Dabbing has recently become a hot topic within the cannabis community, but it hasn’t been a recent discovery. People used to perform “hot knifing”, where smokers would heat up two butter knives on a stove-top until they were red hot, then resin scraped from pipes or bongs (or even hash) would be placed on the knives until the heat produced vapors to be inhaled.

When THC and cannabinoids are extracted, using solvents like butane and carbon dioxide, it results in product called wax, shatter, butter or butane hash oil. Most flower has a concentration of 10-25% THC. Concentrates are extracted from the part of the cannabis plant that holds the most THC, so concentrates range between 50-80%, which is why most people think dabbing is the fastest, most efficient way to medicate.


The supplies that are needed for dabbing are: a rig/bong/skillet, a hand torch, a nail, and a wand. The rig is the main contraption that is used for the dabbing process; the hand torch is a small butane torch that is used to heat the nail; the nail fits inside of the rig and melts the concentrate; and the wand picks up the concentrate and presses it against the nail.

Seasoning the nail is important when first using a rig; heat your nail to about 500°F (260°C) and coat your nail with concentrate or hemp oil. Then let it cool and do this 2-3 times. Now that the nail is seasoned, place it in the rig and heat it with the torch. Then, dab concentrate on the nail with the wand while inhaling. Do not grab the nail to clear the chamber; you will burn your fingers. Other types of rigs use a skillet, where the skillet is heated with the torch and swings into place. You will want to inhale at the same time you place the concentrate on the pad to get as much vapor as possible.

Fire can be eliminated altogether by using a vape pen or an electronic nail, which sets the temperature to vaporize your concentrate.



There are a couple of ways to heat concentrates when it comes to dabbing. There is the conductive heating method where the concentrate is applied directly to the heating utensil to convert the product to a usable, inhalable form. The convection heating method uses an electronic mechanism to heat the air. When the air reaches a certain temperature, it heats the concentrate to a point where the THC is turned into vapor to be inhaled.

Between the two methods of vaporizing concentrates, the convective method is considered the safest because it keeps the toker from inhaling charred product. But there are things to consider when purchasing a vaporizer. A number of the devices have the heater sitting in the same space as the electronics. Over time, the metal continues to be heated and eventually begins off-gassing. If the vaporizer that is used needs water and has an aluminum heater, the water can begin to oxidize and rust the vaporizer. The temperature the concentrate is heated to should also be considered when dabbing. The carcinogen benzene is released when product is heated over 356°F (185°C). Benzene is a common carcinogen and tends to be released in low doses, but health conscious users should know that inhaling vapors are not completely toxin-free.


Some people can get caught up with the cost of concentrates when it comes to dabbing. Concentrates compared to the cost of flower look more expensive, but remember, dabbing only needs a small amount to be effective. Some people have compared two hits from a vaporizer equaling four hits from a bong. So, if you can keep your tolerance on the low side, concentrates can be better on your wallet than flower.

concentrates cannabis terpenes extraction oil cbd medical marijuana

Since concentrates are extracted from the potent part of the flower, the extraction of terpenes is more concentrated; they have a stronger effect on the body. Terpenes are naturally found in fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices, and they are being praised with helping certain conditions. The following terpenes can be in your next concentrate pick up:

Looking for THC benefits

Looking for CBD benefits

  • Pinene
  • Eucalyptol
  • Limonene

Looking for both benefits

  • Linalool
  • Pulegone
  • Nerolidol

Dabbing is becoming a popular way of consuming cannabis to help patients with their ailments and for the everyday toker. There is a learning curve with knowing what kind of rig you want to use, and what kind of concentrate is most beneficial for you. Take your time exploring the world of dabbing and enjoy the journey.


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