A new study confirms dabbing trumps flower

A stylish dab rig found at a local shop. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
A stylish dab rig found at a local shop.

If you're someone trying to get as high as efficiently possible, or maybe a cannabis enthusiast with a rather high tolerance, it's time to put down the flower and pick up the dab rig.

The argument that dab rigs are the most efficient way of using cannabis appears to be settled, as a recent 2019 study by Forensic Science International (FSI) in Switzerland found that a staggering 75 percent of THC makes its way into the system of someone wielding a dab rig. In polar opposition, traditional inhalation methods result in 75 percent of THC in bud to be lost when sparked up.

The percentage of cannabinoids that make it into the body after initial usage is called a "recovery rate" to show how quickly the body metabolizes THC. A previous study in 2015 found that smoking recovery rates tend to be somewhere between 27.5 percent and 46.3 percent, considerably less than FSI's 75 percent.

The amount of THC taken in by smoking a rolled joint in two minutes is akin to a five-second rip off of a dab. So impatient stoners be advised. Also, the potency of flour diminishes much faster than that of wax.

Vaporizers meanwhile tend to float around the mid-to-high 50s in recovery rate. The crux of recovery rates appears to come down to the temperature levels users have when getting high. Another interesting discovery from the newest study suggests that smoking THCA, the "acid" version of THC, is more likely to increase the recovery rate levels as heating THCA turns the compound into THC, while heating THC turns that compound into CBN.

More studies need to take place to confidently explain why oil rigs at a moderate temperature are more efficient to combustion-type dab rigs, but it seems to put to bed whether or not it's worth toking on a metallic cylinder rather than the old-fashioned routes. Of course, many people aren't aiming to get as high as possible. ♦

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