Article written by
Dipak HemrajHead of Research and Education
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
Cannabis reclaim is the sticky residue that forms inside a marijuana pipe or dab rig after prolonged use. It’s simply a recondensed version of cannabis concentrates with a darker texture that may be used again.
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What Is Cannabis Reclaim?
Repeated smoking produces crusty or dark-colored deposits, which layer on top of each other on the sides of your rig or pipe. This smoking reclaim, or reclaim resin, is not the residue you want to be collecting, as the taste profile and resulting headache are less than desirable.
Reclaim is created by vapors from dabbing. First, it forms a fine golden coating of residue that accumulates along the inner walls of your glass dab rig. As it builds, the residue will break off into the water and float as smooth yellowish-orange balls. Reclaim contains minimal terpenes.
Contrary to what you might think, you can certainly get a “high” from cannabis reclaim.
A study performed by cannabis testing lab MCR labs reported that reclaim contains up to 65.3% total cannabinoids, most of which are delta-9-THC. They also found that almost all of the cannabinoids were active or decarboxylated. THC was also largely retained, which is important as it contributes to the medicinal properties of cannabis.
Because the substance is not greatly altered from its original form, users will not have to go to great measures to modify it for consumption. With this in mind, if your aim is to feel a bit of a heightened sensation from your weed, you might want to think twice before tossing your reclaim in the trash.
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How to Collect Cannabis Reclaim
Before you consider removing the residue with your hands, there are cleaner and more effective techniques that won’t make such a mess. You will need to collect it from the drop-downs on your rig. These are the attachments on the rig. Simply turn the rig over and heat the bottom to loosen the reclaim, allowing it to fall out. To collect it, you just need a non-stick silicone pad in place.
However, sometimes water vapor alone isn’t strong enough to do the trick. In this case, or when you don’t have a drop-down rig, pour some solvent into your rig, such as isopropyl alcohol or grain alcohol. If you intend to consume the reclaim, use nontoxic alternatives or grain alcohol. Then shake the rig, pour the solvent out and let it evaporate, and you will have a sticky residue of reclaim.
How to Use Cannabis Reclaims
Ingesting: Eating your reclaim is an excellent option. It will likely still generate intense effects because it is almost decarboxylated. When eating your reclaim, start slowly. Its effects are immediate and powerful and can last for a long time due to high levels of cannabinol. You can add the reclaim to almost any food.
Drink it: It melts perfectly into hot drinks such as coffee or hot chocolate to spruce up your rainy day or morning beverage.
Infuse it: Edibles are a great way to use your reclaim, as it is already decarboxylated. Be sure to keep cooking temperatures under 177°C, and you may need to add extra flavoring as the reclaim doesn’t always taste the best.
Apply it topically: Cannabis reclaim can also be applied topically for medicinal uses such as pain relief and reduction of inflammation.
Reclaim can give you another high, making your product go further. But it is the health benefits that we’re really interested in: Reclaim contains a high concentration of cannabinoids, making it a valuable product to consume as long as it is collected and stored correctly. As a result, it still holds a decent amount of therapeutic potential. The main thing to keep in mind is to ensure that your initial product was of exceptionally high quality, as the quality of the reclaim is always going to be lower.
Risks and Drawbacks
The quality of cannabis reclaim will not match the initial product that was smoked. Since most of the terpenes are eliminated during the first stage of heating, there won’t be any scent. On top of that, the flavor is not quite as fresh and the smoke taste can be somewhat coarse. Smoking reclaim is not recommended, as it contains carbon and can result in side effects such as headaches, sore throats and breathing issues.
There’s no need for concern; If you decide not to use your reclaim, you can easily just wash it out of your rig and down the sink.
The Bottom Line: Is Cannabis Reclaim Worth Using?
Although some people might use reclaim for recreational use, it still has valuable therapeutic benefits that can be worth the effort. After the initial dab, there can be a considerable amount of active cannabinoids present in the cannabis reclaim. For what is essentially free cannabis, it is definitely worth considering reusing the residue you find in your rig.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is dab reclaim potent?
Yes, dab reclaim is especially potent in cannabinoids. It can also make the user quite high. It hits the user slowly, but the high remains for a longer duration. This means care must be taken not to consume too much, too soon.
Can you vape reclaim?
Reclaim does not have the best flavor since most of the terpenes have been removed. Therefore, it is not recommended to vape.
Do reclaim dabs get you higher?
Yes, dab reclaims are essentially a concentrated form of the initial product, making it stronger and very potent. They have the potential to provide a more intense high than the original dab.