CBD Dabbing: Your Unabridged Guide

If you are a soccer fan, you may associate dabbing with an idiotic celebration of doing the rounds. As it happens, ‘dabbing’ is also the term used to describe the consumption of extremely potent CBD. Companies such as CBDistillery sell CBD concentrates in wax, shatter, butter, or powder form. They are usually 99% pure, which makes them a lot more effective – and expensive – than CBD oils and edibles.

While dabbing is also performed with THC products, this comprehensive guide tells you more about the types of CBD concentrates on the market, the creation of concentrates, the right dabbing tools to use, and also helpful information on the correct dabbing technique.

Why Dabbing?

The entire dabbing process will seem alien to you at first, but you’ll soon get used to it. It is technically classified as “the flash vaporization” of CBD concentrates when it is applied to a hot surface and then inhaled. You ‘dab’ using concentrates which are a lot more potent than the CBD you get from oils and edibles.

It is normal for a CBD isolate to contain 99% of the cannabinoid, for example, and while it is expensive, users swear by its impact. To be honest, we wouldn’t recommend dabbing to CBD newcomers, though – you will get so used to the rapid relief that you might not accept CBD oils or edibles ever again!

Types of Concentrates on the Market

While there are various types of concentrates available, the highest-quality versions will contain huge doses of CBD.

  • Wax: While this concentrate has a relatively firm texture, it breaks easily.
  • Butter: This substance is soft and easy to manipulate.
  • Shatter: Generally speaking, shatter is the most potent of all the “dab-able” CBD concentrates. This is a brittle option which ‘shatters’ easily, as per the name. The best quality shatter tends to be golden yellow. Shatter with a darker color tends to have a lot of impurities.
  • Crystalline (or CBD crystals): This is a fancy term for powder. Its main advantage is that it is easy to work with as an ingredient (you can add it to food, make your own essential oils and creams, etc)

How is CBD Concentrate Made?

While we can’t speak for every product on the market, we can tell you how CBD concentrates should be made. The best products are extracted from non-GMO hemp via supercritical CO2 extraction. The concentrate that is produced should include the cannabinoids, fatty acids and other plant materials that are naturally found in hemp.

The next step involves purifying the CBD hemp oil using a proprietary process for removing excess waxes and plant materials. The result is a 99% pure CBD isolate in one of the forms mentioned above. Reputable companies will include third-party lab testing results on their websites, and the top firms have isolate that is between 99.7% and 99.9% pure. They also utilize ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited testing labs, which results in CBD that is free from toxins, heavy metals, mildew, mold, fungus and other impurities.

What Are Dabbing Tools?

Although dabbing technology is long from being in its infancy, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Nonetheless, there are several dabbing tools available to help you consume your CBD isolate in the most efficient manner possible. What we will say is this: If you are only picking one option, choose a tool capable of being versatile when it comes to handling concentrates of differing consistencies.

The important thing to remember is that you will be vaporizing your concentrates — NOT combusting them.

  • Dabbing Rig: This is a modified water pipe that has a glass joint designed to hold a nail instead of a connector (as you would have on a bubbler or bong). With this tool, you heat up the nail and place the concentrate on it to cause vaporization. There are various sizes available, so decide if you want a mini-rig or a larger one that sits on a coffee table.
  • Nail: You can purchase a quartz, titanium, or ceramic nail. Purists tend to choose either quartz or ceramic because they provide the better flavor, but with titanium you get a much more durable product. Also, with titanium there is a danger of oxidation at super high temperatures, which can cause the alloy to prematurely degrade over time.
  • Carb Cap Dabber: The purpose of this tool is to place the concentrate on the hot nail safely. If you have dry concentrate, choose a wide dabber as it does a better job of scooping. A Carb Cap also enables you to dab at a slightly lower temperature. This is vital because at the reduced temperature, you get more of the terpenes which are lost at higher temperatures.
  • Dab Rag/Mat: This handy piece of equipment acts as a stand for the rig. Without it, there’s a good chance that your table will get coated in sticky residue. It is best to purchase an easily washable rag or mat. You can also use the rag to remove the mess made from dabbing.
  • Torch: How else are you going to heat up the nail? Remember to purchase a butane refill as your torch will be empty when you purchase it. Also, be advised that you can’t use a normal lighter to heat up the nail on a dab rig!
  • Electronic Nail (e-nail): This is a must for concentrate lovers as it has an adjustable and constant heat source, which means there is no need for a torch. The downside? E-Nails are expensive and can cost up to $300.

What is the Correct Dabbing Technique?

Once all your equipment is in place, turn on the torch and make sure the flame is hitting the nail. Don’t make the mistake of overheating the nail, though – a lot of people prefer to heat it until it turns red hot, but this isn’t necessary. In fact, too much heat can cause the CBD concentrate to combust, which totally defeats the purpose of dabbing. A general rule of thumb to keep in mind is the 20/60 rule – torch the nail for 20 seconds, then wait about 60 seconds (one minute) before you hit your dab.

When the nail is hot enough, use your wand (dabber) to grab the correct amount of CBD concentrate and add it directly to the nail inside the dome. Inhale the vapor slowly and rotate the dabber tip on the nail to avoid wasting oil that could be stuck to the dabber (“experts” will usually try to inhale the entire dab in one go, but if you’re just starting out we recommend you use the cap to trap the vapor, then come back to it once you’re ready to inhale again). Exhale, enjoy, and repeat until satisfied!

The Importance of Getting the Temperature Right

Although it is not a precise measurement, experts state that if your nail has a red-hot glow, it is probably more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit! This is way, WAY too hot and defeats the purpose of vaporizing. If it has a pale red glow, it is still in or around the 900-degree mark, which is still too hot. If you add the CBD concentrate to a nail that is too hot, you will destroy many of the things that make CBD so amazing.

In reality, the optimal temperature for dabbing is between 300 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, as this is the boiling point range for a lot of terpenes found in marijuana. For example, terpenes such as Linalool and Humulene have boiling points of 388 degrees, while a-Pinene has a boiling point of 311 degrees. (To be fair, this information is not relevant if you use CBD isolate, because isolates don’t have any terpenes).

If you have money to spend, you should invest in a dome-less nail or an e-nail. A dome-less nail is a metal piece that doesn’t require a glass dome to provide you with vapor. Rather, it contains numerous tiny holes that ensure the vapor goes straight through the piece.

While an e-nail is rather expensive, it is worth it if you’re serious about dabbing CBD. It allows you to not only do away with the dome and the torch, which are considered the most dangerous aspects of dabbing, but it also allows you to have full temperature control as well – meaning you’re guaranteed to get the best from your CBD concentrate.

Pros of Dabbing

Experienced CBD users claim that no other consumption method can compare to dabbing in terms of potency. As long as you purchase premium grade CBD, you will find that the symptoms of conditions (such as nausea, anxiety, and chronic pain) will ease off in record time.

It is also a fact that dabbing pure CBD is a much more pleasant sensation that smoking straight cannabis herb, which can be testing on the lungs. Here is a quick look at just some of the benefits of dabbing CBD:

  • Anti-Inflammatory: Dabbing can help to rapidly reduce inflammation and swelling, and it also provides such effective pain relief that people on opioids are starting to ditch their drugs in favor of CBD.
  • Antiemetic: This is a fancy term for combating vomiting, motion sickness, and nausea. It even helps with the side effects of drugs such as morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl. When you dab, those horrible sick feelings vanish quickly.
  • Anticonvulsant: If you suffer from epilepsy and seizures, dabbing CBD is a fast way to keep frightening symptoms at bay. CBD also acts as a mood stabilizer, so instead of waiting weeks for anti-depressants to work, dabbing CBD can typically help in minutes.

Cons of Dabbing

Although there is a myriad of fantastic benefits associated with dabbing, there are a few perceived downsides too. There is a suggestion that dabbing is dangerous, but this mostly relates to the extraction methods that are used to produce the concentrate. It is not a wise move to try and extract CBD from hemp or cannabis yourself, because a combination of flammable gases and bad ventilation could result in an explosion (since the rise in popularity of dabbing, in fact, police reports of home and garage explosions as a result of “DIY extraction operations” have increased significantly).

Also, when you extract and make your own CBD concentrate, there is really no way of knowing how pure your end product is unless you’re willing to pay to send it to a lab for analyzing. You can eliminate this danger by purchasing a high-quality CBD isolate from a reputable company, such as CBDistillery.

The next danger relates to the process of dabbing itself. Again, it is a bad idea to create DIY dabbing equipment – a good quality nail and torch combo is essential, as it enables you to dab safely without worrying about severely burning yourself (which believe us, is a very common mistake that hurts VERY badly).

We also recommend taking it easy with dabbing if you are inexperienced. Although you won’t overdose on CBD, consuming an excessive amount could result in an uncomfortable experience.

How Do I Measure the Dosage?

It takes time to come to terms with dosing levels if you’re an inexperienced dabber. For starters, most companies sell their concentrates in 0.5 grams, 1 gram, 3.5 gram and 7-gram sizes. High-quality concentrate is not cheap, though; you can expect to pay at least $30 per gram (or $25+ if you purchase a larger size).

We recommend searching for a product that clearly illustrates the level of CBD in it. For example, CBDistillery’s “CBD slab” contains 99.5% CBD, so you know there are 0.995 grams of cannabidiol per gram of product. Things are made a lot easier if you have a high-quality kitchen scale because you can accurately measure your dose. Most people begin with 10 mg doses, but it can be tricky to measure out such a minute amount the first time out. However, practice makes perfect, and at least you know that the CBD you’re consuming is pure.

Final Thoughts on Dabbing CBD

If you have a medical condition and are fed up with worthless painkillers, save your money and purchase high-quality CBD and dabbing equipment instead. CBD is known to help the symptoms of a litany of medical conditions, with virtually no side effects. While we can’t guarantee it will work as well for you as it has for thousands of others, it is certainly worth a try. Also, when you dab CBD, you can enjoy the purest form of this cannabinoid and benefit from rapid relief.

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