Dabbing is the preferred method of consumption for many in the concentrate community. Most commonly, dabbing requires a dab rig (small bong) and a banger (quartz bucket-style bowl) along with a small standard blow torch used to heat a small amount of concentrate, producing a vapour perfect for inhalation. Who knew that a crème brûlée kitchen torch would come in so handy?
WHY DAB TEMPERATURE MATTERS
While there are a lot of factors that go into consuming the perfect dab, the temperature your concentrate reaches when heated is one of the most important details. You only get one set of lungs! It’s not just about a smooth inhale; lower temperature dabs tend to deliver more taste! Thanks to developments in consumption technology, we have better insight into creating the optimal dabbing experience.
Dabbing at temperatures over 560°F / 293°C tends to burn and waste product. You’re also likely to chazz your banger (burn it black with carbon) at high temperatures.
VAPING VS. SMOKING
Using a chazzed banger can introduce unwanted carbon to your dabbing experience. Dabbing should be about vaporizing, not smoking. If you see thick dark smoke or fire coming out of your banger, do not take the dab. We know from studies surrounding tobacco consumption that smoking carbon can cause recurrent carbon monoxide poisoning and subsequent cognitive impairment. If you are going to vaporize concentrate, you should be doing everything you can to avoid carbon by not letting it build up in your banger and replacing it long before it is fully chazzed.
THE EFFECTS OF TEMPERATURE ON YOUR TERPS
In addition to inhaling carbon, dabbing at high temperatures has other associated risks. Some terpenes commonly present in cannabis cultivars can convert into harmful chemicals when heated at high temperatures. Terpenes are the element in cannabis that produce smell and taste. They are very important to the consumption experience.
For example, when myrcene is heated above 550°C, it converts into benzene and methacrolein, using isoprene as an intermediate. Inhaling methacrolein can irritate the upper respiratory tract, leading to a decreased respiratory rate, and inhaling benzene can have many health implications, including drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, respiratory tract irritation, and, at high levels, unconsciousness. Long-term benzene inhalation exposure may also cause various disorders, including aplastic anemia and reproductive issues in women. EPA has classified benzene as a known human carcinogen for all routes of exposure.
ACHIEVING THE PERFECT TEMPERATURE
Adjusting your dabbing temperature range is easy and free. By timing your heat-up and cool-down times, you can approximate the right dabbing temperature. Use a torch to heat your banger for 60 seconds, then let it cool down 60–90 seconds before placing your concentrate into the banger. If you want to get more specific with your temperature setting, there are tools like the Dab Rite, which allow you to accurately measure the temperature of your dab every time and comes with handy sound and visual alerts.
Dabbing is deeply embedded in cannabis concentrate culture and is an excellent way to experience the purest flavours available on the market. Controlling your dab temperature is an important part of dialling in an ideal experience and looking after your lungs. Happy dabbing!