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Herb’s Top Tips and Tricks for Safe Dabbing

Curious about dabbing? Here are the top tips and tricks for a fun and safe experience. Created with G Pen.
Created with Grenco Science.

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Are you interested in learning to dab? Curious about cannabis concentrates but not sure where to start? Welcome to the best tips and tricks for a fun and safe dabbing experience. Dabbing is the process of heating up ultra-concentrated cannabis and inhaling. In many ways, it is similar to smoking out of a water pipe or bong, but the process usually involves much higher temperatures, usually provided by a blow torch or a self-heating nail. “Nail” is dab-speak for “hot plate.” 

Using such high temperatures means that safety needs to be a priority. With traditional dabbing, there’s potential for burning yourself, those around you, or your house and belongings. Fortunately, dabbing technology is quickly evolving. Electronic devices, like the G Pen Connect, now offer a sleek alternative to the typical “nail”. So, you can dab comfortably without the risk of a blow torch. When done properly and safely, dabbing is one of the most enjoyable, effective, and pure ways to consume cannabis concentrates. 

Herb’s Top Tips and Tricks for Safe Dabbing

Dabbing is one of the most popular forms of cannabis consumption on the market today, but it can be intimidating for a number of reasons. It requires special equipment, which means investing in a whole new set of tools and products. It also requires a bit of know-how, because unless you’re using an electronic product like the G Pen Connect that heats up your concentrate for you, you’ll need to heat up your nail manually with a torch, then let it cool down sufficiently before taking a hit. 

The amount of time you spend both heating your nail, then letting it cool down before adding your concentrate, will make the difference between a flavourful and safe dab, and one that could potentially hurt your lungs or cause other negative health effects. One study from Portland State University, for example, found that if you dab at too high a temperature, you may release certain chemical compounds like benzene, which pose concerns to human health. If you’re using a torch to heat your nail, there is almost no way for you to determine the exact temperature of your nail. 

This helps to explain why electronic products like the G Pen Connect are rising in popularity, as temperature calculations are all done automatically by the device. Sometimes it can be helpful to start out with someone who has experience with dabbing and cannabis concentrates. But with a cannabis consumption method as new as dabbing, even seasoned professionals are constantly learning better, and safer, ways to dab. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide—you can consider it your ultimate dabbing companion—so you can start your dabbing journey with confidence.

Dab Torch

©DRATHEVERLIVING – stock.adobe.com

Dabbing 101

What is dabbing? Dabbing is heating up a surface, usually a quartz or metal nail, to a very high temperature, usually between 600℉ and 710℉, and “dabbing” a small amount of cannabis concentrate onto the nail so that it evaporates into a gas. The concentrate is heated quickly, automatically transforming from a solid to a gas to be inhaled through a dab rig, which usually has a chamber for water to make the inhalation less harsh. 

Be warned, however, that more toxins are produced at higher temperatures. The higher you go, the more you burn your material and the greater chance you have at inhaling compounds that pose health concerns. In general, you should avoid heating the nail to any temperature higher than about 720℉. 

If you’re using a blow torch, it will be tricky to know the exact temperature of your nail before you hit your dab. However, a common procedure is to heat your nail with the blow torch for 30 seconds, then allow the nail to cool for 45-seconds to a minute before adding your concentrate. Even still, without a temperature gauge, there’s no way to tell how hot your nail has become.

If you do want to know the precise temperature of your nail before you dab, you will need to use an electronic nail. Devices like the G Pen Connect come with precise temperature settings, making for an easier, safer, and more effective dabbing experience. 

Dabbing can produce vapor and smoking-related toxins, but it is not the same as smoking or vaporizing flower. Vaporization usually involves much lower heat, below the point of combustion. Dabbing, while not the same as smoking, can involve a certain amount of combustion due to the intense heat, and you may end up inhaling some toxins, along with the cannabis concentrate. Use a lower dabbing temperature if you are hoping to produce mostly vapor, and reduce the amount of combusted oil you’re inhaling.

G Pen Connect Dabbing

Tips and Tricks for Safe Dabbing

There are plenty of tricks to make sure that you’re dabbing safely and responsibly. It’s always good to make sure you take certain precautions and start slowly, as with any cannabis journey. There’s nothing worse than trying a new cannabis consumption method, only to quickly realize you’re in over your head. Once you’re in that situation, there’s little to do but wait it out. Here are a few steps you can take to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Marijuana dab

©HubbardSteve – stock.adobe.com

Choose Quality Concentrates

This is crucial for having a good experience with dabbing. If you’re unsure where to start, it’s always a good plan to talk to someone with more knowledge than you—maybe a budtender, or a friend who loves to dab. Ask around, but always make sure to follow up with your own research.

Before purchasing a cannabis concentrate, the most important question you should ask is: does this company have a full report on what’s in the cannabis concentrate? The most reputable companies test all of their products for pesticides, fungicides, microbials, mold, contaminants, and potency. 

These tests are especially crucial when it comes to cannabis concentrates. Why? As the name suggests, these products contain high concentrations of cannabis, meaning any additional pesticides or mold that were present in the original cannabis flower will be concentrated as well. Do your research, and make sure you’re not inhaling any nasty chemicals!

Closely inspect your cannabis concentrates. Here are a few cues to look for in a quality cannabis concentrate:

  • A warm amber coloration.
  • Easily findable lab testing results.
  • A pleasant, herbal odor.

Start Low, Go Slow

This is a common saying when it comes to edibles, and it is definitely applicable to dabbing as well. Cannabis concentrates are potent. There’s no need to take a large dose. Many beginners will accidentally give themselves an enormous dab without realizing it, and pretty soon you could find yourself out of breath, coughing, dizzy, sweaty, and overwhelmed. 

A tiny dab will do to start. Begin with a dab that is half the size of a grain of rice, or smaller. Remember, you can always consume more, but if you accidentally take too large of a dose, there’s no going back. 

If you found that initial dab to be agreeable or underwhelming, and you feel up for it, slowly increase the size of your dab over the course of several hours. No need to be constantly dabbing, either. Take your time and enjoy the experience.

Best Dabbing Temperature

There are many disagreements about the best temperature for dabbing. Many dabbing purists, for example, insist that the best temperature for dabbing is lower. With a lower temperature, there’s less risk of inhaling toxins, which is a plus for those concerned about health risks. 

Another reason for dabbing at a lower temperature is for the terpenes. Terpenes are the cannabinoids that give cannabis concentrates flavor and aroma, not to mention potential therapeutic benefits. By using a lower temperature, the terpenes remain intact, while research suggests that an increase in temperature may result in terpene degradation. Toxicant formation happens between 322 and 403℃ (611.6℉ to 757.4℉).

Anything above 720℉ results in combustion, more smoke inhalation, and the potential to consume more toxins that pose health concerns.

Created wit Grenco Science.

Photo courtesy of Grenco Science.

Best Dabbing Technology

Most dab rigs require the use of a blow torch to heat a glass, quartz, or metal nail. But newer technologies make dabbing easier and safer than ever before. Electronic nails and dab pens like the G Pen eliminate the need to use a torch, and the risk of ultra-high temperatures. The G Pen Connect is a revolutionary alternative to standard dab rigs. With G Pen’s patented technology, your dabbing experience is always precise, consistent, and there’s no chance of burning yourself or your concentrates. 

The G Pen Connect heats your cannabis concentrate to your desired temperature within seconds, without the hassle of a blow torch or nail. All of G Pen’s dab rigs also come with a hemp travel pouch for easy portability, making it easier than ever to dab on the go. G Pen’s dab rig attachment works with most standard dab rigs, and the spring-loaded carb release button creates instant airflow so you can effortlessly clear the chamber.

February 21, 2020 — Last Updated March 11, 2020
Written by Lisa Rough

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February 21, 2020 — Last Updated March 11, 2020
Written by Lisa Rough

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