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Dabbing 101 – A Helpful Guide

If you have ever asked yourself why so many people are in love with dabbing—you’re not alone. However, it is likely due to the fact that they have mastered how to get the perfect dab, the perfect high, every time. As we know, we are all physically and physiologically different from one another, so finding the perfect combination for each person requires a little bit of experimentation, patience and know-how to pull off correctly.

If you don’t know what dabbing is, it is when you smoke or vaporize cannabis concentrates for a more potent high or seeking more relief from medical ailments. Dabbing’s rising popularity has led to a lot of new technology and information that need to be considered if you want to ensure a good time— which is why we strongly caution against going into the world of dabbing blindly.

What Exactly Are Dabs Anyway?

“Dabs” are the technical moniker referring to concentrated THC and CBD that come in differing consistencies known as crumble, oil, wax, budder, or shatter depending on how they are made.  They are inhaled via an oil rig or vaporizer set up–with shatter being the most commonly used type of concentrate for dabbing. In lieu of using a traditional bowl and lighter, you will now be using a nail and butane torch that you take one hit at a time.

A large slab of cannabis shatter ready for dabbing

A large slab of cannabis shatter ready for dabbing

Size Matters

First things first—keep in mind that the size of your dab should match your tolerance and personal lung capacity. Concentrates are just that: concentrated and extremely potent. This is why it is imperative you have a good idea of what your limits are, and to ALWAYS START SMALL! Seasoned dabbers can help you determine a good starting size because it is very common to get uncomfortably high if you take too much your first time. We recommend experimenting cautiously, listening to your body, and keeping in mind you can always take another dab if you want a stronger effect.

1. What You’ll Need

  • Dab Rig
  • Torch
  • Nail
  • Dabber
  • Carb Cap
  • Cannabis Concentrate

To simplify things, a dab rig is basically a bong with less volume that doesn’t have much restriction on airflow. Dab nails are typically made out of glass, titanium, or ceramic—and while a carb cap is not necessary, it can be very helpful with making sure all the vapor gets into the rig. Most carb caps do come with a dabber on the other end that is used to scoop the concentrate on to the dab nail.

a-man-dabbing-cannabis-concentrates

A man dabbing cannabis concentrates.

2. Finding the Perfect Temperature

Figuring out the perfect temperature for your dabbing adventures is extremely influential on what kind of high you’ll have and your overall experience. In regard to dabbing, the temperature you eventually smoke your product at can influence your entire high. Low temp dabbing will give you a smoother, more flavorful toke—but that comes at the price of enjoying less vapor, and a less intense high with the increased risk of wasting concentrate that may get left behind.  High temp dabbing will give you much thicker vapor clouds, a more intense high, without leaving any residue behind; with the downsides being a less flavorful and harsher hit.

Man exhaling a large cannabis dab hit.

Man exhaling a large cannabis dab hit.

As a general guide:

0-300 ° F is too low to get a good hit and will likely result in a puddle of oil accumulating on your nail.

315-450° F is considered a low temp dab—like we talked about earlier. This temperature will vaporize all the terpenes and cannabinoids while keeping its flavor.

450-600° F is the goldilocks zone for dabbing. A medium temperature dab is a middle ground for people wanting to balance effect with flavor.

600-900° F is a high temp dab and is when the dab nail will still be red; producing a hit that will be more intense with thicker smoke and less flavor than the low or medium temp dabs.

900+° F you are basically setting your dab rig ablaze at this point, and we strongly caution against trying to dab at this temperature. It is not pleasant, and you’ve been warned…

Electric Nail for Dabbing

E-nails are electric dab nails that are jacked in to a power source— bringing heat to the nail and the user more control without the hassle of using a torch. However, e-nails are usually more pricey than traditional dab set-ups, so keep that in mind when you’re weighing your options. 

Potency

You would be very wise to never underestimate the power of the dab. For newbies that are still in uncharted territory, you will more than likely experience a lot of coughing, shortness of breath or sweating—maybe all three. Being aware of this and knowing to tweak your breathing technique a little to accommodate these side effects will help increase lung capacity and decrease the likelihood of an intense reaction to the smoke inside them.

However, we would like to point out that we do not recommend newbies to cannabis or smoking in general to start out doing dabs. One gram of hash oil contains 800mg of cannabinoids at a potency of 80% THC. To put this into perspective, the recommended starting dose for edibles is between 5-10% total cannabinoids—which is a good indicator that dabs aren’t for the lighthearted and are best left to the seasoned tokers.

Also, don’t make the mistake of holding dab hits in like a bong rip. All the THC will be absorbed within seconds of taking your hit and holding it in only unnecessarily damages your lungs and increases the odds of you curtailing into a painful and violent coughing fit.

Final Hit

Obviously results will improve, and you will eventually get to a point where you will find the perfect temperature and dosage—your lungs will adapt, and your hits will become less harsh. As your dabbing adventures evolve, it is inevitable that you will start coming into contact with various types of concentrates, and your favorite ones will begin to standout and become part of your daily repertoire.

While mastering the fine art of creating quality concentrates is technically a science—enjoying them safely shouldn’t be confusing. From all of us here at Breck Organic Therapy, please dab and enjoy responsibly! If you have any questions or need pointers about how to dab safely, feel free to reach out and talk to any one of our trained experts.

We encourage you to check out this extremely informative video about the ins and outs of dabbing, as well as additional safety information from our friends over at YoungFashioned!

Breckenridge Organic Therapy carries a variety of cannabis products that are naturally sourced and high quality. Feel free to stop by or contact us with any questions you may have and we will be happy to help!


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