Lately, we’ve been receiving frequent questions regarding how to use our distillate syringes for optimal enjoyment. While we did list out a few tips on how to use our Delta-8 syringes in a previous blog, one of the most popular ways to use these syringes is to dab with them! Dabbing is a form of cannabis consumption that is becoming increasingly popular in the overall cannabis community. It involves inhaling a dose of heated concentrate through a water rig, often known as a dab rig. Sounds familiar right? In fact, our Delta-8 vape cartridges and disposable vape pens do the same thing, with the only differences lying in the battery or device that powers the heating element.
Today, we’ll be taking a deep dive into what dabbing is, the different forms of cannabis concentrates you can dab with, the necessary tools to take your first dab, and how to take a dab using our Delta-8 syringes. We’ll also explore the differences between a hot-dab and cold-start dab. This Delta-8 dabbing guide is one of our more in-depth posts, so let’s jump right in!
WHAT IS DABBING?
No, we’re not talking about dabbing as a dance move. We’re talking about the act of dabbing concentrated cannabis or hemp-derived oil through extreme heat, ranging between 600°F and 710°F. Typically, you’ll only need small amounts of distillate when dabbing Delta-8, as the extreme heat quickly evaporates that oil into a potent gas or vapor that can be inhaled.
Though similar to vaping, dabs typically provide a more highly-concentrated potency (whether the oil includes Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 THC, HHC, or THC-O). For example, if you’ve explored our third-party test reports, you’ll see that the average Delta-8 THC concentration for one of our vape products hovers between 75-85% of pure Delta-8. Our Delta-8 syringes, on the other hand, contain more or less the same concentration in a much smaller package, meaning it’ll take you less product to achieve an incredible Delta-8 high.
WHO SHOULD BE DABBING?
Since dabbing requires a different setup, a particular group of products, and the use of a blowtorch (in most cases), the activity is often left to seasoned users—particularly those that may have built a higher tolerance to hemp products and already know how to use distillate syringes effectively. This begets the question: can those new to hemp start dabbing Delta-8? You can, but it’s not always recommended unless you know exactly how your body will react to the psychoactive high. After all, knowing how to use a distillate syringe is only half of the battle. Since the act of dabbing requires extreme heat, and that heat shoots up the potency, you can expect amplified effects compared to simply smoking or vaping.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO TAKE A DAB?
Another reason why dabbing is often reserved for seasoned users is due to the sheer amount of tools you’ll need to take your first dab. While we’ve tried to keep this list as budget-friendly as possible, let’s be real—you could easily walk into your local smoke shop and build yourself a setup for a lot more money if you really wanted to.
1 YOUR EXTRACT OF CHOICE
Before you can start dabbing Delta-8, you’re going to need something to dab, right? Well, you’re in for a treat, because there are several types of concentrates you can choose from! While any concentrate can get you high, the type of concentrate you choose will contribute significantly to your overall experience. For example, our Delta-8 syringes contain pure distillate. Dabbing distillate has been popular for quite some time, in part because it’s a highly potent and pure concentrate (in our case, the levels of Delta-8 THC average between 85-90%). Our Delta-8 syringes also include terpenes and flavoring that help mask the earthy flavor of cannabis to provide a delicious dabbing experience!
Other extracts worth noting include live resin, badder/budder, crumble, shatter, wax, water hash, and rosin. Each is drastically different in consistency and overall experience. Upon trying a dab with distillate, consider trying all of the other extracts, too!
2 DAB RIG & NAIL
Once you’ve figured out how to use your distillate syringe or concentrate of choice, you’ll need a dab rig. Typically, these rigs look a lot like the bongs you’d use for cannabis or hemp flower. The rig itself requires water, a carburetor, and a dab nail. For added convenience, you can also look for an electronically-heated dab rig that uses electricity or a battery to heat the nail.
3 DABBING TOOL
You’ll need a dabbing tool to be able to take your concentrates from the container and apply it to your nail. These small and discreet tools look like a toothpick with a tiny spoon at the end of it. Remember that concentrates are usually an oil or an oil-like substance that sticks to everything, so you want to avoid getting it on your fingers, the carpet, or your other dabbing supplies.
Additionally, you can use distillate syringes or something similar in size and function instead of a dabbing tool.
4 A TORCH
Just as important as the rig itself, a heating source is required to start dabbing Delta-8. Unless you have an electronic dab rig, you’d likely need a torch with ample amounts of butane to heat the nail. Ideally, you’d want to torch the nail long enough to make the entire nail red hot.
5 A CARBURETOR
A carburetor or carb cap is a necessity for being able to fully vaporize the concentrate and finish your dab. After applying the concentrate to the hot nail and removing it from the dabbing tool, you’ll cover the nail with the carb cap. This will boil the concentrate and fully convert the solid to an inhalable gas. The longer the carburetor is kept on the nail, the more flavor you’ll taste and the more vapor you’ll produce. Just remember to inhale as much as you can. Otherwise, the experience will become harsh.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: SILICONE DAB MATS & SILICONE CONTAINERS
Silicone dab mats and containers aren’t necessities for dabbing, but they are helpful. For the sake of cleanliness and protecting your furniture from unhappy accidents, a silicone mat can protect from leaking oil that would be impossible to fully remove. A silicone container can be used as a short-term storage solution to house any unused concentrates, as the flavor and overall viscosity can hold for a couple weeks before degrading.
HOW TO USE DISTILLATE SYRINGES FOR DABBING
Finally, the true meat and potatoes—the definitive guide on how to take a dab, from the initial set-up to inhaling the vapor. Before you begin, please familiarize yourself with these details to ensure your safety and your dab’s potency.
STEP 1: PREPARE YOUR DAB
We suggest doing your dab while sitting on the couch, with your dab rig standing nicely on the coffee table in front of you. Using either a dabbing tool or your Delta-8 distillate syringe, start an amount of distillate roughly the size of a pencil tip. If you’re a seasoned veteran, you might be able to handle an amount that’s roughly the size of a dime. Once you have your distillate, leave the dabbing tool containing your extract somewhere where you can reach it.
Next, torch your nail. Ideally, you’ll want to heat the nail until it’s consistently red throughout. To ensure that you’re not inhaling a harsh dab, allow the nail to cool for 10-50 seconds. The cooler the nail is, the smoother and more flavorful the hit becomes.
STEP 2: TAKE YOUR DAB
Once you’re ready to take the dab, grab the dab rig and position it in between your thighs, keeping a safe distance from the hot nail. Grab your dabbing tool with the extract and touch it to the nail. You’ll notice that the extract begins melting off as you slowly inhale on the mouthpiece of the rig. Continue to inhale after the rest of the extract is removed from the dabbing tool, then quickly place the carburetor cap on the nail. Once you’ve done that, you can take a stronger inhale and lift the carburetor cap often to fully clear the rig.
STEP 3: EXHALE AND ENJOY THE HIGH
Chances are, during the inhalation and dabbing process, you’d likely run out of air and will need to exhale your dab. That’s okay! One way to do so without coughing up a lung is to blow all of it out immediately then take a sharp inhale back in. What you’re doing here is forcing your lungs to fully expel all smoke then resetting their function by intaking more oxygen. You’ll find that the psychoactive high will set in faster, smoother, and create less strain on your body this way.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN COLD- AND HOT-START DABS
Now that we’ve covered how to use a distillate syringe, we can get into the nitty-gritty. As we mentioned above, upon torching your nail to red-hot temperatures, you have the option of letting it rest for a short period of time, ranging between 10 and 50 seconds. Generally speaking, any amount of time between 10 and 20 seconds is considered a hot-start dab, whereas anything over 35 seconds is considered a cold-start one. There aren’t too many differences between the two, and ultimately it boils down to your personal preference. In either case, here’s how both break down:
Cold-start dabs allow the nail to cool down between 500° and 600°F. Letting the nail cool down this much allows you to feel, taste, and smell the terpenes and cannabinoid profile of the strain without the risk of burning it off. The high generated is a little milder than that of hot-start dabs.
Despite a smoother hit, milder high, and more flavorful experience, what you are sacrificing is the need for a carburetor cap to ensure all of your product is properly vaporized. That being said, this is a small price to pay if you’re the type of user that still wants to be somewhat functional after dabbing Delta-8.
- Cold-start dabs are less harsh on your lungs.
- You get to experience more flavor, as the terpenes aren’t burnt.
- Cold-start dabs require a carburetor/carb cap to ensure all of your product is properly vaporized. Otherwise, the nail is too cold to fully inhale everything.
- These dabs produce a milder psychoactive experience (which isn’t necessarily a drawback if that’s what you’re looking for).
Hot-start or high-temperature dabs generally maintain a 1000°F temperature on the nail. This means that soon after torching, you’re waiting roughly 20 seconds before you’re already going full steam ahead on your dab. Hot-start dabs are the most popular method between the two mainly because of potency and convenience. With a 1000°F dab, you are effectively burning off the extract and intaking all of that THC immediately. What you are sacrificing is an enjoyable flavor and a smooth hit.
Again, if this is what you’re used to or prefer, go for it! Neither method of dabbing Delta-8 is inherently better than the other!
- You’re going to start feeling incredibly high while you’re still in the act of dabbing.
- You’re able to clear your nail of all residue regardless of the viscosity of your extract.
- It’s not necessary to use a carb cap unless you want to retain as much heat as possible. Remember that you’re vaporizing extracts at 1000°F—it’s not entirely necessary to preserve an already-hot nail.
- Dabbing something at 1000°F tends to burn off terpenes and cannabinoids, thus making the entire experience a very potent, but less flavorful one.
- Unless you can clear the dab and your lungs smoothly, you’ll likely cough…a lot.
IS DABBING FOR YOU?
We hope this guide has helped you understand what dabbing is, how to go about doing it, and what you might expect to feel from it. We get several questions on this process and how to use distillate syringes for it. You absolutely can use our syringes to dab, and you’ll find this application to be a little easier than using a dabbing tool and other extracts.
If you’ve been on the fence about pulling the trigger on our Delta-8 distillate syringes, now would be a good time to explore! And if not, rest assured that Eighty Six offers a wide variety of Delta-8, THC-O, and HHC products to try.