There is an ongoing debate on the “proper” temperature to take a dab. However, there are many factors that can play into the temperature like what type of nail you have, how you heat your nail, as well as, what you’re dabbing. It has been shown that cannabinoids will start to evaporate around 300*F.
0* – 300*F
Dabs might not evaporate completely and leave a puddle on the nail. This will produce very little smoke and most likely only burn off terpenes. The dab is mostly wasted at this heat level.
300* – 450*F
Low Temp Dab
With the gaining popularity of concentrates, many have turned to low temps to maximize flavor and lighten the load on the lungs. While this level produces less smoke and smoother hits, there is a potential to not consume the entire dab and experience less effects.
450* – 600*F
Medium Temp Dab
For many, this is the optimal range for consumption. This provides an easier hit and more flavor than high temp, but offers more effects from the dab than low temp.
600* – 900*F
High Temp Dab
This heat level provides the largest amount of smoke and the heaviest hitting effects of the dab. Due to the amount of smoke and heat, some report coughing fits and a slight burned taste. Often times, the dab is dropped on the nail while it’s still red.
We wouldn’t recommend it!
Types of Nails
Titanium nails are very durable and offer the shortest heat up time with the highest heat retention. However, some claim that the flavor gets lost more than other nails. These nails should be used carefully, as it varies greatly in quality. Some titanium should not be used for dabbing. Quality and purity of the titanium will heavily effect the quality of the dab itself.
Ceramic nails are a great middle ground with high heat retention and good flavor. The downside to using this type of nail is it takes longer to heat up than the others and will break easier than titanium nails.
Quartz nails can vary quite a bit based on the thickness. They do not take as long as ceramic nails to heat, but they also do not hold the heat as long, meaning you will take your dab faster. Many say this nail offers the best flavor but has to be replaced more often, as they are the least durable.
Torch or E-nail? There are two main ways to heat your nail, regardless of the one you choose.
A Torch is a great manual way to heat your own rig. If you’ve never used a torch before, there are several ways to monitor the heat of the nail. The most sophisticated way would be to use a heat gun and target the nail to know the exact temperature. Since most of us do not own a heat gun, a rule of thumb many use to start is heat for 30secs, let cool for 15, then drop the dab. The type of nail will affect how quickly the nail cools. This is more of a trial-and-error tactic. If the dab was too cold after 15secs (i.e. did not fully evaporate) then only wait 10 seconds next time. Or If the dab hurt your throat, wait 20secs next time. Many will also heat the nail to red hot, then count down between 10-20 seconds depending on nail type.
An E-nail makes it easer to track the temperature of your nail. While the temperature noted on the box might not directly translate to the temperature at the top of the nail, it allows for more consistency in each session. For example, if an e-nail reads 500*F, a titanium nail might actually be 450*F and a quartz nail would only measure around 400*F. Each e-nail and nail head is different and we recommend you troubleshoot your own personal combination to find what works best for you!