Now that you’ve been properly versed on “what is a dab?”, as well as “how to do a dab in 4 easy steps”, it’s about time to head into the kitchen to learn how to make your very own dabs.
Update: Since this article was written back in 2014, there have been a number of cleaner, safer methods for making dabs, some of which we have covered in more recent articles. Please check out the latest: How to Make Closed Column BHO and Live Resin.
What you’ll need:
(Butane Canister: one can of butane typically should be sufficient to extract a full tube of material) Step 1: Gather Greens Gather an ounce of high quality uncut marijuana that has been dried. It’s good to note that about an ounce of dried weed will produce 3.6 grams of shatter if you use 12 ounces of butane and a double wash.
Step 2: Pack Extraction Tube Stuff your marijuana in an extraction tube that is made of thick glass and is relatively clean. It’s important not to have excess residue in your batch which can degrade your dabs. If air pockets begin to form inside the tube, this can be prevented by gently packing your bud until it is firmly packed in the tube like so.
Step 3: Butane Drip On the opposite end of the extraction tube that you used to pack your marijuana in, you now want to begin dripping your butane through, in a slow yet controlled manner. On the opposite end, attach coffee filters tightly around the tube, so that the liquid which runs down will have to go through it. The drippings should fall onto a collection dish.
Caution: Note that it is best to do the extraction process outside as there is less chance of explosions or bursts of fire in case the butane is dripped too fast. Step 4: Drain O’ Weed Once your butane can is spent, and you feel you have inundated all of the cannabis in solvent, remove it and let the excess butane still in the tube make its way down through the filter and into your pan.
Step 5: Evaporate Next is the evaporation part of the process. Your pan should be filled with a golden brown liquid similar to the one here. Take your collection dish and place it in a larger frying pan filled with hot water and your mixture should begin to bubble. Change the water as needed if it cools and don’t expose it to the hot water for a long time as your product will become dark and degraded. Once the oil stops bubbling you are done. You can take the left over marijuana concentrate and place it on a non-stick silicone parchment paper to dry, or you can place it in concentrate containers.
Safety Note: Butane is HIGHLY FLAMMABLE and ALL extractions are to be done OUTDOORS only, doing extractions indoors is extremely dangerous. Butane gas is heavier than air and will pool in low areas. If left to collect butane gas becomes flammable. Wear eye protection, as well as gloves and always keep a fire extinguisher near by. Never smoke and avoid having an open flame around when doing any kind of extraction, even outdoors.
Rule of Green Thumb: When the liquid dripping from the extraction tube appears completely transparent, that’s your indication that all the THC oils from the cannabis have been extracted from the tube. A proven way to test this is to put one or two drops on the dish next to your BHO “puddle”, to see if it immediately evaporates or if it leaves a thick bubbly residue on the dish. If the drops of oil leave a thick residue, you should inject more butane into your tube and continue extracting. If the oil evaporates away quickly and cleanly with little to no residue, that’s your sign that the extraction process is over.