How to do the perfect dab every time

Published Jul 31, 2020 12:00 p.m. ET
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There are so many exciting ways to use cannabis that it can be hard to figure out where to start, but many seasoned consumers at some point or another end up trying dabs. It’s the allure of the extra potency, and the more exotic shake on the experience, which often involves large glass pieces and fire and that results in quite the display that is fun both to watch and to be a part of.

The trouble is that taking a dab isn’t as easy as twisting up a joint or packing the bowl on your bong, which is why a few tips and tricks can go a long way towards helping you to succeed, and we’re here to help with that by offering up a list of must-have tools, steps, and hacks that can help to make the entire experience go down a whole lot easier.

1. Cold start your dab to waste less

For the best experience with dabbing, you aren’t going to want to waste any of your expensive cannabis concentrates, and the best way to avoid that is by cold starting your dabs at lower temperatures. This will allow all of the dab to warm up evenly and effectively vaporize it, but too much heat can scald, and that will leave behind residue that is nearly impossible to reuse or to clean out of your rig.

2. Always use a carb cap

After you place a dab onto your banger or nail, you should be immediately covering it with a carb cap. Some have fancy additions that will help to stir the heat around to more effectively vaporize the cannabis concentrate, but they are all designed to keep the heat inside of the chamber until the dab is gone while moving the contents of both heat and concentrate together to maintain an even temperature. They can also really help with cold starting, which is why carb caps are such a popular dabbing accessory.

3. Set a timer

If you use dabs regularly, then you’ll eventually get a feel for the ideal amount of time that it takes to heat your banger or nail and then for the pieces to cool entirely which is necessary to prepare for the next hit, but if you’re just getting started, or you’re having a hard time pulling consistent dabs, then a timer can help. You can set it up and then use it as a guide for what to do going forward once you find what works for your particular device.

4. Use an insert to protect your banger

An insert is a small thimble-shaped tool that can fit inside of a banger or over the top of a nail as an added layer of protection. It can help to make clean up much easier, as it is easy to remove, and it completely covers the more expensive parts of the dab rig, so you don’t have to worry about a simple break costing you a fortune. They are also great for anyone who is overheating their nail or banger, so you’ll never have to burn another dab again.

5. Try a dab pen

Dabbing is an art that isn’t achievable for some people, be it out of frustration or a lack of a steady hand. After all, you’re working with fire and glass, so it’s sometimes hard to get these things right without a lot of practice and direction. If you find yourself in the position where an old school dab rig doesn’t work, then you might want to try out a dab pen. They are exactly like a vape or an e-cig, and they do all of the hard work for you aside from the cleaning, which makes getting a perfect dab easy.


6. Store dabs in the fridge until you need them

If you want the best dabs, then you need to start with high quality concentrates, but unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to degrade even the best products that are on the market today. That is why we highly recommend storing your dabs in a refrigerated space, as it will help to preserve the potency, flavor, and consistency for extended periods of time. It can also make it easier to handle the dabs, so there is more than one bonus that comes from the additional step.

7. Always apply an even and consistent amount of heat

Some people make pulling off the perfect dab look easy, but it’s all in the heat, and if you aren’t skilled in heating your banger or nail to the ideal temperature, it can make it so that your dab burns, or just melts into a pool, and neither of those outcomes will leave you feeling satisfied. Hence the reason it is important to start slow and to make sure that you’re heating every part of the banger or nail evenly.

8. Invest in a proper dab tool

Dabbing skills tend to surround the amount of heat that is used to inhale a dab, but if you can’t drop the cannabis concentrates onto the heating area of a rig without mucking all about and wasting time, then even if you manage to get the right temperature, you won’t be able to work quickly enough to utilize it. To save yourself the trouble, grab yourself a dab tool with double shaped ends, as one is a scoop, and the other works more like a pin, so no matter the kind of dabs you have, you’ll be able to handle them with ease.

9. Frequently clean your dab rig

Dabs are favored because they offer a broad range of flavor due to the lower temperatures that allow the best parts of the cannabis plant to stay intact during the extraction process, but that can all be ruined in an instant if you don’t keep up on regular cleaning of your rig. A dab rig should be cleaned, rinsed, and then left to dry after every single use so that you never have a harsh or burnt tasting dab again.

10. Use quartz beads (AKA terp pearls)

Now that dabbing is catching on, we’re seeing quite a few new and enticing products that can help to make the task easier, and one of the best things to catch on in the market so far is the quartz bead. These puppies look like simple micro marbles, but they are made of solid quartz, so they can be placed onto the nail head or banger of your rig to help to hold heat. The only downside is that they do their job well, so it might take a bit longer for your piece to cool down between hits, but the wait is more than worth it.

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