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Vapor Dabs Vs. Smoke Dabs

Dabs come with fancy names and increasingly creative ways of enjoying them. But when you really think about it, what are vapor dabs, anyway? While opinions may differ on whether they are clouds, smoke, or vapor, there are a few things we need to know. When we learn how the heat interacts with the concentrates, it gives us a better understanding of how the whole thing works. Regardless of whether your dabs should be called smoke or vapor, the science behind it is irrefutable.

To put it simply, your dabs can really be vapor, smoke, or even a combination of the two. The exact form of dab will depend on the temperature levels you hit and the manner in which you apply the heat. Dabbing is, essentially, an effect of transferring heat to the concentrates. And there are three main ways of accomplishing this. One is combustion, in which case, the result is often smoke. And the other two are convection and conduction. These two methods of transferring heat usually result in vapor dabs.

Sometimes, a simple explanation isn’t really enough to help us understand the whole thing. So, today, we’ll take you through a more detailed understanding of how you get vapor dabs or smoke dabs. 

Vapor dabs through conduction 

Conduction is one of the most popular ways of dabbing. It’s almost a guarantee that your dabs come in the form of vapors. It’s especially common to see conduction mechanisms with dabbers who prefer the low-temperature hits. Most dabbers agree that the ideal low-temp dab should be one that happens between 300 – 450° F. There are users who will maintain that the upper limit should not go beyond 400° F, but that is a matter of preference. In most cases, this ideal temperature comes after a series of self-experiments where you can narrow down the temperature window that works for you. It’s usually easier if you use a laser thermometer to keep track of your heating levels. IF you’re not using a temperature tool, there are other ‘manual’ ways of tracking the temperature. For example, once the nail has cooled a bit, let your fingers hover over the nail to see if you can still feel the heat without getting burnt.

With conduction, the heat gets transferred from a solid surface to the concentrates that lie in it. This solid surface is the nail that can be made of quartz, titanium, glass, ceramic, etc.). You’re essentially preparing the nail to perform the conduction when you heat it up, instead of some other isolated source of heat (which happens in convection). If you’ve mastered the art, conduction creates high-quality vapor dabs that waste minimum or zero concentrates.

Using low-temperature conduction is a technique that most dabbers prefer. They feel that it yields vapor dabs that have more flavor and prevent waste of concentrates. Conduction also helps in the durability of your nail. Since there’s no real combustion that leaves residue or debris, it’s also easier to maintain. You can even enhance the whole experience by using a carb cap. Carb caps let you control the airflow as well as ensure even heating around the nail. 

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Smoke dabs through combustion 

This method is more popular among dabbers who prefer the high-temperature dabs. To get this kind of temperature, you’ll have to use a butane/propane torch to heat the nail up to red-hot levels. And while the low-temperature dabs can happen in the 300 – 400° F, these higher-temp dabs can go up to 800° F. This means your dabs will come with more intense and stronger hits.

With high-temperature dabs, it’s true that the hits can get enhanced and more intense. But the trade-off is that it can change the flavor of the dab. So, you’re risking the loss of some flavor or a change that might not necessarily be all that great. The change in flavor happens when the temperature gets high enough to breakdown the compounds in the concentrate. And this is when the combustion process happens. You may notice that the concentrates may start burning and produce a column of smoke. Although this is the desired result for high-temp dabbers, most users don’t really prefer this level of combustion. It’s probably easier to use a bong for smoke at these levels instead of a rig that will need constant cleaning from the burned residue. Also, it’s important to note here that there is an ideal temperature even for red-hot dabs. This ideal level may depend on the dabber’s tastes, but excessive combustion is usually not the aim. 

Smoke -Vapor Dab combo 

There’s also a level where you can experiment with the vapor-smoke combo. Most rigs can make it happen at around the 500-600° F range. The temperature is high enough to partially combust the portions of the concentrate in direct contact with the nail. At the same time, it’s low enough to let the remaining concentrates vaporize with better flavors. The dominant taste should still be vapor dab, but there’s always a small risk of creating contaminants that are better left alone. 

Conclusion 

When it comes to quality dabbing, most of the best styles were discovered when users tried new techniques. So, it’s clear that playing around with these temperatures and techniques isn’t a bad idea. There will certainly be misfires that happen every once in a while. And you should be able to steer clear of major risks if you learn from these mistakes.

So, for anyone still wondering whether dabs are smoke or vapor, the answer is that the temperature decides. A nice and flavorful vapor dab will only come in lower temperatures around the 300 – 450 ° mark. But you can always experiment with higher temperatures to see what else you can get out of your dabs. For those who prefer a little combustion, the hybrid temperatures in between can give great results. And the red-hot temperatures beyond 800° are always available for those who want to play around with more intense hits.

Either way, a fair trial of different techniques and temperatures will help you find that sweet spot where you get the precise dabs you want. If you need a rig or vaporizer, check out DestionationSmoke.com

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