Photography by Jonathan Coward for Herb
Hash oil is an increasingly popular way to consume cannabis. You may know it under any number of other names, including shatter, dabs, wax, or BHO. Many cannabis enthusiasts prefer to consume hash oil because it can be vaporized in a dab rig, which feels very similar to smoking, but is easier on the lungs. It also preserves the flavor of the cannabis’ terpenes, and allows cannabis enthusiasts to consume MORE concentrated and isolated cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and THCA.
If you’re consuming hash oil out of a dab rig, to say you’re “smoking” is a bit of a misnomer. You may still hear many people say “smoking dabs” rather than “vaporizing dabs,” simply because it’s easier to say.
But if you insist on smoking hash oil, there are definitely ways to do so.
Smoking hash oil is comically easy. The easiest way is to put hash oil in a joint. Follow these simple steps to have a good time.
1. Ground up enough cannabis to roll a normal sized joint—the kind you would smoke on any other day.
2. Roll a filter for your hash joint using filter tips. If you don’t have those, you can use a business card or something of a similar material.
3. Put the filter in the end of your rolling paper. Sprinkle half of the ground cannabis in your rolling paper.
4. Put a few drops of hash oil on the cannabis in the rolling paper.
5. Sprinkle the remaining ground cannabis over the hash oil in the rolling paper.
6. Finish rolling the joint, light, and smoke.
You can also smoke hash oil in a bong. This is a similar concept to smoking hash oil in a joint. Follow these simple steps.
1. Ground up enough cannabis to pack a bowl that’s slightly smaller than average for you. The reason for this is that hash oil is potent, so it’s best to be careful with your dosing.
2. Pack your bowl piece with the ground up cannabis.
3. Put a small drop of hash oil on top of the cannabis in the bowl, right where it meets the size of the bowl piece.
4. Put your mouth to the bong and inhale extremely slowly while hovering your lighter just above the drop of hash oil. The fire shouldn’t touch the hash oil, but it should get extremely close. If you’re doing it right, you’ll see the oil start to bubble and you’ll start to pull vapour through the bong. Do this for as long as you can, and then when you’re ready, allow the flame to gently touch the hash oil, igniting the oil and the cannabis in the bowl piece. Finish smoking the bong as you would with any other bowl of cannabis.
Again, “smoking” hash oil is a misnomer when consumed in a dab rig because you’re not actually smoking the hash oil. You’re vaporizing it. This is the main benefit of using a dab rig to consume hash oil. Vaporizing your oil will give you a smoother, more flavourful taste. Vaporizing, compared to smoking, allows you to more fully experience the hash oil’s components like terpenes and cannabinoids.
A dab rig. These look similar to bongs, but are much smaller, and instead of a bowl piece are used with “quartz bangers,” also called “nails”
A dome. This is the glass piece that you will use to cover the nail after you vaporize the hash oil in order to trap the vapor in the nail before it’s inhaled.
A dabber. This is the small, stick-like piece that you use to apply the hash oil to the nail. They’re usually made out of metal, glass, or ceramic.
A torch. These are the small, flame-thrower-like devices that are used to heat up the nail.
1. Put your nail in the dab rig.
2. Collect a tiny drop of hash oil on the end of your dabber. If you’re new to dabbing, the amount you use should be extremely small—about 1mm squared. Hash oil is potent, and should be handled with caution. Remember, you can always consume more, but can never un-consume a dab.
3. Carefully turn on your torch so the flame shoots out the end. Directly torch the nail until you see it turning red hot.
4. Turn off the torch and put it aside (be careful because the end will still be very hot). Put the dome over the nail. Allow the nail to cool for about 45 seconds if it’s made of quartz, and 10 seconds if it’s made of titanium. Dabbing at a low temperature will give you a more flavourful hit, and allow you to more fully enjoy the effects of the terpenes and cannabinoids.
5. Take your dabber with the hash oil on the end, and apply the hash oil to the inside of the nail, inside the part that looks like a bucket. Inhale slowly. As you inhale, steadily move the dabber tip with the hash oil on it around the nail to get all of the hash oil off the dabber.
6. Inhale all of the vapor, exhale, and voila!