How to Dab: A Beginner’s Guide to Consuming Concentrates

So, you’ve decided to try dabbing. Good. Whether you’re curious about what all the buzz is about or you’re looking for a more potent way to consume cannabis, extracts are a great option. But if you’ve never done it before, the process can seem a bit daunting. Don’t worry, West Coast Cure is here to help. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about dabbing, from choosing the right concentrates to using the proper equipment. By the time you’ve finished this post, you’ll be prepared with everything you need to take on the heady task and enjoy the high art of dabbing. So, if you’re ready, let’s learn how to dab!

Choosing Your Concentrates

When it comes to a great dabbing experience, the most important decision you’ll make is what type of concentrate to use. There are two main types of cannabis concentrates with many sub-categories of form. The most important distinction is how they are extracted: mechanically (solventless) and chemically (solvent-based or solvent-free); with some of the form categories including oil, wax, shatter, live resin, live rosin, badder, sugar, and THC diamonds with terp sauce. Each form will express its own unique properties, have its own unique texture, and affect your overall dabbing experience.

Solventless vs. Solvent-Based

With the rise of modern cannabis concentrates, there has been a debate on which is better: solventless or solvent-based? Each type of concentrate has its own set of pros and cons. For those that don’t already know, we’ll briefly touch on the differences between solventless and solvent-based.

Solventless Cannabis Concentrates

Solventless concentrates are made without the use of any solvents. The most popular method of making solventless cannabis concentrates is by using ice water and agitation. Other methods include heat and pressure, rosin tech, and dry sifting. The main advantage of solventless cannabis concentrates is that they are considered to be a cleaner dab experience because there are no chemicals or solvents used in the process. Additionally, solventless concentrates tend to have a better flavor and aroma because there are no residual solvents left behind. The main disadvantage of solventless cannabis concentrates is that the mechanical separation process requires significant time and effort, which tends to lead to a higher price point than the solvent-based alternative.

Solvent-Based (a.k.a Solvent-free) Cannabis Concentrates

Chemicals such as butane, propane, CO2, ethanol, and hexane are used as popular solvents to make cannabis extracts. The solvent is then thoroughly purged of all measurable traces of solvent, leaving only a clean extraction of pure cannabis concentrates behind, thus the name Solvent-less or Solvent-based concentrates. Solvent-based concentrates are typically more affordable, allowing for mass production through the chemical extraction process. The main disadvantage, though, is that residual solvents can be left behind in the final product, which can affect flavor and aroma.

At WCC, we take both the safety of our consumers and cleanliness of our products very seriously. Our products are rigorously lab tested to ensure that it meets our high standards for quality and cleanliness. The transparent testing and posting of these results allows WCC’s consumers to feel confident they’re buying the cleanest extracts available. 

So, which is better? Solventless or solvent-based? Ultimately, it depends on your preferences. If you are looking for a concentrate that is safer to consume and has a better flavor and aroma, then you might want to go with a solventless concentrate. However, if you are a high-frequency dabber on a tight budget, then you might want to go with a solvent-based concentrate.

Now that you know the difference between Solventless and Solvent-based, it’s time to consider the form of concentrate which varies mainly by its texture and consistency. While oil is most commonly found in vape pens or pre-filled cartridges, sugar, badder, and sauce are all popular concentrate forms that can be easily dabbed on your rig. Wax is an older form that’s similar to badder in terms of THC levels and psychoactive effects, but it’s not as widely available. Shatter is a solid concentrate that is sticky and viscous, which can make it slightly difficult to handle and use for beginners. And Diamonds are probably one of the most potent forms, and typically sold at the highest end of the cost spectrum.

The more you know about the differences of various forms and consistency, the easier it is to find what’s best for your consumption preference. Whether to vaporize in your new portable device, or to enhance the potency of a freshly rolled joint, there’s a concentrate product out there to match the occasion. Still can’t decide what to go with? Talk to your local budtender and see what they recommend based on your preferences. They’ll be able to assist you in finding a concentrate that’s perfect for your intended use.

Using the Proper Equipment

Once you’ve chosen your concentrate, it’s time to make sure you have the proper equipment before you get started with the dabbing process. This includes a glass pipe (also known as an oil rig), a quartz banger and cap, a dab tool, a temperature device, and a torch. 

The quartz bucket – a.k.a. Banger Bucket – is perhaps the most important piece of equipment because it’s what you’ll use to heat up your concentrate. It’s typically made out of quartz or ceramic and can be purchased at most head shops or online retailers. The dab tool is used for picking up a dab of extracts and applying it to a nail or banger and inhaling the vapor. And finally, the torch is used to heat up the bucket so that your concentrates can properly melt and vaporize. 

For those wanting to get the most out of their concentrates, you will need to dab at the right temperature. Too low and you won’t vaporize all the cannabinoids; too high and you risk losing some of the delicious terpenes that give a high-end extract its unique flavor profile and aroma. Used by experienced dabbers, tools like the Dab Rite digital thermometer can help eliminate any guesswork as to temperature.

Okay, now that you have all the necessary equipment, it’s time to start dabbing! The first thing you’ll need to do is heat up the banger with your torch, usually between 30 seconds and 1 minute, until it’s hot. Then, turn off the torch and let the banger cool for 20-30 seconds so that it’s not too hot when you dab your concentrates. Next, use your dabber tool to place a small amount of concentrate into the quartz bucket and add your cap. Inhale slowly and steadily until all of the vapor has been consumed from the rig. And after just a few seconds—you should start feeling the effects! 

Dabbing might seem a bit complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really quite simple! Just remember, choose your concentrates carefully! Invest in quality equipment, practice safe use, and take things slowly at first until you get used to the process. With a little practice, anyone can master the joyful art of dabbing—so go ahead and let it rip!