CURIOUS ABOUT CONCENTRATES?
A How-To Guide To Dabbing
Happy 7/10! Flip that date upside-down and it spells “OIL,” which is why July 10th is celebrated internationally as Oil Day (or Dab Day to its friends). Since concentrates are the reason for the season, why not celebrate this cannabis holiday by giving them a try? When you’re looking for elevated cerebral effects or stronger body relief than flower alone can provide, a heady dab can put you on Cloud 9. Concentrates like wax, shatter, and resin pack a beneficial and potent cannabis experience into a tiny, amber-colored package. That’s why consuming cannabis resin like hashish dates all the way back to the 900s (yes, you read that right) in Central Asia. However, today’s full-spectrum, high-quality concentrates are best enjoyed vaporized using a dab rig and a mini-torch rather than smoked out of the traditional hash pipe.
Dabbing concentrates might seem complicated at first -- anything involving a blowtorch usually is -- but it’s easy once you have the right tools and know-how. Whether this is your first time, or you just need a refresher, here are some helpful tips!
HAVING THE RIGHT TOOLS
- Dab Rig - A glass water pipe, but with a fitting for a dab nail instead of a bowl. Like a bong, the concentrate vapor cools as it bubbles through the water into the mouthpiece.
- Nail - A ceramic, metal, or quartz bowl for your rig. This is where you’ll apply your concentrate after heating the nail with the torch.
- Dabber - A ceramic, metal, or glass tool for applying concentrate to your nail. These come in several shapes depending on the consistency of the concentrate. Flat ends are best for scooping up dryer concentrates like wax or shatter. Thinner picks are best for stickier resins and oils.
- Torch - A propane/butane mini-torch for heating your nail.
- Carb Cap - Optional, but helps control airflow through the nail.
- Q-Tip - For cleaning up remaining residue in the nail.
- Isopropyl Alcohol - For cleaning sticky residue off dab tools afterwards. (Do not use on the nail.)
Pro-Tip: Electronically heated dab rigs such as the Puffco Peak or handheld dab pens like the PAX 3 Complete Kit are easier to use (no blowtorch needed!), but they come at a higher price point.
FINDING THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE
When dabbing concentrates, the temperature of your nail makes a big difference in both the flavor and effects.
At higher temperatures (600-900℉), all the concentrate vaporizes off the dab nail in one dense, satisfying lungful. Terpenes are mostly incinerated, but cannabinoids like THC and CBD make a beeline to your head for a quick and powerful cerebral experience.At lower temperatures (350-450℉), the concentrate melts and bubbles down to a tiny puddle. This releases the full spectrum of terpenes and cannabinoids together in one velvety, flavorful hit. Low temperature dabs are a pleasant, smooth ride for both mind and body.
Pro Tip: High temperature dabs are best for starting out with concentrates, since low temperature dabs take a little trial and error to master.
HOW TO TAKE A DAB
Before taking your first dab, remember the golden rule of titration: “start low, go slow.” Most concentrates contain around 50-90% THC, up to 4 times the amount in flower! That’s why a dab a little smaller than a crumb is a typically a good place to start.
- 1. Scoop up a small amount of concentrate with your dabber.
- 2. Heat the nail with the torch until it’s glowing hot (about a minute depending on the nail’s material and thickness). Turn off the torch.
- 3. Wait 20-30 seconds for the nail to cool. (For a low temperature dab, wait about 30-40 seconds.)
- 4. Apply your concentrate to the inside lip of the nail with your dabber.
- 5. Inhale slowly through the mouth piece. Use the carb cap to capture any remaining vapor.
- 6. Wipe up any remaining residue on the nail with a q-tip once it cools. (Burnt-on residue makes for a harsher flavor with future dabs and damages the nail.)
Pro-Tip:Hotter dabs can be harsh. After waiting 20 seconds, you can check the temperature by carefully hovering your open palm a few inches above your nail. If it’s too hot on your palm, it’s still too hot to dab.
BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT
Whether you’re looking for an energetic pick-me-up, a sense of balance or a relaxing release, dabbing lets you enjoy all the benefits of full-spectrum concentrates. Follow our tips and tricks and you won’t just be inhaling thick clouds, you’ll feel like you’re sitting on one.