Sunday December 17, 2017

By Andrew Ward


In recent years, one of the most popular subjects of discussion in the cannabis community is dabbing. Here at PotGuide, we often get asked what is the best temperature for dabbing. Today, we’ll be discussing some of the best temperatures to take your dabs and the reasons why you should always keep it low.

In theory, you can dab at any temperature that’ll vaporize your concentrates. Some prefer extremely high temperatures of up to 1500°F. Others go lower around 900°F for its convenience, as we noted in a previous article. However, both of these temperatures are way too high. Any convenience in clean-up is lost as high temperature dabs can be dangerous to your health and dab hits.

Instead, aim for a low temperature, with an ideal cooling point between 350°F to 400°F. A temperature in this range makes it possible for you to enjoy flavorful terpenes and effectively vaporize any of the popular products you’ll likely dab with. Some may even fall just below 350°F, so consider those numbers as more of a suggested rate.

But why is it best to dab at this temperature and not higher?

Why Low Temperature Dabs?

Low temperature dabs strike the perfect balance that maintains your terpenes and quality of high while vaporizing just enough of the product. Beyond that, because of the entourage effect from properly consumed terpenes, your high will typically last longer and not harm your throat or lungs in the process.

Just don’t go too low. Any heat below 300-350°F won't properly vaporize the cannabinoids you want to consume.

If anything, the most you’ll get from this temperature is an oily mess on your nail. On the other hand, once you pass 400°F you'll likely start to experience signs of combustion. This only increases at higher temperatures. By 900-1000°F, your flavor is all but entirely gone while you inhale smokey, short-lasting and harsher highs to the body. Kiss any flavorful, psychoactive side effects you were hoping for goodbye as terpenes are long gone at this temperature, too. Say hello to burning sensations and potential health risks.

Torching a Quartz Concentrate Banger
Be mindful of your temperatures and torch time. Dabs that are taken too hot may have adverse health effects.

Some may still advocate for high temperatures as the opposite can produce less vapor and milder effect. However, that’s not enough. Low temperature dabs allow for effective and even vaporization of your concentrates without introducing any unwanted compounds that form at higher degrees. So, even if a milder effect occurs, you’ll have a safer hit regardless.

Save your lungs and your body by taking a few extra steps that come with low temperature dabbing.

And, it isn’t just a burn in your lungs and throat you may experience. Recent studies into toxicants and dabbing gave us our first scientific results into the practice. Not only did the study confirm the impact high temperatures had on terpenes and decomposition. The findings also discovered the potential for dabbing to deliver "significant amounts of toxic degradation” to a consumer. The study also noted its concern over a terpene’s “oxidative liability” when heated.

Taking a Low Temperature Dab
Keeping your temperatures below 750°F will prevent any unwanted toxicants from being let off. Aim for 350°F to 400°F for the best low temp experience.

More research is suggested. However, early findings do suggest that high temperatures may indeed be a health risk. One glaring finding was the release of benzene at around 930°F. The study found that the higher the temperatures, the more likely harmful chemicals could be ingested. It found none of these effects with lower temperature dabs or temperatures below 750°F.

Get the Perfect Temperature

Depending on the compound, the heating unit and your nail, ideal temperatures can and will vary. You need to know what you are working with to get the right dab.

If you opt for a classic dab setup without an e-nail you’ll have to rely on the guess and check method mostly. You may also try using a timer to dial in the best low temperature experience. The e-nail has steadily gained traction with dabbers for its precise readings, making low temperature dabs much more attainable. Keep in mind that we do say ‘precise’ in e-nail terms. That means that surface and heating unit temperature disparities often occur. Always keep that in mind when buying and using your e-nail.

Whichever method you choose results in the same technique for a low temperature dab.

To do so, you should:

  • Heat your nail to about 800°F
  • Let it cool to the ideal heat of 350-400°F before placing your concentrates on the nail

Now that you know the benefits of low temperature dabs, be sure to check out more on the subject to stay up to date on all things dabbing.

Do you enjoy dabbing? How do you get the perfect temperature?

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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