Dabbing is often tough for beginners, and it takes some time to get comfortable with it. Right from the jump, even just setting up a dab rig might seem intricate to those without experience. Not to mention, handling concentrates can be tricky, and knowing how to get them onto the nail usually poses some difficulties. If you're new to dabbing or find yourself struggling with dabbing then you're in the right place, this guide will go over the 9 most common dabbing mistakes and how to avoid them. Also, you may want to check out this blog post titled Dabbing Glossary.
Most common dabbing mistakes that everyone makes
1 Burning Yourself or Grabbing the Nail
The most dangerous mistake you could make is also unfortunately probably the most common, with that being burning yourself on the nail. Dab nails are scorching hot and touching it will feel similar to touching a hot pan on the stove, it will hurt bad. Many people who grab the nail do so because they are used to smoking a bong, and while grabbing the bowl of a bong is normal, it is not normal to grab the nail. Don't confuse the two because there are drastically different consequences, grabbing the dab nail will burn you. Don't touch the nail!
2 Overheating the Nail
As we just mentioned, the banger is extremely hot, and it needs to be to vaporize your concentrates. The ideal temperature of the nail is anywhere between 315-450 degrees Fahrenheit, this will give you a tasty and cool hit. The problem is, it can be really tough to get within this temperature range since you will likely be using a blowtorch (not exactly precise). If you overheat your nail, you can ruin both the taste and potency of your concentrates. What we recommend doing to avoid this is light the nail until it turns red, wait for it to cool some, and then place your dab on it just as it starts to go back to its regular color.
3 Overloading the Nail
Among the most common mistakes first-time dab users make is overloading the nail. Overloading the nail is a problem because it will lower the temperature too much, and as we know, it's important for the nail temperature to stay in its ideal range. When the temperature goes too low, your concentrates won't vaporize right, and it will be tough to dab. So how does overloading the nail lower the temperature? Well, the more concentrates you put on your nail, the more things there are on it that aren't at the same temperature, and this will cause the nail and your concentrates to equalize (lowering the temperature of the nail). Packing too much concentrate on the nail can cause a fast temperature drop which will ruin your smoke session, don't do it.
4 Taking Oversized Hits
Nobody likes the feeling of being too high, so be careful not to take huge hits when you're dabbing. This mistake is common when people first start dabbing because many are used to smoking weed out of their bongs and have no problem with taking large hits. The reason it's a big deal when smoking concentrates is because the THC levels in concentrates are much higher than marijuana flowers. Marijuana flowers vary in THC level but generally contain somewhere between 15-30%. Cannabis concentrates though often contain 60% and some even reach 90%. So, at the very minimum, the concentrates in your dab are going to be twice as strong as your typical weed. Ideally, you will want to know the exact THC levels in your concentrate, this way you can adjust accordingly. Whatever the case, start slow and make sure not to take oversized hits, or else your high will be quite jarring.
5 Missing the Nail or the Rig
This one will happen from time to time; everyone will likely drop their concentrate and miss the nail at some point. And while this isn't the worst mistake on the list, nobody wants to waste their concentrates. If you end up missing the nail often it could cost you a pretty penny, concentrates aren't cheap. All that said, over time you will get better at placing your concentrate and this will happen less often. If you want to be sure you won't be wasting any of your stash, then you should invest in good dab equipment, which can make this process super easy.
6 Coughing, Choking, or Puking
Coughing, Choking, or puking is not a fun experience, and unfortunately, it's not uncommon for beginners. Just like your first bong rip, your first-time dabbing could cause some unpleasant experiences in your throat region. Don't feel bad if this happens to you, it happens to a ton of newbies and your body will adjust over time and make sure this doesn't happen again. The only thing you can do to avoid these unpleasantries is to take smaller hits, which are less likely to cause a reaction.
7 Not Holding the Rig Properly
Not holding the rig properly has some major consequences, for starters, you might drop and break your rig. Also, as we mentioned before, you might burn yourself. Make sure to keep one hand on the rig while the other is supplying your concentrate to the nail, all the while your mouth should be on the mouthpiece. If you do this you will be just fine, if you don't, prepare to either drop your rig or burn yourself (or both).
8 Moving Too Slowly
As you dab more, you will begin to get good at going quickly, before then though, many move too slow and lose some of their precious concentrate vapors. If you don't get to the nail quickly, your vapors will be let into the air, and you won't be able to smoke it. This is because your concentrate will begin heating as soon as it's near the nail, so it will vaporize plenty if you don't move quickly. You'll get faster and faster the more you do it, but it's important to keep in mind that speed is key when it comes to getting the most out of your concentrates.
9 Swallowing Vapor
Dabbing newbies sometimes have the habit of swallowing vapor (into their stomach) rather than inhaling it (into their lungs). Doing this will be uncomfortable, and in extreme cases can cause vomiting. Like with many of the other mistakes, a good way to steer clear of this is to take smaller hits.
There you have it, the nine most common dabbing mistakes and how to avoid them. Everyone will mess up now and then, especially newbies, but you still want to prevent mistakes where you can. Hopefully, now you are familiar with all the dos and don'ts' of dabbing and can better enjoy your dabbing sessions. You may also want to check out this blog post about the necessary dabbing tools.