A dab by any other name

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@newsreview.com.

Wait, there’s a difference between dabs and hash?

—Khanzen Trait

Yeah, but not really. “Hashish” is made by separating the glands from the leaf of the cannabis plant. Since the glands contain most of the THC and terpenes and stuff, some people have taken to calling it “cannabis concentrate” instead of “hash” because “concentrate” sounds more scientific or whatever. There are a few different ways to make hash, er, concentrates: You could use a fine sieve or screen to dry sift the glands from the leaf to make kief, then use heat and pressure to turn that kief into hash. You could use ice and water to make a sort of cannabis slurry, and then use screens to make a very traditional hash. Or you could use butane or carbon dioxide to freeze blast the crystals from the leaf. Using butane or carbon dioxide makes the concentrate look like wax, or sometimes a thin brittle sheet of cannabis crystals. Back in the day, we used to smoke hash on top of a bowl, or rolled in a joint. Now that hash, er concentrates, are all the rage, people often use specialized hash-smoking apparatuses, known as “dab rigs.” These devices usually work by heating a piece of glass or metal to a really high temperature, then placing a “dab”—a small bit of concentrated cannabis—on a heated surface and inhaling the vapors. So, a “dab” is really just a small amount of hash. Or concentrate. Or wax. Or shatter. You get the idea. Language is ever-changing, and a dab by any other name would still get you high.

What’s the difference between a “strand” and a “strain” of marijuana?

—Mickey Clouds

Same as the difference between “soda” and “pop.” It’s most likely a regional thing. We say “strain” on the West Coast, they say “strand” on the East Coast, and all the fancy-pants growers and breeders say “genetics.” Plants are plants. Good genetics make good strains and good strands. I will continue to smoke all three.

Thanksgiving is getting close, and I really, really want to have a cannabis-infused dinner this year. Any tips?

—Dan K. Skivving

First tip: Use cannabis-infused butter in all the recipes. Slather the turkey in a mixture of butter and olive oil and throw that sucker in the oven. All the mashed potatoes. Hell, you could make a cannabis-infused garlic bread. Second tip: Use small amounts of cannabis if you are infusing the whole meal. People tend to eat a lot at Thanksgiving, and you don’t want your guests all zombified and asleep before dessert. No need to make a really strong canna-butter if you are going to use it in all the dishes. Third: Make sure your guests have arranged for a safe ride home. Fourth: Invite me over. I will bring Cherry pie and cherry pie. Happy Danksgiving!