Elevate Your High: A Guide to Successful Dabbing

Dabs, Rig, Concentrates
Photo by Justin Cannabis

Photo by Justin Cannabis.

When dabbing first hit the scene a few years ago, getting your nail red-hot, then dropping a tasty glob was the rage. Thick, swirling smoke promised an enticing high that would envelop your body and brain almost instantly. But more often than not, the high that was produced was accompanied by a fit of coughing, the infamous dab sweats and a few minutes of dealing with “harshed-out” lungs.

Have no fear! The ingenuity of the stoner community has developed a less abrasive and more enjoyable technique for dabbing. Here are a few tips that should make your concentrate experience more pleasurable.

Let’s start with your equipment. Keeping your rig clean will help ensure that your concentrates are as tasty as possible. Built-up oil and residue imparts a muddled and dirty taste to your dab hit. Keeping your tools are clean will help you retain the purity of the concentrate.

Just as important: make sure your nail is free of any build-up from previous use. Wipe off the surface (a Q-tip will do the trick) while it’s still warm. It will help retain a smooth and clean-tasting smoke. Also, heating your nail sufficiently to burn off any leftover material prior to your next hit is a must.

The correct temperature for your dab is essential. Each nail is different. Many are made of titanium, quartz or ceramic and all have varying degrees of thickness. These variables dictate how long your surface retains its heat, which is important in finding that sweet spot.

A red-hot surface will almost always be too hot to enjoy. After heating your surface, let it cool down. An example of an ideal dab temperature is when you touch the nail with your dab tool and it bubbles slowly, with a very light smoke escaping from the surface. It’s not until you cover your nail with a carb cap or dome that you should see a thick smoke erupting. The result should be that a bit of your concentrate is left pooled on the surface, without it darkening from its original color too much. A black, scorched nail belies a hit that was too hot. If you follow these guidelines, the smoke should taste just like the concentrate smells in its raw form – and you won’t be left coughing or experiencing any acrid taste. It’s a matter of trial and error until you determine the best temperature. It’s well worth the effort. You can use your smartphone to time out the cooling phase. It helps take the guesswork out.

Of course, the single most important ingredient to an enjoyable dab experience is starting with well-produced, clean dabs from great flowers. After you’ve achieved that,  use these techniques to bid goodbye to scorching dabs. Elevate your concentrate expertise and elevate your high!

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