Dabbing, a method to consume cannabis concentrate using vaporization, is becoming popular as more states and countries legalize medical and recreational cannabis. This method has been around for centuries in more rudimentary forms like “hot knifing”, but today’s cannabis market offers more user-friendly, tech-enhanced options. Cannabis culture has witnessed a major shift from inhaling vapors off heated cutlery to using dab pens and sleek mini rigs. Other advances in dab tools include e-nails for ease of use and maintaining optimum heating temperatures.

In this article, Gage Cannabis Co. covers some dabbing basics and an overview of the most popular concentrate devices.

What is Dabbing?

Dabs are cannabis concentrates that include shatter, crumble, wax, budder and other extracts with highly potent THC levels. Dabbing is a simple process. A small amount of concentrate is placed on a heated nail or banger on the dag rig, and the user inhales the vapor through a mouthpiece. If you are using a dab pen, you place a small amount of concentrate in the product chamber, click the recommended heating level button for your model, and inhale.

Why Dab?

Many cannabis consumers believe that dabbing delivers optimum terpene flavor compared to other modes of consumption. Just visit the nearest dispensary in Massachusetts, and you most likely overhear a budtender and customer discussing the “terp” profile and flavors of specific concentrates. Concentrate helps preserve terpene freshness. Some users like dabbing because it is a cleaner and healthier alternative to smoking flower.

Now that dabbing in Massachusetts is legal, dispensaries are witnessing an increase in demand. Massachusetts concentrate sales increased 16% from 2021 to 2022. Promotions for 710 or “dab day” can be a very lucrative sales event for a dispensary in Massachusetts.

How are Concentrates Made?

Dabs or cannabis concentrates are often produced using the following extraction techniques: water-based processing, dry processing, dry ice processing, and solvent-based and solventless processing. Solvent-based processing usually involves the use of carbon dioxide and flammable solvents such as propane, alcohol, ether, or butane. Solvent-based products range from 54% to 69% in THC concentration, but some can be 80% or higher.

There are no significant differences in quality and potency of concentrates made from cured and live resin. Cured resin uses cannabis that has already undergone the curing or drying process whereas live resin is made by freezing freshly harvested cannabis in dry ice or placing it in liquid nitrogen.

The Evolution of Dabbing Technology

The past decade or so has been full of dabbing technology advances that reflect improved delivery and heating efficiency. Current devices contain more of the vapor so there is less product waste.

The traditional method involved placing a metal tool over fire such as a knife (hence the phrase hot knifing). The next main development phase after placing this initial method was the domeless nail. When a metal nail element was heated to high temperatures, the smoker would contain the vapor by placing a dome over the concentrate.

The current dabbing technology phase is characterized by use of mostly borosilicate glass bangers which offer the most efficient heat retention. A carb cap allows the user to restrict airflow.

Dabbing Tools for Purchase at a Massachusetts Dispensary

Three common ways to dab include using a dab pen, dab rig, and e-rig. You most likely will find these items for sale at your nearest dispensary. Check a dispensary menu to see if they have dab pens, nails and rigs.

Dab Pen

A dab pen is a small, portable, and rechargeable device that is discreet and easy to use. Dab pens like the Puffco Plus appeal to a wide range of cannabis users. The design makes it a good choice for new dabbers. Dabbing aficionados love the portability and practicality of a dab pen…especially when travel makes bringing the dab rig and accessories impractical.

Dab Rig

A dab rig is a type of water pipe designed for concentrate inhalation. Its structure and parts are similar to a bong for smoking cannabis flower. They are often made of borosilicate glass. A rig has a chamber that holds water for cooling vapor and a nail where you place concentrate.

Dab Nail

A dag rig features a nail, which is usually a bucket shaped receptacle to hold the concentrate. One type of nail is a banger. Bangers are often made from quartz or borosilicate so that they can withstand high temperatures (400-600 Fahrenheit).
Cannabis users like quartz bangers because they use precise heating and vaporization methods. You can achieve the ideal temperature for wax, shatter, and more. Many swear that using a quartz banger enhances the terpene taste. Quartz bangers can maintain a lower temperature for a longer duration.

Electronic Nail or Torch?

You will need either an E-nail or torch for warming your banger. An e-nail delivers heat through a coil attached to the nail’s bucket or dish. It maintains a consistent temperature for each dab and heats up quickly. For example, the Lookha Q7 Portable E Nail attaches onto 14mm or 18mm water pipes for easy temperature control. Other users prefer a torch. Although some people use a multi-purpose torch, a torch designed for dabbing purposes is more convenient and efficient.

Best Products for Dabbing

You may want to invest in durable, high quality products as you continue your dabbing journey and learn more about device features and functions. The most important factors driving your purchasing decision should be your budget and comfort level with dabbing equipment.

Where Can I Buy Dabbing Gear in Massachusetts?

A smoking accessory shop or a recreational dispensary will have quartz bangers, rigs, and portable dab pens as well as additional dabbing utensils and carb caps. Check any Massachusetts dispensary website, and you will find some basic dabbing equipment. For larger selections, visit online accessory stores as well as cannabis accessory shops.

If you are in Ayer, visit Gage Cannabis Co. to browse our dabbing accessories. We can show you how to use several of the dabbing devices available at our dispensary.

Gage Cannabis Co Can Help You with Your Dabbing Needs

Visit Gage Cannabis Co in Ayer to learn more about using concentrates. We would love to answer your dabbing questions.

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