Monday August 27, 2018

By Andrew Ward


We’ve recently delved into safe dabbing temperatures to have the best hits while avoiding any potential toxicants. Since publishing, we’ve heard from plenty of readers asking about the variations in their rigs and how they may impact heating times. Your nail or banger alone offers an array of differences that influence how long you should torch it and each one provides its own unique aspects that impact how long it needs to be torched. Whatever you do, try and avoid taking hot dabs as best as you can – your lungs (and potentially your health) will thank you in the long run! Keep reading to find out some great tips for how to take consistently flavorful low-temp dabs.

To catch up on PotGuide’s information regarding the best temperatures for dabbing, click here.

Not All Nails Are Created Equal

Your dab nail or banger is an essential element of your rig. You can't put any nail on and expect quality results. During the dabbing and concentrate boom of the past few years, technology has leaped forward to provide consumers with more modern and adequate options for nails and bangers. In doing so, the access to high-quality products soared, giving consumers much more access to the top-tier dabbing experiences they deserve.

Quality Glass
There are more options than ever now for quality dab rig set-ups. photo credit

Nails and bangers of several varieties are out on the market today, making it important to know which ones are quality and which ones are not. Glass is looked at as low-end while ceramic nails can often equal higher-end pieces at usually lower prices. This makes them ideal for casual dabbers who don’t want to break the bank. Meanwhile, domeless quartz nails, called quartz bangers, represent the majority of the market these days and range from high-end to more cost effective options as well that don’t skimp on quality performance. There are also varying grades of titanium nails that are ideal for dabbing enthusiasts, too.

Ultimately, it’s up to you as the consumer to identify the best nail or banger for your set up. Once you find one you like, it’s all about dialing in the perfect dabbing temperature for that specific nail.

Today, electronic nails, commonly known as e-nails, provide consumers with a solution to the guesswork surrounding nail heating – although there are sometimes discrepancies with exact temperatures. While some dabbing purists shun the idea of removing the torch from the process, e-nails have been heralded by many for their accuracy and convenience. In short, you have options. Overall, however, the quality of the nail, its producer and the quality of your torch all play a hand in determining the ideal heating time for perfect low-temp dabs.

The Low-Temp Dab Puddle

If you want to find out if you took a proper low-temp dab, you can gauge two features: the flavor and the puddles left in your nail or banger. When judging off your puddles, a quality dab should leave you with one that has little smoke coming off it as it turns from gold to a slightly brown yellow-gold. If the puddle blackens or is non-existent, then your dab was likely too hot and combusted during the consumption process. In instances where you may have been hitting the dab too hot, consider pausing a bit longer for your nail to cool some more.

Look for a yellow-gold or brown-gold puddle in your nail or banger after a low-temp dab.

Some people less concerned about flavor also use their puddles for additional hits. Whether they want to maximize the use of their quality oil or because they couldn’t finish the first time, the key to reusing the dab is once again low temperatures. Follow the same steps as you would with the first dab, and you should be set.

Remember that convenient saying, practice makes perfect? Well, the same goes for finding the best heating time for your nail or banger. You can always zero in on the proper nail temperature with practice. Notice how your puddles look and the hit’s flavor profile. With time and some guess and check work, you should be able to nail down the best heating and cooling intervals to reach an ideal dabbing temperature.

Reaching an Ideal Dabbing Temperature

As we've discussed in our dabbing temperature guide, there is no exact best temperature for dabbing. Additionally, everyone likes to take their dabs at different temperatures – some like them cooler than others, while some firmly believe in the “red-hot” methodology. Personal preference aside, low temperature dabs strike the perfect balance for preserving terpene profiles while consuming at levels that shouldn't be harmful to your body.

The ideal range is going to be around 350°F and 400°F. Once you pass 400°F, you experience signs of combustion, which will continue to rise the higher your temperature does.

By keeping your dabbing temperature at lower levels, you give yourself an effective hit that provides even vaporization without introducing potentially harmful compounds. Yet, as mentioned above and despite the potential health warnings, some consumers swear by their high-temperature dabs. However, with early studies showing the potential connection between toxicants and dabbing, it may be best to lower your temperatures and torch times during future sessions. If you still prefer high-temperature dabs, it is wise to keep your hits below 750°F to avoid the release of benzene and other dangerous toxicants.

In all, be sure to factor in the different aspects of your nail and torch. If you prefer a more reliable option, an e-nail is a wise investment. Find what works best for you and safely dab away!

How long do you heat your nail or banger? How long do you let it cool before dabbing? Share your feedback in the comments below!

Andrew Ward Andrew Ward

Andrew Ward is a Brooklyn-based cannabis writer and creative. His work has appeared on Benzinga, High Times, PROHBTD and several other publications and brand blogs. He has covered the cannabis space for over three years, and has written professionally since 2011. His first book, "Cannabis Jobs," was released in October 2019. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn to stay up to date.

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