Most dabbers would agree that a freshly polished rig allows you to fully enjoy your cannabis concentrate’s robust terpene profile and flavorful smoke, but did you know that you can make the most of cleaning out your dab rig by rounding up the sticky residue inside to use later? This viscous material is known as concentrate reclaim, and it has a variety of applications. What is concentrate reclaim and what is it for? Let’s take a closer look.
What is concentrate reclaim?
Concentrate reclaim, also known as dab reclaim, is simply the collected residue of previously dabbed cannabis concentrate. When fresh concentrates like shatter, wax, or bubble hash come in contact with the heated nail of your dab rig, the intense heat immediately vaporizes the concentrate, resulting in the white puffy dab clouds we know and love. As the vapor travels through the water reservoir and the rest of the rig, some of this vapor cools and condenses, forming thick droplets that float in the rig water and collect on the glass. It’s similar to the residue ("rez") you will find leftover in any used dry flower pipe, but without the additional ashy and acrid presence of combusted plant matter. Reclaim can range in color from light amber to very dark brown and typically has a thick, sticky texture similar to caramel.
Does concentrate reclaim get you high?
Yes, concentrate reclaim can definitely get you high. Whether you’re low on cash, lacking in supply, or you simply adhere to the old adage “waste not, want not,” using dab reclaim is an easy and economical way to get lifted. If you think reclaim is anything like smoking the rez from your glass pipe, think again. While rez-smoking typically results in a weak high for a short period of time followed by an unfortunate headache, reclaim is actually quite potent. Researchers sought to establish just how potent concentrate reclaim could be. Led by Scott Churchill, Director of Methodology at MCR Labs, four unique samples of cannabis reclaim were tested for their cannabinoid profile. There are over 100 known cannabinoids, but some of the most widely recognized are CBD, CBN, and the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. In this study, the maximum THC content of the highest-testing reclaim sample rang in at a whopping 58.5%. The lowest-testing sample had a THC content of 23.3%, a percentage similar to dry flower strains like Bubba Kush or Jack Herer. As you can see, even on the lower end of the spectrum, concentrate reclaim still packs a potent punch. In each of the samples, the researchers found that at least 97% of the cannabinoids had been decarboxylated. Decarboxylation occurs when inactive cannabinoids like THCa and CBDa are converted to active cannabinoids which produce the many desirable effects associated with cannabis. While not as strong as virgin wax or hash oil, which can contain a THC level between 60% and 80%, reclaim is still a highly-potent source of active THC. How to collect concentrate reclaim Now that you know that reclaim is powerful and effective, you may be wondering about the best ways to collect your reclaim. The method you use will depend on your rig, the amount of residue buildup, and the tools you have on hand.
Method 1: Heat
The quickest and perhaps the most common method to extract the reclaim from your dab rig is to use your torch or another heat source to soften the reclaim into a liquid state and allow it to drip into a silicone wax pot or other heat resistant surface. First, remove all of the water from your rig. If there is reclaim suspended in the rig water that you would like to salvage, pour the water/wax mixture into a container and allow it to evaporate until only the reclaim remains. Remove all loose attachments and turn your rig upside down, with the downstem opening directly over your container. Apply heat to the exterior of the rig evenly and gently. It will not take much for the reclaim to liquefy and begin to pour out. The downside of this method is that you run the risk of overheating your piece and cracking the fragile glass. This can be avoided with careful application of the torch or by using a more gentle source of heat, such as a hairdryer. Simply applying heat will still leave some residue behind, so if a clean rig is part of your goal, finish off by using your preferred glass cleaning method.
Method 2: Solvent
If you’d rather not take on the risk of breaking your rig, you can also use alcohol as a solvent to extract your reclaim. While some dabbers recommend isopropyl alcohol for this task, it’s better to use high-proof, food-grade alcohol such as Everclear if you plan to consume your reclaim. Empty the water as before, then add roughly the same amount of alcohol to your rig’s reservoir. Cover all of the openings with plastic wrap secured by rubber bands, or simply use your hands to plug the holes. Give your rig several gentle but vigorous shakes to swish the alcohol around the inner chambers. Warning: This step assumes you are taking all necessary safety precautions. If you are going to heat any chemical please use the proper ventilation. If you have a large amount of buildup, you may want to allow the alcohol to dissolve the reclaim for five to ten minutes before giving it another shake. When you are satisfied, pour the alcohol/reclaim solution into a heat-resistant glass dish. Place this dish on a stovetop or electric flat top and heat on medium-low, allowing the alcohol to evaporate completely without burning off your final product. If you’re extremely patient, you can allow the alcohol to evaporate naturally over a period of several days instead.
What to do with concentrate reclaim
Once you extract your concentrate reclaim, the resulting product will have a texture similar to the original wax, usually with a darker color. You can use your reclaim in a variety of ways:
- Dabs - Probably the most obvious use for reclaim, you can recycle yours by dabbing it as you would normally.
- Edibles - As the MCR Labs research shows, the cannabinoids in concentrate reclaim have already been decarboxylated, making them easy to incorporate into most types of edibles, from baked treats to savory sauces.
- Tinctures - A cannabis tincture is a traditional non-smoking method of consumption that typically involves suspending cannabinoids in alcohol or a carrier oil and is taken under the tongue.
No matter what you do, remember that reclaim is still highly potent, so start low and slow and dose according to your level of experience.