Taking Your First Dab
Nowadays, it seems like thousands of newcomers are trying hemp derived cannabinoids for their first times on a weekly basis. This is to be expected; we’ve seen similar trends in these compounds’ popularity on a consistent basis since the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp and won’t likely see an end to them for untold years to come.
The first big waves of new users came with the meteoric rise of CBD in the national spotlight. Now, a fresh arrival on the scene- Delta-8 THC, or Delta 8- has effectively gained the same popularity as its predecessor in a fraction of the time. Almost immediately after the advent of Delta 8’s public awareness explosion, Delta 10 and THC-V hit the market too. And there are still hundreds of hemp derived cannabinoids we’ve hardly studied, if at all.
However, hemp’s cannabinoids weren’t its only feature to go through such a popularity boon. Over the past few years alone, several new methods of using cannabinoids have been introduced to the scene- and access to these new methods became as common as running into a water pipe in a smoke shop. Back in the day, you had to be deeply entrenched in the scene for years before you’d go from smoking flower to vaporizing honey oil or learning the intricacies of making homemade balms; these days, new users are almost immediately exposed to tinctures, topicals, concentrates and edibles as optional add-ons to their flower purchases.
The use of a broad variety of hemp derived concentrates, these days collectively referred to as ‘dabs’, has become one of the most popular methods of ingestion in the country, only slightly tailing the use of edibles and raw hemp flower buds. Even if you started using industrial hemp yesterday or hearing about it last week, you’ve probably already been encouraged to take your first dab. And depending on the source, you may have been exposed to some misconceptions about dabbing.
We hope this article can shed some light on the subjects of dabs and dabbing for those of you who are reading this while still in your younger days of using hemp. This one’s for the newcomers- if you’ve been dabbing for a long time, you’ll likely already know most of this. Keep in mind that most of the following thoughts will merely be a series of personal opinions, but we think they’ll resonate with others who have been ripping dabs for a while.
Before we break down the various ways you could take your first dabs, let’s clear the air a bit by addressing some elephants in the room. These are the three most commonly shared sentiments you may have heard about dabbing that could potentially scare you away from it:
“Dabs contain solvents”- This is not exactly true. Many concentrates are made using solvents, but these are purged out of the resulting oils to leave a clean, consumable final product. In fact, products made under strict local, state and federal regulation (like Silver Owl CBD, CBG and Delta 8 Dabs, along with everything else we manufacture in Denver) are required by law to prove that their products are safely free of residual solvents as part of their routine compliance mandates.
“Dabs are the [insert hard narcotic here] of hemp”- This is patently misleading. Illicit narcotics like crack cocaine and methamphetamines are not just illegal; they’re synthetics, made by employing other synthesized chemicals which are never purged out of the final product before it’s consumed. Concentrates are pulled from industrial hemp plants. While using such hard drugs could kill you, taking CBD dabs will not- and all you have to do to verify this is look up some industry influencers on Instagram.
Yes, it really is that easy to shatter this misconception.
“Only experienced users should dab”- This is only an opinion and one with some valid rationale behind it, so we won’t knock it. Still, we respectfully disagree. You probably won’t want to take a huge dab in your first few times; this is a quick way to overdo it, spend a long while coughing up a lung and find yourself discouraged from trying to dab again. However, with a little bit of information going into your first time and a small dab, we believe there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying the experience!
What You Should Know
There are some crucial bits of information we all wish we’d been provided going into our first dab sessions that would have made them infinitely more pleasant. It’s not like there are rites of passage to use industrial hemp derived dabs, so you might as well know these things as early as possible:
Start small- Like any proper personal experimentation, it’s better to start with a small dab and take another after 15-30 minutes than it is to take too large of a dab and regret it in the same span of time. Start with a dot about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen or perhaps a single, small drop of water; if you’re taking a pea-sized dab for your first time, it might get a little rough. There’s no shame in ripping a baby dab when you’re doing it for you!
Low temp it- We’ll talk about devices like rigs and straws below, but if there’s one thing to know about dabbing with these upfront it’s this: do not rip a dab off a glowing, red hot surface. Whether you’re using a straw or a banger, let it cool down significantly first! A surface cooled to 350℉-700℉ will make that dab much smoother and tastier- plus it’ll release your desired cannabinoids better than higher temperatures would.
Ask questions- There’s really no shame in this. If you’re nervous or want some additional guidance, reach out to us or contact an experienced dabber in your life. Anyone you’d ask for help would be excited to see you take a dab and would share what they know with you. They’re not going to judge!
Different Ways To Dab
Now, let’s get into the juiciest bits: the different tools in a dabber’s arsenal and their utility for first time users! This is definitely where we get more opinionated- based off our own experiences, we’ll rate each method of dabbing by the upfront costs it requires to get started; how easy it is to use for newcomers; the general size of the hits you can expect it to produce; and how likely it is to put you in a coughing fit. We’ll also provide a short explanation of how to use each method and whether or not we believe it’s a good option for new dabbers.
Dab Vapes (Pen Style)
Cost: 2/5 – Ease Of Use: 5/5 – Hit Size: 2/5 – Cough Potential: 2/5
To Use: Load a small dab into your dab vape’s heating element (often simply called its ‘coil’) and replace the mouthpiece. Activate the element (either by puffing or holding a button while drawing, depending on the vape pen) and inhale through the mouthpiece.
Would we recommend this method for first time users: Yes. Dab pens provide an easy, affordable way to rip a first dab without taking too large of a hit, as pens don’t generally tend to produce these.
Dab Vapes (E-Rig Style)
Cost: 4/5 – Ease Of Use: 4/5 – Hit Size: 4/5 – Cough Potential: 3/5
To Use: Load a small dab into your e-rig’s heating element and replace any lids, carb caps or water chambers that cover the element. Wait for the device to tell you it’s ready to use and draw freely through the mouthpiece.
Would we recommend this method for first time users: No. These devices are usually expensive, produce larger hits not suitable for first time users, and are generally meant to vaporize larger dabs. We would, however, recommend them to experienced users looking for a bigger, better hit!
Dab Straws And Nectar Collectors
Cost: 2/5 – Ease Of Use: 3/5 – Hit Size: 3/5 – Cough Potential: 3/5
To Use: Using a torch lighter with a small to medium sized flame, heat the tip of the straw to a glowing red color. After letting it cool down significantly, apply the tip to your dabs while drawing through the mouthpiece.
Would we recommend this method for first time users: Yes. Don’t let the use of a torch scare you away- dab straws are easy and convenient to use. If you’re looking for a step up from the pen vapes, dry straws and water holding nectar collectors are a great way to go.
Dab Rigs (Heated With Torch)
Cost: 4/5 – Ease Of Use: 2/5 – Hit Size: 5/5 – Cough Potential: 4/5
To Use: Heat the banger (usually made of quartz but also found in glass, titanium and ceramic) with a blowtorch packing a medium to large flame. Let cool down 30-60+ seconds, apply a small dab with a dab tool, then cap the banger with a carb cap and draw through the mouthpiece.
Would we recommend this method for first time users: Maybe. Getting set up with a decent blowtorch, glass rig, dab tool and carb cap for the first time can become an expensive endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be- and once you have everything, you’re set until something breaks or you run out of torch fuel. Plus dabbing through a glass rig is a classic, fantastic method that we’d have a hard time not recommending to anybody!
You might already have some of these components lying around. Lots of people have suitable torches at home; a small to medium sized water pipe you may have previously used for hemp flower could be cleaned and repurposed; and folks always come up with creative ways to turn random household objects into dab tools and carb caps.
Dab Rigs (With E-Nails)
Cost: 5/5 – Ease Of Use: 2/5 – Hit Size: 5/5 – Cough Potential: 3/5
To Use: Once your e-nail reaches a proper temperature, apply a small dab to its coiled banger. Cap the banger and inhale through the connected rig’s mouthpiece.
Would we recommend this method for first time users: No. E-nails alone are expensive, but you’ll still need everything else too: the rig, the carb cap, the dab tool… it’s a lot to cover for an experiment with something you can’t even be sure if you’ll enjoy for very long just yet. This is a path you’d be better off taking once you’ve been dabbing for at least a year or two and the holidays are coming up.
Hot Knives (“The Old School Way”)
Cost: 1/5 – Ease Of Use: 1/5 – Hit Size: 2/5 – Cough Potential: 5/5
To Use: Heat a kitchen knife to glowing hot on your stove top (electric and gas stoves both work fine). With a friend’s help (because teamwork makes the dream work!), apply a room temperature knife with a dab stuck to it to the hot knife, sandwiching the dab in between the knives, while one of you inhales the fumes being released through some kind of funnel apparatus (usually a plastic bottle with its bottom cut off).
Would we recommend this method for first time users: Oh, hell no… We wouldn’t recommend this method to anyone! You’ll be at a significantly elevated risk of burning yourself or your buddy, wasting your dabs, damaging your home or appliances, cutting yourself while improvising a funnel apparatus, and inhaling fumes you didn’t want to inhale off of it if you accidentally get it too close to the heat. Do we even need to tell you how bad the vapors from melted plastic are for your body? We shouldn’t!
No, it’s best that you do us all a favor and leave this technique in the past where it belongs. Put the knives down and get a cheap pen or straw, ya dangerous heathen!
*Please be aware: due to the current legal classification of Delta 8 THC in some regions, we cannot ship Silver Owl Delta 8 products to the following states at this time: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, Vermont and Utah. Any Silver Owl Delta 8 products ordered to these states will be removed from their corresponding orders.
*You must be 21 years of age or older to buy ALL Silver Owl products, including Silver Owl Delta 8 products.
*All Silver Owl CBD, CBG and Delta 8 products are derived from Industrial Hemp and are in compliance with H.R. 2: The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill.
*All Silver Owl CBD, CBG, Delta 8 and Hemp products contain less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws.
*Silver Owl Delta 8 products are psychoactive and should not be used by anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding or otherwise adverse to ingesting Delta 8 THC or trace amounts of Delta 9 THC.
*If you are concerned about ingesting cannabinoids- specifically trace amounts of Delta 9 THC- please consult your physician or other licensed medical professional prior to using Silver Owl Full Spectrum, Delta 8 and Hemp products.
*Silver Owl Delta 8 products may affect blood pressure, heart rate and/or intraocular pressure in some people. If you have any known or unknown heart, blood pressure, eye pressure, or similar/related issues- or if you are at risk of developing such conditions- do not use these products unless recommended by a doctor.
*Unless otherwise specified, Silver Owl products are not intended for animal use. Some of the ingredients found in Silver Owl products could prove harmful or even fatal if consumed by an animal. Please contact your nearest emergency veterinarian services if you suspect your pet has consumed a Silver Owl product not intended for their use.
*These products and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, prevent or otherwise manage any disease, illness, injury or similar condition in any way, shape, or form.