How does an experienced dabber differ from a novice? Not only in the time they can spend dabbing non-stop (after all, the length of time is not what matters) or in the amount/potency of the concentrate they use (same story). The real difference is in the ability to avoid the common mistakes of dabbing and understanding the peculiarities of this area of the canna culture.
The faster you learn how to prevent or solve the problems that can arise during dabbing, the more joy you will get from the process. There is no crime in making mistakes―we all make them regardless of our experience. The important thing is how fast you progress.
So, let us have a closer look at dabbing mistakes and ways to avoid them.
Even the experienced dabbers can sometimes explode into bouts of coughing, let alone the novices! It is our nature to keep our lungs as clean as possible, and hot dense fumes of cannabis are of course not a bit similar to oxygen. That is why your body tries to do its best for your health and push this vapor out making you cough.
What you can do in this situation is learn where your own limit is and inhale vapor just until that point. Do it slowly; the slower you hit, the fewer chances there are that you will miss that coughing point. The “art of dabbing” without coughing comes only with practice, but you can significantly improve your skills if you keep everything under your control.
Apart from slow dabbing, regular breathing practices can also help you conquer the coughing reflex. Just google any exercises to strengthen your lungs and choose which one seems the most effective to you.
You may swallow the smoke if you try to inhale too much vapor or if you burp. Irritating your throat and other soft tissues may cause hard coughing, but sometimes, it can even make you puke. That is definitely not the experience you want to get from dabbing. So, if you know you have a strong gag reflex, do not try to burp up a hit and do not inhale big hits.
The tips on how to avoid puking while dabbing are pretty much the same as for avoiding coughing: try to inhale slowly and do some breathing exercises if needed. And do not swallow the smoke.
It takes a bit of practice to know the exact amount of concentrate you need to apply to the nail, and if you do not know it for sure, you had better take less rather than more. Not that you can waste your precious weed and get less from it (which is already quite a disaster, in our opinion), but you can also spoil the flavor of the substance and even break the nail.
The thing is, dabbing is possible only when the nail is hot and the concentrate is cold. When they come in contact, their temperatures begin to equalize: the concentrate heats and vaporizes, and the bowl cools down. If you use the nail made of thin glass, too much concentrate can cool down the device before it does its job, and the nail can become covered with black resin-like substance. This residue creates foul smoke (not the best thing to inhale) and can also retain heat, which, in its turn, can eventually lead to the breaking of the glass.
A good-quality nail, as you might have already guessed, can help you avoid this problem. It remains hot long enough to evaporate the whole piece of concentrate even if it is a bit bigger than it is supposed to be. And of course, atitanium nail will not break because of the residue. Just clean it regularly with alcohol or salt solution, and if there are still some leftovers that create smoke, use a torch to heat the nail longer than usual to burn all the particles.
There are different kinds of nails available on the market, and, to be honest, not all of them are good. The goal is to heat the nail just enough to make the concentrate vaporize without combusting. But sometimes, especially when it comes to some cheap nails, it is simply impossible to understand when it is the right time to stop heating it.
Well, there are two options for solving this problem. First, do not go for cheap items. They do not maintain the temperature and will not serve you long anyway. Second, always wait for the nail to cool a bit before puffing the weed.
What can go wrong if the concentrate is combusted? Well, you will certainly not die. As you might know, THC and CBD produce more powerful effects when they are enhanced by terpenes. But an overly hot nail makes the concentrate boil, and a combusted concentrate has a much harsher flavor. Its terpene bouquet becomes weaker, and, as a result, the quality of the high also becomes worse. And that is not what we want, right?
In most cases, the nail changes color when it becomes overheated. Th amount of time you need to wait till the nail gets to the optimal temperature depends on the material and the thickness of the item. The perfect moment for applying the concentrate is when the nail turns from red to its normal color.
Titaniumnails are usually considered the best option, but they heat very slowly. As the same time, they take longer to cool as well, so if you linger a bit with applying your weed, a titanium nail will still do its work.
Ceramic nails may have pretty much the same properties as the titanium ones, but it is not always clear when they are overheated and when they return to the normal state. Crystal and glass nails require the least of time to be heated, but they also cool down way too fast.
It may seem obvious, but accidents happen all the time, especially with people who smoke using both bongs and dab rigs. They try to remove the nail in the same way as they would do it with a bong and immediately regret it. While glass nails may cool down quite fast, titanium and ceramic items may remain super-hot for quite a while.
If you are a novice and have no experience in dabbing, the chances to get burnt are even higher. However, it is usually enough to get burnt once for you to get reflexes not to do it again. But as the time passes by, bad things may happen again. Just be careful and remember that the nail can be really hot even if it looks like it is not.
The thing that can truly show you who is a professional and who is an amateur in dabbing is the elegance of movement. When you do everything fast but without haste, it not only looks impressive (in case you want to impress anyone) but also helps you use all the concentrate without wasting a single drop.
The thing is, if you do not move fast enough, your weed concentrate may fall to the side of the nail or on the dome. It happens because the heat rises from the heated nail, and it can melt your dab already at the distance of 6 inches above the dome.
If your dab piece is too big or too soft, the danger of losing the precious material before it touches the nail only rises. However, nothing is impossible. The trick is to move fast and to approach the nail not from above but from a 45-degree angle. It will give you control over the process of melting the concentrate.
Remember, it takes only about a second for shatter or wax to turn into a liquid after touching (or even approaching) the hot nail. Move quickly but firmly, and everything will be fine.
Again, this problem may happen to those who have bought a cheap nail with no bowl in it. Such a nail hasadoughnut shape, and the concentrate is often put in the middle of the hole. The hot temperature will make your dab melt almost immediately, so make sure to apply the concentrate correctly.
If you bypass the nail and the concentrate falls into the water, the dab will not be able to vaporize, and it will be a waste of the material. The hole is for letting the vapor go inside the rig, not for pouring weed there. Try it a few times. If you still have this problem even after practicing, maybe it is better to replace the nail with the one with a bigger bowl.
Some users try to drop the piece of concentrate onto the heated nail in order to impress the others or avoid direct contact with the hot part of the rig. As a result (quite a predictable result, we must admit), the dab often misses its destination point.
Well, if you have ever done such a trick, you know that the chances it works properly are way too small. That is why you had better do it in a normal way and buy a good dab tool. When it comes to weights in milligrams, you cannot rely on your fingers. The right tool can save you from wasting the dab and burning your fingertips.
This tip may sound pretty obvious, but, at the same time, overdosing during dabbing is one of the most frequent reasonsfor bad side-effects of using marijuana. While a regular joint may contain about 15-25% of THC/CBD, concentrates can have as much as 99%. The difference is huge, and the consequences of overdosing can also be tremendous: starting from panic attacks and the state of intense anxiety to an almost catatonic feeling that can be treated only in the emergency room.
For this reason, we would recommend you to start slowly, with small dabs. A regular dose is about half the size of a pea, and it is already quite a lot (about 2-3 bowls of dry weed). Do not try to prove anything to others or yourself; start with half the usual size (less than 5 milligrams) and increase the amount gradually if needed.
Easier said than done! When you have the rig, the torch, the tool, and the concentrate all in your hands at the same time, it is no wonder something can go wrong. And if you start coughing or even puking, the situation can become really dramatic. One wrong movement, and the rig falls to the floor and shatters into a million pieces.
Of course, bad things happen to everyone, and that is the reason to be extra cautious and make certain you do not drop the piece. First of all, reduce interactions. Do not hold the rig in your hands, put in onto the table. Make the area around the device glass-friendly: put arug or a carpet onto the floor or at least put some pillows under the table.
Try to minimize the number of times when you have to change hands while dabbing. Most of the accidents happen when you pass the rig to another person. It takes careful coordination and attention to make sure the other person does not burn themselves.
Generally, all tips may be summarized into one guideline: be extra careful. But dabbingis also supposed to be fun and bring you joy. So let it!