Cannabis Dabs: What Are They and How Can I Use Them?
Over a decade old, dabbing had come a long way since the earlier days when we did “spots” stovetop style utilizing the old two knives system. Archaic compared to the sophisticated dabbing set-ups we see today. In addition, the old school method was dangerous due to the minor burns we sustained, not to mention the always-present possibility of setting the house ablaze. This post takes a closer look at dabbing, the marijuana imbibing method that’s become so popular it’s taken its rightful place next to the traditional bong.
What Is Dabbing?
Dabbing is a method of inhaling cannabis in a vaporized concentrated form called dabs through a temperature-specific heating set-up called a dab rig. THC concentrates inhaled through the dabbing method are often tastier and offer a more potent high than smoking the flower portion from a bong. In addition to the other positives, weed concentrates won’t linger as long in the air, lending itself to better discretion.
There is a learning curve when dabbing, especially the proper degrees, which varies greatly (approximately 350-930 degrees). Although, lower dabbing temps are preferable due to some unwanted compound formation when a dab gets heated higher ones. As a result, this trial period gets a little expensive for novices but worth every penny in the end.
What Are Dabs?
Unlike “spots” that combine an unspecified amount of rolled weed, resin, or hash, dabs, are typically created highly concentrated cannabinoids combined with terpenes. And, because you vaporize dabs instead of combusting them, dabbing also provides a cleaner taste if done correctly (remember the learning curve). Favored examples of dabbable concentrations include badder, sauce, budder, crystalline, rosin, live resin, and butane hash oil, or honey oil.
The primary terpene used in dabbing is the butane hash oil or BHO. BHO has active ingredient (tetrahydrocannabinol or cannabidiol) contents ranging between 50 and 90 percent, with terpene content ranging from 0.1 to 34 percent.
The Dab Rig
Most dab rigs are three components: a glass piece, a nail, and a torch lighter. However, typically you buy the torch lighter separately. In addition, users prefer actual dabbers when applying concentrates which is a short small diameter rod.
A breakdown of the dab rig components:
- Glass piece
- Torch lighter
The Glass Piece
A fundamental glass piece contains further named parts: a mouthpiece, base chamber, down stem, and the glass dome or cap. Assuming you understand the parts of your typical bong, the glass piece is much like that, but instead of a bowl, the business end where your product sits is called a nail.
Another difference is in the dabbing process; less percolation is best. Too much percolation ultimately reduces the potency when water comes in contact with the oil vapors in dabs. But, with typical old-fashioned bowl hits, the more percolation, the better the hit. Meaning, with a dabbing glass piece, you’ll tend to see only one percolator.
The last difference between a dab rig and a standard bong is that a dab rig glass piece also tends to be smaller in size than regular bongs. Again, you want your dab smoke to have a less traveled road to get to you, as the potency lessens when dab oil vapors mix with water vapors, unlike bong hits.
The Nail or Banger
The nail or banger component of your dab rig is where your dab goes. As we mentioned earlier, the nail, like the bowl of your standard bong, is where your product, the dab, sits. However, dab rigs are different because they require a more heat-resistant and durable attachment to withstand the higher heat intensity necessary to vaporize concentrates. Nails, typically, are made out of a long thin piece of quartz, ceramic, or titanium designed to handle repeated heating.
A note of CAUTION: Nails become extremely hot when dabbing. Wait for all pieces to cool down before handling.
A torch lighter uses butane fuel as opposed to ordinary lighter fluid. The use of butane causes the lighter to burn hotter. Regular cigarette lighters utilize a gas drawn from either a wick soaked in fluid or compressed liquid under low pressure and burn only around 840 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, torch lighters, easily recognizable by the bright blue flame, use compressed butane gas expelled at a high rate of speed, combined with a high-pressure valve to control the gas and reaches temperatures as high as 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Experts warn against using propane torches as they burn too hot and scorch your dab.
The dabber is a small piece of metal used to load your dabbing product. This tool is an essential device that brings your dab into contact with the heated banger. A dabber tool is typically elongated with a sharp point at the end and generally made from glass or stainless steel metal. When you use the proper dabber created explicitly for dabbing, it increases the safety of your smoking experience through neat and effortless dab product manipulation. Most high-end kits sold today come with pretty decent dabbers. Some dabbers and mini bongs have a small scoop on one end and the other a point with a textured grip middle for excellent control of your product. Other options for dabbing tools are dab straws or honey collectors, also known as nectar collectors.
In closing, while dabbing is still experiencing growing pains, concentrates have much to offer the cannabis consumer in the future. Now that you understand a little about dabbing, take a look online and check out the many sites you can purchase dab rigs and accessories for your dabbing pleasure. A knowledgeable and reputable dab rig dealer will help you find the correct rig for your skill level and personal needs. Best of all, they’re there to assist you through the setup process and answer all your questions.
You can also find weed vaporizers for sale at Slickvapes.