If you are new to the cannabis world, there are probably a lot of things out there that are confusing and brand new. Nowadays, there are multiple ways to smoke cannabis like joints, blunts, bongs, and dabs. Now—if you’re new—you’ve probably heard of joints and bongs, but you ask yourself, what is a dab?
Dabs are becoming increasingly popular as marijuana continues to become legalized across the country. This method of smoking offers a potent high and tasty flavors, and the effects hit you sooner smoking dabs versus smoking flower. But, there are so many other things to know when it comes to dabs.
This article seeks to help you understand everything you need to know about dabs. It’s important to be well-versed within the cannabis industry to ensure you are finding the right method of ingesting cannabis for you. Some people swear by the bud and won’t waver while others enjoy the world of concentrates. For those of you interested in exploring the realm of weed concentrates, stay tuned.
What Is A Dab?
So, what is a dab? A dab is a word used to describe a particular amount of cannabis concentrate. There are varying types of concentrates out there (wax, shatter, sauce, etc.), but they all fall under the same category.
The dabs are a small portion of the concentrated cannabinoids and terpenes. Dabs are also typically considered more flavorful due to the concentrated amount of terpenes. It should be noted that concentrates are much more potent than the marijuana flower or bud.
Dabs are meant to be vaporized, not combusted. The act of vaporizing a dab through a dab rig is known as dabbing. Dabbing typically provides for a very clean hit; however, be wary, if you take a big dab rip you better have something to drink close by.
How Are Dabs Made?
When you look at marijuana flower, you’ll notice right away the way it seems to shift and glitter in the light. That is the crystal-like trichomes that blanket the surface of the cannabis flower. Those trichomes are responsible for producing the high you feel when you smoke the bud because they contain a strain-specific blend of cannabinoids like THC.
To create concentrates, you need to be able to separate the trichomes from the bud and isolate them into a mixture. When the trichomes are harvested correctly, the result is the concentrate or dab.
To have a better idea regarding the difference in potency levels between flower and concentrates, it should be pointed out that the highest flower has been tested is at 30% THC whereas the potency of dabs can range up to 99% THC. A drastic difference to say the least.
How To Dab Using Cannabis Concentrates
Dabbing can be somewhat tricky, especially for beginners. It takes time to learn the correct amount of heat to apply or how much of the concentrate to use for each rip. There is also a skill to inhaling the smoke and exhaling it to soften the blow to your lungs.
If this process seems overwhelming, don’t worry. Experience is your best teacher, but if you follow along with these steps, the process will go much smoother.
Here’s What You’ll Need
There aren’t many things required to take dabs, but there are so many options out there for you to choose from. There are many different styles of rigs or bongs, nails, and dabbing tools available to you. It doesn’t matter what it looks like as long as it works for you.
So, here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need:
- Dab rig
- Dabbing tool (preferably with a carb cap)
- Butane torch
- A comfortable place to rip some dabs
Make sure you have a space set up to place all your tools. Now the first step is to heat the nail—attached to your dab rig—using a torch. Continue to heat it until the nail turns a glowing red. This will help burn off any additional particles leftover from previous uses and ensure the proper temperature for the dab.
Now, this next step is a little tricky. You want to allow the nail to cool down briefly before you go in to take the dab. If you don’t follow this step your dab will be burned up instantly and rendered un-smokeable. The amount of time you need to wait depends on the thickness of your nail.
As a general rule of thumb, it usually takes around 30-60 seconds for the dab nail to be cool enough for you to use.
Now it’s time to dab. Place the concentrate or dab on the surface of the nail, using the dabbing tool, and begin inhaling the vapor from your rig. Unlike a bong rip, a dab rip requires a slow, steady build. There is a lot of smoke produced from a dab rip and it will not all vaporize instantly.
Now, if you have a dabbing tool with a cap, this is a great time to use it. It allows you to get the most out of your hit. And, if you need to take a second and exhale before finishing off the rip, use the cap to seal the mouthpiece. This will allow you to finish off your rip without losing any of the dab.
Round two? If you’re still in the mood to take another dab after that, feel free. Make sure to clean your nail in between smoking sessions to reduce the build-up of residue (wait for it to completely cool before cleaning). Just use a cotton swab that is dampened with warm water. For deep cleans, use a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol and rub it along the length of your nail.