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How to Dab Cannabis Concentrates: Step by Step Guide for Beginners


Guide on How to dab cannabis concentrates

Dabbing is a popular and effective method of consuming cannabis concentrates that will bring you to new heights.

There are many different ways to dab cannabis concentrates, including use a dab rig, an e-rig, a nectar collector, a dab pen and more.

Looking to try some for yourself? There's a bit of a learning curve with dabbing, so if you've never done it before, it can be helpful to have someone experienced with it to show you how it's done.

Fortunately, in this guide we will discuss four common styles of dabbing, which can help you achieve the perfect dab every time you kick back for a sesh with your favorite concentrate.

Learning to efficiently dab offers many benefits, such as increase the enjoyment of smoking dabs. Read on and become a dabbing pro in no time…

What is Dabbing?

Dabbing is the flash vaporization of dabs, also called concentrates, at high temperatures, and it is done through a dab rig, e-rig, or dab pen.

To dab, you'll heat the concentrate to an extremely high temperature: between 400-600°F. The concentrate turns into vapor, which you can then inhale.

Dabbing is a great way to experience the mouthwatering flavors and intense effects that cannabis concentrates are capable of producing.

What are Dabs?

Dabs are concentrated forms of cannabis, so a little goes a long way—flower is between 15-25% THC, while dabs are between 60-90% THC. So you usually only need a small dab of concentrated extract in order to feel its effects.

There are several types of dabs, such as shatter, wax, crumble, rosin, live resin, sauce, etc. The different types are typically categorized based on the extraction method and overall consistency.

Butane, carbon dioxide, and alcohol extraction are the most common methods used to produce a variety of concentrates, from oil to wax to some types of shatter.

As a comparison, Some dabs like rosin pressing only use heat and pressure, which is healthier.

What Tools are Needed to Dab?

Investing in a dab rig and all related accessories is undoubtedly one way to get the most out of your concentrates, but it isn't the only way to enjoy them. There are several ways to dab:

1. Dab Rigs

lookah glass dab rig

Dab Rigs, typically glass devices, similar to bongs but made exclusively for dabbing, are the main method of consumption for vaporizing concentrate.

Dabbing out of a dab rig involves heating up the nail/banger using a handheld butane torch. The heated banger will quickly convert the dab into vapor, which can then be inhaled through the mouthpiece of the rig.

Most dab rigs offer water filtration through percolators and recycler tubes for added diffusion, resulting in a smoother, cleaner hit.

If you don't want to use the torch to heat the nail, you can even use an e-nail, which attach to a traditional nail and use electricity to heat it to any temperature between 200 and 900 degrees, typically.

2. Electric Dab Rigs

Lookah electric dab rigs

Unlike a standard dab rig, an electric dab rig (e-rig) uses electricity to heat the nail, so you won't have to heat it manually.

Another advantage of the electric nail is that it allows you to control the temperature, which like reverse dabbing, could help prevent terpenes from degrading.

E-rigs are perfect for on-the-go dabbers or those seeking effortless sessions without the need for nails, torches, or timers.

3. Nectar Collectors

Lookah Nectar Collectors

Nectar collectors (aka dab straws) are a great tool for dabbing and getting really great hits out of a not-so-expensive package.

A collector generally looks like a thick "straw", which will be made of either silicone or glass material with a removable quartz or titanium tip for heating by torch.

Depending on the style of the collector it may accommodate for water or not, again, preferences.

If you want something even easier or do not want to use a torch, there are also many types of portable electronic nectar collectors, like the lookah seahorse pro plus, and other dab pens that might fit your bill.

These devices do not use a torch but a battery to heat the tip that you can place into your concentrate just as you would with a glass collector.

4. Dab Pens

lookah python wax pens

Dab pens (or wax pens) are somewhat similar to electric nectar collectors. They will have a chamber with heating coil that you will directly place your concentrate into before heating.

Generally speaking, they usually have a button that is pushed while inhaling and they look and function similar to most common vaping devices.

Dab pens tend to be much more portable and discreet than a glass nectar collector but generally won't give you as milky or large of a hit as a nectar collector will.

However, remember, it might not take much to reach your desired feeling.

Dab pens have become one of the most popular choices for people on the go because they are truly convenient and provide ease of use for many dab lovers.+

How does dabbing work?

The process typically involves a “dab rig,or something else. The steps include:

Heat the Nail: The nail is heated with a torch until it's extremely hot.

Apply the Concentrate: A small amount of cannabis concentrate is placed on the hot nail.

Inhale the Vapor: As the concentrate contacts the hot surface, it vaporizes, and the user inhales the vapor through the water pipe.

How to Dab With a Dab Rig? Step by Step Guide

How to dab with a dab rig

Ready to get started? Here's our step-by-step guide to doing a dab out of a dab rig:

Step 1: Gather your equipment

Ensure you have all the necessary equipment, including a dab rig, banger, dabber tool, carb cap, concentrate of your choice, and a butane torch.

Step 2: Pour water into the chamber

Add water to the chamber and check the waterline by inhaling from mouthpiece with no nail in the downstem.

If water backsplashes into your mouth, you have too much water in the rig. You need to pour some out.

Step 3: Heat The Nail

Turn on your torch and aim the flame directly at the nail. Most people will heat the nail until it begins turning red hot.

You want to apply the flame to the outside and bottom of nail because that's where you'll load the concentrate.

If you're using an e-Nail, set it between 311-388 degrees, depending on the type of cannabis you're smoking.

Step 4: Wait for nail to cool

Once the nail is hot, turn off the torch and wait for some time to let the nail cool a little.

If it is too hot, it will scorch your concentrate, and that's not how you do dabs.

It's recommended to let quartz nails cool for about 45-60 seconds, and about 10 seconds for titanium nails. This is where a timer can come in handy.

Step 5: Add concentrate to nail

Use the dabbing tool to take a tiny sliver of concentrate and apply it to the hot nail, wiping the concentrate onto the nail until it has all come off the dabbing tool. Then the concentrated cannabis will start to vaporize.

Step 6: Cover the nail with carb cap

Cover the nail with the carb cap, turning the carb cap or putting it on and off to regulate airflow.

Step 7: Inhale and enjoy

Inhale deeply through the mouthpiece. Hold the vapor for a few seconds, then exhale.

Use a long, slow inhale because most of the concentrate doesn't vaporize instantly.

Step 8: Clean Up

After each dab, gently clean your warm banger by wiping it or using a Q-tip. This practice guarantees a clean and prepared banger for your next delightful dabbing session.

How to Dab with an E-rig? Step by Step Guide

How to Dab with an E-rig

Let's look at the steps to take in smoking a dab using an e-rig.

Step 1: Fill the chamber with water

Fill the water chamber with water to the desired level.

Step 2: Set the temperature

Turn the electric dab rig on and set the temperature.

Step 2: Heat the e-nail

Press the button to heat your e-nail to the desired temperature.

Step 3: Apply the concentrate to the e-nail

Use a metal dabber tool to place the concentrate on the surface of the e-nail, Cover the e-nail with a carb cap.

The carb cap serves as an oven that traps all the heat in e-nails to ensure you get the maximum satisfaction as you dab.

Step 4: Inhale and Enjoy

Slowly inhale the vaporthrough the mouthpiece.

Exhale the vapor immediately.

Step 6: Turn off and Clean Up

Turn off the electric dab rig and let it cool down.

Clean your e-nail with a q-tip to prevent residue from distorting the flavor of your concentrates.

How to dab with a Nectar Collector? Step by Step guide

How to dab with a Nectar Collector

Using a nectar collector or dab straw is pretty easy and enjoyable, here is what you will need: a Nectar Collector, Glass or silicone dish, and a butane torch.

After you have gathered all of your equipment, you can start doing dabs through your Nectar Collector.

Step 1: Place concentrate to container

Fully charge the battery before use.

Use your dab tool to remove your desired amount of concentrate and place it in the dab container.

Step 2: Heat the Tip

Turn on the torch and hold the flame over the tip until it begins to glow, spinning the tip as you do, then wait 15-20 seconds for it to cool.

If you are use an electric nectar collector, just press the heating button.

Step 3: Take the Hit

Touch the hot tip of the nectar collector to your concentrate in the container and inhale vapor from the mouthpiece.

Hold the vapor for a few seconds, then exhale.

Step 4: Clean Up

To prevent residue from possibly changing the flavor, always keep your Nectar Collector clean.

Once finished with your hit, place the nectar collector somewhere safe and away from flammable materials to cool.

And then swipe the inside of the warm tip with a cotton swab.

How to Dab with a Dab Pen? Step by Step guide

how to dab with a dab pen

While dab pens (or wax pens) vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, they all operate under the same principles.

Here's a step-by-step guide to using a standard dab pen.

Step 1: Disassemble the device

Remove the mouthpiece and open the chamber with coil, which is where you'll be placing the dab.

Step 2: Place the Concentrate in the chamber

Concentrates are thick and sticky, so take care to minimize the mess.

Use a metal dabber tool to gently place a small amount of your chosen concentrate onto the coil.

Be mindful not to overload the coil to avoid clogging or leaking.

Step 3: Turn on the Dab Pen

Activate the dab pen by clicking the power button several times in quick succession. This action will turn on the battery and engage the heating element.

For some wax pens, additional clicks will change the temperature of the pen. Always check your pen's instructions to see how to operate it efficiently.

Step 4: Inhale

Allow the dab pen to heat up for a few seconds.

Once the coil reaches the desired temperature, place your lips around the mouthpiece and gently inhale.

Take slow, controlled draws to fully enjoy the flavors and effects of the vapor.

Step 5: Clean Up

Once you've finished your session, power down your device and give it time to cool. And then disassemble the device.

Using isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab, clean any residue from the chamber or atomizer.

Cold Start vs. Hot Start Dabs: Which is Better?

A “cold start dab” means the nail/banger starts out cold (not heated); so you put the concentrate in first then heat the nail until the concentrate starts to bubble.

A hot start dab is a “regular dab,” so you heat the nail up first before applying the concentrate to the nail.

Cold start dabs are a way of conserving butane and being less wasteful with terpenes.

However, they are virtually equal if the person doing the hot start takes care to make sure the banger is cool enough before placing the dab.

What is the Ideal temperature to dab?

The ideal temperature depends on the user and their personal preferences.

Generally, lower temperatures will result in more flavor, less potency, less vapor, and a higher potential for leaving cannabis oil behind.

The low temperature preserves the terpenes in concentrates without altering their taste or potency.

Higher temperatures will result in less flavor, higher potency, and more vapor, with less wasted product.

Terpenes that come in direct contact with high temperature surfaces degrade into one or more degradation products.

There are trade-offs between the two but many dabbers prefer low temperature dabs to taste their concentrate better and avoid burning their dabs.

Generally speaking, low temperature dabs are between 300°F-450°F, medium temperature dabs are between 450°F-600°F, and high temperature dabs are between 600°F-850°F.

If you're not sure what you prefer, as with many things in cannabis, experiment with your dabs by starting low and bringing the temperature up until you find a nice safe dabbing point.

In Conclusion

If what you're after is a rich hit with an intense high, then dabs might be just right for you. They come in a range of styles and flavors, so you'll never be short on variety.

Enjoying a dab is easy once you have the necessary equipment and proper knowledge. With a little bit of patience and commitment, you'll be blowing clouds in no time.

For example, you can try out different types of concentrates at different temperatures to experiment with the wide world of dabbing. We recommend you use an infra-red thermometer to control the temperature accurately.

Remember, because using a rig typically involves high temperatures and an open flame, it's important to always exercise the utmost caution. Or you can bypass the flame altogether and use the modern option of an electronic devices.

And as this method of cannabis consumption goes mainstream, keep an eye out for new gadgets and methods to keep your dabbing game elevated.

Fortunately, Lookah sells everything you need to start dabbing, including high-quality rigs, vaporizers, and accessories to enhance your experience. Shop our collection today and take your dabbing experience to the next level.