Article by Leafly
Cannabis concentrates offer an amazing combination of potent effects and robust flavors. When concentrates are heated the cannabinoids and terpenes are released into vapor, creating the vast spectrum of effects and flavors that cannabis exhibits. Knowing which temperature to heat your concentrates to, however, is a crucial detail and can be the difference between experiencing delicious flavors and profound effects or tasting the burnt disappointment from temperatures too hot to vaporize effectively.
Why Temperature Matters When Dabbing
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 synergycreated 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.