THC Dabs & Wax: The Future of Cannabis Smoking
Let’s take a look at THC dabs & wax, the future of cannabis smoking. Recent upward trends in this highly powerful way of inhaling cannabis certainly show an increasing number of users are turning to it. They are doing so to get highs that beat other methods of cannabis use out of sight.
However, there is also a word of caution for those new to dabbing. This cannabis consumption method is not for all.
Below we will explain what THC dabs & wax is all about, give details of the tools required, and provide a step-by-step guide on how to dab effectively.
Let’s get started with…
A Quick Look at THC Dabs & Dabbing
In the world of cannabis consumption, the word dab is used to describe an unspecified amount of concentrate. That generally means an amount of concentrate that you would consume in one hit.
The strength of this concentrate usually means it is about the same size as 1 rice grain (we told you it was powerful!) Common form terms of concentrate that you are likely to come across include wax, shatter, budder, crumble, or sauce.
When it comes to dabbing, this is classed as inhaling vaporized cannabis concentrates through the use of a heating tool. We are all aware of vaporizers, however, other methods include a dab rig and an e-rig.
The Power of Dabs
Be warned, this concentrated form of cannabis is not for the faint-hearted. Being concentrated means that it is far more potent than common marijuana buds.
THC Dabs come wax-formed as blobs and are most often made up of significantly highly concentrated cannabinoids and terpenes. Their make-up also ensures that flavors stand out.
The fact that dabs are vaporized, not combusted means one thing. When they are heated and inhaled correctly (an art in itself) your dabbing session will deliver a very clean taste.
This is where the latest equipment to hit the dabs & wax market comes in. Most of the latest dab rigs will include far more accurate and precise temperature controls. With practice, this allows dabbers to dial in ranges to get the most from the particular terpenes and cannabinoids contained.
Is Dabbing Popular?
You bet! This method of cannabis consumption has skyrocketed and is now arguably one of the most popular out there. On the face of it, it is easy to see why, because it offers a truly potent high along with a flavor-packed experience.
It is usually used with a glass chamber that is similar to a bong. That is known as a dab rig. These rigs include what is known as a banger. This is a ‘nail’ that is usually made from titanium, ceramic, quartz, or glass. The banger is known as the place that holds your concentrate.
To achieve the correct burning temperature either a butane torch or an e-nail is used.
What is an E-nail & Why Does it Beat a Torch?
E-nails are electronic nails for dabs. They consist of a digital control box and a coil. This heats the nail to a predetermined temperature that users set. Very importantly, it holds the temperature constant. That makes it possible for you to get the perfect dab hit every time.
When heating your banger with a torch this is a different story. Butane torches are cheap (although you will need butane refills every now and then) and there is no electricity involved.
The use of a torch can still be an effective way to quickly heat your nail. However, because they have no preset temperature settings it is likely that users will occasionally take dabs that are either too cold or too hot.
Using a torch does allow you to apply concentrated heat to the bottom of your banger. As for e-nails, they tend to heat the sides of the bucket. One downside of quality-designed e-nails is that they are noticeably more costly than the traditional butane torch.
However, e-nails are the preferred choice of serious dabbers. This is because of the precision and convenience offered. That is particularly the case if you are dab seshing with a bunch of friends.
The Dab Tools You Will Need
Most newcomers to the dabbing scene will use a traditional setup and the tools required will be listed below. Having said this, it is important to keep an eye on constantly evolving dabbing technology as new equipment is appearing regularly.
While such tools and products will be more expensive, they will also make dabbing easier and ensure you achieve the correct temperature for a hit from heaven!
Here is a list of ‘traditional’ tools required for dabbing:
- Dab Rig: This water pipe is similar to a bong but it has a fitting for a nail.
- Nail: Think of this as the bowl for your bong. It is where you will place the concentrate. Many will go for a standard quartz banger, which has a bucket shape. However, ceramic and titanium are alternative options, and as mentioned, e-nails are now coming to the fore.
When buying your nail make sure to get the correct joint size. This is where the nail slides into the dab rig. Example: If your rig has a 14mm stem, you will need the same size (14mm) nail.
It should also be noted that nails can be either male or female. You need a male nail for a female rig, and vice versa.
- Dabber: This tool is used to apply your concentrate to the nail. Dabbers can be glass, metal, or ceramic. They also come in a wide variety of shapes (e.g. scoop, spoon, ballpoint, needlepoint, and paddle.)
You should pick a dabber shape that fits with the texture and consistency of the concentrate you will be dabbing.
- Carb Cap: This is not essential but it is recommended. That is because it works by regulating airflow. With that in mind, consider going for a combo dabber and carb cap as these are becoming increasingly popular.
- Butane Torch or E-Nail: This has already been explained above. Butane torches are cheap but not as effective at reaching/maintaining the correct temperature. Hence the reason e-nails are coming to the fore (but they are noticeably more expensive).
- Cannabis Extract: Choose your poison! Extracts come in a variety of forms. Common ones are wax, shatter, and BHO. There are also solventless extracts available such as rosin.
- 2 x Optional Tools: A dab mat: This will keep your dabbing surface clean and avoid any stickiness. A timer: This will help to consistently time and heat your nail dab after dab. The timer is not necessary if you use an e-nail.
5 Steps to Dabbing Weed Concentrates
The upfront cost, the number of accessories involved, and the technique may appear to be a stopper for those new to dabbing. However, with investment and patience, you will get the process right and with practice, rig use will become easy and very efficient.
Here’s a 5 step guide to dabbing weed concentrates:
Turn your torch on and aim the flame directly onto the nail. Heat the nail until it begins turning red hot. Those using an e-nail will achieve a far more accurate temperature because this can be preset.
In terms of temperature, you should be aiming for around 300-450 deg F – 149-232 deg C. Doing so will ensure you get maximum flavor and benefits from your concentrates.
Once the nail is hot, turn off your torch. As a general rule, it usually takes between 30-60 seconds for the nail to cool. This depends upon the material and thickness of the nail and how much it has been heated.
As a rough guide, quartz nails can take around 45 seconds to cool whereas titanium can cool in as little as 10 seconds. What you are after is a surface temperature that is not too hot. Again, this is where e-nails win hands down).
Using your dabber, apply the concentrate (dab) directly onto the nail and begin inhaling slowly. Tip: Rotating the dabber tip on the nail should help to prevent wasting any oil that could get stuck to the dabber.
Cover the dab with a carb cap and finish inhaling. A carb cap helps to regulate the airflow. For that reason, it is always recommended that you cap your THC dabs.
Exhale and enjoy an extremely powerful buzz.
A Last Word on Potency
Due to the strength of the hit, dabbing is not for everyone. However, for those who are ready and able to cope with the experience, it can be out of this world.
It has been mentioned several times above that dabbing is a very powerful way of inhaling cannabis. To prove that point just consider this:
Decent bud strengths you smoke in a spliff, blunt, or bong tend to come in between 15-25% THC. Depending upon the concentrate extract type, quality, and your ability to achieve optimum dabbing temperatures, the THC content can typically range between 50-80% THC.
You have been warned! Start very slow and take it easy with each go. It is also recommended that unless you are a highly experienced dabber, you sit down while enjoying the experience!
If you have enjoyed this article about THC dabs and would like to delve deeper into many aspects of the ever-evolving cannabis world, please click here.