Using the cold start method

The cold start method of dabbing is a perfect way to prevent flavonoids and medicinal terpenes from completely evaporating.

For those swabs out there reading this article, you’ve probably heard of “cold start” swabs. If you are not familiar with this, read on.

Not so long ago, the cannabis press, blogs, and influencer world were full of cold start swabs.

So what is it I hear you ask?

It is a dabbing method that starts with an unheated (hence the term “cold”) nail. Place the concentrate in a nail (preferably a quartz beater), heat the device, and then inhale as soon as those fumes rise from the bubbly concentrate.

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Regular Dabs Vs. Cold Start Swabs

Usually, the dabbing process begins by heating the nail, applying the concentrate to the hot nail, and immediately inhaling.

Many swabs recommend that after heating your nail, wait at least ten seconds for it to cool down a bit before dropping it into a swab.

The disadvantage of this method is that you can never be entirely certain (with a thermometer) that you are dabbing at the lowest possible temperature.

Since cold start swabs are performed in reverse order, they are also known as “back swabs”.

You may be wondering, “Why would someone start with cold nails instead of hot nails?” To get the polka dot terpene profile this is the reason.

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Use a cold start swab to hold back terpenes

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in plants. These give the fruit its sweet aroma and cannabis its rich aromas. There is evidence that terpenes can also affect the mood of some of these cannabis effects, such as: B. calming or euphoric feelings, and even affect the medicinal properties of certain cannabis plants.

Another benefit of the cold start application is that it minimizes the breakdown of your concentrate. Although studies have shown that swabbing poses little or no health risks (with the exception of these coughing fits), evaporating the concentrate at the lowest possible temperature helps reduce potentially harmful products like methacrolein or benzene to the lungs.

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Step 1: use a clean quartz oven

To get the most out of this method, use a clean quartz beater on the nail.

These nails are shaped like small cups or buckets. With this shape you can watch the evaporation as it takes place.

This is helpful because you need to see when the vapor is forming so you know when to inhale.

It doesn’t have to be clean right away, but neither should it be caked with a brown oily residue.

Step 2: heating element

Once the concentrate is in the cold banger, slowly heat the nail with a flashlight.

Hold the flame a little away from the quartz surface. Getting the flashlight too close risks frying the concentrate quickly and burning all of the goodies before your lips reach the rig. Or if the flame is too far away, it won’t heat up.

With the flame held in the Goldilocks zone, the concentrate in the oil should melt. This oil then begins to bubble. Bubbles are your cue to prepare for the swab.

Step 3: dab

Once you see the steam rising from the boiling oil, you can begin pulling through the pipe.

As long as it is bubbling, you can keep breathing. Using a carburetor cap can prevent steam from escaping and direct the steam through the swab system.

Once it stops boiling and everything has evaporated or you are left with dark porridge, you are done.

Step 4: clean your nails

Keeping your nail clean will keep the taste in as well. After the process is complete, wipe a dry regular cotton Q-tip on the inside of the nail to remove any remaining concentrate.

One Q-tip should be sufficient, although larger swabs may require a second. There is no need to use alcohol or any other solvent at this point, especially if the nail is still hot.

You want to keep the quartz beater as clean as possible so that you can easily see the condition of the heated concentrate. Also, if you leave old swab scraps on your nail, you may not get clean, fresh swabs every time.

Step 5: experiment

This is not a step; Further additional information that you should observe.

The efficiency of the cold start swab depends heavily on your equipment. Your torch, nail, concentrate, etc.

Using a shop-sized propane burner requires more delicacy than, say, a hand-held butane burner.

Some concentrates are also more volatile than others: terp sauce requires less heat to evaporate than budder or slivers, for example.

Because of these differences, you may need to experiment with cold start swabs before figuring out what works for you.

You may find that shorter flames or larger nails are more effective for you.

What if I don’t like torches?

Electric nails can be set to a specific temperature. Something like the Fifth Ave Green House Q7-Enail is ideally sorted for cold start swabs and offers a high degree of accuracy over the temperatures. Once you’ve found the best temperature for a particular concentrate, you can effortlessly recreate that swab over and over again. This will bring great consistency to your dabbing.

Newer product technologies can also mimic the cold start process. For example, a portable electric swab rig (like the Unicorn Fifth Ave Green House). This e-rig uses a porous quartz core in a ceramic mug, resulting in fast heat-up times and the purest taste.

Compared to the 3-minute heating and cooling process with a conventional swab and a flashlight, the Unicorn E-Rig heats up in a few seconds.

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