Episode 27 - Dab-a-Dab-a-Do... or Don't?

Our special double episode with Mara Gordon and Roger Volodarsky on the medical and recreational benefits of dabbing.


There’s no more controversial way of taking in cannabis than dabbing. Dabbing is the process by where a tiny, quinoa-size bit of cannabis oil is heated and inhaled. Instead of typical cannabis which averages about 25% THC, a dab can clock in from 70-90% THC. The effect can be mind stingingly powerful or a powerful remedy for relieving breakthrough pain.

Aficionados claim dabs are the cleanest and most efficient way of consuming: No combustion of plant matter, no lung irritation. But there are, or were, downsides. One is the rig you once needed to smoke them--it required a blow torch to heat a titanium nail which you then inhaled in a long glass column. It looked like freebasing and the association with crack was unavoidable.  Second, dabs are seriously powerful. As mentioned, the THC concentration is amazingly high (pun intended). Finally, the dose is difficult to control. The size difference between a quinoa and sesame seed isn’t that great, but it can make the difference between a powerful high and a knockout punch that can lay even experienced users flat.

But those same powerful highs can also be used as powerful medicine, and in the first part of this episode, Mara Gordon, founder of Aunt Zelda’s, the finest oil maker in the US, explains how patients with serious conditions like chronic pain have been using them with great results. She’ll tell us how to look for great oil and recommends a portable dabber that allows for discreet dabbing on the go.

Our second guest, Roger Volodarsky, founder of PuffCo, has created The Peak, a next generation instrument that looks good on any shelf. It is handsomely designed, well weighted so that it won’t tip, portable and equipped with hepatic feedback and temperature controls. Not only does it remove the visual stigma from dabbing, but it has inspired hundreds of glass artists to create their own designs to fit atop it. This makes it the first open source dab rig in existence. See some of remarkable designs here but listen to his thoughts and inspirations on the second half of this episode.

Joe Dolce