By: DanceSafe Staff
It’s 710, AKA the 420 equivalent for marijuana concentrates! Whether you’re new or old to the world of dabbing, it never hurts to consider the harm reduction practices you can put in place to keep you and your friends safer this holiday.
1. Start Low, Go Slow
Especially for your first time with concentrates, start with a smaller dab (no bigger than the head of a pin) in order to assess your tolerance. Dabs can contain anywhere between 40-80% THC depending on the strain and extraction method, while cannabis flowers, or buds, range from 10-35% THC (also depending on strain and how the plant was grown). Being too high can be uncomfortable. Typical negative side effects of dabbing are paranoia, spins, and increased heart rate. There isn’t a “standard” dose for dabbing due to various levels of THC found in different strains before and after extraction, but remember that dabs are concentrated cannabis, so less is always more.
2. Heat, Wait, Dab
A low-temperature dab (AKA “low temping”) lets you enjoy the experience more, as it preserves the terpenes and taste and creates a smoother hit that doesn’t burn your lungs. If you’re using an e-nail, make sure it’s set between 550-700 degrees, as oils present in the extract release potentially cancer-causing chemicals when heated to temperatures above 750 degrees. When heated above 932 degrees, the dabs released benzene, a known carcinogen.
If you’re using a torch, you can dial in the target time for a nail, or “banger,” by using a watch or digital timer. Heat up the surface of the banger evenly until the bottom of it just starts to glow orange, but do not let the entire thing get glowing hot. Wait for 60 seconds and then take a test dab. If it is too cold, and there is still material in the nail or banger, you can always heat it back up and finish taking the dab by applying direct flame from the torch, but only for a few seconds. You can adjust the wait time based on the thickness of your nail or banger to 45 seconds, then 30, and maybe even 15 seconds for smaller ones. Whatever gets you a full, flavorful dab without leaving burn marks on the glass is just about right.
If you happen to have a heat gun laying around, feel free to use that for extra precision, but it’s not strictly necessary.
3. Caution, Hot Tools!
Let’s be real — we all know someone that has accidentally burned themselves while dabbing.
An easy way for someone to get hurt while taking dabs is by touching the nail (made of titanium, quartz, or ceramic) after it has been heated up. Whether you’re using an e-nail, which heats up the nail electronically, or heating up the nail with a torch, the nail can get scorching hot and can cause serious damage if it comes in contact with skin. Always be mindful of where the nail is, and generally how hot it is at any current moment. If you haven’t taken a dab before, it is important to have someone with you to help instruct you through your first dab to avoid burning yourself.
Torches, not just nails, are also a source of potential harm if they are not used right. Don’t hold a torch upside down unless you are filling it, and be sure to read instructions on proper refill techniques — if the butane from the canister does not make it into the torch, it can begin to pool inside the room you are in and can be a fire danger, as butane is highly flammable.
Making hash oil at home using flammable solvents like butane is extremely dangerous and illegal in many states. It has resulted in explosions, severe burns, and death due to the highly flammable nature of the solvent, lack of proper ventilation, and inexperience. In states where cannabis is legal, manufacturers of hash oil spend tens of thousands of dollars on proper equipment (called “closed loop systems”) and ventilation to ensure proper safety in the making of the dabs. If you live in one of these states, and are over 21 or a medical patient, it is better to purchase dabs from a dispensary than trying to make them at home.