By Luke Sumpter

Dabbing is a means of consuming cannabis that has gained popularity in recent years. The process involves vaporising and inhaling highly potent cannabis concentrates, oils, and extracts—products made from the trichomes on cannabis flowers. Unlike dried cannabis flowers, however, dab products such as live resin, wax, and shatter contain no plant matter. Therefore, they provide much higher concentrations of cannabinoids such as THC, as well as aromatic terpenes.

Dabs are one of the most potent sources of cannabinoids. That's why at RQS, we've created a quick tips guide on using these products.

Explore the tips below to learn how to dab while managing safety and minimise the chances of a negative experience.

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Step 1: Prepare Well

Dabbing safely hinges on good preparation. Users are encouraged to research the process in order to learn the proper technique and what equipment they need to carry out the process safely. Learning from relevant YouTube videos and reading fact-checked blog posts can help users approach dabbing with more knowledge and confidence. Content geared towards dabbing for beginners is especially useful for those new to this method of cannabis consumption.

In addition to general knowledge, you need to obtain certain pieces of equipment in order to dab successfully. The key pieces of kit include:

  • Dabbing rig
  • Concentrate of choice
  • Dabbing tool
  • Carb cap
  • Blowtorch
  • Q-tips
  • Isopropyl alcohol
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Step 2: Start With CBD Dabs

Most commercially available dabbing products contain extremely high levels of THC, with concentrations ranging from 40–80%. Compare this to the THC content of dried flowers, which usually hovers around 20%. Jumping straight into dabbing without developing much of a tolerance to THC could result in several undesirable side effects.

To avoid this outcome, users are advised to approach dabs sensibly. Starting out with high-CBD dabs helps users become accustomed to the process before they start to experiment with more potent concentrates. By slowly increasing the amount of THC in the dabs you use, you will build your tolerance over time and reduce the chances of a negative experience.

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Step 3: Use a Carb Cap

As you'll learn when researching during the preparation phase, some dabbing rigs use a bowl-shaped component called a banger to heat up concentrates. Carb caps slot on top of the banger much like a lid fits onto a saucepan. Applying a carb cap before taking a hit traps heat inside of the banger, contains the vapor, and allows the dab to heat more efficiently.

Overall, carb caps maximise convection and airflow, allowing users to dab at the lowest temperatures possible. Less heat equates to smoother hits and the production of fewer harmful by products.

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Step 4: Stay Hydrated

The National Academy of Medicine in the United States recommends[1] a daily water intake of 3l for men and 2l for women. Aside from keeping our key physiological functions ticking over, proper hydration can stabilise our mood and stave off anxiety. Keeping hydrated when dabbing might help to minimise negative side effects.

Moreover, exposure to hot vapor and coughing can dry out the throat. Continually sipping on a glass of water throughout your session will help to reduce throat irritation.

Step 5: Create a Relaxed Environment

Environment plays a key role in the quality of a dabbing session. The term “set and setting”, initially coined to provide guidelines for psychedelic experiences, has also won the favour of cannabis users. "Set" refers to one's mindset at the start of the experience, whereas "setting" encompasses one's external environment.

Dabbing in an appropriate place, with appropriate people, will make you feel more comfortable; it'll reduce the chance of disturbances, and everything you need will be within arm’s reach. Ideally, plan to dab in a living room (that you have permission to use cannabis in) kitted out with comfortable chairs and a sturdy coffee table. Lay out all of the equipment in an organised fashion to streamline the process and minimise the chance of anything going awry.

In this setting, you’ll have shelter from adverse weather, the luxuries of a screen and speakers for music, and access to drinks and food. You should also consider the company you plan to dab with. Choose close friends who are sensible, respectful of your tolerance level, and who don’t make using cannabis a competition, but rather an opportunity to connect with each other.

Step 6: Use a Dab Torch

Using a dab torch is one of the most important dabbing tips. These high-powered tools allow users to rapidly heat up nails, and avoid the possibility of burning their fingers trying to use a standard lighter. Some models also feature a fire lock mechanism that enables users to heat up their rig without having to hold a button down during the process. Most importantly, good-quality blow torches feature a child safety lock that prevents accidental burns and fires. Overall, dab torches help bangers and nails reach suitable vaporisation temperatures, preventing any material from going to waste.

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Step 7: Dab on a Steady Surface and From a Clean Rig

There are several factors that can cause harm when dabbing, from poor-quality materials to unclean equipment.

Exercise caution when procuring concentrates and extracts, and only buy from a reputable seller capable of providing secure material. Opt for dispensaries that provide batch testing data that ensures their products obey quality control standards regarding levels of heavy metals, pesticide residues, and solvent contents.

After purchasing safe and quality dabbing materials, you need to make sure your equipment is good to use. Dabbing rigs quickly become dirty and grimy. Make sure to frequently clean your gear with isopropyl alcohol to eliminate the risk of inhaling any debris or potentially harmful microorganisms.

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Dabs for Dummies: Stay Safe and Be Informed

Educate yourself as much as possible before dabbing, using only reliable sources of information. Once you have all of the necessary equipment, consider practising and building your tolerance with high-CBD dabs, gradually moving on to those with medium and high THC concentrations. Use a carb cap and dab torch for more efficiency, always dab in a relaxed environment, and only source safe extracts and concentrates.

DisclaimerExtracts, concentrates, and oils used for dabbing are among the strongest cannabis products available. Proceed with caution when using substances high in THC. Start with low doses and slowly increase over time to build up a tolerance to the compound.

Remember: Set and Setting will help you deal with various situations.

Stay Cultivated.

External Resources:
  1. Water | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  2. Hoeveel water of vocht moet ik per dag drinken? | Voedingscentrum
This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.

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