POST CATEGORY: Special

Concentrates Issue 2017: Dabbing 101 & Gear

July 06, 2017 | NORTHWEST LEAF

Reviews and guides by Northwest Leaf staff and contributors.

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One of the best parts of the Cannabis industry is that new products and innovations are constantly emerging.

The downside of this breakneck pace can be a lack of information, especially for average users.

The perfect example of this knowledge delay has to be Cannabis concentrates. While most veteran patients are familiar with the likes of Rick Simpson and high-grade bubble hash, the dabbing movement has caught many by surprise. It’s a fad no more. This primer breaks down the many types of concentrates, attributes to look for (and avoid) and common lingo and prices you should expect.


CONCENTRATES are extractions of Cannabis produced with or without a solvent such as butane, ethanol or CO2. Common examples in Eastern medicine include essential oils. Anyone consuming concentrates for the first time should do so with extreme caution.

THC PERCENTAGES range from 20 to 90 percent, and can easily overwhelm first-timers or even more experienced users. Start with a grain of rice.

DABBING is the act of vaporizing a Cannabis concentrate and inhaling the vapor for medicinal or recreational effects. The vapor acts as a quick and easy delivery system for Cannabinoids, and is not meant to be held in for longer than three to five seconds. Dabbing can involve a torch and a vaporization surface, commonly called a nail, attached to a water pipe. The nail is heated until hot before a small amount of concentrate is touched to the surface. Nails can be quartz or titanium, and heated externally or by a plug-in heating element, called an e-nail.

The user inhales through a water pipe and the vapor is exhaled without excessive smoke or coughing, assuming a proper dosage. Patients can also use dab pens or vapor cartridges, which allow for vaporizing in a portable manner and don’t rely on having a torch.

TEMPERATURE IS CRITICAL. Concentrates that are dabbed too hot will burn off the terpenes, leaving a bland taste behind. Concentrates that are dabbed too cool might leave pooled residue and not fully vaporize.

The best way to reach a happy medium is to use a carb cap, which sits on top of a nail once a dab is applied and holds heat and vapor in.

A carb cap is designed to vaporize an extract at the lowest possible temperature. I find that letting the nail cool down sufficiently and then using the carb cap will produce a flavorful, fully vaporized dab.

Solventless extracts such as full melt bubble hash/ice wax should be dabbed at slightly higher temperatures.

To determine whether your temp is right, check the color of the residue. If it’s blackish, the dab was taken too hot. If the residue is a light brown, it means the dab was vaporized at the optimal temperature. Experiment again!

Don’t hold a hit in longer than three to five seconds because you’re not absorbing more cannabinoids, you’re just depriving your lungs of oxyen.


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DANK FUNG EXECUTIVE VAPE SET $139.99

This high-end, luxury vape is plated in 24 karat gold, which is almost as valuable as the quality concentrates being dabbed from the pen. For anyone looking to make a statement and dab portably with class and distinction, this is the choice. The glass enclosed ceramic bowl has the option of both a ceramic coilless heater and a quartz rod for heating, both of which deliver flavorful and quality dabs on the go. With three different temperature settings and great functionality, this is a winning vape for on the go dabbing.

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DIPPER $149

Stylish and sleek, this handheld dabbing system is highly functional and easy to use once figured out.

The first thing we noticed is that directions are only online, but once we downloaded the PDF we were good to dab from this handy portable pen. We used the Quartz Crystal Atomizer for all our test dabs, and found it to be easy to load and producing satisfying, large hits of vapor. The pen had a clean taste that emphasizes the flavor of the oil, and allowed for a solid dab experience.. A big step up from a cartridge, but still a long shot from a perfect temp dab, this tool fits right in the middle of the spectrum of dab pens, and is a great starter or travel piece for new consumers or on-the-go dabbers.

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ESSENTIAL FUTURE RIG $300

The future of portable dabbing is here, with a new portable dab rig that delivers tech, style and consistent temperature that can bring dabs to any location, any time.

Long has the balance between portability and function plagued dabblers who risked travel E-nails, but no more! This rig combines the battery power needed for a long trip and the functionality that only comes from a passion for dabbing and Cannabis consumers. Developed in Colorado, this kit features a modded battery with an LED screen, variable temperatures and voltages, Bluetooth functionality and a sweet glass and ceramic heating element for vaporizing concentrates at the perfect temperature.

Dabbing concentrate through this pen is the closest we have come with a portable unit to a real dab hit. The water function is a nice touch, mellowing out the vapor and sending waves of pure vapor right to the lungs.

We especially liked the consistency in temperature, the easy-tofunction controls, and the stylish case that made the whole thing travel portable. With the ability to easily recharge and hit the road, this is the perfect on the go travel dab kit that can also function as a home unit for consumers not interested in torches or e-nails.

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HOYES CLEAR CAP $30

The Hoyes directional airflow caps add even more functionality to the Hoyes XL Banger. As you spin the cap the air mixes the oil around the banger to evenly spread it and insure a more even temp. The cap works best on the XL Banger, but you can flip it upside down if you’re using the deeper XXL and the long handle works perfectly to get the airflow deep enough to stir the oil. Fits most sizes.

HOYES XL BANGER $90

These 24mm extra large domeless nails are made with love in Asheville, NC using the highest quality GE214 Quartz. They offer several sizes of bangers from $70 for their 16mm regular buckets, to $120 for the 30mm XXL; they can produce any of their bangers with a flat top style, if you prefer using a bubble cap. HoyesQuartz.com


Low Temp Dabbing

by Matthew Meyers

One of the best parts of the Cannabis industry is that new products and innovations are constantly emerging.

The downside of this breakneck pace can be a lack of information, especially for average users.

The perfect example of this knowledge delay has to be Cannabis concentrates. While most veteran patients are familiar with the likes of Rick Simpson and high-grade bubble hash, the dabbing movement has caught many by surprise. It’s a fad no more. This primer breaks down the many types of concentrates, attributes to look for (and avoid) and common lingo and prices you should expect.

My favorite way to enjoy concentrates is to dab them at a low temperature on a quality quartz banger with a directional carb cap to insure even vaporization of your concentrate. Dabbing your concentrates at a lower temperature allows you to fully appreciate the subtler terpenes and provides, in my opinion, a much gentler come up and effect compared to hot dabs. However, I understand that if you need to be medicated as quickly as possible a hot dab could be the best answer for you, I personally think it’s well worth the wait for the banger to cool closer to a vaporization temperature.

One critical factor to low temperature dabbing is cleaning your banger each time before reheating. If you’ve dabbed near the correct temperature, the remnants of oil should be fairly easy to wipe off of the banger with a clean cotton swab. Keep in mind it might take two swabs to completely clean the banger: my clean test for the banger is keep wiping until you can use a fresh swab and nothing comes off.

If any oil remains, or was baked onto the nail from being dabbed at too high of a temperature, you can wait for your banger to almost completely cool and use cotton swabs dipped in isopropyl alcohol and eventually it will come off.

Worst case, torch your banger clean, but know that you each time you clean this way your banger will be slightly degraded. To best extend the life of your banger, always make sure you’re cleaning thoroughly with swabs before resorting to torching it clean. Although you might want to learn on a more affordable set up, I highly recommend investing in an American made GE214 quartz banger, a quartz or boro carb cap (preferably directional flow), and a high-grade titanium dabber. By investing in a quality dab set up you’ll take better care yourself and also your equipment. You can still get great results from more affordable set ups, but to fully appreciate your concentrates in the long run, it’s worth it to take the extra steps and invest in quality equipment that supports our economy and culture.

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