For many weed consumers, using concentrates is still a foreign concept. When it comes to dabbing, this is easy to understand.
Although fresh-herb smokers know that dabs cannot kill, the rig and blowtorch look can be an off-putting image for most.
Many do not know how to take concentrates properly, so for those new to dabbing, here are six tips to help you have a safe dabbing experience:
1. Correct Torch Safety
Dabbing involves the use of a blowtorch, and using it requires immense focus, particularly as it is a crucial part of your dabbing equipment and you should only heat the dabbing nail to a certain temperature. Many problems people have with dabbing revolve around using a butane torch indoors, especially during the act of getting stoned.
Whenever you refill the torch with butane, always ensure that the torch’s plug and the refill nozzle are compatible with each other, as this is the only way to prevent butane leakage and related flammable dangers. Before firing up your torch, remove anything flammable from the immediate vicinity to prevent accidents from ruining your dabbing experience.
There are auto-locking features in most torches, and while this may offer convenience to those who do not want to press down on the button constantly, it can be dangerous to relinquish flame control. Lazy stoners may find the auto-lock useful, but safety should always come first. It is also very easy to knock a torch over, and if set on auto-lock, the risk of setting your home on fire becomes almost inevitable.
2. Start Slowly
Concentrated marijuana products are much more potent than buds. You do not need to take much of it to feel its effects. There is a reason ‘dabs’ have that name. If you needed to consume large quantities, they would be chunks, or globs, or something ‘larger.’ Always remember to start slowly with concentrates, and gradually increase your dosages as you build tolerance for it.
Some people cannot take more than a ‘baby dab,’ as the high is simply too intense for them. Others can take as much as they like, but they are the ones with sufficient experience to tolerate larger doses better. For beginners, it is best to start with just enough concentrate to cover the end of your dab. You can slowly build up to larger quantities until you find the correct dosage for you.
3. Keep Temperatures Low
You should never set dabs aflame. To enjoy the maximum benefits of concentrates, including effect, taste, and smoothness, it is important to consume them at low temperatures. The easiest way to establish consistency between using the torch and the nail is to understand the materials you are working with.
For any material other than glass, the nail should be red hot and glowing. As it cools, put your hand above it and wait for the heat to become bearable enough to hover your hand over. For thicker titanium and quartz materials, you should wait a bit longer because these metals are better at retaining heat. At just the right time, with carb cap in hand, dab the headed nail and cover it for the ideal taste and pull.
4. Practice Dabbing Hygiene
Regardless of the type of dabber you use, it will gather unwanted dust, hair, and who-knows-what if you do not clean and store it properly. Cleanliness is of paramount importance, and to keep your dab rig pristine, you should place it on a rubber mat to prevent it rolling off the table or having a stray kid or dog tail accidentally knocking it over.
Using a dab mat is the best way to protect your dab rig from debris, and you can lay your dab next to it safely should someone interrupt you during a hit or if you ever need to put it down suddenly. Besides protecting your dab rig from a dirty floor or surface, you should heat it after ever hit and wipe it clean for guaranteed hygiene.
Nobody wants to inhale anything other than marijuana concentrate during a dabbing ritual. Not only does old resin destroy the taste of fresh terpenes, cannabinoids and THC, it also contains harmful chemicals that do not belong anywhere near your lungs. Keep your tools clean to ensure you have a safe dabbing experience.
5. Watch the Nail
Nail burns are the most common injury associated with dabbing. Everyone dreads it, and if you do not know what it feels like, consider yourself blessed. Brushing an arm against a piping hot nail could very well ruin your session, if not your entire day or week. To protect yourself from such agonizing pain, use long dabbers to keep your hands as far away from hot nails as possible.
When setting up your dabbing rig, always look for dab tools with carb caps on one side, as they are typically long enough to eliminate any risk of accidentally catching your arm or hand on red-hot surfaces. Those using electric nails should wrap the coil around the dish so that it faces away from them. Doing so could prevent injury when lowering your arm after each hit.
Because dab nails stay hot until you switch the blowtorch off, you should be continuously cautious, as the setup is distinctly unlike normal nails that typically cool within minutes. Keep your dab rig away from table edges to prevent knocking it over and instinctively trying to catch it. This natural reaction is so common, and it frequently leads to permanent scarring and weeks of rehabilitation.
6. Choose Smaller Dab Rigs
When looking for glass suitable for dabbing concentrates, avoid massive percolators and complicated diffusers. The less filtration the vapor goes through, the better for you to feel its effects properly. You do not want to diminish potency by unnecessary filtration. Because dabs contain concentrated terpenes and cannabinoids, there is no reason to dilute it and tarnish its effectiveness.
It is much wiser to find smaller pieces of glass, as they are ideal for savoring flavor when you want to actually taste and feel those high-quality dabs. You want to create the shortest possible route for vapor to reach your mouth, and more glass and water will only detract from the enjoyment of the whole dabbing experience.
It is possible to have a safe dabbing experience every time you use this consumption method. There is no need to set your house on fire, give yourself third-degree burns, or destroy potency and flavor by using dab rigs incorrectly. Remember not to overdo it until you know your tolerance levels, and always have an experienced dabber with you until you get the hang of doing it safely on your own.