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Flower or Shatter?

What You Need to Know About Choosing Herbs or Dabs

With marijuana laws changing all over the country, and use becoming much more common (and tolerated), it's not surprising that people may be branching out and trying different things. And while pipes, joints, blunts, edibles, and bongs are all great, there's another increasingly popular method that is making its rounds, concentrates.

Often labeled as wax, dabs, shatter, and BHO (just to name a few), concentrates provide a unique high for its users and are also much easier to hide. With the popularity of small vape pens, dabs are becoming increasingly popular, especially among younger users and college students—an effective way to get high with nearly no smell.

Take it from me, nobody at my university smoked weed, they only used the dab cartridges. I didn't even go to school in a legal state, and it was still more popular than buds.

But, what are some of the main differences between herb and concentrate? Is one better or worse?

Well, here are some basics:

Flower

  • Averages anywhere between 10-25 percent THC, depending on the strain
  • Smoked through papers, bongs, pipes, or a vaporizer
  • High lasts (typically) 3 to 5 hours
  • Distinct odor

Concentrate

  • Averages anywhere between 65-95 percent THC
  • Smoked typically through a rig or a vaporizer
  • High can last up to 10 hours
  • Subtle smell, very discreet

Taking dabs can be quite the experience. Having just had my first interaction with dabs recently, I can attest that the effects are nothing like smoking weed. For me, it was like eating an entire edible, but feeling the effects immediately without the typical gradual growth. I should also add that I'm a lightweight, and took a very small dab through a vape pen. It was easily the most psychoactive experience I've ever had on marijuana.

But, that doesn't exactly mean that it was pleasant. I felt good for about 30 minutes, and then that massive train of paranoia hit me head-on. I did even start to hallucinate a little bit, which isn’t exactly the experience I aiming for. I learned the hard way that dosing gets more difficult with more potent material.

But whether or not you should try it comes down to what you're looking for. Personally, I prefer the effects of bud more than dabs. It's just enough to make me feel good without overdoing it. But if a more intense high is more up your alley, go ahead and try it. What is nice about the changing laws is that you can check the potency right on the packaging. In a legal state such as Massachusetts, you can pick up a cartridge or pack of concentrates with all of the information written right on it. It's safer than ever to experiment with different materials. I still advise you to go slow. No need to take a massive rip to enjoy yourself.

Now I understand that not everyone lives in a legal state, and I feel very sorry for them. But if you have access to herb you can safely make your own concentrates. I don’t condone illegal activity however, so you didn’t hear it from me.

As you can probably tell, there are huge differences between the use of traditional marijuana and the use of concentrates. It is a whole different animal, I dare say it's a bigger jump from herb to dabs than from herb to edibles. Just be careful, be smart, be with people you trust and can help you in case anything happens, and enjoy yourself! Go grab some Doritos, pizza, friends, put on The Office, and have yourself a good time! Or be like me and do all of that, minus the friends...

Hey, at least I have Jim and Dwight.

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