What do I need to start dabbing?
So you picked up cannabis extracts from your local dispensary and you want to know what to do with it!! Some infuse it or just coat the outside of joints. However, the optimal way to consume your cannabis extract is via dabbing. A process in which you vaporize the extract at a very hot temperature and consume it through a dab rig. We’ll go through the various items needed for your first dab experience.
- The first thing that you’re going to need is a Dab Rig. This is a type of water pipe made specifically for concentrates and oils. There are differences between a typical water pipe / bong, such as which attachments are used, we’ll get into this a bit more. The dab rig is essentially your main device or platform to enable you to heat up and consume your extract. Dab rigs come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. The traditional glass rigs have a classic beaker style though are smaller than bongs, and are the most commonly used to smoke wax, shatter, or rosin dabs. These rigs are usually made with borosilicate glass, making them more durable than regular lime soda glass. The size and design of these glass pieces can vary significantly but are typically clear glass and look similar to a bong. Broclee’s rigs are meticulously selected and sandblasted with our unique silhouette designs; and we offer custom name/text silhouette etching on our rigs as well. Other types of rigs include mini rigs (generally under 6” height), recyclers, nectar collectors (also known as a dab / honey straw), dab pens, silicone rigs, e-rigs (usually with a variety of materials including glass parts, ceramic chambers, etc.) and so many more types and variations.
- Next, you’ll need a Banger, a type of “nail” which essentially functions almost like the bowl on your bong. It is where your concentrate will be placed and vaporized. These can be made from borosilicate, quartz, titanium, ceramic, and other materials capable of withstanding the high temperatures. We’ll do another post on dab temperatures, but generally the range is from as low as 375°F to 650°F, while most dabbers we talk to, like to be in the 510°F to 570°F range. Each person develops and changes their own preferences over time, and for many the type of concentrate plays a huge role into their ideal temperatures. Additionally, whether you’re using a torch or e-nail (more on this below), may impact consistency of heat application. The typical bangers you’d see are as follows: buckets, slurpers, flat-tops, thermal, cyclers, and come in a 90° or 45° joint for attachment to the rig.
- Dab tool - This is your tool to handle the cannabis extract and transfer it from the parchment paper or the jar to your banger. Dab tools are also made of different materials, but the preferred is titanium due to its strength and ability to handle high heat. Stainless steel and Glass/Quartz Dab Tools are also commonly used. These tools will usually have a tip with varying shapes and sizes like wide-mouth spoons, daggers, or even scrapers. At the end of the day though as long as the material is safe they're all essentially the same its just a matter of preference!
- Carb cap - Once you drop the concentrate in the banger and the vaporization begins, you’ll want to quickly cover the banger with a carb cap to capture the vaporized oil that escapes otherwise and control the air flow. Depending on the type of rig, nail, terp pearls, or other items utilized, you may choose a different type of carb cap which may function and look different. For example, a slurper style banger uses marbles that sit on the top opening to simply seal It off, whereas a more standard bucket style banger might want a spinner cap, or standard pointed carb-cap.
- The blow torch! Not just any lighter, mini-torch, or cigar lighter will do the trick. Remember, you’re likely using a torch to heat your quartz to temperatures that can exceed 700°F (before letting it cool), which can take 15 to 45 seconds, so your torch should be able to withstand the time and heat and have proper handling mechanisms. Things like the sparker mechanism should be high quality! For those using e-rigs, e-nails, or coils, you will not need a torch, rather you will rely on the electronic heating.
- Concentrate, a/k/a the “dab” - as always in dabbing, there are a million ways to do things, and each person develops their own unique methods and/or combinations of techniques over time. There are solvent-based extraction methods, and solventless methods - each producing their own classifications and variation of consistency in the extraction (we’ll have another article on just this!).
- Cleaning glass/quartz accessories - once you’re done with the dab, or before you’re next dab, you’ll want to properly clean your rig and banger. Again, to each their own, but nothing hits better than a clean rig! We like to use wooden q-tips and 70%-99% isopropyl alcohol (“iso”) and clean the banger while it's still warm for easy oil removal. For hard to get areas in the rig itself, we’ll add salt as an abrasive material thats easily dissolvable in water, and shake well with the iso and salt inside - you’ll see the residues and oils come off. If you still have oils, leave it soaked in iso overnight and repeat the scrubbing and/or shaking with iso and salt. Remember to wash off any iso residue completely with water before using.