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Dabbing Temperatures

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Did you know that I take requests for blog topics? For real, sometimes it feels like I’m a DJ or a cover band, because regulars who actually read these things will come in to our Durango dispensary and ask me to write something in-depth about this or that topic, and if it’s something I haven’t covered, I never argue. And this week, that’s exactly what’s happening, because the “what temperature should I use when dabbing” question has come up more than once, so let’s get into it.

First things first, if you want a refresher on exactly what it means to “dab,” click HERE, but then again, if you’re at the point wherein you’re looking for the perfect temperature, it might be a bit redundant. Now, as to temperatures, there are two ways to measure accurately after heating your nail or banger. One, if you’re the type of dabber who uses a torch, you’ll need a temperature laser gun, and a savvy shopper can get one for about $30 online. With this gun, you heat up your nail or banger with your torch per usual, but then you shoot it with the laser to get a temperature readout. If it’s too cold, use more flame, if it’s too hot, be patient and wait, or blow on your nail lightly.

Yes, this is the most labor-intensive way of achieving a perfect dab temperature, but it’s also the most affordable, because an E-Nail can cost quite a bit (but it’s quite a bit better). Long story short, an e-nail is an electronic doohickey that you attach to the ribs on your nail or onto the bottom of your banger. Then all you do is flip a switch to turn it on, and then set the temperature on the electronic readout to the exact reading you’d like. The e-nail will keep your nail or banger at the desired temperature, so there’s no need for torches or lasers, and you don’t have to worry about cooling, so you’ll get consistent dab temperatures for each hit.

Now, before we get to the actual temperatures (we’ll get there, I promise), there are two peripheral things we need to discuss, the first of which is the material out of which your nail or banger is made. Most people turn to titanium because they never break, but I’d suggest rethinking this choice, especially if you’re the type of consumer concerned with quality (and if you’re worried about exact temperatures, that’s exactly who you are). Yes, titanium is durable, it heats up quickly, and it retains heat, but the taste isn’t nearly as good as it is with other materials, and there are many different titanium alloys on the market, which leads to inconsistences. So, that would leave you with two material options: quartz, or ceramic. Quartz heats up very quickly and it gives a superb flavor, but it also cools down quickly, and since quartz is transparent, you cannot get an accurate temperature reading with one of those fancy laser guns. So, I recommend ceramic. It’s not transparent, so a laser gun will work, but ceramic also goes well with e-nails. True, ceramic nails or bangers take the longest to heat up, but patience is a good thing, and they retain heat as well as provide perfect flavor.

The second issue is that internal temperature differs greatly from surface temperature, but you only need to worry about this with e-nails because the laser gun method reads surface temperature only, and that’s what matters. So, if you’re using an e-nail and you’re hunting for the perfect dab temperature, I’d recommend reading THIS study, because the e-nail regulates internal temperature, which is usually lower than the surface temperature. So, when using an e-nail, you’ll need to crank up the temperature by ten degrees or so to ensure that the nail’s surface is where you want it.

Alright, on to the numbers. There are five basic temperature ranges, which I’ll give in Fahrenheit, but don’t worry, I’ll break these down as well:

1.) 0⁰-300⁰: this is a very low-temp dab, and it will give the best flavor, but many cannabinoids won’t be vaporized at this temperature, so you’ll end up wasting quite a bit of your dab, which is no good.

2.) 300⁰-450⁰: This range is the goldilocks zone because it’s just right, so aim here. You still get all the flavor from a low-temp dab, but you also vaporize all the cannabinoids, so the intensity is there as well.

3.) 450⁰-600⁰: You need to be careful at this temperature because with the last two, all you’re getting is vapor, but when you get north of 450 degrees, you also start to burn your dab, so your hit will be a mixture of vapor and smoke. So, you’ll gain intensity at the cost of flavor, and if you’re reading this blog, that’s not what you want.

4.) 600⁰-1000⁰: Don’t do this. Just about everything you’ll breathe in is smoke, and you’ll get absurdly high, but the harshness will cover up all the flavor. This is like taking double shots of whiskey instead of sipping it, and with fine whiskey, or fine dabs, that’s completely pointless and superfluous.

Now, let’s get into exact temperatures. As you know, when you dab something, the heat from your nail or banger should cause the product to boil, not burn (which is why the last two temperature ranges are too high), so what you’re breathing in is the “steam” or vapor from the flash-boiled material. So, all you need to do to dial in your dab temperature is to find the exact boiling point for the cannabinoid or terpene you’re trying to enjoy. For instance, here are the three boiling points for three different cannabinoids:

THC: 315⁰

CBD: 356⁰

CBN: 365⁰

So, can you see why the “0-300” degree range will give you good flavor but not much intensity? You’ll boil some terpenes, but the THC itself won’t boil until 315 degrees, so you’ll be missing out on most of the high. However, (and this is where we get into the connoisseur stuff), quite a few dabbers are looking to enjoy specific terpenes, so I’ll provide those temperatures as well. And I’m not going to get into the terpenes themselves, because if you’re about to dab them, you already know (but for a refresher, click HERE). Here are the boiling points and tasting notes for six of the most famous cannabis terpenes:

Myrcene: 330⁰ This one tastes like cloves and funk.

Limonene: 350⁰ This one tasted like citrus fruit rinds.

Linalool: 388⁰ This is the floral-tasting terpene.

Caryophyllene: 390⁰ This one tastes peppery.

Pinene: 420⁰ Yes, it tastes like pine.

Humulene: 435⁰ This one tastes like the forest (trust me).

The last thing we need to discuss is hand-held vape pens. The affordable ones have low, medium, and high temperature settings, so again, I’d go with medium because balance is always best. However, if you spent the money and got a vape pen with a digital readout, go ahead and use the same degree settings as you would with a nail or banger because you’ll get the same flavor profiles, albeit with a smaller vapor cloud.

There! That’s just about all there is to know when it comes to vape temperatures, and if you’re one of the people who requested this topic, I kept my promise! However, if you still have questions, come in and see us at 208 Parker Avenue, or give us a call at (970) 403-3710, and we’ll answer them. Or, if there’s something pot-related you’d like me to write about, come in to our Durango dispensary and ask for Jesse and then tell me your idea. We’re always willing to take requests to keep you informed, because We’re Your Best Buds!

Two New Ways to Dab

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I like whiskey, but I like sipping it; it’s probably been a decade since my last shot. And maybe that’s why it took me so long to get into dabs—the idea of smoking a quarter-gram of live resin all at once seemed superfluous, just like chugging scotch. But taking dabs is a budtender prerequisite because we need to know what we’re talking about when customers ask, so I started with a wax pen (just like most older smokers). But after a while, I found myself wanting just a little bit more with each hit because wax pens are mild and convenient, but they don’t deliver that robust hit for which hash smokers are looking. I thought about buying a dab rig, but that would be taking things too far the other way; I needed to find that goldilocks middle ground. So, I did a little research, and I found (and tried) two new ways to dab that every smoker should know about because both methods are awesome. And as our staff blog-writer, it’d be amiss to not share my discoveries with you, so that’s exactly what I’m doing this week—if you’re looking for a whole new way to dab, try one of these methods:

1.) Reverse Dabbing, or Cold-Start Dabbing. Frankly, this method is slowly but surely becoming the preferred method for all dab-heads, not just those of us who don’t want huge hits, because a reverse dab preserves the concentrate’s flavor. Let me explain. Usually, when you take a dab, you heat the nail or banger with your torch before applying the dab. But with reverse dabbing (which works only with a banger), you put the dab into the banger while it’s cold (ergo, “reverse”). Then you hold the torch flame about an inch away from the bottom of your banger and slowly heat it until the dab starts to bubble before inhaling. It’s important to make sure your banger is clean before starting this process for the best results, but because of the gradual build to vaporization, you don’t miss out on any of the flavor, nor do you overheat the banger and cough your head off with a hit that’s too big. See what I mean? This is like sipping whiskey instead of shooting it.

2.) New School Hash Bowls. We tell our customers over and over that new-school dabs cannot be smoked in a pipe because the dab will liquify when you try to light it with your lighter and then pool in the bottom of your pipe, but with a little skill, this isn’t true. And for the record, the term “hash bowl” has been around forever (it’s when you mix old-school hash with flower and then smoke it in a pipe), but a new-school hash bowl brings together the best of both worlds, and if you do it right, this is one of my favorite ways to smoke dabs.

Step one: grind some flower and fill your pipe halfway. Step two: put a small dab right in the middle of your pipe. Step three: put more flower on top of the dab until your pipe is full, and then press it down gently. Now here comes the important part: light the bowl and inhale until a cherry forms, and then stop using your lighter. The heat from the cherry will melt the dab, the liquid will infuse the remaining flower in your pipe, and then it’ll stay lit until your bowl is empty (it takes a little practice to do it just right). For real, if you haven’t tried this method, you need to—a new-school hash bowl gives you the complexity of a flower high and the potency of a new-school dab, which is simply awesome.

There. Now you know everything I do about these two new dabbing methods. But the best part about either of these ways to dab is that they let you stick your feet in the pool before jumping in. Most people who haven’t dabbed before shy away from the idea because going from smoking flower to taking dabs is like going from zero to sixty instantly, but both reverse dabbing and new-school hash bowls let you gradually build to that insane high you can get from a dab instead of diving in with a full-blown dab hit. And the best part is that we sell everything you need for either of these methods right here in our Durango dispensary. So, if you’re over twenty-one with a valid I.D. and you’d like to try one of these new ways to dab, come see us at 208 Parker Avenue and we’ll get you set up, because We’re Your Best Buds!

Dabbing Marijuana

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This newest generation seems to think they came up with “dabbing,” but maybe that’s just the way it’s always been—maybe the youth has always sapped credit from the people who came before thanks to short memories. After all, “Flatliners” is in the theaters again, with a new cast of pretty millennials acting out a carbon-copy plot from the eighties movie I remember, and Disney just announced that they’re remaking “Flight of the Navigator,” which is simply sacrilegious, if you ask me. Actually, “The Magnificent Seven” just came out for the third time, if you’re keeping track, and something was stolen from my father’s generation that they stole from the generation before. Everything old is being made anew, and it’s no different when it comes to smoking pot.

I’ll take a step back and explain: “dabbing” is the newest term for smoking full-burn marijuana concentrates. And I know this subject can get a little convoluted, so I’m going to walk through it step by step just in case you’re a complete newbie. A “full-burn” concentrate is something like rosin, shatter, wax, or live-resin. I’m not going to get into the specific differences between these four concentrates because that’s a subject deserving a separate blog, but basically, these concentrates are made by extracting the cannabinoids (the stuff that gets you high) from all the green plant matter you think of when you picture marijuana. When you smoke a full-burn concentrate, all of it evaporates and nothing is left behind, ergo, “full-burn.”

But you can’t smoke a full-burn concentrate conventionally because it’ll just melt—if you try to smoke something like wax with a pipe and lighter, it’ll just turn into liquid and pool in the bottom of your pipe, which is nothing more than a messy waste of money. So, you need to “dab” it. And this is where we get back on track: my generation called dabbing “knife hits.” We’d take two butter knives and get them red-hot over the stove, and then we’d press them together with some hash in between. The hot knives would vaporize the hash and we’d breathe in the smoke. And yes, we even knew how to make full-burn hash with an iron and wax paper, so you whippersnappers didn’t come up with that, either.

Anyway, a decade or so after knife-hits faded in popularity, the Atlanta hip-hop scene started to mature. A new dance came out in 2012 called “dabbing,” wherein you’d duck your forehead into the crook of your arm while sticking your other arm straight out to the side; Cam Newton made the move famous because he did it every time he scored a touchdown for the Carolina Panthers. But the “dab” didn’t come from sports or hip-hop, because the gesture is meant to look like what someone does after taking a huge concentrate hit: you turn your head into your elbow and cough like the world is ending, and you hold the other arm out as if to say, “dear god, keep that stuff away from me” (or at least, that’s where most people on the internet think it comes from). “Dabbing” was associated with smoking marijuana long before the dance came out (regardless of what the dance’s inventor, “Skippa Da Flippa,” might have to say about it), and the move is just another dance in a long line of dances meant to emulate everyday motions, like the “running man,” the “lawnmower,” or the timeless “bump-and-grind.” And it’s not even the first marijuana-related motion dance to pop up because people have been “passing it to the left” ever since that reggae song came out in the eighties.

However, when it comes to dabbing marijuana, I must admit that this newest generation has taken something we invented and made it much, much better. Now, instead of knives and a cooktop, we use a dab rig. Basically, these rigs have a “nail” that you heat up with a small blowtorch (these nails can be made from glass, ceramics, or metals like titanium). And then you “dab” a little of your concentrate onto the nail (which sits where the bowl of a pipe or bong used to be) and inhale the smoke. It’s easy and clean and ridiculously potent. Since all of the plant matter has been taken out of the equation, a few of the concentrates currently on the market come close to 99% per THC content, and that’s insane. The high is mind-bendingly intense and it hits you quick and pure, like only a concentrate can. At the Greenery, we have basic dab rigs that start around fifteen bucks and a complete line of full-burn concentrates. If you come in, we’ll show you how to put the two together.

But quite a few people are put-off by the idea of using a blowtorch to smoke pot—to them, it feels a little superfluous and strange, a little over-the-top. And because of this, I’ve noticed that most dabbers over thirty prefer a handheld vaporizer like the Cloud V that we sell in our store for around sixty bucks. Frankly, I’m one of these “people over thirty,” and I doubt that I’d dab if I had to use a blowtorch. I prefer discretion: the Cloud V is battery-operated and it fits in your pocket. It has a little ceramic bowl and a heating element; all you do is load it and push a button and inhale. It couldn’t be simpler.

But just like with everything else pot-related, it’s what you put in your pipe that matters, not the pipe itself. You’ll hear me talk about this quite a bit from now on, but recently, our company expanded to include The Greenery Hash Factory, and we’ve started making our own concentrates. And just like the flower that comes out of our grow, our concentrates are the best on the market. But we’re doing it the old fashion way—without the use of caustic solvents that’re inimical to flavor—so only one of our concentrates is full-burn: our Rosin.

We make our Rosin with nothing more than heat and extreme pressure: premium flower is squeezed with a heated pneumatic press (it’s an amped-up version of the iron and wax paper I told you about previously) and the thick, gooey goodness called Rosin seeps out of the flower. We sell it for $60 a gram before tax, and it’s worth every penny. The batch I have loaded in my Cloud V right now comes from Chemmy Jones flower, and it comes in at 75.9% THC, which is incredible because we didn’t use the chemicals commonly associated with high-THC concentrates. But it is what it is, and at close to seventy-six percent THC, just a little dab will do ya’ when you’re smoking our Rosin (and yes, I know I just stole an advertising slogan from my parents’ generation, but whatever).

Our Rosin really is worth trying if you’ve never “dabbed” as the millennials are calling it these days, because the flavor, convenience, and potency surpass old-school hash by a country mile, regardless of who thought of it first. So please, come in and let us show you what you’ve just read about—let us introduce you to something new, something better than what you’re used to. We’re Your Best Buds, and when it comes to dabbing, that’s what we do.

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