Dabbing 101: A healthier alternative to smoking

Dabbing shatter

You might think dabbing is complicated (or even scary) because it involves a blowtorch. Actually, it’s pretty simple. And it’s actually a healthier alternative to smoking plant material, because dabbing produces a vapor, not smoke.

To take a dab, you use a “dab rig,” basically a small bong that has a titanium / quartz / ceramic nail.  There are two steps:

  • Heat the nail with a blowtorch until it turns red, then wait approximately 30 seconds for the nail to cool to 650 degrees Fahrenheit (at which point it will no longer be glowing red).
  • Using a dab tool, apply wax to the nail while inhaling through the dab rig.

In some cases a dome is put over the top to collect smoke, while in other cases the nail is “domeless” and a carb cap is put over the nail to aid vapor production.

The torch method has drawn criticism by some users who find the inhalation of residual butane or propane potentially harmful to their health. One reason to switch to dabbing from smoking is from a harm-reduction standpoint: smoking is irritating to the lungs and can cause respiratory problems. But dabbing does not involve smoke.

The e-nail is an alternative to using a torch

The downsides to using a torch for dabbing can be easily fixed by purchasing an electronic nail, or e-nail. These nails are specially built so that a coil can be placed around the nail, which, after being connected to a power box, acts as a heating element and keeps the nail at a constant, adjustable temperature. When using an e-nail, the user is not exposed to any butane or propane that was left on the nail after heating. Also, there is no guessing game as to exactly when the dab should be taken. It can be taken at any time, because the temperature is always set to the correct temp.

Different types of concentrated marijuana, or wax, include shatter, crumble, budder, and oil. Each different form of THC concentrate has different physical properties, caused by the differing methods used to make them. Usually a solvent is used to extract THC from cannabis – butane or CO2 are solvents most commonly used. Dabbers who are worried about the health effects of inhaling solvent residue need not worry, as there are solventless extraction methods as well, including ice water extraction and heat extraction. The only downside to the solventless extraction methods is that they tend to result in a finished product with lower potency than other THC concentrate methods.

Club M currently offers several high-quality concentrates of different types:

  • If you’re interested in an award-winning low-THC, high-CBD strain, you will enjoy the Blueberry OG shatter.
  • If you’re concerned about inhaling concentrate made with solvents, this solventless hash will put you at ease.
  • If you’re frustrated with the amount you need to smoke to achieve the desired effect, this potent Gorilla Glue shatter will knock your socks off.
  • And if you’re looking for a cut-rate deal on some reliable shatter that slightly varies in consistency from batch to batch, this shatter by Deviant Dabs will do just the trick.

Photo by Andres Rodriguez, Creative Commons

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