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A Guide to Taking the Perfect Dab

how to take a dab

Dabbing is an effective way to consume cannabis and also a great ritual. Similar to cooking a great meal or mixing a refreshing cocktail, the process of preparing and executing the perfect dab can be meditative and provide a moment to decompress. Like a baseball player stepping up to the plate, as dabbing becomes more familiar, you’ll fall into a routine with your own methods and motions.

Once you know how to dab, there are a number of different techniques you can use to dial in the experience and find the method that work best for you to can achieve the right dab at the right temperature.To take your dabbing experience to the next level, here are some pro tips and techniques, and explanations as to why you should include them in your dabbing routine.

how to take a dab

What Do I Need To Take A Dab

The Tools Of The Trade 

The methods in which to dab have been getting better and better by the day. But just to start we’ll make it simple and not complicate the process any more than it needs to be.

  1. Your Cannabis Extract –As we said before, these will come in a plethora of forms, but the most common kinds of concentrates are either CO2 or Butane, as well as solventless extracts. These are all fine to dab, but the ones you’re going to want to be mindful of are the alcohol-based concentrates for it is far too dangerous to your health to risk.
  2. Your Water Pipe / Bong –These are often referred to as ‘dabbing rigs’. But if you don’t want to purchase a new one then just replace your glass bowl pieces out with dabbing attachments that will fit air-tight.
  3. A Dabbing Nail –You have a choice of what kind of dabbing nail that you can use, from titanium, to quartz, to ceramic it just depends on your preference.
  4. Your Nail Dome/Carb Cap –This piece is typically made of glass and is placed on top of your nail to trap the vapor before you inhale it.
  5. Your Torch –You must use a torch to heat your dabs. These can either be propane or butane. There are flame-less methods called e-nails which are pricey, but fantastic and worth the money.
  6. Your Dabber –This piece is just a piece of metal, glass, or ceramic tool that is used to apply the concentrate.

The Right Tools for the Job

Before you can start, it’d be wise to make sure you have the proper dabbing equipment. The standard dabbing set involves what you see here: a dab rig or water pipe of your choice that is fitted with a “nail” (an accessory that can be equipped to most water pipes that have a glass-on-glass downstem system), a butane torch with which to heat the nail, a dab tool with which to safely transfer the concentrates onto the heated nail, and of course, concentrate. In regards to your choice in a rig or water pipe, you typically want to shoot for something with low volume. For most, dabbing concentrates often involves taking few, small hits rather than the large rips a frequent bong user may be accustomed to, that’s why you don’t typically see people taking dabs out of 6-foot Zongs. Instead, most opt to use more compact pieces like the one you see pictured, which stands at 10-inches tall. If you’re looking for a butane torch, many smoke shops have begun carrying them in recent year, however, if there isn’t one nearby, a creme brulee torch from Walmart will do the trick. If you get seriously into dabbing, consider a larger butane torch from a home improvement store, as they heat up nails more efficiently and last longer than their smaller counterparts. As far as a dab tool goes, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and you should always use a tool made for this exact purpose. Dab tools come into direct contact with the heated nail and inhaling hazardous substances becomes a possibility when you use some kind of alternative to a “real” dab tool. These tools come in all shapes and sizes too, each facilitating the dabbing of a particular kind of concentrate, so keep your preferences in mind when selecting a dab tool.

Size Matters

The nature of concentrates is made apparent by their name, they are concentrated cannabis extracts that pack a real punch. As such, if you’re new to dabbing, do yourself (as well as your respiratory system) a favor and start small. So when loading your first dab, shoot for something that looks more like this:

Building up a tolerance to the sensation and effects of dabbing concentrates takes time, so dab within your limits while you’re just getting started and know that it’s always better to risk having to take another dab rather than potentially find yourself utterly couch or cough-locked.

Turning Up the Heat

how to take a dab

Since there are a nigh-countless number of nails that each heat up at different rates and even more added variance due to differences in torch output, I can’t get too particular here, but I can give you a few rules of thumb. For starters, always be sure that the torch is pointing away from yourself, others, your concentrates, and any potentially flammable materials. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve seen and heard of a large number of instances in which torch-related negligence caused damage to an individual or one’s property. Next, you typically want to heat your nail until it begins lightly glowing red:From there, wait about 30-45 seconds for the nail to cool before applying the dab tool directly to the inside of the nail as you inhale like you would through any other water pipe. Allowing time to cool is important though, as taking a dab from an overheated nail can be a truly awful experience.

Time to Apply Your Newfound Knowledge

And there you have it folks, a beginners guide to dabbing. While the specifics regarding heating times and dab sizes vary depending on the glass being used as well as the individual using it respectively, these are things you will gain comfort with as time goes on and you become more experience in the realm of dabbing. As always, thank you for reading and keep it a mile high!

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