Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The echo chamber
Is there a racist wing in the cannabis community? SN&R, 07.18.19.
Good for the liver
How do I take the best dab hit?
Hmmm. The word “best” seems a bit subjective, no? I mean, back in the day, we used to just put some hash on top of a bowl, or add it to some weed and roll it into a joint, and that was pretty good. Does anyone remember “hash under glass?” It was a great method. Look it up.
Back then, the “best” way was to heat up two knives on a stove, press a chunk of hash between the two knives and inhale the vapors. The new rigs are the same concepts as hash and hot knives. It’s just the technology is a little different.
This is how they do it:
Use a clean “rig”—A rig” is a bong outfitted with a “nail.” A “nail” is a special bowl designed for concentrates. Side note: I always feel weird saying “rig” in the context of cannabis, because words such as “rig” and “works” often remind me of heroin culture, and I don’t think heroin and cannabis should mix, but maybe that’s just me. Can we say “dab bong” instead of “rig”? No? OK.
I like quartz nails as opposed to ceramic or titanium. Yeah, they are fragile, but they heat up fast and they probably give the cleanest hit. Using a heat source, heat the nail to at least 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
It used to be that folks would just get their nail as hot as possible, but they soon figured out that too high of a temperature will burn up all the terpenes and give you a sore throat. Low-temp, high-flavor dabs are the new wave, so 450-600 degrees is optimal.
Also, don’t pay any attention to all the dab heads arguing about the best temperature for dabbing. It’s worse than listening to baristas argue about the optimal serving temperature for a latte. Do you want to get high or do you want to argue? Exactly. Take a hit.
I like smaller hits because you can always smoke more weed, but you can’t unsmoke weed.
There is no need to hold in the smoke as long as possible. It just leads to lung irritation. Take a good inhale and let it out. Enjoy the flavor of the terpenes. Close your eyes and see what flavors you can detect. Pinene? Myrcene? Blueberries?
Wait a few minutes. See how you feel. Wait a few more minutes. Have another. When you have achieved optimum balance, stop. That’s probably the best way to do it if you are someplace where you can sit and enjoy a dab.
If you are running around, there are some good portable vaporizers that allow you to load your own wax or shatter. They’re cool, but they can be a bit messy to load if you don’t have good hand-eye coordination.
In conclusion, I would say that the best method is whatever works well for YOU. Have fun. Dab responsibly.