Stoners are great at inventing holidays.
We don't typically need a special reason to get high, so when we come up with one, it's a doozy. Take, for instance, Dab Day. If you look at the number 710 upside down, it appears to spell OIL. For that reason, on July 10, the cannabis industry celebrates Oil Day—or, as it is more colloquially known, Dab Day.
When we're at the stage in this unfolding revolution where we are reestablishing national holidays, this level of nontoxic absurdity makes me hope at least a few stoners get a seat at the table.
The roots of Oil Day are vague. Its emergence in 2012 predates recreational legalization, but only by a few years, and its ambiguous origins make Dab Day feel like just another pothead holiday invented for the sake of stoned whimsy.
But I argue that ascribing Dab Day to whimsy alone sells the day's value short.
Since recreational cannabis laws allowed for such significant advancement in extraction tech, Dab Day is more than just a general celebration of cannabis oils or dabs. It's a day to consider all of the ingenuity, innovation and infinite possibilities within the cannabis industry, as well as a reminder to continue to fight for nationwide cannabis clemency and expungement so that those criminalized by the War on Drugs have lucrative, fulfilling and scientifically radical career opportunities awaiting their reentry.
And maybe Dab Day is also about graduating from blowing blunt smoke behind closed doors to discreetly sipping a dab pen while pushing a cart full of CBD supplements through the toilet paper aisle of Costco.
For those unfamiliar with dabs, they can come off as complicated and dangerously intoxicating—and if the introduction involves a handheld torch, perhaps a little too visually reminiscent of smoking a different kind of substance. So, on this relatively new weed holiday, Willamette Week reached out to Susie Marshal, owner of Vibeztiva Pop-Up Dab Bar, to demystify the practice for novices, including parents, and offer some professional tips for achieving the perfect dab.
WW: For the uninitiated, what are the benefits of dabbing as opposed to smoking?
Susie Marshall: The real question is, what are the benefits of low-temp vaporization as opposed to high-Temp combustion. Low-temp vaporization gets you the most cannabinoids from the flower or concentrate and produces vapor. That vapor is free from the byproducts like the ash and resin of the plant material. Those are the compounds that are harsh on your lungs. Low-temp vaporization has the same fast-acting effects as higher-temp combustion. It's such a good alternative for people who choose not to burn.
What are some common mistakes made by novice dabbers?
Overheating the material. People who are new to dabbing often are cannabis smokers and are used to the hot air that high-temp combustion generates. There is an association between the high temp and being high, but that does not have to be the case.
Is there a foolproof formula for achieving and maintaining the correct temperature with a handheld torch?
No. I don't use a torch.
What is your torch alternative of choice?
The best alternative to torch heating is an electronic nail. Those will allow you to set the desired temperature and will provide a consistent heating result. It is the difference between cooking over an open fire and cooking in an oven, and there are plenty of portable and desktop or plug-in models of electronic nails.
How can users achieve a perfect dab?
Well, it generally depends on your preference, but a good rule of thumb is to start at 320 degrees and slowly increase the temperature to find the best flavor and quality for your device. Always keeping in mind that since cannabis combustion happens at 460 degrees, 420 is a good temperature [for dabs]. I prefer a titanium nail with a ceramic dish connected to a bong with cool water. Quartz nails are nice for low temperatures—they preserve the terpenes. If you are looking to do larger or multiple dabs then titanium and ceramic both hold the temperature well. If you want something indestructible then go with titanium.
Violent coughing is a common characteristic of dabs, but I've never coughed after using any of Vibeztiva's stations. What's the secret?
High-quality concentrates, low temperatures, water filtration, cooling tubes and over 11 years of cannabis vaporization research. Cannabis flower smokes at 460 degrees, but dabbing doesn't have to be like smoking. Remember, 420 is a good temperature.
What items should be on newbie dabbers' shopping list when they go to the head shop to choose their first oil rig?
Ditch the external heating element entirely and go with an e-rig. If money is no object, go with a PuffCo Peak, but otherwise, the $90 PuffCo Plus is a fraction of the cost and features a ceramic heater, a built-in dab tool, and a familiar pen style.
How do you plan to spend Dab Day this year?
Utilizing the Vibeztiva rental equipment to enjoy Pennywise 1-to-1 THC-CBD rosin from Grasse/Green Choice Farms—and taking a well-deserved break from being a new mom.
MORE: Find more information on Vibeztiva's pop-up dab bars at vibeztiva.com.