What is Reclaim? Is it Good or Bad for You to Smoke?

dirty bong full of reclaim

There are times in a stoner's life when they run out of weed. They are forced to be resourceful, and come up to a solution, especially if they are unable to go out and get some more.

One of these stoners might turn toward the buildup of resin on their smoking accessories. That's right: pipes and bongs can be scraped out, leaving consumers with a little bit extra. It might not be pretty – in fact, recycling the tar-like remains of smoked weed is probably the opposite of pretty – but it can get the job done in a cinch.

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What is Reclaim, exactly?

Reclaim is the goopy, dark resin remains of concentrates, left over after smoking a dab. It looks similar to the dab that was smoked, just a bit darker and more oily.

Essentially, it is resin in a pipe, coming as a form of re-condensed concentrate. It is collected over time, usually found at the bottom of a smoking device.

What is it Good For?

People who come across reclaim have two main choices: to throw it away, or consume it, since it is a form of resin that can be used again for another high. While many people do end up discarding the gooey remains, others find reclaim to be a sustainable method of ensuring that every single last drop of cannabis is used.

Perhaps surprisingly, there are several different ways to use reclaim. It might just appear like a dark, mucky mess, but reclaim has potential for variety, and actually some value in terms of cannabis power. MCR Labs conducted a study that looked into the potency of reclaim; they found that the concentrate resin had around 65 percent of its original cannabinoids remaining. Of that 65 percent, about 95 percent were decarboxylated.

Meaning? These high percentages translate to potency, and not having to manipulate the reclaim to feel its effects. It is good as is, straight up.

Straight up can mean different things. For example:

  • Dabs. Reclaim can be re-dabbed. Not only is this a cyclical action, but it also is very effective to return the reclaim into its original concentrate state. While the flavor probably will not be amazing – since most of the flavorful terpenes have been smoked out – the high will be potent and nearly immediate.
  • Swallow. Reclaim is pretty much totally decarboxylated, which means that it is safe to eat your reclaim straight up. You don't have to necessarily swallow it whole, but you can take a direct bite, use it as a condiment or topping on other foods, freeze it as a treat, or pop it in capsule form (this will likely be the best tasting solution). This method will produce pretty potent effects as well.
  • Infuse. Shout out to reclaim edibles, made at oven temperatures under 350 degrees, which can mask the off-tasting flavor of the resin with something much sweeter, but still get the job done.

How to Collect Reclaim

There are several different methods to collecting reclaim. One of the easiest ways comes in the form of an accessory attachment; a drop-down is an attachment made specifically for gathering reclaim, and hooks directly onto the pipe, bong, or rig. First, the reclaim accumulates on the drop-down. Next, the consumer flips the drop-down upside down and heats up the bottom. Thanks to the heat, the reclaim will loosen and fall out, very easily.

Pro-tip: Have something ready to catch the reclaim as it falls out. A silicone pad or pot holder will get the job done.

Besides using a drop-down, reclaim can also be collected by pouring a solvent into your rig. Pour some grain or isopropyl alcohol (grain is recommended for those looking to eat the reclaim since it is safer for humans to consume) into the pipe or bong, shake it around, and wait for the liquid to evaporate. Once that happens, the reclaim is ready to be used.

If you are not using your reclaim right away, the recommended method of storage is a silicon puck. This will allow you to keep the reclaim ready for consumption as long as possible, rather than sitting and collecting dust at the bottom of your pipe until you are ready to find it.

But is it Good?

Those who are pro-throwing away reclaim argue that the collection is not worth the effort. The main train of thought is that reclaim removes the best part of any concentrate: the terpenes. While the MCR research found that reclaim contained all five of the major cannabinoids that exist in cannabis, what is missing is the main ingredient that contributes to taste and smell.

Things to note: Reclaim's flavor is poor, and the smoke is harsh. But it is safe to consume – though the tar-like composition might have you feeling otherwise.

It comes down to user preference, as well as urgency. Again, reclaim is good in a pinch, as a last-ditch resource, or to economically use up every last drop of the concentrate, over and over again.

Look for dispensary deals on concentrates – pre-reclaim status – at Leafbuyer.com.