All you need to know about dabbing

Dabbing cannabis concentrates is a great alternative for those who do not wish to smoke their cannabis.

What is dabbing?

Dabbing is one of the ways of consuming cannabis concentrates, involving the use of a dab rig. A nail, connected to the downpipe of a water-pipe, is heated until red hot. The concentrate is then applied to the hot nail, causing it to instantly combust into a potent smoke, cooled by the water in the chamber. 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.


Is dabbing safe?


Dabbing is a method of medicating that may appear odd and somewhat dangerous to the untrained eye. The use of an open-flame torch, albeit small, can turn patients away from the phenomenon altogether. However, dabbing doesn’t entail any more risk than cooking over a gas stove. As long as precautions are taken, there is not much to worry about. Concentrates are more potent than other forms of cannabis, and you may get higher than you have been before, but that’s about it. As long as you buy only quality concentrates from a reputable provider, you don’t have anything to worry about. Keep in mind that you cannot overdose – and nobody ever has – but you can dab too much, leading to uncomfortable highs, vomiting, and, in some cases, passing out. So remember: dab lightly, especially for your first time. No matter how heavy of a regular smoker you are, nobody is used to the high chemical content that concentrates carry. One dab is said to be the equivalent of smoking three bowls, and for some people, that’s a lot in such a small amount of time. Don’t be surprised if you find dabs affect you more than you’ve ever experienced, which can sometimes lead to mild head trips. Don’t freak out, you’re gonna be okay… just dab less next time.

What are the different types of concentrates?

The “stuff” that is dabbed is commonly called concentrates – either oily or waxy – and even though these differ a little bit, they are smoked the same way. These compounds are almost pure “chemicals”, which is the stuff that affects users. Because of this, don’t take a huge rip your first time. There are numerous different types of cannabis concentrates, each differing as a result of the method of extraction used. Some of the most widely available concentrates include oil, wax, shatter, budder, dust, and bubble. Concentrates are produced by extracting the active chemicals from the cannabis plant. There are a number of different methods for doing thing, such as BHO extraction or CO2 extraction. They work by acting as a solvent to extract the THC and other cannabinoids from plant matter.


What equipment do I need for dabbing?

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.A lot of factors can come into play when you’re shopping for your first nail. Size: do you need 10mm, 14mm, 19mm? Male or female? Adjustable, fixed, domeless? Should I get Titanium, Quartz, or Ceramic? This list goes on and on…. 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. 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 and 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.

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.

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Now you’re ready to dab!

So how to smoke wax? Well, the idea is simple. You first superheat a glass or titanium “nail,” which is not really a nail in the traditional sense, but rather a receptacle for dabs. You then dab a drop of the oil onto the nail. This combusts the oil and sends a plume of potent smoke through the oil rig and into your lungs.

The oil rig is simply a glass pipe with a hole for the nail, a dome to cover the nail and prevent vapor from escaping into the air, a chamber similar to a bong, and a mouthpiece. It’s essentially the same as any other pipe, except for its shape and the presence of the nail.

There are a couple ways to heat the nail. The most popular is using a butane torch that is aimed directly at the nail. The flames are extremely hot – and at least a little dangerous – but that’s kind of the point. The nail needs to be exposed to intense heat in order to combust the dabs.

Darkside shatter dab, made by TC Labs for Natural Remedies in Denver, CO.

What is the optimal temperature for dabbing?

High-temperature dabs

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.

1: Put the nail in your pipe. Use your torch to heat the nail until it’s red hot.

2: Use your wand to pick up a small blob of concentrate.

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 that will immediately send you into the stratosphere.


Low-temperature dabs

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.

1: Position the nail in your water pipe. Use your torch to heat the nail until it’s almost red hot, but not quite.

2: Let it cool for anywhere from 5 to 45 seconds.

3: Use your wand to pick up some concentrate.

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.

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.After taking a dab, you’ll be feelin’ good, thirsty, and hungry. Before you tell your friend that you’re down for a dab (as if you’ve dabbed a hundred times in your life), make sure you grab yourself a glass of water (or two) and something to munch on. You’ll be glad you did. Some people like to call it “the crack” of the industry, without the addict part. Dabs are an easier way for users to get a super clear, super quick results. Don’t be surprised if the regular stuff isn’t really good enough anymore. All in all, make sure you enjoy yourself, and most importantly – remember to take a small, slow hit.



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