September 09, 2022 7 min read

THC-O, or THC-O Acetate, is an ultra potent version of THC that can be made from hemp. It’s federally legal and super accessible, and you can find vapes, edibles, and multiple other dosing styles when you shop for THC-O online. But can you dab THC-O concentrates?

The answer is yes, you candab THC-O, but why would you really want to? Let’s unpack what we know about THC-O’s potency to determine whether dabbing THC-O is worth it or not:

Table of Contents
What is THC-O
What is Dabbing?
Why Dab THC-O?
Types of THC-O Concentrate
Benefits to Dabbing THC-O
How to Start Dabbing THC-O
How to Use THC-O Dabs
What’s the Best THC-O Dab Temperature?
Alternatives to THC-O Dabs

Key Takeaways

  • THC-O is highly potent, so dabbing may not be necessary.
  • You can dab THC-O concentrate if you want, but the effects may be intense.
  • THC-O wax and distillate can be used with standard dab rigs.
  • Many consumers choose THC-O vaporizers for an experience that is similar to dabbing but easier to control.

What is THC-O?

THC-O acetate is an analog to Delta-9-THC, meaning that it’s molecular structure is almost identical to traditional THC products. It’s made from legal hemp material through a process called isomerization, which means it’s legal to buy and sell in many U.S. states.

A jar of hemp flower, the material used to make THC-O

Because it’s so similar to traditional Delta-9-THC, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system, a neuromodulatory system that's responsible for maintaining homeostasis and regulating many important bodily functions in a similar manner. In other words, it’s intoxicating, and it’s going to get you high whether you eat it, smoke it, or dab (vape) it.

Like all cannabinoids, THC-O has it’s own unique range of effects. Although it does get you high like traditional THC, it’s known to be a bit more uplifting, energizing, and stimulating than many traditional THC strains. In fact, THC-O is most often compared to strong, sativa-leaning cannabis strains.

THC-O is Really Potent

We mentioned that THC-O is similar to Delta-9, but we need to point out that it’s actually much stronger. In fact, research has found THC-O to be about three times more potent than traditional THC products. It’s not that THC-O is stronger–it just has a higher affinity for CB-1 receptors, meaning it interacts with the portion of the endocannabinoid system responsible for psychoactivity at a higher rate than other THC products.

Because it has a high affinity for endocannabinoid receptors, dabbing, a form of cannabis consumption that helps you take concentrated doses, may not be necessary to reap potent effects from THC-O.

What is Dabbing?

“Dabbing” refers to the technique of vaporizing THC concentrates with a device commonly known as a “dab rig.”

Generally speaking, dabbing is accomplished by using a torch lighter to heat a dab nail to high temperatures before placing a small amount of wax material on top. The high temperature will immediately vaporize the THC material so that it can be inhaled through the mouthpiece on the rig.

Of course, as dabbing has grown in popularity, electric dab rigs have flooded the market. The idea is similar, but these rigs have an electric nail that heats on its own, without the need for a butane torch.

Dabbing is a method used to take larger, concentrated doses of THC in a vapor form that is quickly ingested. It’s also thought to be conservative, even if dab (cannabis concentrates) are usually more expensive than flower or other dosing styles.

Why Dab THC-O?

So, THC-O is already highly potent, and dabbing is used to take potent doses of THC. Why do you need to combine the two? The answer is–you really don’t. Usually, THC-O is potent enough for most consumers that a regular THC-O vape will do the trick, and there’s no need to take concentrate doses from a dab rig to reap a potent head high.

But, for those curious cannabis consumers that want to give it a shot, you absolutely can dab THC-O concentrate. You’ll need to have a rig at the ready and find a THC-O concentrate that meets your preference. Let’s touch on the most common:

Types of THC-O Concentrates for Dabbing

There are two common forms of THC-O concentrates that can be used for dabbing:

THC-O wax, a form of concentrate that can be dabbed, and hemp flower.

Wax

Wax is a potent, solvent-based concentrate that’s perfect for using on a traditional dab rig or e-rig. Wax has a thicker, but malleable consistency that makes it easy to measure out in small quantities. Compared to hard forms of concentrate, like shatter, wax is very user friendly and easy to manage.

Wax usually has a potency of at least 70% THC-O, but the potency can range as high as 90%. It only take a small amount of wax to get potent doses of THC-O, so a little bit of wax will go a very long way.

Distillate Oil

Distillate is an oil form of THC concentrates that vaporizes easily. It’s incredibly potent, usually measuring at around 99% purity. In fact, distillate has had all of the “extra” plant materials stripped away, resulting in a concentrate that’s virtually flavorless. The exception is when terpenes are added, which may account for 10% of the formula or more.

Distillate is an oil form of concentrate that may be a bit more difficult to measure, but it can still be dabbed using a traditional dab rig or e-rig. Still, THC-O vapes make this super convenient and may even make it easier to “stack” doses to your perfect potency.

Benefits to Dabbing THC-O

We mentioned that it’s not really necessary to dab THC-O because it is already so potent, but there may be a few benefits to consider. When you dab THC-O, you may:

  • Get more potent doses: Dabbing THC-O is more appropriate for experienced cannabis consumers looking for a “rush of effects” that they may not get from regular doses.
  • Enjoy immediate effects:Unlike edibles, dabbing THC-O results in immediate effects that peak in only a couple of minutes. The effects can last anywhere from 1-5 hours. You can, of course, get these fast acting effects from vapes and THC-O flower, too.
  • Save money: Concentrates are more expensive by weight, but they are also more concentrated and therefore more conservative while dosing. Many people find that dabbing saves them money in the long run, even though the upfront costs may be higher.

How to Start Dabbing THC-O

If you’re interested in trying THC-O dabs, you’ll need a few things:

  1. A dab rig or dab straw
  2. A nail, usually made of titanium or quartz. These can be either “standard” or “electric.”
  3. A dab tool, or a small (usually metal) tool used to portion out the THC-O concentrate and place it onto the heated nail.
  4. A butane torch to heat the dab nail.
  5. THC-O concentrate, usually in the form of wax, shatter, or oil.

How to Use THC-O Dabs

Once you have everything you need to get started, how exactly do you dab THC-O? We'll break it down:

  1. Portion out a small amount of THC-O concentrate on your dab tool. We recommend starting with a tiny dose if you’ve never dabbed before.
  2. Ignite the torch and hold it over the nail (unless using an electric nail, in which case you should follow the instructions provided with the nail you purchased).
  3. Once the nail is hot (like piping hot!) turn off the torch and set it aside. Use the dab tool to place the concentrate material onto the hot nail and inhale the vapor through the mouthpiece on your dab rig.
  4. Exhale slowly and wait a few minutes to feel the effects. Be sure not to touch the dab nail because it will remain hot for quite some time after each dab.

What's the Best THC-O Dab Temperature?

Depending on the dab rig you use, you may have some control over the temperature of your dab hit. The temperature at which you vaporize cannabinoids affects how potent its effects will be. All cannabinoids have a boiling point at which they virtually disintegrate, meaning you won't reap most of the therapeutic benefits, so you need to keep your dab hit temperature below this point.

The boiling point for THC products is pretty high–somewhere around 350°F. While it's unlikely that you'll reach (and maintain) this temperature with a standard dab rig, there is still an "optimal temperature range" for every cannabinoid in which you reap the strongest effects.

The optimal THC-O dab temp range is estimated at 150-175ºC, although very little is known about the structure of THC-O when heated. You may just play around with different temperatures until you figure out what works best for you. Or, you may consider vaping THC-O so that you have even more control over the dosing process.

Alternatives: THC-O Vaporizers

As you can see, dabbing is a unique and involved dosing method that usually suits high-dose THC users. Although it is a great way to get in heavy doses of THC-O for consumers with a high tolerance, it isn’t the most discreet or portable method, and it may not be appropriate for new consumers who are still feeling out their THC-O dosage needs.

Luckily, vaping THC-O is a great alternative that can offer some of the same benefits, like fast-acting effects or concentrated doses:

Vida Optima Elev8 THC-O Vape

Using a THC-O vaporizers can offer results similar to dabbing THC-O. In fact, the concept is almost exactly the same. A vaporizer contains a coil or heating device inside a tank filled with concentrate, usually distillate. The device heats and vaporizes the THC-O, although at a slower rate than a dab rig.

Inhaling the vapor offers immediate effects that can be increased with each dose. Since the doses are heated and vaporized more slowly, you can also control the vapor dose more easily, so vaping THC-O may be more appropriate for new users.

Curious about THC-O vaporizers or other dosing methods? Check out ourElev8 collection to find a dose that suits you. All Vida Optima products are third-party lab tested and hemp-derived in compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill.


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