Reverse or Cold-Start Dab Guide

August 16, 2020

Reverse or Cold-Start Dab Guide

Dabbing is becoming more and more popular in the cannabis community. Experienced smokers appreciate for its strong, clean hits and unmatched taste, which conveys the purest marijuana flavor. However, not many people are aware that there is more than one way of dabbing. Reverse dabbing, also known as cold-start dabbing, is a method that will make you enjoy the terpenes and other compounds much more.


Essentially, dabbing means vaporizing cannabis typically at high temperatures for producing strong euphoric effect. There are also benefits of going for lower temperatures. Reverse dabbing is an alternative that helps to enjoy the flavor and therapeutic benefits, rather than just getting hammered. I will explain how to set everything up for a cold-start, as well as what is so pleasant about it.

What Is Cold-Start Dabbing?

Most people know dabbing as a mean to get extremely high in a blink of an eye. But few know that if it’s done reverse you can discover incredible flavor and medical effects.

In cold-start dabbing, instead of searing concentrate on an extremely hot nail you gradually heat up the concentrate on a room-temp nail so that all chemical constituents can hit their boiling points, allowing them to be fully enjoyed.

Why Is it Worth Trying?

As mentioned at the beginning, cold-start dabbing simply provides much more of a concentrate terpene profile. Terpenes are aromatic compounds contained in plants that are responsible for giving cannabis the delightful smells and tastes that is so appealing. In MJ, terpenes are found inside of buds and compose the stinky, sweet aroma that is so distinct from anything else.

With the recent researches it turned out that terpenes might actually do much more than just providing the flavor. It has been discovered that they act synergistically with CBD and THC cannabinoids producing much more profound effect than this elements on their own. What is more, certain terpenes are associated with specific therapeutic qualities. For example, the terpene named linalool is known to provide relaxing effects, whereas the terpene limonene is known for cheering up the mood and giving energy boost.

The reason why reverse dabbing produces different taste and effect is hidden in the fact that terpenes boil off at much lower temperatures than compounds of cannabis that gets you high. In normal dabbing most of the terpenes get immediately burnt without a chance to reveal their effects. However, "cold" dabs work their way up through each terpene’s boiling point, allowing you to actually enjoy them instead of just scorching them.

What it means is that of course normal dabbing makes you much more high, but on the other hand you miss out some of the flavor and therapeutic potential contained in your concentrate. In addition, cold-start dabbing prolongs the life time of your glass rig as it takes less heat damage over time. Using it to always take exceptionally hot dabs will turn the glass rig to a hazy color, that will not be possible to get read of even after intense cleaning. Thus, a couple of cold-start dabs might be as enjoyable for your rig as for yourself.

The Cons Of Cold-Start Dabs     

First of all, newbies might find it difficult to execute the process and it will take several attempts before you start feeling comfortable with it. If the concentrate is not heated up enough, you may be left with a portion of leftover oil that can still be dabbed, but will not have the same well-defined flavor. Additionally, if nails are not properly cleaned after cold-start dabs, they may leave charred residue. Lower potency on the other hand makes it adeal for new dabbers who are looking to reduce the psychoactive experience. As said, the learning curve might be steep, but don’t let it discourage you! The long-term benefits of enjoying cold-start dabs are worth it.

How To Do A Cold-Start Dab

  1. Put your concentrate on your room-temperature quartz nail/banger and screw its cap.
  2. Heat the banger up until your concentrate begins to melt and bubble (usually 6–8 seconds). Make sure to keep your torch a few centimeters away to avoid burning your concentrate.
  3. When the concentrate stats melting, inhale your dab through the rig’s mouthpiece. Rotate the cap while taking a hit to heat the concentrate evenly and produce more vapor.
  4. Cold-start dabs tend to produce a couple of pulls. Make sure you took all the hits by using your torch to reheat the quartz for a few seconds.
  5. Clean any remained residue with a cotton swab when it’s still warm. Leaving it to dry will make it harder to clean.

There you go! Congrats with mastering a new technique!

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