Dabbing can seem like a tedious feat with a steep learning curve at the beginning. Odds are you probably know someone who cooked their titanium nail red hot and hit it immediately without allowing it to come down to the perfect temperature. We’ve all burned the crap out of our lungs at one time or another that way. But have no fear, it’s a lot easier than you think once you get the facts straight. Here’s everything you need to know about finding the perfect dab temp.
What is the best temperature for dabbing?
The best dab temp is around 375°F (200°C). However, depending on the type of concentrate you’re dabbing and the overall experience you’re looking to enjoy, there may be a little fluctuation in the temperature to make sure the concentrate vaporizes fully without burning.
350°F is about the lowest you’ll want to go to ensure you’re still activating all of the compounds found in cannabis. Dabbing at low temperatures provides the best flavors since it preserves most of the terpenes, but the high tends to feel a little more mild. The 350°F-375°F range also provides the maximum THC delivery, so ultimately, low temperatures are the best in terms of both flavors and effects.
A good middle ground dab temp is 380°F to 395°F. This range provides a good representation of flavors but also activates the cannabinoids so you get the best effects. For us, that perfect hit is found around 375°F. While this temperature range will boil away some of your terpenes, you’ll still get the majority of flavor. It’ll also activate other minor cannabinoids, so you’ll feel a more well-rounded high.
However, anything higher than 400°F is going to scorch most terpenes and promote heavier body and cerebral effects. Most of the terpenes boil away in this range, so your hit will most likely be a little flavorless. The burning effect also makes your hit harsher. But because of the harshness, you’ll probably cough a lot more and feel a bit more stoned. We don’t really recommend dab temps at this high temperature because it’s an unpleasant smoke.
How temperature affects the flavor of your concentrates
Temperature plays a huge role in dabbing. While cannabis flower is full of terpenes and burns at a lower temperature, there’s a lot more room for error with dabbing because of the specific temperature ranges. Terpenes are natural chemical compounds found in cannabis that give it its scent and flavor. However, terpenes also work in synergy with cannabinoids like THC, making them more effective in terms of effects. With that in mind, your dabs are way more potent with terpenes than without them.
That’s where temperature comes into play. Terpenes have boiling points. After a terpene reaches its boiling point, it degrades or becomes destroyed. When the terpenes are boiled away in high temperatures, they make your concentrates feel less effective and less tasty. Finding the ideal temperature is important for preserving your terpenes and making sure your concentrates feel more effective.
Each terpene isolate found in cannabis has a different boiling point, most of which are under 395°F. However, keep in mind that a terpene can boil for a short time and still provide effects. A good dab will vaporize the terpenes without scorching them and boiling them away completely until they evaporate. Below are a few of the most common terpenes found in cannabis concentrates as well as their boiling points.
- b-Caryophyllene: boils at 266°F (130°C)
- Myrcene: boils at 334°F (167°C)
- Limonene: boils at 349°F (176°C)
- Pinene: boils at 311°F (155°C)
- Linalool: boils at 390°F (198°C)
- Humulene: boils at 225°F (107°C)
As you can see, the ideal dab temperature is in the 350°F – 375°F range. At these temperatures, most of the terpenes in the concentrate are preserved even if they do boil, so you can enjoy more potent effects and better flavors.
The art of low temp dabs
With temperatures and structural integrity of your concentrates at the center of having a positive dabbing experience, low temp dabs are way better than dabbing at a high temperature. While you can vaporize a concentrate at any temperature above 250°F, you really don’t want to go over 400°F. Most of the terpenes found in dabs boil away completely at this temperature. But that said, you don’t want to go lower than 300°F, either. Taking a dab that’s too cold will not activate the THC or fully vaporize your concentrate.
There’s a sweet spot for dabbing in the 350°F – 375°F range. Dabs taken at these temperatures are known as low-temp dabs. In this range, you can activate the terpenes and THC without boiling them away. You’ll get to enjoy the full flavor profile of your concentrates and experience the full spectrum of effects without coughing up a lung from scorched terpenes.
How to get the perfect dabbing temperature
Ready to take low temp dabs like a pro? Follow the steps below for best results.
1. Ready your setup
To get started, you’ll want to use a quartz banger. Quartz retains heat well and heats evenly compared to ceramic or titanium, and more importantly, they don’t make your dabs taste like a nail. From there, attach it to your rig and get your concentrate, dab tool, carb cap, and torch ready. Start by heating your banger up until its glowing red. This usually takes about 60 seconds. From there, you’ll need to learn your dab timing. This may take a little practice and some trial and error. Typically, low temp dab time is about 60 seconds of heat, and 45 seconds of cooling down before you apply the concentrate to the banger and inhale as usual. It helps to use a timer on your phone for more precise dab timing measurements.
2. Use a temperature gun
Temperature guns or terpometers are great for the torch setup. Instead of using a timer and waiting for it to come down to a semi-accurate temperature, a temperature gun can tell you exactly how hot your banger is. To use one, simply heat your banger up until its red hot, and point the temperature gun at the banger. You can watch the display as the nail cools down, and once it hits the perfect temperature, you can apply your concentrate and dab away. Temperature guns are more precise than eyeballing and timing, ensuring you get a perfect hit every time.
3. Use an eNail instead
If the whole torch and timer setup is a little too complicated or you find yourself struggling with the trial and error, you can opt for an eNail instead. eNails offer incremental degree-by-degree temperature control over your rig and takes all the guesswork of dab temps out of the equation. Simply attach the coil to your quartz banger, set your eNail to 375°F, turn it on, and wait for it to come to temp. Then you can dab and clean your banger as normal.
Dab Temp FAQs
How hot is glass when it turns red?
What temp does glass turn red? Your banger will turn red when you heat it between 930°F and 1075°F. This is definitely not the time you want to drop your dab in. It helps to wait between 45-60 seconds to allow your banger to cool down to a better temperature for dabbing when it turns red. Taking dabs above 500°F is harsh and unpleasant, not to mention wasteful.
Are low temp dabs a waste?
They can be, if you take them at too low of a temperature. The sweet spot is between 350°F-375°F. If you take a dab lower than that, you won’t fully vaporize your concentrate and you’ll boil some of your terpenes away without activating the THC. When that happens, you won’t really get much of a hit or any of the effects. Low temp dabs between 350°F-375°F are actually the opposite of wasteful, though. This temperature range fully activates the THC and the terpenes, giving you a full and flavorful hit that you’re sure to feel.
How to tell if a dab is too hot?
If your dab vaporizes instantly and leaves a burnt, black residue on your banger that you can’t rub away with isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs, you’re hitting it too hot. If you have a lot of sticky residue left over in your banger and aren’t getting big hits, you’re hitting it too cold. A good rule of thumb is to use an e-nail or a temperature gun as you get started to find your sweet spot. Once you practice a bit and recognize the ideal temperature, you’ll be able to find the ideal temperature range by putting your wrist close to the warm banger and feel the type of heat it’s giving off.