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The Best Ways to Enjoy your Dab Session

Think smoking flowers is the only way to enjoy cannabis? Think again.


No longer are tokers limited to the traditional joint or bowl pack. Although a staple method for many who enjoy a little herb, smoking cannabis does have its downsides. The taste usually is unpalatable and can leave a pungent smell in the area you're smoking in, which can lead to unwanted attention.

If you're not into burning flower, you're in luck. There are a number of innovative ways to consume cannabis, with the rising popularity of oils and concentrates putting those methods in the spotlight.

Dabbing, for example, has become a common and popular way to consume cannabis, and with good reason. Read on to learn more about dabbing and how to best enjoy your next dab session.

What is Dabbing?

You may be wondering what exactly is a dab, and how do you consume it? Dabs are an oil concentrate of cannabis and are much stronger than the traditional flower. Using carbon dioxide or butane, dabs are made by extracting THC and other cannabinoids which all contribute to giving you an incredible buzz.

Using a dab rig is a common way to consume dabs. Dab rigs are equipped with a dab nail that's used to heat up the concentrate to a high enough temperature using a blowtorch so smoke forms for you to inhale.

Benefits of Dabbing

Dabbing delivers euphoric, powerful effects when done safely with clean concentrates. Many individuals suffering from chronic pain or nausea benefit from dabbing as a way to quickly mitigate their discomfort. Concentrates can also be a great way to treat common mental illnesses like depression or anxiety.

Dabbing can be a much healthier form of cannabis consumption if properly prepared, given that it eliminates a lot of the additives and leaves (mostly) just the active compounds in cannabis intact such as CBD, THC and terpenes. For example, burning the plant creates resin which can have an adverse effect on your lungs, so dabbing can be a way to eliminate that Some individuals also prefer the taste and flavor of a dab, but you'll need to explore that aspect for yourself to find out.

Tips to Follow For Your Next Dab Session

Whether you're a seasoned cannabis connoisseur or a beginner, these tips will help you get the most out of your next dab session.

Supplies

First and foremost, you will need some supplies. You'll need a dab rig in order to properly enjoy a nice dab session. At Hemper they stock a wide selection of the best dab rigs and accessories, vetted and tested by actual smokers just like you. Their product lines are high quality, yet affordable. If you're on the fence or don't know what you need, just reach out. Their team is always ready to help. Alternatively, you could ask some friends what types of rigs and set-ups they prefer, and perhaps they will even let you try theirs out so you can get a firsthand feel for the setup.

Aside from a dab rig, you may want to also ask about dab nails, which are used during the heating process, and a good dab rig cleaner to keep your rig in tip-top shape.

Environment

Before setting up for your dab sesh, you should choose a safe environment you can relax in. Being calm during your dab session is important because it can be overwhelming, especially if it is your first time trying it.

You may also want to pick a day or time where you don't have much going on. Since most concentrates usually contain 60% or more of THC, the effects can be intense if your tolerance is low.

Temperature

Another aspect to consider before dabbing is what temperature you want your dab to be heated to. A higher temperature is enjoyed by some who like larger vapor clouds. However, it can cause a lot of discomfort and leave a burning sensation in your chest and lungs.

For your first time, it's best to stick to a low temperature. Starting off at a lower temperature will also give you a chance to taste each concentrate which can range in flavors, and to adjust as necessary or as much as your lungs can tolerate.

Just in case you do mistakenly heat up your dab rig to an undesirable temperature, you'll want to keep some water or another beverage you like handy to mitigate the discomfort from the hot smoke on your throat. Dab nails are heated up to scorching hot temperatures around 482 degrees Celcius with a blow torch, so keeping a drink around to cool your throat is always a good idea just in case.

Take it Easy when Starting Off

Since dabs are much stronger than dry herb and buds, you'll want to be cautious of the size of dab you take. Start off slow with a small amount to see what your tolerance is. Being high is fun. Being too high is not. If you happen to be more sensitive to cannabis or are trying out a new concentrate it also never hurts to have a friend with you to help you stay calm and relaxed just in case things to get a little too intense for your liking. Remember, you can't really overdose on cannabis, even in concentrate form.

Safety First

Another important tip is to keep the direct flame away from the dab rig. Dab rigs are usually heated up with a blow torch which heats things to extremely high temperatures. When your glass dab rig is rapidly heated up, it can damage the rig and break the glass. So you'll want to heat the dab nail, not the rig. Also, make sure not to touch the dab rig for at least a few minutes to avoid serious burns.

Keep your Rig Clean

Keeping your dab rig clean is a simple, yet often neglected aspect of dabbing. A clean dab will ensure proper heating and cooling, remove any leftover toxins or build up from your last sesh, ensure robust clean and unadulterated flavor next time you dab, and is just an all-around good idea for hygiene. Check out the best oil rig cleaning gear to find just what you need.

How to Practice Good Dabbing Etiquette

It may be helpful to try dabbing for the first time with a seasoned dab consumer. You will be able to visually see the whole process so you can have a better idea of how to go about dabbing. When smoking with others, it's important to follow some simple etiquette rules to make both your experience and partner's experience more pleasurable.

You should never show up to a session empty-handed, be polite and bring along some supplies to contribute like a blow torch or a dab nail. It may be helpful to talk to your dabbing partner beforehand to see what supplies they'll need. If you're partaking in someone else's concentrates, wait for them to serve you unless they tell you otherwise. You don't want to come off rude and take more than you're supposed to. Once you've taken your hit, completely clear the dab rig and pre-heat for your partner. Being courteous and clearing the rig before passing it on will eliminate stale vapor for the next person's hit.

Closing Thoughts

Dabbing is a new popular way to consume cannabis, it can provide a more pleasurable experience and be healthier for your lungs. Concentrates allow you to reap all of the benefits of cannabis without the negative effects of traditional smoking like resin and strong odors.

However, there are safety precautions you need to take while dabbing to avoid hurting your lungs as well as burning yourself with the blowtorch or dab rig once heated. You'll also need to invest in a dab rig, a nail to heat your concentrate, and a blow torch to get started.

But with the right preparation, dabbing equipment, and concentrate, you'll be enjoying your first dab session in no time.

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Career

Please Don't Ask Me To Network

"Who are you meeting for lunch this week?"

Without fail, my former boss would ask me this question in every weekly status we had. And I dreaded the question. Because my answer was generally a stammering "Umm… No One." Occasionally I could remember what I actually had for lunch. And almost always it was sitting in my windowless cube eating a soggy sad sandwich.


I didn't understand why "who I had lunch with this week" was worthy of being a topic on our weekly status. After all, I was only 6 months into this new job. I was still figuring out how to pull data from Nielsen. I was still figuring out how to write an innovation brief. I was still trying to figure out where the bathrooms were in this maze of a building.

And despite knowing this question would come up in every weekly status, I was reluctant to change my behavior. I didn't see the value in the question. I didn't see the importance of it in my career. I didn't understand why I had to have lunch with anyone.

Because I hated the idea of having to network, to meet people, to put myself out there. Because networking was something slimy and strange and weird and scary. It made my stomach hurt, my throat go dry. And I could feel a faint headache coming on.

Even Oxford's definition of networking only reaffirmed my fears of what networking looked like: the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.

Because please don't ask me to walk into a room where I don't know anyone. And stand in the corner sipping a bad glass of Chardonnay. Please don't ask me to slide my business card out and not so subtly shove it in your face. And ask you to do something for me. Please don't ask me to network. Because I hate networking.

And I used to hate networking (okay, maybe hate is too strong.) I still really dislike the term. "Networking" seemed about getting something from someone. Or someone getting something from you. A favor, a job, a referral. "Networking" seemed very transactional. And someone shoving a business card at you (which happened to me recently at event) only solidified by feelings.

And over the years, I came to really understand that networking wasn't about "the action or process of interacting with others." It was about building authentic connections. It was about meeting people who were different than you. It was about expanding my community. And creating new communities. It was tapping into more and more communities I could belong to.

And as I slowly started to change my view on networking- I mean building authentic connections- I started to realize my communities were more inclusive than I thought. My best friends from middle school. Former bosses. College Alumni I met after we had graduated. Colleagues from past companies. Vendors and agency partners I had once worked with. Colleagues I had once managed. As my family expanded, my husband, my two sister-in laws and my brother in-law. A whole host of fabulous cousin-in-laws. My baby brother as his career skyrocketed. And fellow parents in my kids' school.

I still hate networking. And I love building connections. And helping to build connections and be a bridge for other people.

Now, when I go to a large event, I try to go with a friend. We have a drink at the bar and then part ways to try and make new friends. If we don't authentically connect with other people, and we have made the effort, we always have each other to back to.

Now, I try to meet one new person a week at my company or in my broader community, or reconnect with someone I miss seeing. (This doesn't always have to be in person, can be text, Zoom or Facetime.) And if you can't commit to doing that, that you should seriously relook at your schedule. I thank my former boss for that constant reminder.

Now, I joined Luminary, a women's collaboration hub in NYC, which has been life changing for me. I am also on the advisory board. It's all about women supporting and lifting each other up- to get more money, get that next big promotion, or start their own venture. It's a built-in community of unwavering support.

Now, I am working on expanding my community of moms. Not too long ago, I worked up the nerve to ask a fellow mom in my daughter's class if she wanted to get together. She thought I meant a playdate. I meant drinks. And after one late night out drinking, I have bonded with a whole new set of badass women.

And all of these communities. I am there for my communities. And they are all there for me. Referral for a job at my company. Coaching on how to survive a bad boss. Advice on how to ask for more money. Supporting each other as we care for aging parents. Candid feedback on why they didn't get that promotion. Commiserating over a cocktail on which working parent had the worst week ever.

So please don't ask me to network. Because I hate it. And well actually I don't have a business card to give you. I haven't printed one in four years.