Dabbing is growing in popularity with recreational and medical cannabis users. Many CBD users find the process intimidating, but it’s one of the fastest ways to feel the effects of cannabidiol. Learning how to dab CBD will help you determine whether this is the right method of delivery for you. Keep reading to learn what dabbing is and why so many people are now using this process with highly potent CBD concentrates.
What Is Dabbing?
Dabbing is a vaporizing process that delivers highly concentrated cannabis vapors. The concentrate is placed over a heating element designed to vaporize upon contact. You inhale the vapor to feel the impact instantly. The term “dab” refers to any form of cannabis that you can vaporize. Butter, wax, hash and shatter are all readily available options.
Reasons to Dab CBD
There are a few reasons that you may learn to dab CBD:
Instant Impact – Inhaling CBD vapor delivers immediate results. You may wait an hour or longer to feel the impact of a CBD edible. While dropping CBD oil under your tongue can speed up the delivery, you can get faster impact with a higher concentration by dabbing. If you take CBD oil for chronic pain, instant delivery can spare you minutes or hours of pain.
Controlled Dose – It’s difficult to determine how much cannabis is in an edible. That unpredictability leaves some people uncomfortably high from consuming edibles with THC. Even if you leave the THC out and use CBD, dabbing is a good way to carefully control your dosage.
Superior Quality – CBD extracts designed for dabbing are often higher quality than the CBD contained in a vape pen cartridge. Cannabinoid levels in CBD concentrates can go up to 90 percent. That makes it far more potent than most sublingual products or vape pens. The added potency comes from how CBD resins or extracts are obtained, which we’ll talk about more when the dabbing process is explained.
Soothing Experience – Once you learn how to dab CBD, you’re likely to find the process calming. Many dabbers report easing their anxiety and curing insomnia with CBD dabbing.
Improved Flavor – Many CBD users prefer the taste of dabbed CBD to oils or vape pens. You may also consider dabbing if you usually consume edibles but struggle to find a variety of products that are affordable and flavorful.
You may also learn to dab CBD if you want to try something new. Dabbing gives you a chance to put down the vape pen or step away from the edibles while enjoying a new experience. You may dab when you need immediate impact while using tinctures or edibles at other times.
Will Dabbing CBD Get You High?
THC is the cannabis compound that delivers a psychoactive high. CBD is a natural compound of the cannabis plant that doesn’t cause that high. A pure CBD isolate derived from the hemp plant won’t contain THC. That means it won’t get you high.
A CBD concentrate extracted from the marijuana plant may contain a small amount of THC. Dabbing delivers a highly potent vapor, so you only need a little THC to feel high. Most CBD products sold online are derived from hemp with no THC content. If you buy from a dispensary, ask questions about the THC content so you know what you’re buying.
While using too much THC can lead to an uncomfortable high, you won’t experience a negative impact from dabbing pure CBD without THC. Most CBD dabbers report instant relaxation for a soothing experience that most find enjoyable.
As research into CBD continues, more proven benefits are likely to emerge. You can receive the full benefits of your CBD concentrate even after vaporizing it in the dabbing process.
CBD Side Effects
Many of the health risks associated with dabbing are related to the excessive high that many people obtain when dabbing marijuana. That high comes from the THC, which isn’t contained in hemp-derived CBD. Some of the dangers include hallucinations, paranoia, rapid heartbeat and blackouts. Marijuana may also become more addictive when dabbed. These risks aren’t associated with CBD consumed for the health benefits.
All known side effects of consuming CBD are mild, including:
You’re most likely to experience these side effects if you consume a high dose of CBD. This is especially true if you’re a new user. It’s best to start with a low dose and gradually increase until you find the most effective dose for your body.
CBD can possibly interact with some prescription medications. CBD extracted from hemp is considered a supplement. You should treat it as you would any other supplement, which may include talking to your doctor if you take prescription medication. Not all medical doctors will recommend CBD, but most will give you general advice regarding potential medication interactions.
Is Dabbing CBD Safe?
Dabbing comes with some risks that you don’t face with oils or edibles. The biggest dangers are in the process of creating dab concentrates. Butane is used to extract THC and/or CBD from the hemp or marijuana plant. The product is then exposed to high heat designed to burn out the butane. Someone without experience and proper training may start a fire at critical stages in the process.
You can avoid this danger by purchasing your CBD concentrates from a trustworthy source. There is always the risk that a pre-made concentrate will contain impurities. You will then inhale those impurities during the dabbing process. It’s important to check reviews or referrals and ask a lot of questions regarding the purity of a CBD concentrate.
In 2014, the journal Addictive Behaviors printed the results of a survey regarding the safety of dabbing. More than 350 cannabis users were asked about their dabbing experiences. The results showed that users didn’t experience anymore accidents or injuries from dabbing than from other forms of administration.
Users did report higher tolerance and withdraw symptoms from dabbing. That supports the belief that dabbing is more likely to lead to addiction when marijuana concentrates are used. That isn’t a concern with pure CBD concentrates that don’t include THC.
In general, dabbing is considered safe if you carefully source your CBD concentrate. You eliminate much of the risk by not creating the concentrate yourself and not dabbing concentrates with THC. You should still approach dabbing with a bit more care than you might a hemp-derived CBD oil.
How to Dab CBD – What You Need
While you can spend a lot of time and money collecting the latest dabbing supplies, that isn’t necessary for an enjoyable experience. Someone just starting out or experimenting can get by with quality CBD concentrate and a good dab rig. Keep reading to learn how to pick the best products.
Pure CBD dabbing begins with a quality concentrate that is in the proper form for dabbing. You can order legal CBD oil derived from the hemp plant online, but it won’t arrive at your home in a form that is suitable for dabbing. You need an extract or resin extracted from the hemp plant with butane.
Further processing is then needed to remove all butane from the final product. The final form is a thick blob of gooey CBD that will instantly vaporize with the right heating element. You can buy CBD that is already in this form by looking for shops that sell cannabis shatter, wax, butter or hash. The difference between products with these terms is often the consistency. Most shops will designate them as suitable for dabbing.
If you’re uncertain that a CBD product is suitable for dabbing, ask before you make the purchase. A trustworthy seller will have the knowledge and patience to answer your questions in detail. If they seem uncertain about the contents of the concentrate or how it might react to heat, you should find a new seller.
Some dabbing concentrates are made from the marijuana plant instead of hemp. These concentrates are likely to contain THC, which will deliver a high as well as the health benefits of CBD. If you don’t want to get high, make sure that you’re only dabbing CBD that was produced from the hemp plant.
Dab rigs aren’t the same as bongs. Some experienced cannabis users will transform old bongs into dab rigs by adding a nail, but that doesn’t always create an effective rig. It’s easier to purchase a rig that is designed just for concentrates. You also preserve the purity and flavor of your concentrates when you keep flower products separate.
There are three parts to your standard dab rig:
The heating element is typically called a nail. The torch is used to heat the nail. The nail then heats the CBD concentrate.
The glass piece is usually smaller than a full-sized bong. Larger pieces spread the vaporized CBD product out over a larger area. That leads to a loss of potency. More compact rigs contain the vapors in a smaller area, maximizing potency with each hit.
Use the following list to understand the types of rigs currently available and the advantages of each:
Everyday Dab Rig – The everyday piece is designed for ease of use and standard performance. They tend to look like miniature bongs, but they do operate differently. This is the easiest to use and is often the most economical option for beginners or those trying dabbing out of curiosity.
Vapor Straws – This is the simplest and most compact dab rig available today. You put your concentrate on one end and inhale from the other end after heating the nail with a small torch. Often called nectar collectors, these pieces are heavily used by bargain shoppers or busy people who want to dab CBD while away from home. If you want to use the smallest torch possible, this is a good option.
Recyclers – These pieces are often enjoyed for their appearance just as much as performance. Water is pulled into a recycling chamber during the dabbing process. This provides extra filtration and cooling for your vapor. It also creates a cascade of moving water that many dabbers find amusing to watch.
Incyclers – These pieces work much like recyclers. The difference is that they pull the water to the top of the main chamber rather than into a separate recycling chamber. The piece is more compact than a recycler but can provide similar cooling and filtration benefits.
Silicone Rigs – These pieces are made from silicone rather than glass. It’s the perfect solution for people who tend to drop or otherwise break their rigs. This durable material also resists heat, warping and other potential damages. Silicone dab rigs come in a variety of colors and patterns.
Are you wondering how to select the right type of dab rig for your needs? Many beginning dabbers are guided mainly by their budget. They may start with an inexpensive everyday dab rig or a vapor straw. Once they realize the benefits of dabbing and grow comfortable with the process, they may invest in a more expensive recycler or incycler.
You’ll see a variety of designs and colors on the market, but you don’t need a fancy dab rig to get started. Here are some tips to help you select a quality dab rig that fits your budget and your needs:
The best dab rigs require you to add water to the glass piece. The water cools the vapors for a more enjoyable experience once it reaches your mouth. If you go with a waterless rig, make sure to prepare for the heat and protect your mouth.
Titanium nails are the most popular, especially for beginners. This material holds the heat long enough to get a satisfying amount of vapor from your concentrate.
Glass nails are also quite popular, but keep in mind that they can break if they get too hot. That is why many beginners start out with titanium. You can still find many glass nails on the market because some experienced dabbers prefer that material.
To keep vapor in your nail for a longer period of time, invest in a carb cap. Some dab rigs may come with this accessory. If not, you can purchase it separately. This addition allows you to dab at lower temperatures, reducing some of the risk that comes with this process.
If you want to make your dabbing experience even more rewarding, look for artistic glass pieces. Some are one of a kind from amazing artists while others are simply designed for aesthetics as well as performance. Just don’t get too carried away with appearances or specialized colors because efficiency and safety are always more important than how your rig looks.
Other Necessary Tools
Your dab rig and concentrate are the main resources needed to dab. The process of dabbing will run smoother if you also have the following essentials on hand:
Bottle of essential oils (if you’re using a new nail)
Dabber (also called a wand)
Alcohol swab (or a clean rag)
How to Dab CBD – The Process
You have your dab rig. You have quality CBD concentrate. You’re ready to start dabbing, but how do you do it? If your equipment is new, the first step is to season the nail. New nails are coated in minerals that will make their way into your concentrate when heated.
You can avoid the impurities by placing the nail in your rig and heating it with the torch until it glows red. Coat the hot nail with essential oils, and then remove it with the tongs. Place it in a bowl of cold water to remove the impurities and cool down. Repeat this process a few times.
With your seasoned nail in the rig, you’re ready to move through the dabbing process. Use the following steps if you’re not using an electronic nail:
Use the torch to heat your nail until it glows red. Don’t point the torch right at the glass because it might crack. Some nails require a dome to contain the heat. Place it over the nail at this point if you have one.
Turn off the torch and wait 10-45 seconds for the nail to cool a bit. The amount of time you wait depends on your personal preferences and the type of concentrate used. You can get into the specifics of the amount of heat needed for dabbing different concentrates. You may also simply experiment until you find what works best for you.
Use your dabber to place a small amount of CBD concentrate above the nail. How much you use depends on your dosage. It’s best to start small and work your way up with time. Small means a tiny crumb of CBD concentrate. A little goes a long way, especially if your concentrate may include some THC.
Dip a wand in essential oil.
While pulling some air gently through the piece, rub the edges of the nail with the oil. You should see vapors starting to rise as the water begins bubbling. Inhale through the mouthpiece to consume those vapors.
Pull your mouth from the piece and exhale once the vapors are in your mouth.
You can repeat this process, heating the nail and adding oil for each dab. Some sources recommend that you go straight to blowing in the mouthpiece and inhaling without adding oil to the nail. One way to avoid the confusion and the effort of using the torch is to purchase a dab rig with an electronic nail. You may see it referred to as an e-nail.
Do you have an electronic nail? If yes, you don’t need to follow all of the steps listed above. While e-nails are more expensive, they eliminate the torch process entirely. You maintain complete control over the heat by allowing the rig to heat the nail for you. Follow the instructions included with your dab rig to complete the process safely.
You should clean your dab rig and all tools used in the dabbing process immediately after use. You can use heat from the torch to melt away all residue on the nail and the wand. Wipe away that residue with your clean rag or alcohol wipe. Some people use Q-tips dipped in alcohol to clean the rig, but you should only do that with a low-temperature rig equipped with a quartz nail.
Is CBD Dabbing Legal?
The process of dabbing is legal, but the concentrate that you use may or may not fit the laws in your state. CBD products derived from the hemp plant are legal. Products derived from marijuana aren’t legal in all states or for all users. It’s important to understand what cannabis plant was used to create you concentrates. That will determine how legal it is in your state.
Most CBD products sold openly online contain hemp-derived CBD. If you buy from a dispensary or a local supplier, make sure to ask questions regarding the content of the product. In addition to legality, consider the purity of the concentrate.
Our methodology was based on the average score of a CBD Oil brand across eleven currently published rankings. Plus, points for how many rankings each brand was featured in. Each brand's final score was then configured based on a 5.0 scale.