Dabbing 101: Get the Best Value in Gear and a Quality Experience
So, you finally did it. You decided to bypass the flower and step up to the big leagues to try some dabs. You just dropped big money on concentrates, but those wraps at home are useless unless you know how to use them. This is your guide to how to dab and what gear presents the best value and quality experience.
When I first saw someone taking a dab, I freaked out. I had no clue what they were doing, but at that time I had only been smoking bubble hash out of my simple glass pipe. So, I approached them and asked them what they were doing. They explained that dabs are concentrated THC that has to be smoked at a certain temperature and that there are different ways to smoke it.
First, I’d like to talk about simple ol’ glass. Glass is everyone’s beginner dabbing material because at this point you have no idea what dabs are, and you just want to smoke the amazing concentrate your friend gave you to try. Glass, in my opinion, is a good starter because it allows you to figure out how to do your dabs in a way that is comfortable FOR YOU–whether it be by a nectar collector (straw) or a rig (bong with a nail or banger attachment).
It doesn’t take long to heat glass! 10-15 seconds, 20 max, but not long at all, so that’s a plus. Glass tends to get dirty easier and holds a lot of gunk. The gunk build up causes dabs not to taste as good, and you definitely want to taste the greatness, so make sure you plan to buy another soon if this is happening. Glass does break easily, so you’ve got to be careful when heating and cleaning your rig. Another bonus of glass: it’s cheap! Prices range from $5-$25 depending on how fancy it is.
Next on my list is quartz! Quartz is one of my personal favorites. It looks very similar to glass, but when used you can definitely tell the difference. It takes about 10-15 seconds to heat but won’t hold heat very long. Quartz is more durable than glass when it comes to heating, but it will for sure break if dropped. The taste of your concentrate when using quartz is phenomenal, and you can really taste dabs in their fullness. Quartz is one of the cleaner smoking devices.
Most of the time quartz will be used with a banger (a banger is like a bong bowl attachment but with a deep bucket. It’s not hollow inside like some bong bowls). There are quartz nails and nectar collector tips, but a banger is most commonly used. When buying quartz, if the option is available, get a thick quartz banger over a regular one–it will last you a lot longer. Quartz isn’t that expensive: the average cost is $12-$14, and thicker quartz is $15-$20.
Now we have ceramic. Ceramic is really nice and pretty heckin’ durable! There aren’t bangers that I’ve found, but there are nails (nails are a bong bowl attachment that looks like a deep plate, sometimes fairly small with a dome over it). Ceramic takes the longest to heat at 30+ seconds, but it holds heat longer. Ceramic is prone to heat stress and will eventually crack if used excessively. In rare situations, it can break. The taste with ceramic is great, and it’s worth the money. Ceramic is definitely a little more expensive than glass and quartz, around $25-$35.
Finally, another one of my favorites, titanium! Titanium is the only one on this list that needs to be SEASONED. To season titanium, torch it BEFORE SMOKING, and heat the whole thing red hot to get the protective layer off of it. You DO NOT want to use it until that is done. A lot of head shops won’t remember to tell you that, but it’s really important to know. When titanium is seasoned correctly, it’ll have a rainbow hue to it. Be careful; it is going to get really hot!
Titanium doesn’t take long to heat. Roughly 15-20 seconds and it’s ready to go. The main reason I like titanium is because the taste is always pure, never gross. You can never go wrong with titanium, especially because it will never break. You could throw a titanium banger or nail across a room and pick it right back up, and it’s ready to be used. The only thing with titanium is that it’s a bit pricey, ranging from $45-$55+ depending on what kind you get.
Another tip: When dabbing make sure you’re not taking too hot of a dab. Yes, that is a thing! Who would have known?! Dabs are taken at 315°f for low temp and 450°f for a bit hotter. You don’t have to check the temperature, just a fun fact. So, when you torch your smoking apparatus, whatever it is, wait a bit before going in for your dab. Each dab rig material has its own wait time, so make sure to ask the head shop or check out YouTube. We don’t want you coughing up a lung now!
Now go along on this venture my friend. You’ve got this.