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Arkansas Cannabis Guide: Dabbing 101

dabbing 101

Arkansas marijuana cardholders are about to have many more choices in their concentrates. With the state adding several processing licenses to its list and more cultivators becoming operational, more extracts are going to be made. With the expected influx of concentrate products, there will be a lot of newcomers to the world of dabbing—and Arkansas Marijuana Card has you covered.

In this article we’ll give you the rundown on dabbing, what it is, and how it’s done.

Arkansas Marijuana Card Answers: What is a Dab?

· Dabbing is the act of taking a dab.

· A dab is any type of concentrate.

Distillate, sugar, wax, and rosin are all examples of dabs.

Concentrates are highly refined parts of the cannabis plant that are isolated to become very potent products.

Check out our article on concentrates, for an in-depth explanation of extracts and what they are.

Usually isolating THC and specific terpenes, concentrates come in a very different form than flower and are consumed differently. Traditionally, flower needs to be heated and smoked. Concentrates are usually in the oil family and can be put into edibles, tinctures, or dabs.

Since dabs are usually in more of an oily or waxy composition, they aren’t typically smoked by themselves in a bowl or a joint. Although many cannabis patients may add concentrates to the top of a flower bowl or as an extra ingredient to a joint, dabs are usually taken on their own in a process called dabbing.

In order to purchase edibles from dispensaries, patients must first become an Arkansas marijuana patient. Our team of doctors at Arkansas Marijuana Card are here to help -- Schedule your appointment today!

Arkansas Marijuana Card Guide: Dab Gear

Since concentrates aren’t at their full potential when smoked like traditional flower, how do you use them?

Dabbing 101: Dabbing Equipment

Taking a dab is very easy. While many patients can be overwhelmed by the different equipment needed, dabbing is just like any other consumption method. In fact, you may find you already have some of the necessary pieces laying around already. Some things are optional, while some will be required.

· A Rig – Nail/Banger

Dabs are usually placed in a rig. A rig is a device very similar to a bong or water-pipe, apart from the bowl. A rig is equipped with a piece called a “nail” or “banger” that holds the concentrate in a bucket. In truth, any bong can become a rig if the bowl is swapped out for a banger of the same size.

You can find many nails online or at your local shops. This piece is required to properly take a dab. You can find full rigs with bangers online at very good prices if you prefer to buy everything together. Natural Relief Dispensary in Sherwood, AR sells MJ Arsenal rigs, and they are highly recommended.

Electronic dab rigs are a great idea for those looking to avoid using a torch, though they are more expensive. The Dr. Dabber Switch and Puffco Peak Pro V2 are excellent choices.

· A Pick

Picks are tools used to scoop your concentrate. You’ll need to transport it from the container to your banger, and the banger may be hot during this part of the process so you’ll need something that can be used here.

Dabbing picks can be made of glass or metal, and usually have a scoop side and a pointy side. Anything can be used as a pick in dire times, but you’ll thank yourself for spending the extra $5 and getting one just for dabbing.

· A Carb Cap

Carb caps act as an airflow restrictor when you take your hit. Similar to carbing a bowl, they help push the vapor through. Anything can be used as a carb cap, but many will be made with directional airflow so you can move the concentrate around as you take your hit, preventing it from pooling on one side and potentially burning.

This piece is optional, but significantly enhances the experience.

· Dab Swabs

Swabs are critical for cleaning your banger, which you will find yourself doing often. Cotton swabs will work fine, but specially made swabs just for dabbing can make the cleanup process more efficient.

Dabbing swabs are often made of extra-absorbent cotton and are shaped at a point that helps clean excess oil from the bottom of your banger. Since most bangers need to be wiped after 1-3 dabs, these are critical for dabbing.

You can dip them in isopropyl alcohol to thoroughly clean your banger.

· Torch/Heating Element

Perhaps the most daunting piece, you need something that heats to very high temperatures. Because dabs are oils, they need to be heated to exact temperatures to produce vapor.

Too much heat will burn your concentrate, and too little heat will not produce enough vapor. We’ll talk more about heating the dab in a bit, but you’ll need either a torch or an e-nail.

For beginners, a heat temperature gun is a great optional piece to measure exactly what temp your banger gets to, or electronic devices can heat to precise temperatures without the hassle of using a traditional butane torch.

These are the essentials. Once you’ve got all your pieces together, you’re ready to get started!

Arkansas Marijuana Card Guide: How to Take a Dab

Dabbing 101: Taking a Dab - Behind the Scenes

You’ve got everything out and ready, now it’s time to take a dab. There are several ways to take a dab and a few moving parts, so to get a grasp of what’s going on here’s the rundown.


To take a dab, you’ll be heating up your concentrate to a specific temperature. This temperature will vary depending on what kind of concentrate you’re using, what terpenes are present, and your specific rig.

Certain concentrates will need slightly lower or higher heat depending on how soft they are and how fast they melt.

Most commonly this will fall in the range of 320°F - 550°F. The lower the heat, the more flavor. The higher the heat, the more vapor production.

Too little heat will not generate any vapor, and too much heat will burn and combust your material, potentially releasing harmful toxins. It’s best to start at the lower end and move your way up, 400°F could be a good place to begin.

Potency & Dosage

Dabbing is a very fast acting, potent way to consume cannabis.

Check out our Edibles Dosage Guide for an in-depth overview of THC mg potency.

“A little dab’ll do ya” applies.

Because dabs are highly concentrated amounts of THC, a very small amount is used during consumption. This is one of the benefits of dabbing, it can be a very cost-efficient way to use cannabis, as the effects are much stronger and can last significantly longer than other consumption methods.

Dabs are usually sold in grams and come with very high THC content.

· 1g concentrate 60% THC is around 600mg of THC

· 1g concentrate 70% THC is around 700mg of THC

· 1g concentrate 80% THC is around 800mg of THC

As you would imagine, unless you have a very high tolerance or you need extraordinary relief, you’ll want to use very small amounts of concentrate. Overconsumption can be very easy with dabbing and can produce unpleasant effects for those with lower tolerances. Start small, low & slow.

The average size of a dab is 0.1mg (60-120mg THC), about the size of the head of a pen. This is where the pick will come in handy, to scoop a size that small you’ll likely need a tool.

Cold Start vs Traditional

The last part behind the scenes of dabbing is deciding which way to dab. The two main ways are cold starts and traditional dabs.

Cold starts are the easiest way and are recommended for beginners.

A cold start is when you put your concentrate in your banger before you apply heat. Cold starts are a great way to judge your temperature, once your dab starts to bubble and produce vapor, you can stop applying heat and begin to take your hit. Cold starts are preferred for flavor production and reduce the risk of overheating.

Traditional dabs are taken by first heating the banger to a preferred temperature, then dropping the concentrate into the hot nail. The traditional method will produce more vapor clouds and are preferred for those looking for the most vapor inhalation.

The risk of overheating the banger is higher and requires you to know what temperature the banger reaches before dropping your concentrate in.

Dabbing 101: How to Take a Dab

You’ve got your rig or device ready, your torch and swabs are handy, now it’s time to put it all together and fire it off! Taking dabs is very easy, and can be done in just a few steps.

Cold Start Dab

1. Measure off a small piece of concentrate onto your pick, about the size of the head of a pen.

2. Place concentrate into center of banger bucket.

3. Heat banger evenly on walls and bottom until concentrate bubbles and “pops”, or until approximately 420°F.

4. Stop applying heat, begin inhaling and place carb cap on top of banger.

5. Inhale.

You’ll run out of vapor when it’s finished. Swab your nail, sit back, and enjoy.

Traditional Dab

1. Measure off a small piece of concentrate onto your pick, about the size of the head of a pen.

2. Heat banger evenly for 15-25 seconds or until approximately 420°F.

3. Stop applying heat and wait approximately 20-45 seconds.

4. Drop concentrate into nail and place carb cap on top of banger.

5. Inhale.

Every nail and torch are different, some will require a longer waiting time or a shorter time applying heat. The general rule of thumb is to measure the temperature by placing your wrist close to the top of the banger, when the heat is tolerable on your wrist the temperature will be close to ready.

We suggest sticking with cold starts for a while and feeling out your specific piece. If you’re using an electronic device there will be an option to set your preferred temperature beforehand.

Check out our article on Rosin & Live Extracts in Arkansas!

Have some cool pics of concentrates or your dab rig?

Send them to us at @arkansas_mmj on Twitter!

Get Your Arkansas Marijuana Card

Dabbing is a great way to use cannabis efficiently and quickly. Arkansas marijuana patients will see more and more extracts across the Natural State as time goes on and processing licenses continue to be granted.

While it can seem overwhelming at first, new things often are. Dabbing can be an excellent way to consume cannabis, and Arkansas marijuana patients have access to a wide variety of concentrates for dabbing.

Being an Arkansas marijuana patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana program is available for anyone with a qualifying condition, and getting your card is fast and easy with Arkansas Marijuana Card.

We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way, feel free to give us a call at 844-249-8714, and we can answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Arkansas.


Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.

Helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

If you have any questions, call us at 844-249-8714, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out Arkansas Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Arkansas.

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