If you’ve never dabbed before, it can be a little intimidating to get started. You’ve probably heard hyperbolic stories about how dabbing is the most extreme form of cannabis, or that you need a blow torch (as if the average person has one lying around) to even do it. While these are rooted in reality — yes, you can can accidentally much too high from dabbing — it also happens to be one of the cleanest forms of ingestion out there.
A dab is a very potent cannabis concentrate made through a process whereby the plant’s chemicals are extracted often through a solvent like butane, carbon dioxide, or isopropyl alcohol. A dab’s high concentration of chemical compounds like THC makes it the perfect vehicle for getting very high very fast. While cannabis flower is usually 10 to 25 percent THC, dabs are between 60 and 90 percent. If nothing else, dabbing is a pure, efficient way to reap the benefits of THC, CBD, or other cannabinoids.
If you’re curious about dabbing, here’s a guide to get started. We’ll explain what kind of equipment you need, and how to actually use it.
Decide what you’ll actually dab
There are a variety of concentrates to choose from. If this is your first time dabbing, consider a concentrate high in CBD — if your dab hit is stronger than you expected, a high CBD composition will balance out the effects of the THC.
Ensure you have the proper tools
1. Torch: Mini torches are fine, but some prefer to use propane-fueled torches.
2. Water pipe/dab rig: This is a modified water pipe, but instead of the glass connector you’d typically have, you’ll replace them with the dabbing attachments.
3. Nail: It must fit the gauge of the water pipe.
4. Dabber: This is the tool to apply the actual dab. It’s usually glass, metal, or ceramic.
5. Dome: Some nails don’t need domes, but others do. The dome traps the vapor before it’s inhaled.
Apply the right amount of concentrate
If you’re new to dabbing start small. You should be dabbing no more than a crumb’s worth of concentrate.
Aim the torch at the nail
Once your dab rig is set up, aim the flame of the torch directly at the nail. It’s common to heat the nail until it’s red hot, but this will also depend on the kind of nail you’re using. (Best to consult the person you bought it from to make sure you’re heating it to the right degree.)
Let the nail cool
Once the nail is hot enough, turn off the torch and place the dome over it, in order to trap the vapor. You should let the nail cool for about 10 to 45 seconds.
Apply the dab to the nail
Keep the dome over the nail and apply the dab to the nail. Take a slow inhale, while you twist the dabber on the nail, so no oil will get stuck to the dabber.
Inhale, and enjoy!