High Temperature Vs. Low Temperature Dabbing
“What is the right dabbing temperature?” has become a debate topic among legal herb smokers. While some people prefer dabbing at high temps to get thick clouds, others prefer to take things slow by using low-temps for their dabs. However, whichever camp you find yourself in, there are many factors that will determine the temperature you should dab at. You have to consider things like your nail, dab pen, and even the type of concentrate you’re dabbing.
Why You Need Different Temperatures for Dabbing?
Dry herbs have different compounds and one of them is “terpene". Terpenes are organic compounds that give plants their distinctive smell. The kind of flavor your concentrate produces depends on the predominant terpene.
Each terpene has its own health benefits with a unique sensitivity to temperatures which helps to create vaporization. So don’t be surprised to see some of your concentrates producing unpleasant smell at 800℉ or more. That’s just their nature.
The extraction methods of your concentrate and dabbing temperature can affect the flavor of your material, which in turn will affect your experience. Using extreme heat for dabs will likely ruin the fun. This is why you must understand the different types of dab temps. in order to get the best flavor from your herbs.
High Temperature Dab
High-temperature dabbing gives you thicker smoke clouds. You will feel the effects really quick. With high temps, you will also be able to consume all your concentrate.
While it's true that some dabbers enjoy dabbing at high temperatures, too much heat can make oils smell and taste unpleasant. Some oils like coconut oil produce harmful toxins such as acetaldehyde when heated at extreme temperature. Acetaldehyde has been said to be a group 1 carcinogen, which causes cancer.
When you dab at a high temps., you may inhale other carcinogenic compounds such as benzene and naphthalene. These are released when plant oils face extreme heat.
According to a 2001 study on the effect of vaporization conducted by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) in collaboration with Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), vaping at 365℉ (185℃) helped to prevent the release of benzene, toluene, and naphthalene. However, the compounds were produced when the temperature increased to 392℉ (200℃).
Another downside of high temp dabbing is that you get less flavor with short dabbing sessions. The higher the temperature, the more taste you lose. High-temperature dab is also harsh when inhaled and can cause sore on your throat and lung.
Low Temperature Dabs
Unlike high temps, low-temperature dabbing offers many benefits. It will provide flavorful and smoother hits while extending your dabbing session. Low temperatures also helps prevent irritation in your throat and lungs, reducing the risks of a burn.
While low temp produces less vapor, it doesn’t release as many harmful toxins. There is little risk of inhaling compounds like benzene and toluene which can cause health issues. Low temperature are generally a more healthier way of consuming concentrates.
Here are the different dabbing temperature ranges.
0-300°F: Very Low Temp
Dabbing at this temperature range will produce minimal vapors from your concentrates. Here you’ll be sacrificing quantity for great taste, so keep in mind you won’t be able to dab all the wax that drops on your nail. The nail will most likely cool down and leave residue.
315-450°F: Low temp
This is the perfect range where you achieve maximum flavor while vaporizing almost all the concentrate on the nail. This spot gives you a tasteful and smoother hit which has minimal effect on your throat and lungs. These are the ideal low temperatures for dab rigs.
450-600°F: Medium temp
This range is between vaporization and combustion. It’s perfect for those who like to get the effects quickly without sacrificing too much flavor.
600-900°F: High temp
Dabbing becomes more intense at this range. Your nail turns red hot, and your concentrate will likely combust. This temperature produces thick and hot smoke which can burn your throat and lungs. Here you will be sacrificing taste and effect as you will lose some of the other active ingredients.
900+°F: Extremely high temp
Dabbing becomes very unpleasant and dangerous at this range. We don’t recommend it.
Dabbing with an e-Nail
You face the risks of going above the ideal temperature range when you use a torch to heat it up. As we discussed, we don't want the nail to become too hot. However, using an electronic nail (e-nail) gives you full control over your dabbing temperature and experience. E-nails help you maximize the full potentials of the terpenes in your concentrate by maintaining a low temp. E-nails can last for hours as they usually require little power for operation. This makes it possible for you to enjoy multiple dab sessions without burning your concentrate.
What exactly are enails?
An e-nail is usually a metal box that features a port for a heating coil, a power switch, and a PID controller that helps to gauge the temperature of the coil. You can turn on the gauge separately from the heating coil to prevent burn. Coils usually have two sizes - 16mm and 20mm, and each coil works with nails designed for its size.
There are also portable enails that work and look like dab pens. These enails usually come with glass attachments that function as the dad rig, providing filtrations and cool vapors.
Although the enails tend to be more expensive than the standard dab nails, they can be a great choice if you want to get the best from your herbs.
Vape pens are a great way to enjoy concentrates, especially for the portability they offer - they are more portable than enails. Dab pens come with different abilities. Some pens can handle extreme heat and can go above 1000 degrees F in less than 3 seconds, which will render your tasty terpenes useless. You will lose all therapeutic benefits in your product before it melts into the wick. Also, the clouds that a dab pen will produce at such a high-temperature range is not vapors, but smoke.
The good news about dab pens is that they come with adjustable temperature settings which make them pretty easy to use while on the go. You have to experiment each of the temperature settings in your dab pen to find your sweet spot.
Vaporizer pens are way more affordable than e-nails. You can easily get a quality pen that can serve you for a long time at a decent price.
Unlike e-nails that work with glass attachments, dab pens feature mouthpiece and atomizers. The atomizer is the heating element while the mouthpiece is what you use to inhale your material to produce vapors.
Now that you understand the importance of temperature in dabbing, try to hit the sweet spot during your next dabbing session. Dab pens and e-nails are arguably healthier than torch. However, if you still prefer using the standard nail, then you should consider getting a carb cap. You can read more about carb caps here.