Sit and enjoy a dab

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at

Dear Dabby, how do I take the best dab hit?

Use a clean “rig”—a “rig” is a bong outfitted with a “nail.” A “nail” is a special sort of bowl designed for concentrates. Side note: I always feel weird saying “rig” in the context of cannabis, because words such as “rig” and “works” often remind me of heroin culture, and I don't think heroin and cannabis should mix, but maybe that's just me. Can we say “Dab bong?” No? OK.

I like a quartz nail as opposed to ceramic or titanium. Yeah, they are fragile, but they heat up fast and they probably give the cleanest hit. Using a heat source, heat the nail to at least 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It used to be that folks would just heat the nail as hot as possible, but that just burns up all the terpenes and gives you a sore throat. Low-temp, high-flavor dabs are the new wave. For heat, 450-600 degrees F is optimal. And don't let the dabheads argue about the best temperature. It's worse than listening to baristas argue about the optimal serving temperature of a latte. There's also no need to hold in the smoke as long as possible. It just leads to lung irritation. Take a good inhale and let it out. Enjoy the flavor of the terpenes. Close your eyes and see what flavors you can detect. Pinene? Myrcene? Blueberries? Wait a few minutes. See how you feel. Wait a few more minutes. Have another. When you have achieved optimum balance, stop. That's probably the best way to do it if you are someplace where you can sit and enjoy a dab.

Hey do you know if THC or CBD will interact with any of the other medications I am using?

Good question. Let us begin with the usual disclaimer: I AM NOT A DOCTOR. You should probably discuss this with your health care professional. I know weed can have a stigma: Kaiser Permanente won't let you apply for certain mental health programs if you test positive for weed, but most doctors (at least on the West Coast) have had to learn to be a little more understanding about cannabis use. That acceptance brings new questions and concerns. For instance, a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology claims that cannabis can increase the effects of certain blood thinners such as warfarin and can also increase the effects of drugs used to control blood pressure. What happens is the liver uses the same enzymes to process statins that it does to process THC, thereby increasing the strength of statins and blood thinners. Now, this is a small study and more research is needed, but if you are on blood pressure medication, you should definitely talk to your doctor about your cannabis use. It's the same with CBD. According to Aaron Cadena from, THC and CBD should be treated like grapefruit juice when it comes to checking for interactions and contraindications. Hope that helps. Have a good one.