Monday April 11, 2016
A lot of people are dabbing, more people are talking about dabbing, and if my suspicion is correct, even more people are wondering what dabbing is in the first place! So, let's dive into it.
In layman's terms, dabbing is a quick way to consume cannabis and get really high. Dabs in particular are concentrated forms of cannabis, packed with THC and flavor. They are incredibly potent too. One dab can keep a novice smoker medicated for over an hour or two, easily. Aside from being able to get you high incredibly fast, dabs are also easier on your lungs than smoking a bowl or joint of flower. Because you are vaporizing the concentrate by placing it on a hot nail as opposed to using an open flame, your lungs are spared the butane and other byproducts of combustion which are inhaled when smoking with other consumption methods. This is a major reason why many people prefer dabbing, and why many more are interested in giving it a shot after learning more.
If you're interested in trying a dab or have done so and want to know more, here are a few things to keep in mind!
What size dab should I take?
The size of the dab you take all depends on how frequently you smoke or consume cannabis in other forms. A frequent smoker, like someone who consumes cannabis multiple times a day, may take slightly larger dabs due to their high tolerance level. In general, individuals will build up a slight tolerance to the THC and other components of the cannabis they’re consuming over time, which will often be compensated with a slightly larger dab. However if you’re a beginner to dabbing, even if you are a frequent smoker, you’ll want to start off with a small sized dab like the size of the head of a thumbtack or smaller. Dabs are entirely different than consuming cannabis in flower form, so it’s best to start small and work your way up as opposed to over doing it your first few times around.
What is a carb cap? Do I need to use one when I’m dabbing?
A carb cap is a small tool used to “cap” or cover an e-nail while dabbing. The idea behind capping the nail is to trap the vapor (after you touch the concentrate to the e-nail) and allow for maximum inhalation. The majority of people who dab would agree that a lot of the vapor from a dab can be lost while inhaling without a carb cap. However, it isn’t always necessary to use a carb cap while dabbing. Although most individuals prefer to dab at lower temperatures, which would require the use of a carb cap, some prefer to take dabs with nails so hot that the risk of lost vapor is low.
How do I know when my nail is the right temperature to take a dab?
As we mentioned, some people prefer their nails to be hot enough that a carb cap isn’t required, while others prefer their nails to be slightly cooler, catering to a milky hit with richer flavor. If you prefer a hot nail, simply heat your nail (no matter the material), until it is red hot and wait about 10 seconds to dab. If you prefer a lower temperature dab, then the amount of time you wait depends on the material of your nail. With titanium nails, heat your nail until it starts to glow, then wait about 15 seconds before dabbing. With quartz nails, it all depends on the thickness of the nail, so trial and error may be your best shot at finding your preferred temperature. Finally, ceramic nails retain heat for a longer amount of time, so make sure the nail cools for 20-30 seconds before you dab!
How should I store dabs?
Try to store dabs similar to how you might store medications -- in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight. Because of the consistency, some concentrates can melt and make a mess if left in direct sunlight, or in a very warm area in general. Similarly, getting concentrates wet is a bad idea and will result in sizzling on the nail and other issues. Having said this, there are a few options in regards to where to store your dabs. Any container that your concentrates come in from a dispensary are a generally safe option. Small glass jars and parchment paper are also great storage ideas. Finally, silicon containers are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and are a popular option because the product won't stick to the container, plus it's easy to clean and smell-proof.
Should I clean my e-nail?
As with any new piece of technology, especially when it comes to consuming marijuana, it is important to keep everything clean in order to extend the lifespan of the product. It's no different when it comes to the subject of e-nails and dabbing. Be sure to clean your nail after every use (or multiple uses) by torching the excess residue -- or in particular sticky situations, by using ISO or rubbing alcohol that you can buy at any convenient store.
Photo Credit: Allie Weedyland