Why Temperature Matters When Dabbing
By Leafly Staff
So, why is temperature control so important for dabbing? In a single word: terpenes. If you’re unfamiliar with terpenes, they’re the compounds in cannabis that give the plant its unique smell. Although cannabinoids are also extremely sensitive to temperatures, THC and other cannabinoids are odorless, so each strain’s compelling fragrance depends on which terpenes predominate.
Every terpene is unique in the therapeutic benefits it offers and the flavors it produces, and each individual terpene has its own sensitivity to heat, creating unique vaporization points as well. The extraction method used to achieve the oil, shatter, or wax forms of concentrate varieties, as well as the temperature at which you dab or vaporize concentrates, can greatly affect both the flavor profile and the synergy created between the concentrated cannabinoids and terpenes.
To give you an idea of the differences between terpenes, here’s a short list of boiling points for some common terpenes found in cannabis (check out the full infographic for the complete list).
- Linalool: 388 degrees F
- ß-Caryophyllene: 320 degrees F
- ß-Myrcene: 334 degrees F
- D-Limonene: 349 degrees F
- Humulene: 388 degrees F
- α-Pinene: 311 degrees F
DITCH THE TORCH, CAPTURE THE TASTY TERPENES
Unless you can monitor and control the temperatures at which you dab, chances are you're heating your nail above the suitable temperature range. When using a torch to heat up your dabbing surface, typically a titanium nail or a quartz bucket (banger), most dabbers torch the surface for too long. The extended exposure to such high heat can quickly result in temperatures above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, far too hot to vaporize your concentrates effectively.
At such extreme temperatures the essential oils that combine to produce the psychoactive effects of cannabis are effectively destroyed. By combusting these compounds that are directly responsible for the flavor of marijuana and its concentrated forms, the result is a burnt, unpleasant taste to the vapor. Furthermore, any benefits from the individual terpenes are lost during this process.
Luckily, the emergence of electric nails, or enails, has given concentrate connoisseurs the opportunity to fine-tune their experience much more accurately. The rise of the electric nail is due in large part to the fact that they offer the ability to efficiently maintain the heat at a low temperature that allows you to capture the full flavor and benefits of the terpenes.
Electric nails, like the palm-sized MiniNail, make dabbing concentrates much easier and more precise. You're able to optimize your experience to the temperature you prefer using MiniNail’s variable heat controller to stabilize the temperature of your dabbing surface. Its digital display in combination with proper calibration allows for consistent temperatures and thus consistent vapor. The stability and control that the MiniNail offers avoids the peaks and valleys of fluctuating temperatures from heating and cooling down your nail. It also maintains fixed to keep you from wasting your dabs as they puddle when your nail is too cold to vaporize.
CAN YOUR VAPE PEN HANDLE THE HEAT?
When it comes to how well vaporizer pens can handle the various boiling points of different terpenes, not all devices are created equal. Like torch and nail setups, many vaporizer pens designed for oils and waxes shoot up to over 1000 degrees F within 2-3 seconds, effectively ruining the flavorful experience that concentrates offer.
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