A Beginners’ Guide for the Dab Curious

You might have encountered the term “dabbing” in your illustrious cannabis career. Depending on what you might have heard, the word association might be positive, neutral, or negative. However, dabbing is simply another way to enjoy cannabis oils, extracts, or concentrates for their therapeutic (and recreational) effects.

A dab generally refers to a dose of cannabis concentrate, and dabbing refers to the activity of heating cannabis concentrates on a hot surface and inhaling the resulting vapors. The cannabis concentrates are more potent than marijuana flowers, testing between 50%-80% THC compared to 10%-25% THC for buds. The intense potency of dabs and the dabbing equipment involved (nail, torch, rig), which may recall paraphernalia for other drugs, likely contribute to the negative association for those who are unfamiliar with dabbing.

To those who are familiar, dabbing is a fast delivery method for potent dose of medicine. This is especially beneficial for patients who have severe or chronic pain or extreme nausea and need immediate relief.

The equipment used for dabbing is called an oil rig, or, simply, rig. To dab, you heat the nail (which can be glass, titanium, or quartz) with a torch until it is super hot. Then you press your cannabis concentrate on the hot nail nail and inhale the resulting vapors through the mouthpiece of the rig.

Dabbing is a simple two step process. The first step to dabbing is to heat the nail with a torch until it is extremely hot. The second and final step is to press the concentrate on to the nail and to inhale through the mouthpiece of your oil rig.

Heating the nail with a torch can be intimidating but no less so than getting a nice crunchy shell on a creme brulee. Additionally, like vape pens, vaporizers heat cannabis to temperatures that are just hot enough to evaporate the active ingredients but not enough to combust (burn). This exposes cannabis smokers to less toxins than traditional bongs that burn flowers.

Cannabis concentrates come in varying sizes, textures, potencies, and quality. Depending on what type of oil you get, a half gram can typically provide up to 20 dabs.

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