What is dabbing? The Top 4 Benefits & Best Practices
Dabs, and dabbing are now terms that are becoming more synonymous with cannabis wellness routines, rather than a meme-worthy gesture. But the art of dabbing different types of concentrates isn’t quite as simple as the dance we all can do. In fact, doing a dab requires a set of specific tools, and a few best practices to dial in efficacy. So, if you’re interested in reaping the benefits of dabbing concentrates – what are some of the top tips to know for optimal success? Keep reading for our beginners guide to dabbing, to find out.
The Benefits of Dabbing
Before we get into how to smoke dabs – let’s cover just why dabbing concentrates is becoming so popular. There are a few unique perks of doing a dab that medicinal consumers of CBD, and THC can benefit from. Even, recreational users too. They include –
- Vapor vs. smoke – With dabbing, you’ll inhale pure puffs of vapor from premium concentrates versus smoke associated with puff, puff, passing traditional flower. Considering, dabbing at its core definition, is the flash vaporization of cannabinoids and terpenes. Even as ‘natural’ as inhaling flower in a joint may seem, the smoke still contains carcinogens.
- Fast – At times, we all have our own personal reasons to need a quick hit of relief. Doing a dab takes only a minute or so, and delivers a rush of effects faster than other delivery methods.
- Flavorful – Concentrates often contain the purest form of plant terpenes, extracted from hemp or cannabis flowers. Dabs allow you to taste these flavorful compounds to the fullest when done at just the right temp (we’ll cover that later!).
- Potent – Again – certain consumers or certain times call for heightened levels of potency. For consumers who have a high tolerance, or can benefit from maximum potencies for health purposes – varying types of concentrates normally contain cannabinoid levels of 75%-90%+ versus 10-30% in traditional flower.
Of course, CBD dabbing is fairly new to even the most veteran consumers. Which means, there’s a learning curve for those just starting off. So, to continue our beginners guide to dabbing, next let’s explore how to dab, step-by-step.
Dabbing Best Practices
Next, let’s preface our step-by-step tutorial on how to do a dab with a few best practices to know before you start. First up – supply time!
Dabbing Best Practice #1 – Gather the right tools
As we mentioned earlier, there are a few special pieces of equipment and tools you’ll need to dab successfully. Including –
- A dab rig, or bong – Dab rigs are just like water bongs, but instead use a nail or banger to place the concentrate on.
- A nail or banger for a rig – Nails and bangers go in the place of a bowl or pipe, on a traditional water bong. Bangers or nails tend to be made with glass, quartz, or titanium, due to the high levels of heat that are applied for dabbing.
- A Carb cap or dome – Once you place your concentrate on the banger, it’s helpful to contain the vapor in the rig while you rip it. Carb caps or domes are specially made lids that can be placed on nails or bangers to do just that.
- A dabber tool – If you didn’t know by now – concentrates are highly sticky, ooey and gooey. So, to place your concentrate onto the nail a heat-resistant tool will be required. This tool is often called a dabber, and is made of metal (think of a dentist tool or scraper!) to withstand heat, and to transfer concentrate consistencies smoothly.
- A butane torch – High powered butane torches are necessary for heating the nail or banger, because of the high temperatures that are required for heating concentrates appropriately. Along with your torch, it’s also wise to keep a can of butane handy, so you can refill when necessary.
But keep in mind, the industry moves fast. While these tools will be required for the traditional way of dabbing – industry advancements have produced e-nails with automatic heating, and dab pens for portable dabs on the go. These two methods will allow you to accurately choose your dabbing temps – which we’ll explain the importance of more in deptch, next.
Dabbing Best Practice #2 – Know your temps
To get the most out of doing a dab, it’s best to know the types of cannabinoids it contains and whether or not it contains terpenes. That’s because terpenes and cannabinoids produce an ‘entourage effect’ that references their amplification of one another when consumed together. It’s also important to know cannabinoids and terpenes are delicate compounds – so, they burn off at varying temperatures for their most potent effects.
Amongst the dabbing world, there’s also a lively debate on what’s best – low temp vs high temp dabs, and the types of effects they deliver. So, as a guide for dabbing concentrates keep the following information handy when choosing your temperature on an e-nail, dab pen or gauging how hot and red you’ll get your banger or nail.
- Low temp dabs – In general, dabbing connoisseurs consider the sweet spot for low temp dabs around 315 – 450°F where the majority of cannabinoids and terpenes burn off. Due to the number of terpenes in this range, if you’re dabbing for flavor then low temp dabs are ideal. Hits tend to be smoother, and less cough-inducing at low-temps as well.
- High temp dabs – At temperatures of 450°F and up, you can expect to experience a harsher hit with less flavor, with a more intense burst or rush of effects. High temps tend to have less of a flavor and are preferred by dabbers who love the aesthetic of thick, cloudy vapors.
A guide to the temperatures that common cannabinoids and terpenes vaporize at –
- THC – 315°F
- CBD – 320 – 356°F
- Myrcene – 330 – 334°F
- Limonene – 350°F
- Delta 8 THC – 347 – 352°F
- CBN – 365°F
- Linalool – 388°F
- CBG – 390°F
- Caryophyllene – 390°F
- Pinene – 420 – 435°F
- THCV & CBC – 428°F
- Humulene – 435°F
With these tips and tricks in mind – you’re ready to get dabbing! To continue our beginner’s guide to dabbing, next we’ll cover the steps to dab traditionally and successfully.
How to Dab
- Prepare your rig by filling it with the proper amount of water, and inserting your nail or banger into its stem.
- Use your dabber tool to scoop out the amount of concentrate or extract you’re going to dab. Get your carb cap or dome, and place it near you to grab easily.
- Start your torch and heat up the bottom of the nail or banger. Once the banger or nail is red, it’s reached an appropriate temperature for dabbing.
- If you’d prefer a low temp dab, allow the banger to cool for 20-30 seconds. When you’re ready, use the dabber to place your concentrate and extract into the nail or banger. Swirl it around until melted and vaporized completely while simultaneously inhaling from the mouthpiece.
- As soon as the concentrate is complete, place the dome or carb cap over the nail or banger and inhale the remaining vapor.
Just like that – you’re a dabber! To finish, let’s answer another common question on dabbing – what types of concentrates can you dab? Let’s learn!
Types of Concentrates to Dab
Last but not least – here are the most popular types of concentrates ideal for dabbing.
- Diamonds – Diamonds are the cream of the crop when it comes to concentrates to dab, hence the luxurious name. Made with a specialized extraction technique, diamonds also mimic their counterpart in appearance with a sturdy consistency and rock-like shape.
- Isolate – Isolates are most commonly found in powder form, and typically contain just one isolated cannabinoid. They’re the perfect addition to any diamond, juice, wax, or budder dab to add an elevated touch of potency.
- Budders or wax – Budders, or wax like concentrates or even honeys, are specially formulated in the extraction process to have a whipped, gooey or sticky consistency. They tend to be the easiest to scoop up, and dab quickly or use in a portable dab pen.
Also, be aware – not every concentrate can be treated the same! Some are strain-specific or contain a specific blend of cannabinoids or terpenes for unique and desired effects.
Level Up Your Wellness Routines
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