Dabs are by far one of the most popular trends in the world of cannabis right now. As opposed to smoking cannabis flowers, dabbing lets, you quickly vaporize cannabis concentrates. Sometimes called extracts, concentrates are made through a process of stripping out all the cannabinoids from cannabis plants. And because concentrates can have THC levels as high as 80%, dabbing can be one of the best ways to get an ultra-intense high or a powerful dose of medicine.
To tap into the power of dabbing you’ve got to have the right equipment and you’ve got to know what you’re doing. Just like our other beginner’s guides, this will walk you through everything you need to know about dabbing so you can see firsthand what all the hype is about.
What You’ll Need
1. Cannabis concentrate: Wax, Shatter, oil, BHO, CO2, or solventless extracts like rosin will all work.
2. Water pipe: For dabbing, you’ll remove the glass bowl you usually use when you’re smoking and replace it with the nail.
3. Dabbing nail: Nails are typically ceramic, quartz, or titanium. Be sure you use one that fits your water pipe. Some nails require the use of a dome to trap the vapor before you inhale it. Other nails have holes in them that allow the vapor to move directly into the pipe.
4. Dome: Depending on how you’re dabbing, you might need a dome. This is usually a glass piece that slides over the top of the nail.
5. Blowtorch: A regular kitchen torch should do the job, but there’s nothing wrong with using a bigger, more powerful torch either.
6. Dabber or Wand: This is the tool that you use actually to pick up your concentrate and place it on the hot nail. They’re usually either glass, metal, or ceramic.
Season Your Nail
If you’re using a brand new nail, you’ll need to season it first. This will ensure that you get rid of any residual chemicals that may have been used when the nail was made. You obviously don’t want to inhale any of these
This will ensure that you get rid of any residual chemicals that may have been used when the nail was made. You obviously don’t want to inhale any of these
You obviously don’t want to inhale any of these chemicals—you’re looking for pure, concentrated cannabis vapor.
To season the nail:
- Use your blow torch to heat it until it’s red hot.
- Then smear a bit of wax on the nail.
- Let it completely vaporize. (If you don’t want to waste wax on this step, you can also just drop some water onto the hot nail).
After the wax or water has completely vaporized, use tongs to place the nail in a bowl of water. Repeat this process several times.
Now you’re ready to dab.
The first method we’ll talk about is high temp dabbing. Just like the name says, this approach uses super high temperatures to vaporize your concentrate quickly.
If you’re into high temp dabbing, you should use a nail with holes in it that will allow the vapor to move immediately into your pipe without having to use a dome.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Put the nail in your pipe. Use your torch to heat the nail until it’s red hot.
Step 2: Use your wand to pick up a small blob of concentrate.
Step 3: Carefully use your wand to place the concentrate on the red-hot nail. At the same time start drawing on your piece.
The high temperature of the nail will quickly vaporize the concentrate, and you should get a huge lung-full of thick, dense, potent vapor.
For most people, high temp dabs taste worse than low temp dabs, they’re more painful and are often more harsh on the lungs. But they also tend to deliver a sharper, more powerful punch.
A big high temp dab will immediately send you into the stratosphere.
The other way to dab is to do it with lower temperatures. For this method, you should plan on using a nail and a dome.
Here’s how you do it:
Step 1: Position the nail in your water pipe. Use your torch to heat the nail until it’s almost red hot, but not quite.
Step 2: Let it cool for anywhere from 5 to 45 seconds.
Step 3: Use your wand to pick up some concentrate.
Step 4: While starting to draw on your piece, use the wand to place the concentrate on the nail.
When it starts bubbling and vaporizing, put the dome over the nail. The dome acts like a convection oven, trapping in heat until the concentrate has entirely vaporized.
Step 5: Lift off the dome and pull the built up vapor into your lungs.
Low-temperature dabs are milder, and they usually taste way better than high-temperature dabs. For many users, they’re also a bit less intense, and they don’t deliver as big a punch as high-temperature dabs.
But that doesn’t mean low temp dabs won’t get you high—you’ll still be happily walking among the stars after a couple of low temp dabs.
Electric Nail Dabs
For the third method, you need to buy a specially made electric nail.
Electric nails plug in and use electricity to heat the nail to just the right temperature.
Set up your rig according to your electric nail’s instructions and follow the same process outlined above. When the nail hits the temperature you’re looking for, use the wand to pick up your concentrate, place it on the nail, and pull the smoke into your lungs.
Regardless of the method you use, dabs will give you a one of a kind cannabis experience.
If you’re a rookie smoker or a lightweight, dabs might be a bit too much. Go slow at first and try to figure out how much concentrate is right for you. If you’ve got a cough or sensitive lungs, or if you’re really into tasting your cannabis, low temp dabbing might be the best option. But if you’re looking for a hard-hitting, super intense experience and are willing to sacrifice taste to get it, give high temp dabs a shot. Either way, we’re sure you’ll have fun.