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Exploring the Dangers of Using a Propane Torch for Dabbing

Dabbing is a popular way to enjoy cannabis, which is why some people have been looking to buy butane torches and titanium nails. A propane torch is often not as expensive as butane one, and some people try to use this instead of a butane torch when they heat their titanium nails. The answer is no, a propane torch should not be used to heat up your nail before your dabbing experience. 

About Dabbing

When you are dabbing, you can get a strong high that is perfect for both medical and recreational users. Of course, there are potential risks associated with it, so you should use clean products and the right torch. 

Dabbing involves consuming a concentrated dose of cannabis. With the extraction process, the THC and other cannabinoids become a sticky oil. This is also known as shatter or wax. Usually, carbon dioxide or butane are used to extract these substances. To properly consume your concentrate, you will need to use a nail and a torch.

Do You Need a Torch

Do You Need a Torch?

You might be wondering why you can’t just use a lighter for heating up your nail. While you can, it is not as enjoyable or safe. It also does not work as well. You will have to get the temperature of the nail to at least 350 degrees Fahrenheit. That means a lighter will likely not do the job properly. 

A good torch can help you reach the right temperature easily. It also lets you control the heating process more. You will end up with an enjoyable, relaxed, and safe experience. When you control the temperature of your nail better, you will not waste as much of the concentrates. A butane torch lets you do this so you can taste more of the terpenes. Remember that depending on the kind of dab you have, you might need to use different levels of heat to properly heat it.

Usually, a viscous dab needs a higher temperature to properly vaporize. You might use the following temperature range for different dabs:

  • Oil or Shatter: 700 to 800 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Crumble or Wax: 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • BHO or PHO: 500 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit

The Dangers of Propane

Propane has not been refined like butane has to get rid of impurities. However, butane has in some cases been refined as many as 10 times to get rid of potentially harmful impurities. The refining process to clean up the butane is necessary because it can be inhaled during smoking. 

Propane gas includes a highly pungent gas known as ethyl mercaptan. This gas is colorless and has a distinctive smell. Many kinds of butane do not have this gas in them. Propane is colorless and odorless, so ethyl mercaptan is added so you can detect a gas leak better. Unfortunately, you do not want to have this chemical on your concentrate since it might ruin your dabbing experience. It can make your oil, wax, or shatter smell and taste bad.

The burning point of propane is 3,623 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, the maximum burning point of butane is 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit. The melting pint of titanium is 3,034 degrees Fahrenheit. That means that the propane can get your titanium nail hot too quickly, which can cause your titanium to not last as long. Plus, with a lower temperature, your dab can taste better. 

Because propane is hotter than butane is, you might have a layer of titanium oxide to build up on the nail. With a thin layer of titanium oxide, it might not work as well, and it can be harmful. With a thicker layer, the nail can eventually lose its heat retention abilities, meaning you will have to replace it. 

When you get cans of butane, you will most likely get a tiny amount of propane in it to use as a propellant. This is because the boiling point of propane is lower than your butane, so you can use it to force out the butane from your can. However, you will most likely not have ethyl mercaptan in your can of butane.

Finding the Right Torch

Finding the Right Torch

Dabbing offers a clean method of using cannabis, but the butane torch still needs to be handled carefully. You can prevent accidents from occurring by making sure that you get one where the nozzle and plug fit together tightly. That will prevent gas from leaking out. You should keep flammable materials away from your torch to prevent fires. 

You can also find torches that have automatic locking features. You should purge the torch before doing any dabbing. There might be oxygen in a new torch, which might cause a fire. Remember not to fill your chamber when using the torch for the first time. You might end up extinguishing the flame if you do not purge it. 

With a butane torch, it is easier to control the temperature of your dab, so you can determine the right aroma and taste. With a lower temperature dab, you can get out some more flavor from your concentrate. Plus, it can give you a longer and a smoother hit. 

The vapor is not dense or thick. The effects tend to be milder, and you might end up leaving some of the concentrate behind. With a higher temperature, you can get larger vapor clouds, and it will use up most of your concentrate to prevent wastage. But the flavor might not be as intense. 

Either way you do it, the process is manual, so you should focus on what you can control. That includes how long to cool your nail and how long to heat it for. You should use a timer so you can get to the right temperature depending on the kind of concentrate that you are using.

Closing Thoughts

Using a butane torch can improve your dabbing experience for many reasons. It can help you enjoy the taste of your cannabis instead of having it ruined by ethyl mercaptan.


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