Learn More About The Safe Consumption Of Cannabis Extracts Through Low Temp Dabbing

Learn More About The Safe Consumption Of Cannabis Extracts Through Low Temp Dabbing

Cannabis extracts are taking up more and more space on store shelves as time goes on. The competition between extraction companies is driving creativity and we’re seeing innovations in classic products such as shatter and rosin. And new creations are making their way into consumers hands. Things like sugar resin, distillate, honey-crystal, live resin, THCA crystalline, CBD crystalline, live-resin-shatter, and more.  Consumer demand is one of the forces driving this wave of concentrate consumption. Many consumers want the high terpene extracts for their intense flavors. These terp chasers (as I like to call them), are also the innovators of most of these products as well.

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The information on how to correctly consume these products isn’t as widespread as the use of them is. Low-temp dabbing is a phrase that many concentrates consumers should familiarize themselves with if they haven’t already. It isn’t just a phrase that pretentious dabbers throw around to sound smart; it’s crucial for a complete dabbing experience. With the exception of concentrates like THCA crystalline, concentrates are better served when the nail is at lower temperatures.

The Oregonian released a story last year citing a study by Portland State University chemistry professor Robert Strongin. The article states carcinogens are released when terpenes present in butane hash oil (BHO) are vaporized on nails at temperatures above 750 degrees Fahrenheit and 932 degrees Fahrenheit.  Methacrolein and benzene are the carcinogens in question, respectively.

BHO concentrates are a staple in the recreational scene. Many of the notable extraction companies use butane to extract the THC, CBD, and terpenes from the plant material which leaves the final solvent that is dabbed. The excess butane and other impurities are purged out with heat and what’s left is your concentrate. Slight variations of extraction variables paired with different cannabis strains are what gives you all of your many concentrate varieties. The Oregonian doesn’t specify what brand of concentrates were used in the study, only the terpene profiles and that they were BHO.

Learn More About The Safe Consumption Of Cannabis Extracts Through Low Temp Dabbing

BHO loud resin

Some concentrates are solventless. They’re extracted though ice water, CO2, or heat and pressure. While these concentrates may not release carcinogens at high temperatures, they still most certainly taste better and are more effective when dabbed at lower temperatures.

“We don’t want to say things like this are just bad,” Strongin told The Oregonian. “It really depends on the user.”

The temperature goal for successful low temp dabbing is between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, High Times reports. You can go higher than this if you’d like, I prefer temperatures in the mid 500 degrees Fahrenheit range.  This allows the cannabinoids and terpenes to melt all the way; providing the full spectrum of the strain’s effect without burning your throat and scorching the flavor.

The most popular type of equipment used for low temp dabbing is a type of nail called a “quartz banger,” which is a small bucket that you scoop your dabs into. Pair this with carb cap that acts as a seal to retain as much heat in the nail as possible to melt the dab and cut down on waste.  Quartz is the most popular because it heats up relatively quickly and has great retention properties. There are other types of nails used, such as titanium and ceramic, but the rest of this article will use quartz nails as a reference point for heating and cooling times.

Will Linn is cannabis photographer and consultant. He’s an experienced concentrate connoisseur and knows the importance of regulating the temperature on your dab rig nail.

“Preference is part of it, but you never want to get any concentrate too hot, Linn said. It burns away the terpenes, which in effect takes away from the taste and the potency of the product.”

Learn More About The Safe Consumption Of Cannabis Extracts Through Low Temp Dabbing

Rosin is a solventless extract made by squishing either flower or kief with extreme heat and pressure.

There are several factors to consider when your cooling down your nail, but the most important part is to have the same starting point for every dab; so heat the nail red hot, until it’s slightly glowing orange. A nail that is visibly glowing orange or red will be around 800 degrees Fahrenheit, per High Times. Let it cool down from this point for anywhere from 45 seconds to a minute and 30 seconds depending on the thickness of your nail and the size of your dab. Linn explains there will be a trial and error period for each nail and type of solvent (rosin, distillate, shatter, etc,) to zero in the heat to maximize the taste and effect.

“Most people take minimally sized dabs compared to some of the dabs I’ve taken,” Linn continued, “it depends on where people are at with their tolerance level.”

The smaller the dab, the less you will want the nail to heat up, and vice-versa. You will know if your nail is too hot because the remnant oil will be a singed black crust; instead of a warm brown liquid that is easily cleaned out with a couple Q-tips.

An electric nail is an easier way to consistently experience low-temperature dabs, but it can be costly if you want a reliable set-up. Consistently dabbing a torch and nail at low temperatures is absolutely possible with just a little research and practice.

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Adults 21 and over can purchase up to one ounce of usable cannabis flower, 16 ounces of cannabis-infused edibles in solid form, 72 ounces of cannabis drinkables, and 7 grams of cannabis concentrates.

If you’re a registered medical cannabis patient, the limits are:
Three ounces of usable cannabis flower, forty-eight ounces of cannabis-infused edibles in solid form, two hundred sixteen ounces of cannabis drinkables, and twenty-one grams of cannabis concentrates, per the Washington State Department of Health.

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