Here at HØJ, we have talked plenty about dabs, and the many benefits it offers to the adventurous stoner eager to try something new. You can find plenty of information here and here, but if you need a refresher, you should only know this: “dab” refers to a concentrated form of weed that is made by extracting cannabinoids such as THC and CBD from the plant using a solvent, usually butane or CO2. The resulting extract, which is often referred to as "dab", "wax", "shatter", or "budder" (the terminology varies a lot) is a highly potent form of cannabis that can have THC levels of up to 80% or more, which may be better suited for weed connoisseurs of more experience. Dabs are usually consumed by heating a small amount of the extract using a special device called a dab rig, which is similar to a water pipe or bong, that produces a vapor that is inhaled by the user, typically resulting in a very intense and immediate high. It’s a pretty popular way to enjoy weed nowadays, and if you are curious to try it, then a question you may have is: can dabs go bad?
Well, yes. Weed dabs can go bad if they are not stored properly; after all, they are highly concentrated cannabis extracts that are made using solvents such as butane or CO2. Over time, the compounds in the dabs can break down and degrade, which can affect their potency, flavor, and overall quality. To prevent this, you should know how to store dabs properly, making them last longer and guaranteeing you a good time every time you crave a little chill. For starters, dabs should be stored in an airtight container kept in a cool, dark place, like a pantry away from the Sun. Exposure to light, heat, and air can all cause dabs to degrade more quickly, giving them a bad flavor and overall ruining the experience.
It is also important to use clean tools when handling dabs, as bacteria and other contaminants can cause them to spoil more quickly. If your dabs have an unusual smell or taste or appear to have changed in texture or consistency, they may have gone bad and should not be consumed, which is a tragedy in and of itself. However, as a consolation prize, we’ll tell you the science behind why dabs go bad, which is pretty interesting, as well as some general tips to avoid having to throw such a valuable substance into the trash.
As we said, dab extracts can go bad or degrade over time due to several factors, including exposure to heat, light, and air. Over time, the chemical compounds in the extract can break down, resulting in a decrease in potency and changes in flavor and aroma. However, this is not the whole story.
One of the main factors that can cause dabs to go bad is oxidation, which occurs when the extract is exposed to oxygen in the air. This can cause changes in the chemical composition of the extract, leading to a decrease in potency and changes in flavor and aroma. Exposure to light and heat accelerates the oxidation process and causes the extract to degrade more quickly, which is why you want a cool and dark place to store your extracts. Another factor that can cause dabs to go bad is contamination from bacteria, mold, or other microorganisms that happen if the extract is not properly stored or if it comes into contact with dirty or contaminated nails and rigs.
Cannabis plant and cannabis oil extracts in glass jars (Envato Elements)
But that contamination is not limited to only the stuff you use for dabbing, it can also occur if the extract is not properly extracted, processed, or packaged. For these reasons, it’s important to only purchase dab extracts from reputable sources if you are not making them yourself, to ensure that they are properly extracted and processed to minimize the risk of contamination. And to store dabs and make them last longer, we recommend you do the following…
- Use an airtight container
The best way to store dabs is to keep them in an airtight container, such as a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. This will prevent air from getting in and cause the dabs to degrade.
- Keep dabs away from light
Exposure to light can cause dabs to break down, so it's important to store them in a dark place. A cool, dark cabinet or drawer is a good option.
- Store dabs at the right temperature
Heat can also cause dabs to degrade, so it's important to store them at a cool temperature. Ideally, dabs should be kept at or below room temperature.
- Avoid touching dabs with your hands
Oils and dirt from your hands can contaminate dabs and cause them to spoil more quickly. When handling dabs, always use clean tools, such as a dabber or silicone container.
- Don't expose dabs to moisture
Moisture can cause dabs to become sticky or moldy. Avoid storing dabs in humid environments or areas where there is a lot of moisture.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your dabs stay fresh and potent for longer periods of time, ensuring you have a stash ready to go every time you want to have a good time. And as a final tip, it's also a good idea to label your containers with the date that you purchased or made the dabs, so you can keep track of how long they've been stored.
How long do dabs last?
The shelf life of dab extracts can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of extract, how it was processed, and how it is stored. In general, properly stored dab extracts can last for several months to a year or more before they start to degrade in quality and potency. If stored properly, some types of dab extracts such as shatter, wax, or budder can last up to a year or more without significant degradation in quality. However, other types of extracts, such as live resin or terp sauce, which contain higher levels of terpenes and other volatile compounds, may have a shorter shelf life and may start to lose potency and flavor after a few months.
If dabs have been improperly stored, they may be at risk of contamination from mold, bacteria, or other harmful substances, and smoking contaminated dabs can lead to a range of health risks, including respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and infections. Mold and bacteria can grow on dabs that have been exposed to moisture or not stored in an airtight container. Inhaling mold or bacteria can cause respiratory problems such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and more serious infections in some cases. In addition, improper storage of dabs can also lead to the degradation of the chemical compounds in the extract, resulting in a decrease in potency and changes in flavor and aroma. This makes the dabs less effective and less enjoyable to consume.
It is important to note that the potency and quality of dab extracts can decline over time even when stored properly, so it is best to consume them as soon as possible to ensure maximum potency and quality. And to finish off today, if you are interested in dabbing and the many different types of dabs that you can find, don’t forget to keep checking our blog and get the best info about weed!
Until the next time!
Disclaimer: HØJ is not a medical advice blog, so please consult with a doctor or a specialist if you have any questions regarding smoking or anything related to cannabis consumption itself.