Cannabis concentrates like oil, wax, shatter and crumble are extracted from the trichomes, or crystals, found on the cannabis flowers or buds. Aside from the rosin technique, in which oils are squeezed out of cannabis using nothing more than pressure, the extraction process requires the use of solvents like butane or carbon dioxide to produce potent oils with high levels of THC.
These concentrates can be dabbed, vaporized or eaten.
How Does Dabbing Work?
Dabbing requires heating a nail, and touching — or dabbing — the concentrate onto it, rather than placing it directly under a flame as one would with dry herbs. When concentrates make contact with the hot surface, they burn into a potent smoke.
While using a nail that’s not hot enough will waste concentrates by causing them to puddle and pool on its surface, a nail that’s too hot will cause the concentrates to burn too quickly, resulting in wastage and less flavorsome hits. Although some smoke may pass through the pipe after a concentrate combusts, the dab is essentially wasted. As well as destroying its flavor, overheating a concentrate will degenerate THCA into CBN. Not to mention inhaling hot air won’t feel good on the throat or lungs.
THCA, or Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is a natural part of the cannabis plant that, upon the application of heat, changes into THC, the component responsible for getting you high. This process occurs when the concentrate is dabbed. It’s important to know, however, that if the nail is too hot when dabbing, the concentrate’s THCA can degrade into cannabinol (CBN) and wind up as reclaim. Although CBN has some psychoactive properties, it’s only 10% the strength of THC. Researchers believe CBN causes grogginess as well as dizziness and disorientation in users.
eNails Provide Constant Dabbing Temperature
Using an electronic nail takes all the guesswork out of dabbing. Simply plug the eNail into the wall, choose the desired dab temperature and wait until it’s ready. Once it reaches the predetermined level, the eNail’s temperature will remain constant until it is unplugged or switched off, creating a more relaxed dabbing experience for whoever in the room wants to dab without the tedious use of a torch. With an eNail, users can experiment with a range of temperatures to see what works best with different concentrates, while discovering their own personal preferences.
Without an eNail, it can be difficult to accurately determine and regulate the temperature of a dab. One option is to buy a temperature gun to determine the temperature of a nail, but who wants another part of the process?
Benefits of Low-Temperature Dabs
Low-temperature dabs optimally occur between 500 and 650°F, and you can find the best eNail temp for you with a bit of trial and error. Dabbing at too low of a temperature than that can result in the nail not being hot enough to heat the concentrate, causing it to go to waste by pooling up on the nail, bubbling and dissipating. Dabbing at low-temperatures is beneficial for a variety of reasons. Aside from enhancing the flavor of the concentrate by not burning away the terpenes, low-temperature dabbing preserves every part of the oil — including the THC, meaning each hit will be powerful and savory. Use a carb cap when experimenting with low-temperature dabs to produce twice as much smoke and get the most out of every hit.
The medium temperature for dabbing is around 700°F.
Don’t Let Your Nail Get Too Hot
Unfortunately, the most common mistake made by dabbers is to overheat the nail by waiting for it to glow red before hitting it. According to High Times, a blood-red glow indicates a dab temperature of 1075°F, while a faint-red glow indicates 930°F. High-temperature dabbing occurs at any temperature higher than 800°F and is just as wasteful as dabbing at too low a temperature. Aside from ruining the taste of the concentrate, which starts happening when nails are heated above 720°F, excessive heat will waste concentrates by causing it to splatter all over the place. Taking a hit off a red-hot nail can also damage the throat and lungs.
Finding the perfect temperature depends on the type of nail and concentrate being used. Use a carb cap to enhance the flavor, maximize each hit and save money by conserving concentrate.