So You Want to Learn How to Dab?
What is Dabbing?
A “dab” refers to a highly concentrated or extracted dose of cannabis which is heated on an extremely hot surface (typically a nail) and then inhaled through a dab rig or modified bong.
The extracts used in dabbing are usually referred to as wax, shatter, rosin, budder or BHO (butane hash oil).
With the advent of advanced extraction methods for cannabis concentrates, the practice of dabbing has become very popular as a fast and efficient way to medicate with high levels of THC or other cannabinoids, such as CBD. In addition, dabbing is vaporizing, not smoking, which permits the release of the activated cannabinoids without the negative aspects of combustion.
A Beginner’s Guide on How to Dab
Find a clean, safe surface to set your dab rig or modified bong. Place your dab container, extract tools, and torch on the same surface to allow for ease of access while you dab. Make sure your extract tools are titanium or quartz to avoid inhalation of metal shavings or glass flakes. Double-check that your torch is full of butane. Have rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs or alcohol wipes ready for cleaning the nail when necessary.
Select a small piece or chunk of extract about the size of a grain of rice—this is a good size to start with for beginners.
Make sure it has adhered to the tip of the tool or knife, ready to be tucked into the trough of the nail.
Set it aside, propped up so the extract doesn’t fall off the tool or pick up any contaminants from the table surface.
With your first small dab set aside, fire up your torch and start heating your nail.
Be very careful and make sure you’re in a safe location so not to accidentally set anything on fire. Never point the torch at another person, the heat is very concentrated and travels a good distance.
Hold the torch a few inches from the nail, and once it begins to heat it up, move the flame slightly to spread the heat over the entire surface. Once the nail begins to show a warm deep glow, you’re ready. Watch for overheating (bright red nail), it will affect the taste and harshness of the dab smoke.
Do not touch the nail.
If you can hold your fingers about 1/2 inch from the nail and feel a slight warmth after 1 second, you’re ready to dab.
Never dab with a “red hot” nail. Make sure you wait for it to cool to the correct temperature. Doing “hot dabs” will be incredibly harsh on your throat and you will destroy the terpenes in the process (taste/smell molecules).
Slowly begin to draw on the pipe. Then place the small dab into the trough around the small hole in the center of the nail.
It will immediately start to vaporize.
Lower the extract tool into the trough, and slowly circulate the tool to ensure full vaporization of the extract.
As you continue to draw on the mouthpiece of the pipe, pick up the Carb Cap and and cover the top of the nail.
This will capture all the vapor under the cap and direct it down through the nail into the pipe.
Once the extract has completely vaporized, remove the Carb Cap and inhale deeply.
Strength and duration of the effects from extracts is usually much greater than with flower. Like any new cannabis product, start small, know your doses, and make sure you are in a comfortable place. When you are finished, store your equipment for safe-keeping.