Who remembers the good old days when dabbing was a mystery for all but the super stoners? Within the past couple of years, dabbing has seen a surge in popularity. However, lots of heavy smokers have still yet to try dabbing out for themselves. Dabbing in a group setting can be just as fun as passing a bowl around and taking bong rips. We’ve made a short list of ways that everyone can dab like a pro— regardless of skill level.
Before we launch into a full-blown dabbing lesson, it’s important to understand what dabbing really is. Instead of smoking herbs through water pipes and glass pipes, dabbers smoke concentrates (waxes, oils) out of dab rigs. These oils are derived from the plants that produce these herbs.
Dabbing has a much different— and stronger— effect on people than smoking. Concentrates tend to be much more potent than the herbs that they came from. Taking huge dabs could lead to a bad experience.
To avoid dabbing too much, take only smaller dabs that let you to control your intake— especially if you’re a first-timer.
At some point, you’ve probably heard somebody complain about a negative dabbing experience. They might complain about chest discomfort, unpleasant tastes, or even a sudden, nauseating loss of balance. In almost all of these cases, we can guarantee that they were dabbing at high temperatures.
Yes, the goal of dabbing is to heat the nail until it is visibly hot. But, as we mentioned before, allowing it to cool is a critical step in the process. When the dabbing nail is too hot, the concentrates combust, which creates an extremely unpleasant inhalation process.
Additionally, higher temperature dabs can potentially eliminate terpenes, the organic compounds that create the alluring smell and unique flavor.
To avoid these painful sensations and keep good dabbing vibes, always allow the dab nail to cool after heating it.
Concentrate oils have a slimy texture and a slippery consistency. As far as the substance goes, they are comparable to honey. And, touching these oils with bare hands transfers bacteria from your skin to the oil.
Using gloves will protect your oils from dilution or contamination. This means that, when you’re ready to smoke, your oils will be contaminant-free. Gloves will also prevent concentrates from getting stuck to your hands.
In fact, there are specialized tools that eliminate the need for ever touching the concentrate with your hands-- but more on that later.
For especially potent hits, your dab rig must be clean. Dab rigs are also easier to clean than water pipes. The more frequently you clean it, the easier it will be to clean.
For mild traces of residue, hot water alone may do the job.
With a clean pipe, you’ll be able to taste your concentrates without the old concentrates affecting the taste.
Would you ever try to smoke herbs without your grinder? No, we didn’t think so.
There are a couple of accessories that should be treated as inseparable from your dab rig. Some of these accessories are necessary for dabbing-- like a torch, dabbing tool and nail.
Others will protect your piece from wear and tear. Every time you place your piece down on a hard surface-- whether it is a glass table, a wooden floor, or something else-- there is a minor shock that travels through the piece. Over time, these minor shocks can cause hairline cracks within the pipe. Placing your piece down on a silicone mat is a great strategy for preventing the spread of these cracks. They will also reduce the transfer of pet hairs, which can detract from the dabbing experience.
As non-stick material, silicone mats are also designed to keep concentrates from sticking. However, it’s still best to keep your concentrates closed when you are not using them.
Take our advice-- it’s better to start dabbing the right way, and improve your technique over time. Check out our online head shop’s stock of dab rigs and accessories, or contact us for more information.