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CBD Dab Wax 394% More Efficient Than Smoking

This study summary provides fact-based answers about the benefits of dabbing CBD concentrates like wax.

  • scientific evidence dabbing is the most effective way to consume CBD
  • learn exactly how efficient dabbing is compared to other types of CBD consumption

If you don’t find an answer in this guide to a question you have, leave us a comment below. We’ll search the published studies to see if an answer exists and get back to you.

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2019 Study: dabbing CBD wax is 394% more efficient than smoking a joint. #cbd #dab tell a friend

Published February 2019

Study Results

Dabbing CBD wax, shatter, or crumble decarboxylates (activates) 100% of the cannabidiol in the CBD cannabis concentrate (1).


CBD Dabs vs. Flower

Dabbing CBD allows your lungs to absorb 75.5% of the CBD available in the cannabis concentrate (wax, rosin, resin, shatter).  Smoking CBD flower only allows the absorption of less than 19-27% of the available CBD in the smoke inhaled (2).



The study authors examined cannabidiol concentrates made from BHO (Butane Hash Oil) and supercritical carbon dioxide CBD extraction techniques (3).



The process of consuming CBD concentrates by dabbing (heating to vaporization and then inhaling) caused 100% of the CBD to be decarboxylated.  Decarboxylation is an important part of “activating” CBD so it is bioavailable for absorption.  Decarboxylation occurs as a result of exposing cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) to heat.  Heat causes a chemical reaction in CBDA that changes it into bioavailable cannabidiol (CBD).


Video: Dabbing CBD concentrate for the first time


What is dabbing CBD concentrate?

The process of consuming cannabidiol by flash vaporization of CBD concentrates on a glowing hot titanium nail.  Vapor is then inhaled through a water pipe (CBD dab rig) or directly in a single puff (4).

CBD Wax Dab Rig

hand held portable dab rig for cbd wax


The study authors measured how much CBD was absorbed by the lungs from dabbing CBD wax vs. smoking CBD cigarettes (5).

lungs absorbed 75.5% of CBD vapor when dabbed.
lungs absorbed 19-27% of cannabidiol smoke when consumed as a CBD cigarette.
the authors note that considerably less than 19-27% of the total cannabidiol content of the CBD cigarette is actually consumed.  Their study did not take into account the quantity of smoke that is lost from the CBD cigarette between puffs (6).


Interested in getting more out of your CBD wax and rosins? Terpenes are an incredibly important part of getting the effects you want from dabbing CBD.  Check out this complete guide to Terpenes.


ultimate terpene guide for smell, taste, and benefits

Download The Study


Keywords: BHO; Cannabis concentrate; Dabbing; Lung availability;


Hädener M, Vieten S, Weinmann W, Mahler H. A preliminary investigation of lung availability of cannabinoids by smoking marijuana or dabbing BHO and decarboxylation rate of THC- and CBD-acids. Forensic Sci Int. 2019;295:207–212. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2018.12.021

Study Authors

Marianne Hädener

Institute of Forensic Medicine, Department of Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry, University of Bern

Sina Vieten

Heinrich-Heine University

Wolfgang Weinmann

Institute of Forensic Medicine, Department of Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry, University of Bern

Hellmut Mahler

Landeskriminalamt Nordrhein-Westfalen


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