By Max Sargent

We all know that our dab rigs get dirty from time to time, and cleaning them can be tedious. But imagine if we could get high off the very grime we’re trying to clean. Well, there’s good news for us. We can!

The bad news is, it can taste fairly gross, and might be worse for our bodies than the first time around.

Below, we’ll cover how to clean a dab rig and get reclaim, how best to take reclaim, and whether reclaim is safe to ingest.

What Is Dab Reclaim?

Reclaim is the name given to the resin that builds up inside your dab rig over time. If you dab concentrates regularly, you’ll notice that a sticky residue accumulates on the inside of your rig, particularly in the bowl and pipe. It looks like concentrate, but darker.

This is the condensed vapor from your dabs. As the vapor makes its way up the cooler walls of the rig, some of it will condense and solidify. Over time, it builds up until you have a significant supply of sticky post-dab dirt on the inside of your setup, and it requires cleaning… or ingesting!

Is Reclaim the Same As the Original Concentrate?

While reclaim comes from the concentrate, it is not really the same. Concentrates are high-quality extractions of the resin from the cannabis flower, and contain large quantities of terpenes and cannabinoids.

Even though dabbing isn’t technically combustion, the chemical structures in the concentrate still undergo changes when exposed to high temperatures. The most notable difference between the initial concentrate and the reclaimed resin is that while the former is famed for its high density of terpenes—and its great taste—the latter has almost no terpene content. Terpenes are more or less entirely destroyed in the process of dabbing, and so reclaim will have none of the pleasant aromas or flavours of your beloved cannabis. It’s likely just to have a harsh, irritating taste.

In terms of cannabinoid content, things look a little better. Technically, the THC content of reclaim is much higher than that of the original concentrate. However, before you think you’ve got the world’s strongest product clinging to the inside of your bong, it’s only because what’s in there has already been decarboxylated. Before you smoke or vape cannabis flower or concentrate, these products contain predominantly THCA, which, when heated (in the process of smoking), becomes THC.

What this does mean, however, is that reclaim can be eaten in its raw form, and you will feel the effects.

Reclaim also has much higher concentrations of other cannabinoids, such as CBN. Whether this is preferable or not depends on you and your desires.

How To Collect Weed Dab Reclaim?

How To Collect Dab Reclaim

At this point, consuming reclaim may or may not appeal to you. If it does, however, it’s fairly easy to collect.

There are two main methods, one that uses solvents and another that uses heat. The third option, a reclaim catcher, involves purchasing a separate piece of equipment, or buying a rig that comes complete with one.

1. Collecting Reclaim With Solvents

As you can extract the good stuff from the cannabis flower using solvents, so too can you dissolve reclaim in solvents. If you can get your hands on pure ethanol, this will work very well. Failing this, isopropyl alcohol or grain alcohol work well too, and are more readily accessible.

Using as small an amount as possible, pour a bit of your solvent of choice into your rig and swish it around. Once you see that the reclaim has dissolved, pour it all out into a beaker or cup and leave it.

Alcohol evaporates at very low temperatures, and over the course of a few hours (accelerated by a fan), the solvent will disappear and you’ll be left with crystallised reclaim.

Without employing purification techniques, some solvent will remain in your reclaim. Some people don’t mind this—it’s the case with many concentrates anyway. Others do mind this. If you do, the heating method below may appeal to you more.

How To Collect Dab Reclaim

2. Collecting Reclaim With Heat

The most efficient way to do this is with the “drop-down” method. Flip your rig upside down onto a silicone mat, baking paper, or something else heat-resistant and non-absorbent. Then, using intense heat (such as a blow-torch), heat the underside of your rig. Be sure to only heat parts that can withstand it, like the bowl and the pipe.

When exposed to heat, the reclaim will loosen and drop off the walls of your rig, and can be collected on the surface beneath. Let it cool a little before handling it.

How To Collect Dab Reclaim

Reclaim Catcher

A reclaim catcher is the dabber's answer to easy reclaim collection. These little devices attach easily to your rig, and collect all the reclaim in a heat-resistant container. This way, you don't need to use heat or solvents to collect your leftovers; just detach the piece and empty it out!

How To Collect Weed Dab Reclaim?

How To Take Reclaim

Now you’ve got some dark and dirty-looking reclaim, what should you do with it?

  • Smoke It

Of course, you can just put it in a spliff or bowl and smoke away. You’ll probably find it fairly strong and might not be disappointed by the high.

The same cannot be said of the taste, though. Lacking its original terpene content and boasting delicious byproducts such as tar, expect a fairly grim-tasting smoke, and one not at all reminiscent of the top-shelf bud from whence your reclaim came.

  • Eat It

Due to decarboxylation, your reclaim is ready to eat as is. Though it might be quite gross.

It can be sprinkled on top of food and used as rudimentary psychoactive seasoning. Otherwise, it can be infused into food just like any other concentrate. However, when THC degrades, it becomes CBNA (which becomes CBN), which has less psychoactive and more soporific effects. So expect doubly sleepy edibles if you cook it!

Some like to freeze their reclaim and then eat it, like a sort of tar, solvent, and cannabinoid-rich sweet treat.

Is Dab Reclaim Safe?

As reclaim has already been heated, it’s likely to contain higher concentrations of chemicals we’d consider unpleasant compared to the raw concentrate. However, the reclaim is only the vapor that didn't make it to your lungs, so it’s not like you haven’t already ingested a whole load of it.

However, taking another hit of it has far greater potential to irritate your throat and lungs, and give you a headache.

So it’s probably best to err on the side of caution and, if you are going to use reclaim, perhaps ingest it instead. By doing this, you avoid the double-whammy of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. Doesn’t that sound good?

Dab Reclaim: Yay or Nay?

If you’ve got reclaim from concentrates, then you probably like a clean smoke with a high terpene content. After all, that’s what concentrates are about. So it’s unlikely a bitter-tasting smoke is going to greatly appeal to you.

On the other hand, why waste precious cannabinoids?

Reclaim is not going to be the most pleasant of experiences, and it’s possible that it poses greater health risks compared to dabbing raw concentrates. So if you intend to do it, proceed with caution. And if you’re going to smoke or dab it, be prepared to do a lot of coughing!

DisclaimerExtracts, concentrates, and oils used for dabbing are among the strongest cannabis products available. Proceed with caution when using substances high in THC. Start with low doses and slowly increase over time to build up a tolerance to the compound.

Remember: Set and Setting will help you deal with various situations.

Stay Cultivated.

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