Everyone has one friend that likes to take hot dabs. They might even love to take hot dabs of distillate. Regardless, you’ve probably seen them cough up a lung and their faces turn bright red. They might try and convince you that you should try one too. Don’t be fooled though—hot dabs are not enjoyable. They don’t taste good at all. When you burn oil at that high of a temperature it ruins the terpenes and sends a scorching feeling into your lungs. We’ve put together a little how-to on taking the perfect dab utilizing a low temp.
Temperature is important. This is key to the preservation of the terpenes in the oil and ultimately the flavor. A higher temperature dab will be hot and probably burn your throat, and will undoubtedly lead to chazzing your banger. This isn’t good for you or your precious quartz, so listen up.
To take the perfect dab you are going to need the following items: your dab rig with a banger, DABS, a dab tool, a torch, a timer, and a carb cap. You definitely want Q-tips and isopropyl alcohol to clean your banger after. A clean banger will result in a cleaner tasting dab. When you’re heating up your next dab this will minimize the burning residue coming off your banger. Set these items aside. You will need them later.
Make sure your dab rig is on a level surface in front of you. You can hold on to it for some of these steps. If this if your first time dabbing, I do not recommend holding onto your rig. God forbid you drop it when the banger is cooling down and burn yourself to kingdom come.
Image via @lambchopterps
A dab rig typically is a water pipe that allows the user to inhale smoke through one end after it is percolated through the water. You can also use nectar collectors which are glass straws used to smoke oil from the container. For the purpose of this, we are just going to be referring to a traditional dab rig. The should be a defined mouthpiece and slot for the banger, which is where you’ll put the oil.
Dab rigs are either mass-produced or can be hand-blown by artists. I prefer hand-blown by an artist because they tend to be higher quality glass and are designed with function in mind. Plus they make great conversation pieces or centerpieces.
Image via @evanshorebangers
The banger fits into the appropriate slot on the dab rig allowing the cup part to hang away from the rig itself. This gives you space to heat the bottom of the banger up. The speed that your banger heats up at depends on the thickness of the bottom, the thicker the banger the longer it takes to reach the appropriate temperature. This also allows the banger to cool off slower, which is important for taking the perfect dab.
Image via @siriusresearch
Dab Tool And Carb Cap
These two pieces are very important to your dab tool kit. Although you can use an oil puck as a carb cap in a pinch if needed. I’ve also dabbed with keys and bobby pins before, but I prefer a dab tool. Dab tools look very similar to what a dentist uses to poke around in your mouth. Sometimes they have shovels, scoops, or flat blades on the ends. Each one is designed to scoop oil from the jar.
A carb cap is used to trap heat to vaporize the oil that you’ve dropped into the banger. They come in a variety of styles. I use a bubble cap for my carb cap.
There are a lot of tools needed to take the perfect dab and we haven’t even got to the dabbing part. This is where you’re going to need your torch. Preferably you are using a butane torch, they sell these at smoke shops.
Before you start heating anything up, set your timer for a minute. You can buy fancy thermometers for your bangers or electronic nails that hold a specific temperature. I like to have my timer set before I start to heat my banger up. This allows me to just hit start right after my torch is off. You use the timer to optimize the temperature of your banger to get the perfect dab.
Take your dab tool and scoop some of your dabs onto the usable end of your tool. The other end will typically look like a handle for you to hold onto. You probably want the equivalent of half a matchstick head worth of dabs on the end of your tool.
Now, take your torch and turn it on. Carefully place the flame underneath your banger, do not get the hottest portion of the flame directly on the banger. The last bit of blue should just barely touch the bottom of the banger. You need to be careful here. You want to heat the banger up until it is slightly red, if you get it red hot consistently you’ll ruin your banger. Typically this takes between 20-40 seconds depending on your torch.
Turn the torch off and start the timer.
Image via @alien_flower_monkey
One Minute Later
Your timer has gone off. I bet the temperature reads between 485* and 515* if you’ve got one of those fancy banger thermometers or “terpometers.” In one hand, take your dab tool and in the take your carb cap. Then, lower the end with the dabs on it into the bottom of the banger. The oil should start to melt off and puddle at the bottom. Take your tool out and cap the top with your carb cap.
Wait a few seconds for the smoke to build up inside of the banger before you inhale. This gives most of the oil a chance to vaporize. Inhale. At the same time move the carb cab so that the flow of air is changed inside the banger. To accomplish this most carb caps rotate. Bubble caps have holes on opposite ends that allow you to change the direction of the air.
If you got the temperature and timing right there shouldn’t be any burn marks in the bottom of the banger. When taking dabs at the perfect temperature there might be a little bit of oil left in the bottom.
Grab the isopropyl alcohol and Q-tips that you set aside earlier. Take one end of the Q-tip and clean out the leftover oil. Now, take the other end of the Q-tip and dip it into some isopropyl alcohol. I clean the leftover oil out first because I find that it helps keep my banger cleaner. Rub the end with iso on it around the inside of the banger, this helps clean up any leftover residue. Then take the other end and clean up anything else that might be left behind. The end you used first is typically dry and works great for cleaning up any leftover alcohol.
Now, take these directions and what you’ve learned. Show your friends that still take hot dabs what they’re missing out on. Dabs become infinitely better when you can taste the flavor of the extract and don’t spend the next five minutes hacking up a lung.