Hello and welcome to The Avid Dabber, a weekly column dedicated to the concentrate connoisseurs, the “hashassins,” and the dab aficionados. Here we’ll discuss everything the wide world of hash has to offer. I’ll share my favorite oils and extracts, discuss etiquette and techniques to take your dabbing experience to new heights, and we’ll test fire some of the latest hardware designed with the daily dabber in mind. Stay tuned for weekly updates and chime in on social media or the comments section below to share your own experiences.
The Avid Dabber’s Roots
First and foremost, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Will and I am The Avid Dabber (@the.avid.dabber on Instagram). I’m a co-host of Leafly’s “What Are You Smoking?” podcast, and I’ve been a passionate advocate for cannabis from the moment it was introduced to me. I’ve managed to parlay that passion into a career where I spend my days showing others all the ways that cannabis can improve your mindset and positively impact your quality of life.
Raised in the Seattle area, I was an active, if not unknown, member of the underground cannabis community, growing, sharing, learning, and celebrating the plant within the more walled-off confines of a black market. It wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles in the early 2000s to study filmmaking that I realized cannabis could provide a legitimate profession as well as the opportunity to positively influence people’s day-to-day lives. Shortly after I arrived in LA, a classmate introduced me to Southern Californian’s active medical marijuana market, and from there I was all in.
What little free time I had between class and student film productions was spent at the new dispensary that had opened down the street. It was almost exactly halfway between campus and my crappy studio apartment, so my loitering was inevitable. One afternoon they were short-staffed and I just kind of fell into a paid budtending gig, effectively offsetting any money I would have been spending at the dispensary. This allowed my broke ass to start experiencing some of the finer things that CA Prop 215 had to offer.
The First Glorious Dab
Walking in for my shift one day, I was greeted by both managers and the dispensary owner. With a twinkle in their eyes and grins plastered from ear to ear, they rushed me to the back where we kept our inventory and showed me a new fridge they had installed. It was specifically for hash, they told me, and urged me to open the freezer.
The door swung open and I was introduced to the first two hydrocarbon extracts, better known as BHO, that I’d ever seen. Obviously, at that point I couldn’t comprehend the chemistry it took to make this hash. It wasn’t even called BHO, it was called “ear wax.” All I knew was that my co-workers were giddy with excitement and the owner insisted that we all try some.
We went to the lounge to inspect the two different kinds of BHO. Both were made from OG Kush and were extremely aromatic. One was made up of small golden translucent slabs that I now know as shatter. The other was more of an electric orange crumble and actually looked like ear wax.
The bong we were using was just as foreign to me as the hash we were about to smoke. It was small, extremely skinny, and had this titanium plate attached that swung under a small glass dome (like the one pictured in the Instagram post above)—an outdated skillet by today’s standards. My coworkers took turns showing me how it worked by heating the plate up with a small butane torch until it was red hot and tapping a dental tool with small bead of hash on to it. We quickly pulled the plumes of hot smoke through the bong, resulting in a few harsh coughs, but each of us became more and more impressed by the flavor and potency of the hash.
It wasn’t until a few years later that I heard the term “dab” used to encapsulate the form and function of this modern take on hash consumption. Like many, I took my first dab under-informed, a little intimidated, and way too hot!
Avid Dab of the Week
In each Avid Dabber installment, I’ll share what I’ve recently been dabbing. In honor of my first ever dab I tried in Los Angeles many years ago, for today’s column I’ll be dabbing some Hitman OG shatter from Bayflower Co.
Bayflower Co. is based out of the Bay Area in California, and I had the chance to connect with them when I was in NorCal for the Emerald Cup last week. They shared this Hitman OG Shatter and it reminded me of some of my earliest dabs. It tested at nearly 86% total THC and is high in limonene, pinene, and linalool, which explain its amazing flavor profile that carries notes of citrus, pine, and lavender. The buzz is hypnotic and deeply relaxing.
Do you remember your first dab? (Maybe not if it was some really nice hash…) Share your experience on Instagram using the hastag #aviddabber or in the comments section below. Check back next week to see what else is heating up in the dab world, and until then, ONLY DAB THE BEST!