Dabbing Temperature Guide

A Guide to Dabbing Temperatures: Getting the Most Out of Your Low-Temp Dabs

Cannabis concentrates like oil, wax, shatter, and crumble are extracted from the trichomes, or crystals, found on cannabis flowers or buds. Besides the rosin technique, which involves squeezing oils out of cannabis using only pressure, the extraction process typically requires solvents like butane or carbon dioxide to produce potent oils with high levels of THC.

Dabbing involves heating a nail and dabbing the concentrate onto it, rather than placing it directly under a flame like you would with dry herbs. When concentrates make contact with the hot surface, they vaporize. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between high and low-temperature dabs and how to achieve the perfect dab temp for flavorful, potent hits.

High vs. Low-Temperature Dabs

Using a nail that’s not hot enough will waste concentrates by causing them to puddle and pool on its surface, while a nail that’s too hot will cause the concentrates to burn, resulting in degradation. Overheating a concentrate not only destroys its flavor but also the terpenes.

THCA is a natural part of the cannabis plant that, when heated, changes into THC, the component responsible for getting you high. This process occurs when doing a dab. However, if the nail is too hot when dabbing, the concentrate’s THCA can degrade into cannabinol (CBN) and end up as reclaim. Although CBN has some psychoactive properties, it’s only 10% the strength of THC. Researchers believe CBN causes grogginess as well as dizziness and disorientation in users.

Sadly, the most common mistake made by dabbers is overheating the nail by waiting for it to glow red before hitting it. A blood-red glow indicates a dab temperature of 1075°F, while a faint-red glow indicates 930°F. High-temperature dabbing occurs at any temperature higher than 800°F and is just as wasteful as dabbing at too low a temperature. Besides ruining the taste of the concentrate, which starts happening when nails are heated above 720°F, excessive heat will waste concentrates by causing them to burn up.

The Perks of Low-Temperature Dabs

Low-temperature dabs optimally occur between 500 and 650°F, and you can find the best eNail temp for you with some trial and error. Dabbing at a temperature any lower than that can result in the nail not being hot enough to vaporize the concentrate, causing it to waste by pooling up on the nail, bubbling, and dissipating. Dabbing at low temperatures is beneficial for several reasons. Besides enhancing the flavor of the concentrate by not burning away the terpenes, low-temperature dabbing preserves every part of the oil — including the THC, meaning each hit will be powerful and savory. Use a carb cap when experimenting with low-temperature dabs to produce twice as much vapor and get the most out of every hit.

The medium temperature for dabbing is around 700°F.

Discovering the Best Dab Temp: A Comprehensive Guide

The ideal temperature for dabbing lies anywhere between 500 and 650°F. This range allows for a perfect low-temp dab that preserves terpenes and fully vaporizes your concentrate, giving you minimal mess and the most delicious flavors. Temperatures lower than 500°F will waste concentrates by not fully vaporizing them, while dabs over 720°F will also waste concentrates by burning them. A medium temp dab occurs at 700°F, but this temperature is still hot enough to boil away some of the terpenes that make your concentrates taste great and feel more potent. So, if you’re aiming for the best dab temps, stick to the range between 500 and 650°F and never go higher than 700°F.

Understanding Terpene Boiling Points

To master the perfect dab temp, it’s essential to be familiar with the terpenes in your extract. Terpenes are aromatic chemical compounds found in the resinous glands, trichomes, of cannabis flower buds. These crystals produce precursor compounds like THCA and CBDA to major cannabinoids such as THC or CBD, respectively. THC and CBD have relatively high boiling points when compared to most terpenes found in cannabis. That means activating some cannabinoids might cause you to lose out on aromatic terpenes during the dabbing process. Here are the boiling points of the most common terpenes in cannabis:

  • Beta-myrcene: 334ºF
  • Beta-caryophyllene: 320ºF
  • Humulene: 388ºF
  • Limonene: 349ºF
  • Alpha-pinene: 311ºF
  • Terpinolene: 365ºF
  • Linalool: 388ºF

Researchers have identified over 200 terpenes in the cannabis plant, each with their own aroma, effect, and boiling point. When manufacturers extract cannabinoids and terpenes from raw cannabis material to produce concentrates like shatter and wax, terpenes can be destroyed during the process due to the high heat and pressure techniques used.

Achieving the Best Dab Temp

Dabbing concentrates offers a potent headrush and flavorful aroma, but there are ways to optimize your dabbing experience. One of the most critical steps in taking a dab is knowing the best dab temp and how long to heat your nail before applying your concentrate. First-time dabbers often wonder how long to heat a nail or banger and how long to let it cool down.

1. Consider the components in your setup

Your dab rig, nail, and heating element all impact the speed at which your nail heats up and cools down, so it’s essential to consider them when trying to find the perfect temperature. Blowtorches come in various shapes and sizes. Traditionally used for home repairs or culinary purposes, blow torches have helped dabbers heat their nails to the right temperature for dabbing. You can choose from a small and compact one, a sleek and stylish one, or a desktop torch built to last. Each torch allows you to heat your dab nail manually, but some are faster at it than others.

The following factors can also affect how long you have to heat your nail:

  • Nail material (quartz, ceramic, titanium)
  • Nail quality
  • Nail size
  • Nail thickness
  • Concentrate consistency

Make sure to consider the factors above when deciding how long to heat your nail.

2. Know your heat-up and cool-down times

The time needed to heat a nail before taking a dab depends on various factors (like the ones mentioned above) and your preferred dabbing temperature. High-temperature dabs start at 750ºF. If a nail is glowing red, it’s too hot. Low-temperature dabs happen between 500 and 650ºF. Each type of temperature comes with its own pros and cons.

Here’s a handy table to consult when we make that new purchase, helping us achieve the perfect dab temperature and enjoy our concentrates to the fullest.

Nail Style Bowl Size Wall Thickness Heat Up / Cool Down Times Compatible Accessories
20mm Flat Top Banger
Side: 2mm Bottom: 4mm
30 / 30 seconds
Carb Caps, Pearls
25mm Flat Top Banger
Side: 2mm Bottom: 4mm
40 / 45 seconds
Carb Caps, Inserts, Pearls
30mm Flat Top Banger
Side: 2mm Bottom: 4mm
40 / 45 seconds
Carb Caps, Inserts, Pearls
Opaque-Bottom 25mm Flat Top Banger
Side: 2mm Bottom: 4mm
30 / 45 seconds
Carb Caps, Inserts, Pearls, Tweezers
Core Banger
Side: 2mm Bottom: 4mm
40 / 60 seconds
Carb Caps

Mastering the Perfect Dab Temp: Techniques and Tools for Every Dabber

1. Opt for an eNail for total temperature control

Using an electronic nail eliminates all the guesswork from dabbing. All we need to do is plug the eNail into the wall, set the desired temperature, and wait a few seconds for it to reach that temperature. The eNail’s temperature will stay constant until it’s unplugged or turned off, making dabbing much more relaxed for those of us who don’t want to deal with a torch. With an eNail, we can experiment with various temperatures to find what works best with different concentrates and discover our own personal preferences.

How to measure your nail’s temperature

Temperature control is essential for achieving the perfect dab. Here are a few helpful ways we can gauge our nail’s temperature, whether we prefer high, mid, or low-temperature dabs.

Temperature gun

An infrared temperature gun, also known as a dab temperature reader, helps us enhance the accuracy of our temperature readings. A temperature gun allows us to test the heat of a surface from a safe distance, avoiding the risk of getting burned. Simply pull the trigger, and a reading appears on the digital display. Thermometer guns vary in price, size, speed, accuracy, and temperature range.

Wrist check

As we gain more experience, we’ll develop a better understanding of our dab rig, heating and cooling times, and overall process. Seasoned dabbers can use their wrist to check for the ideal temperature range. After heating a nail for about 20 seconds, we can prepare our dabber and carb cap while the nail cools. Place your wrist slightly above the nail without touching it to test for heat. The nail is ready for dabbing when there’s no longer a heat sting when placing your wrist over the nail.


An analog or digital timer can be handy if we want to estimate the rate of heat loss in our nail or banger. A small sand timer, watch, smartphone, or kitchen timer allows us to follow timing recommendations. For low-temperature dabs, torch the nail for 15 to 40 seconds and let it cool for 30 to 40 seconds. A timer provides an exact representation of the elapsed time, helping us perfect our dabbing method.


The Terpometer is an innovative electronic device used to display the temperature of a nail or banger in real-time. An LCD screen shows temperature readings. When the screen turns green, we’re ready to drop a dab in our nail. The Terpometer is applied directly to the nail, and the degrees drop quickly until they reach the ideal low-temperature range of 500º-600ºF.


The safest and most effective way to enjoy dabs is with an electronic nail (eNail). An eNail provides us with precise control over the nail’s temperature using a heating coil and digital control box. The coil connects the eNail to the digital controller that powers the unit and sets the temperature. While eNails require a more significant investment, they offer fast heating and consistent temperatures for flavorful hits without the hassle. The eNail’s digital display gives us an exact temperature reading.

5 Tips for Savoring Low-Temp, Terpene-Rich Dabs

As dab enthusiasts, some of us love the massive clouds produced by high-temperature dabs, while others prefer to indulge in the rich aromatic mix of terpenes featuring fruity, earthy, spicy, and herbal scents. For those of us who are terp-hunters, eager to savor every nuance and undertone of our extracts, here are some tips and tricks to make finding and maintaining the right temperature easier and more enjoyable.

1. Opt for an eNail

When choosing a heat source, we have two options: a torch or an eNail. Electronic nails use electric coils to heat the surface of the quartz banger to an exact dab temperature. This precision means we no longer need to worry about how long to heat up a dab rig as we do when using a butane torch. However, keep in mind that there might be a slight difference (about 15-20 degrees) between the coil and nail temperatures.

2. Add Terp Pearls

Terp pearls, also known as dab pearls or terp balls, are invaluable for low-temp dabbing. Made from heat-resistant materials like quartz or ruby, they evenly distribute the heated extract for maximum vaporization. We can place terp pearls in our bangers before or after heating, and they’ll spin around, agitating the oils for efficient vaporization at low temperatures.

3. Try an Insert Dish

Quartz inserts are an effective way to achieve a low-temperature dab. They not only improve heat retention but also act as a barrier, keeping your nail like-new. Quartz inserts are small, bucket-like dishes that can be dropped into the banger after heating to slow down the vaporization process. The heat from the nail transfers slowly to the insert, giving us an incredibly flavorful first draw that is also forgiving.

4. Master Cold Start Dabs

Cold start dabs or “reverse dabbing” might not be everyone’s go-to choice, but it’s a successful way to slowly heat an extract without overdoing it. Basically, we pre-load an extract into a room-temperature banger and top it off with a carb cap. Then, we heat the nail. Heating can take up to 10 seconds or until the wax begins to bubble and vaporize. Cold start dabs are a quick and easy way for us to enjoy low-temperature dabs when in a hurry.

5. Get to Know Your Nail

For those of us without a fancy eNail, torching requires some trial-and-error to achieve low temperatures. It’s all about how long we heat the nail and how long we let it cool down before taking a dab. During this window, there’s room for error. Heat guns can help us get a more accurate reading, but this also requires some finessing.

Many low-temp dabbers recommend heating the nail for at most 30 seconds and letting it cool for about 20 seconds. We can start with these suggested times and adjust as needed.

Achieving the perfect low-temperature dab might not be easy on our first try, but with practice, it can become second nature. By following these low-temp tips, we can get the most out of our extracts, avoid wasting our products, and protect our bangers.

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Harriett S. Miller

Meet Harriett S. Miller, the guy who never met a CBD strain he didn't like! He's been researching and experimenting with CBD for years, and it's safe to say he's a bit of an enthusiast. When he's not busy trying out new strains, you can find him scoping out the latest cannabis accessories and gadgets. Harriett is dedicated to spreading the word about the benefits of CBD and helping people discover the perfect products to enhance their cannabis experience. He may be serious about his research, but he's always up for a good laugh (or a good puff).

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