Even for the most experienced user, taking a dab for the first time can seem daunting. You have all this new equipment, a highly concentrated form of cannabis, and a blowtorch. At first glance, it might seem like a lot to inhale smoke. If you’re ready to give dabbing a try, here’s what you need to know.

What Exactly Is Dabbing?

In short, dabbing involves the flash vaporization of a cannabis concentrate. You apply the concentrate to a hot surface and immediately inhale the vapor. The concentrates, such a BHO oil, shatter, or wax, are much more concentrated than buds, ranging anywhere from 50% to 80% (or more) THC. There are also some CBD concentrates available for non-intoxicating therapeutic benefits.

What You’ll Need

Dabbing does involve the use of some specialized equipment. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • A dab rig, which is similar to a water pipe, but it has a fitting for a nail
  • A nail, which is where your concentrate goes
  • A dabber, a small tool that you use to apply the concentrate to the nail
  • A carb cap, which helps to regulate airflow (it’s not mandatory, but very helpful)
  • A torch (mini-torch or blowtorch) or e-nail, which you use to heat the nail

taking a dab, Taking a Dab For the First Time

How to Do a Dab

Once your dab rig is all set up, get a very small amount of your concentrate on the dabber tool. Now you’re ready to take your first dab:

  • Turn on your torch and heat the nail until it turns red
  • Shut off the torch and let it cool for several second (10 for titanium, 45 for quartz)
  • Apply the dab to the nail and start inhaling slowly
  • Rotate the dabber to avoid wasting any concentrate
  • Place the carb cap over the nail and finish inhaling
  • Exhale and enjoy the experience

Tips for First-Time (and Beyond) Success

  • While the process is fairly straightforward, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your first dab (and subsequent dabs) is a positive experience. Here are a few tips for success:
  • Always start small. Concentrates contain a substantially higher amount of THC than cannabis buds. Start with a tiny amount. You can always take another dab.
  • Be sure to let your nail cool a bit before applying the concentrate. Applying it right away could cause combustion, rather than vaporization. It’ll make your hit harsher and less effective. A timer may be useful to have on hand.
  • Keep your equipment clean. Keeping your nail and dab rig clean ensures tasty hits every time. It also helps to keep your rig in good condition and extends its life.
  • Give yourself some time between hits. Allow the effects of THC to kick in and enjoy the experience. Too many dabs in a short period may cause you to become too high, which can cause anxiety, paranoia, and other unwanted side effects.

Once you get past the initial intimidation, taking a dab can be an easy and fun way to obtain the benefits of cannabis. As technology and extraction methods improve, you’ll always have a bunch of options available. Check out our extracts and dabbing tools at Haven, and don’t hesitate to ask any questions while you’re there.