How Do I Use A Torch On A Dab Nail?
Though one of the hottest trends in herbal concentrates, dabbing with a Dab Rig can seem complex, even daunting, to the uninitiated. Master the art of the dab, however, and you'll be able to extract a lot more potency using a lot less concentrate. Today, we're going to talk about the simplest form of dabbing when it comes to technology (but perhaps the most complex in terms of equipment involved): torch-fired dab nails with glass domes.
First, let's get your supplies together. You're going to need a water pipe (anything with a glass-on-glass stem will do, you can convert the same bong you use for smoking flower), a dab nail that fits your pipe's stem, a dome (the glass piece that you'll place over the nail, more like a bowl because it's got a hole in the top, a dabber (the tool to transfer your concentrate from its holder to your smoking apparatus), a torch (a pocket torch like a chef would use to make creme brulee works, but may take longer than a larger one like a plumber would use to solder pipe).
You're also going to need some concentrate to dab. Most popular waxes and shatters will do, but anything alcohol-extracted isn't going to work - ask your budtender if you have any doubt to make sure what you're using is appropriate.
Okay, now what? The process from here is simpler than it sounds, though you're going to have to know your equipment and be ready to do a little experimenting.
First, place your nail in your pipe and apply the torch's flame to the tip. How long to heat will vary, lots of people like to keep firing until the nail turns red-hot while others stop short. Timing will also vary based on nail material - ceramic and quartz take longer to heat but are also slower to cool off. Titanium heats and cools more quickly.
Next, pop the dome on your nail while it's cooling. Assuming you've gone all the way to red-hot, you're going to let your ceramic or quartz nail cool for about 30-40 seconds, but a titanium one will be ready to go in as little as 10 seconds. As a rule of thumb, the hotter your nail when you dab the more powerful your concentrate will be, but the cooler it is when you start dabbing the better the flavor produced.
While the nail is cooling, grab your dabber and collect a tiny crumb of concentrate to apply. Remember, concentrates can be anywhere from twice as potent to ten times stronger than even the dankest of flowers, so take it easy when you're first starting out!
Finally, apply the concentrate to the nail using the dabber, inhaling the vapor that's produced from your pipe. Moving the dabber in a circular fashion around the nail will help make sure all of your concentrate rubs off to get vaporized. That nail is going to remain painfully hot for some time after you're done, so make sure you're handling your pipe carefully and don't try to touch your rig until you're sure it's cooled off.
Sounds simple enough, right? It certainly can be, and for even more convenience you can now get electronic dab rigs that take the guesswork (and handling blowtorches) out of the experience. These help you dial in your perfect temperature for concentrate vaping and take the guesswork out of knowing how long to fire a nail and how much to let it cool before use. We'll cover those in a later installment, but for now, as long as you're careful (torch fire demands more respect than your trusty Bic, after all), you're all set to start dabbing!