds: with no relative drawbacks I can point to, it has the effectiveness of flower, the smoothness of vaping, and the convenience of distillate carts, all rolled into one.