Beginners Guide to Dabbing
Dabbing offers you a new way to enjoy cannabis. Most of us are familiar with burning a joint or bowl of flower, and a few of us might like a dash of pollen or hash in a smoke. If you've ever hit a joint loaded with some high-quality pollen, then you'll instantly feel a supercharged effect to the experience.
Vaporizing a dab is even more intense. From a small pinch of shatter, you get a clean and flavorful cannabis experience that's unlike anything else you ever had the privilege of smoking. Due to the high potency of the extracts, and the wide availability of strains at dispensaries, dabbing is gaining traction among stoners as a new way to get high on their favorite flavors.
If you're a newbie to dabbing, here's a brief guide to everything you need to know to get lit – enjoy!
What are Cannabis Extracts?
"Wanna smoke some wax?" Sure, it might not sound that inviting to most people, but stoner's ears light on fire when they hear someone mutter those fabled words. Wax, budder, shatter – there are plenty of names for dabs, and there's a slight difference between each type. However, the gist of it is that you're only smoking the oils, terpenes, and cannabinoids of the plant.
When manufacturers process oils, they remove all the beneficial compounds from the plant, leaving behind the plant material. As a result, you get a pure oil filled with all the good stuff, without any of the combustible plant material that does nothing for your high.
There are various extraction methods for removing the beneficial parts of the cannabis plant. The two most utilized methods are CO2 or butane extraction (BHO). The goal of collecting concentrates is to produce a clear oil, with a golden yellow color. Processing temperatures play a significant role in the final color and potency of the oil.
Here are a few examples of the types of dabs available, and the differences between the extracts.
Shatter. A stable, hard, glass-like form of concentrate. Shatter gets its name from the undisturbed molecules that give it the appearance of shattered glass.
Rosin. This solventless extract is fast becoming the gold standard in cannabis extracts. Manufacturers use pressure and heat to extract the oils from the flowers.
Wax. This sticky and somewhat opaque concentrate produces a disturbance in the cannabinoids at the molecular level, causing the oil to lose its translucent characteristics.
Crumble. This extract is like wax, but it has a less-oily feel to it and a solid texture.
Isolates. The highest purity of the extract, causing the formation of clear THC crystals with purity levels up to 99.7%.
Each of the dabs has subtle differences that make them perform differently in the dab rig. As you play around with the different types of dabs, you'll get to know how to handle them to enhance your smoking pleasure.
How Do I Do a Dab?
Dabbing is a very different experience compared to firing up a bowl of your favorite flower. Dabbing produces a flash-vaporization of the extract, allowing you to take a hit of high-THC concentrate oil. The result of the dabbing experience is an intense high that will leave you feeling like the first time you ever smoked cannabis.
For users that find they have a high tolerance, dabbing levels the playing field back to ground zero. You'll get so high on your first dabbing session that you'll remember why you started smoking weed in the first place.
What Do You Need to Start Dabbing?
There are a few essentials you need to enjoy your dabbing experience.
#1 – The extract
Your choice of shatter, wax, or whatever you feel like blazing.
#2 – Your dab rig
#3 – A nail or banger
#4 – A dabber
#5 – Carb cap
Carb caps help you adjust the airflow around the nail when hitting, providing you with a thicker and more intense hit.
#6 – Torch
Your torch heats the nail, and a trigger-lock version is ideal for heating.
With a dab, you use a torch to heat the nail on the rig. After the nail reaches temperature, you dab the extract onto the nail and inhale like you would with a normal bong hit. As a professional tip: Don't hold the inhale, as the vapor expands in your lungs, causing you to cough like it's amateur hour.
If this is your first time experimenting with cannabis extracts – take it easy. Extracts like shatter are incredibly potent. The last thing you want is to take a big hit and find out you made a big mistake. Start slow and work your way into the dabbing experience.
On your first hit, pull like taking half a bong hit. Check to see how your lungs handle the vapor before taking a second hit from the rig. When you're ready for a second hit, heat the nail, and try a bigger dab. The best range for heating extracts is between 500°F to 800°F.
Lower temperatures focus on flavors, while higher temperatures produce thicker vapor clouds.
Dispensary or Black Market?
Many first-timers might decide to get their dabs on the black market. That's a mistake you will live to regret. Besides the black-market trade of cannabis being illegal, you also get no quality control on what you're buying.
Some growers might decide to produce their concentrates using solvents or the BHO extraction method. These extraction methods require the purging of the oil as a final step in the manufacturing process. However, many producers skip out on this step, leaving hydrocarbons behind in the extract they sell to customers.
Smoking and inhaling extracts with solvents residue is a fast-track to permanently damaging your lungs. Always ensure you get your dabs from a verified, third-party-tested source, such as through your local dispensary.
For assistance with the best dabbing accessories, come to Destination Smoke for the best variety of rigs, nails, bangers, dabbers, and recommendations on the dankest dabs.