The problem is that concentrates are more delicate than plant matter. Dabs are more potent, but you'll waste a majority of this added potency if you don't tightly regulate your vaporization temperature.
To get the best results from your concentrates, you must find the ideal temperature for vaporization. Here's a breakdown of the best temperature zones for dabbing so you can find your sweet spot.
Four Temperature Levels for Dabbing
1) 0-300°F: Too Cool
Concentrates won't fully vaporize at a temperature lower than 300°F. At low temperatures, dabs will start to liquefy and seep through your rig like syrup. They'll hit the glass and pool into puddles that will gunk up your quartz banger.
Begin heating it again and restart your countdown if you let your rig cool too much before adding your dab. Dabbing at such a low temperature will just melt your wax.
2) 350-550°F: Low Temp Dabs
Above 350°F, you can start getting consistent hits and good vapor. This is the low temp dab zone where you get more flavor retention and control over your hits. With a low temperature dab, you'll get smoother hits.
Many users prefer low temp dabs because it isn't harsh on your throat or lungs. Low temperature dabbing also makes it easier to conserve your concentrates. However, you have to be careful how much you're loading at one time.
3) 600-850°F: High Temp Dabs
At 600°F, you'll start to enter the high temp zone where your dabs will be more potent and milky. You'll lose some flavor with a high temp dab, but it's less likely that you'll leave behind oils when dabbing at such high temperature ranges.
High temp dabs also produce more vapor and clouds. You'll want to start with smaller hits because it's easy to overdo it. Dabs will go from liquid to vapors in microseconds, so high temperature dabs are perfect once you're used to larger hits.
4) 900+°F: Too Hot
There's a reason that most dab pens and e-nails top off around 850°F.
Above 900-1000°F, the air temperature in the banger becomes too hot and burns off the active ingredients as they're released from the concentrate. At these “too-high” temperatures, you'll create a lot of vapor, but the quality will suffer, and you'll waste a lot while consuming little.
Waste isn't the only problem. When you dab at such a high heat, vapor will still be recondensing from gas to liquid form when it reaches the mouthpiece. This can lead to a sticky residue in your mouth, phlegm, and coughing.
At the perfect temperature, some vapor will condense inside the rig—that’s why it gets dirty—but it should be cool enough by the time the remaining vapor reaches the mouthpiece.
What's the Best Temperature Range for Dabbing?
The perfect temperature for a dab starts at a low 350°F. With the optimal temperature, you'll get smooth hits and retain maximum flavor. If you go too hot, you'll lose some of the primary flavors. But if you're using dense concentrates that need to be heated up, then 600°F is an ideal temperature to start.
Above 600°F, you'll get thicker hits that are less flavorful. This is still vapor, though, and it's healthier than smoking regular flower. If you're using waxes or shatters, then 800°F can get the job done without wasting any concentrate. Even if you go this hot, your terps will still be decarboxylated without burning off.
Monitoring Your Temperature
Quartz bangers retain heat well, and you'll find that some bangers cool faster than others, depending on their size and shape.
Getting the temperature just right takes a little experimentation and depends on the oils you’re dabbing. The best way to find the right temp is to use the countdown method. It’s a way to estimate your temperature based on the time it takes to vape. You can use a stopwatch or a phone, or just count out loud.
Here’s how the countdown method works:
- Heat your banger with a torch until it starts to glow red-hot.
- Start your countdown immediately after removing the flame from your rig. 40 seconds is the right count for most bangers.
- Keep an eye on the consistency of your concentrates from dab to dab. If the dish is oily after it stops releasing vapor, try dabbing at a higher temperature next time—in other words, use a shorter countdown.
- On the other hand, if your whole dab burned up and only gave you a small puff, lengthen your countdown to let the dish reach a lower temperature.
Three Tips for Perfect Temperature Dabs Using a Torch
There's a little more to temping your dabs than firing up and counting down. Here are a few other important tips to keep in mind for the cleanest, tastiest rips:
Tip #1. Heat the Whole Banger, Not Just the Bottom
Don't just focus the heat on the bottom of the dish. Heat will transfer up the cooler sides of the glass, resulting in a longer heat-up time and inconsistent temperatures between different faces of the banger.
Heat around the sides of the banger and the bottom. If you see the flame bouncing off the glass, the heat is doing the same thing—use the far end of the flame to warm your banger, so it's catching all of the heat.
Tip #2. Use a Full Torch
Refill your torch often. If the flame is weak or flickering, your butane fuel is low. When torches are low on fuel, they produce less-powerful flames that take longer to heat your rig. And if you like high-temp dabs, you may not heat your banger to the temperatures you're used to, resulting in cooler hits.
Tip #3. Use a Proper Butane Torch
You can't just use any butane lighter to heat your dab rig. The flame isn't powerful enough. You can forget about Zippos or other naphtha lighters since these don't produce enough heat.
A butane torch keeps fuel under pressure so it fires much hotter than a disposable lighter. You can find inexpensive torches designed specifically for dabbing, but you can get by with a torch designed for culinary use, too. As with any tool or accessory, your mileage may vary depending on the brand you choose.
Dabbing With an E-Nail
Dabbing with an e-nail can be more convenient than using a torch. When you're ready to dab, you load a dab into the e-nail and connect it to your downstem.
This way of heating up is cleaner and more efficient. Using a torch can result in accidents because of the open flame. The only thing you will need for this process is a dab rig with a matching receiver.
MJ Arsenal offers a precise, premium-quality e-nail for 10mm and 14mm glassware that you can use to convert any traditional waterpipe into a powerful dab rig. The G Pen Connect is a battery-powered portable device that heats your dabs to one of three different temperature settings in just five seconds.
Cold Start Dabbing
Cold start dabbing is a way of preloading dabs and heating them to a low temperature. This method is good for small hits and if you want to stretch out your stash.
This method works best for concentrates that vaporize at lower temperatures. High-temp concentrates will get sticky and start decarbing before you can see vapor, making it easy to waste a lot of your dab.
You can use a cold start banger specially designed to control heat distribution to make cold start dabs easier. MJ Arsenal's new premium quartz banger release includes a series of cold start bangers optimized for low-temp dabbing perfection.
Dabbing at the right temperature can be tricky, but once you find the best temp you'll see how much better your dabs taste and feel. By preheating your banger with an open flame and following our simple tips, we hope to make this technique easier to master.
Remember, you need to experiment with different temperatures to find what works best for the type of concentrate you're dabbing. Spending a little more time dialing into your rig's temp can help you get big, tasty clouds every time.Always be sure to use the best tools and accessories for the job, like a proper torch and high-quality dab rig. MJ Arsenal is your one-stop-shop for dab glassware, gear, and accessories, including bangers, e-nails, and more. Grab an opaque-dish cold-start banger and a bubble cap to take your dabs to the next level.