How to Take the Best Tasting Dab
One of the most enjoyable sensations when dabbing is tasting the amazing ‘essence of plant’ flavors delivered with each inhalation. What is a dab? A 'dab' is just a small dose of cannabis concentrate, whereas 'dabbing' is the process of dropping a dose of cannabis concentrate onto a heated water pipe attachment (known as a nail) and inhaling.
These intense flavors are courtesy of terpenes, a class of pungent oils stored in the plant’s trichome heads. Did you know that there are ways to maximize the amount of flavor you taste with each dab? I can help you fine-tune the factors that impact the flavor of your dab from size of the rig to temperature of the nail.
Get a Small Rig
The first step to maximizing flavor is to select an oil rig with a small chamber volume and a small joint size (10-14mm). As a general rule of thumb, the smaller the rig, the more flavor (some very small rigs are referred to a ‘flavor savers’) and vice versa. In addition to preserving taste, these smaller rigs provide a more regulated airflow allowing for a long inhale and clear all in one breath. I also suggest an oil rig with minimal diffusion as they maximize efficiency while minimizing oil condensation within the rig (reclaim). The smaller joints aid in providing a smooth, sustained inhale as opposed to the ‘chugging’ sensation experienced when trying to clear a large rig or converted bong.
Add a Quartz Nail or Insert
Your nail is a critical component of the dabbing process. It's heated using either a torch or an electric coil and is manufactured in a variety of materials; the most popular of which are titanium, quartz, and ceramic. While there are pros and cons to each material, I strongly recommend utilizing a quartz nail to maximize flavor. Whether it is a full quartz nail or just a quartz insert, the important part is that the dabbing surface is quartz.
Use a Consistent, Low Temperature
If you desire maximum flavor with every dab, it’s time to retire your torch and invest in an electric nail. Also known as an e-nail, an electric nail unit uses a coil to heat the dabbing surface to a specified temperature; thus allowing you to take a dab at the perfect temperature each time. I recommend a lower temperature for maximum flavor. Each nail is slightly different, but somewhere in the 550-650°F range is the sweet spot for many.
Select a Properly Refined Concentrate
The next step is to dab a high quality, properly refined concentrate. If consuming a solvent based concentrate, it is important to ensure that the oil is free of both plant matter (also known as contaminate) and residual solvent. If you seek the essence of the fresh plant, I recommend live resin, which is made from freshly frozen plant material immediately following harvest. To learn more about pressing solventless or how to smoke dabs on the go, click here.
Concentrate connoisseurs however, will likely appreciate the flavor and terpene preservation associated with solventless extracts like dry sift and ice water hash. Because high quality solventless extracts are comprised of isolated glandular trichome heads, they are packed with pure, unadulterated terpenes.
Drop the Carb Cap
For those who are unfamiliar, a carb cap is a tool used to help fully vaporize cannabis concentrates at lower temperatures. The carb cap is typically dropped on top of the nail, creating a partial seal. Think of it as creating an oven for optimum vaporization of concentrates. Carb caps are essential for maximizing the flavor and efficiency of low temperature dabs.
Bonus: Make Your Own Dabs at Home
If you don't have access to cannabis concentrates, you can make your own! With a few inexpensive supplies you can use your cannabis flower to implement the rosin tech and safely make dabs at home. In our experience, most people are blown away by the quality of rosin dabs. Give it a try!
Try the Best New Way to Dab: VapeXhale
If you’re looking for the smoothest possible dab hits with the most flavor, you need to try a VapeXhale. This new product is like a mix between a Volcano vaporizer and your typical dab rig with a quartz nail. The primary difference with the VapeXhale is that it uses hot air to heat the concentrate as opposed to a hot surface like your nail. The traditional heated nail works like a frying pan whereas the VapeXhale works like a convection oven.
Why is the VapeXhale's technique better?
I love the VapeXhale because it produces thick, vaporous hits with very small amounts of concentrate. A dab the size of a grain of rice will provide 2-3 flavorful hits at a temperature of 350°F – which is significantly lower than the temperature required to dab off of most nails. The lower temperature means less coughing and more taste with each dab. The pronounced flavors produced by the VapeXhale are courtesy of its all glass vapor path – the first desktop vaporizer to incorporate this feature. Plus, the VapeXhale is the first vaporizer of its kind to cool the vapor using the Company’s patented HydraTube water pipe attachments. Most desktop vaporizers don’t have the capability of vaporizing concentrates, but the VapeXhale handles both flowers and concentrates with ease. Overall, the VapeXhale is by far the most efficient way we’ve found to consume cannabis concentrates.
- Acquire a small rig with a quartz nail
- Dab at a consistent, low temp; ideally with an electric nail and a carb cap
- Use high quality concentrates or make your own solventless