Just a Dab’ll Work: An In-Depth Beginner’s Guide to Dabbing
You’re no stranger to cannabis use in the traditional ways. You may have smoked more than a few bowls, fired up a joint, or even tried some edibles, but your fellow cannabis-enthused friends may be trying cannabis in a new way: dabbing. If you’ve watched others dab, you’re no doubt going to be curious. If you’ve heard others talk about dabbing, you’re probably going to be eager to try this modern method for yourself. Here’s a quick guide to dabbing to help you get familiar with the process.
What Is Dabbing?
Dabbing is the process of smoking concentrated cannabis and extracts. It might sound like a foreign way to use marijuana, but it has actually been around for a long time. In fact, pre-20th-century botanical extraction is deeply rooted in medical cannabis history. In essence, dabbing is using a purer form of cannabis, which is created by breaking down the material to harvest the cannabinoids like THC and CBD to create a more potent concentrated material that resembles was, glass, or thick syrup. The concentrated material is vaporized through high heat, and you inhale the vapors.
How Does Dabbing Affect You?
When you are dabbing, the effect that you experience will vary depending on the product. For example, some dabs come from straight Sativa strains, so you would experience a less couch-locked high and probably feel more energetic. Dabbing with concentrate delivers a more rapid delivery of the effects of the cannabis, which happens because of the higher levels of THC and cannabinoids in the substance.
Some dabbers claim that the effects of cannabis last longer with dabbing.. In the beginning, it’s always best to start slow and use only a small amount of material, just like you did when starting to smoke flowers. It’s really the same process where you take bigger inhales and smoke more as you progress. If you have a friend who is an experienced dabber, take advantage of it by allowing them to show you the ropes.
What Are the Multiple Ways to Dab?
One of the beauties of dabbing with concentrate is you are not confined to the typical smoking methods of burning bud. There are many ways to dab, and because dabbing is becoming such a popular thing among regular cannabis users, there’s always some new way to use dabs and waxes showing up in dispensaries and shops. Just like those who primarily smoke marijuana in the traditional way, you may want to experiment with different ways to dab until you find a way that suits you and your lifestyle.
Using a Dab Rig
A dab rig come in many different sizes and styles. They typically consist of a nail where the wax is placed for heating, a glass piece with water percolation, and a few other components that can vary according to rig style. Nails can come in different types of material: quartz, ceramic, titanium. Most experienced dabbers recommend quartz nails. In order to use a dab rig, you do need a torch to heat the cannabis concentrate on the nail to the correct temperature.
Burning Dabs on an Electric Nail
If the whole idea of holding a small blow torch to the wax concentrate in a rig or in a pipe sounds intimidating, an electrical nail is probably going to be a preferred dabbing method for you. An electric nail looks a lot like any other dabbing rig, but instead of direct flame for heating, the device has an electric heater that you just turn on. One of the advantages of using an electric nail, especially with a high-end model, is you get power over burning temperature, which can affect the effects you experience and how the vapors taste.
Firing On a Health Stone in a Pipe
Using a health stone is probably the least intimidating way to take a dab. A health stone is a small naturally porous rock that slips down inside of the bowl of your pipe. You sit the concentrated cannabis on the stone, light it with a cigar torch, and inhale. If you want to experience dabbing without investing in a rig or other equipment, a health stone tends to be the cheapest way to get started.
Using a Dab Pen
Dab pens are extremely popular among medical cannabis users because they allow them to get the medicine they need in a more socially acceptable fashion. Dab pens are designed with a small encapsulated area where you place a tiny bit of wax. The burner inside heats up to a high degree to vaporize the wax, and you simply inhale to take in the vapors as needed. To make this process even simpler, you can also get dab pens that have pre-filled cartridges that you just swap out when all of the wax inside is gone.
What Tools Do You Need to Dab?
If you’re going to be dabbing for the first time, it’s a good idea to get what you need to get you started before you buy the actual dabbing product. Here’s a simple checklist to help you out:
- Dabbing rig, nail, or health stone and traditional smoking pipe
- Small butane torch that is capable of burning for long periods to apply heat (there are torches specifically made for dabbers that are the best)
- Dabbing product, which could be anything from shatter, crumble, and sauce, or similar concentrated forms of cannabis
- Dab tool, which is used to scoop dab out in small portions and apply to heating surface
- Carb cap to restrict air flow through a rig until the dab hits the proper temperature
Pros of Dabbing
- The effects of the cannabis hit you faster, which can be exceptionally appreciated by medicinal users
- You experience a more intense high or more intense relief
- Less product yields more results compared to smoking—a little dab will do whereas you would have to smoke more to achieve the same effect
- Dabs are more compact to carry without drawing attention to yourself
- Concentrated dabs boost THC levels between 50 and 75 percent; a joint will probably contain around 18 percent with 60 percent of that lost when you burn it
- Dabbing opens the doors to experiment with different techniques (i.e. dab rigs, vaporizers, etc.)
- You get to experience the concentrated advantages of different weed strains
Cons of Dabbing
- Making the concentrated dabs on your own can be a dangerous process, particularly with solvents
- Vaporizers, rigs, and other dabbing equipment used must be properly cleaned because compounds from the dabs accumulate
- Dabbing requires you to use more intense heating methods, like a small butane torch with rigs
- Dabbing using a rig is a more involved process than simply smoking flower
Is Dabbing Right for You?
With cannabis legalization spreading, more people are talking about new and old ways to use marijuana, so your interest in dabbing is bound to be piqued whether you are a recreational toker or someone who relies on cannabis for health reasons. Every method of using cannabis is not right for everyone, so it’s hard to say if dabbing is right for you until you try it. A few things that could mean dabbing would be an experience you enjoy are:
- You enjoy the idea of experiencing marijuana in new ways
- You want a faster effect than what you get when you smoke marijuana
- You like the idea of a more intense high or a more intense level of relief for what ails you
Dabs are just one component in the rapidly growing world of legal cannabis products, and in the end, the best way to tell if dabbing is something you’ll like is to give it a shot. You may even find that you prefer dabbing over traditional smoking or consumption.
Interested in learning more?