Tons of people have probed the medical benefits and usage of medical cannabis since it got legalized. Numerous studies have shown that marijuana can treat different ailments. This explains why the medical industry has been embracing it in recent years. Nevertheless, the most appropriate consumption method of cannabis remains a topic of deliberation among users.
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Since marijuana got legalized, different consumption methods have been advised. Often, the method that consumers choose is determined by their preferences and condition. They can choose to consume marijuana by smoking or vaping it, using it in the form of topicals and creams, or eating infused edibles; the choices are plenty.
Dabbing is emerging as one of the most popular marijuana consumption methods. If the term is all-new to you, the first thing that will cross your mind is;
What is dabbing?
As the name implies, dabbing entails consuming a form of marijuana known as a dab. This is a tiny amount of cannabis extract (predominantly butane hash oil).
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People smoke marijuana in different ways. You can opt for different marijuana smoking tools like a dab, joint vape, bong, blunt, or pipe. When you use devices with water filters, the high won’t be affected. The tools will cool the vapor or smoke, thus making the experience even more enjoyable. Although marijuana users have different preferences when it comes to consumption, many consider dabbing as the best consumption method.
Devices used for dabbing consist of different parts. At this point, you’re probably wondering what these devices are and how useful they are in the dabbing process.
Well, dabbing tools comprise all the essential accessories and parts that you need to inhale a dab. These include dab rigs, percolators, nails, a torch, dabbers, and all the other accessories that make dabbing successful. So, without beating too much around the bush, let’s jump straight at it and see how different dabbing tools can help you consume marijuana.
1. Dab Pens: How Do They Work
Consuming marijuana using a dab pen is more advantageous than using standard vape pens. To understand this fully, we first need to review the benefits and drawbacks of using standard vape pens.
Whenever cannabis consumption is discussed in the public domain, dabbing is always mentioned by many users. This is because it gives users total control over the marijuana consumption process. If done appropriately, dabbing gives you a fantastic buzz, irrespective of the marijuana strain that you are consuming.
One significant drawback of dabbing is its relative lack of portability. Although electric dab rigs are small, they are still not portable. Fortunately, dab pens provide the perfect solution to the problem of portability.
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What Do Dab Pens Constitute?
Contrary to what you may think, dab pens aren’t hard to understand. Typically, they comprise three main components; a mouthpiece, an atomizer, and the battery. The parts are designed in a way that allows you to connect and disconnect them from each other easily. Unscrewing the mouthpiece will reveal the atomizer, which has a chamber that houses the concentrate.
Dabbers are used to place material around or on the heating element. When loading the heating element, you should be careful not to damage or scrape the coil. After loading the heating element, you simply need to replace the mouthpiece before turning the device on by clicking its power button five times.
The 5-click mechanism is an inherent feature of all dab pens, and it helps prevent accidental firing when carrying the device in the pocket. Therefore, the heating coil can only get ignited after clicking on the power button, which is unlikely to happen accidentally.
To start dabbing, you need to activate the heating coil. One benefit of using a dabbing pen is that you can control the length of your draws. This is done by controlling the amount of time that you hold the power button while hitting the dab.
How Do Dabbing Pens Work?
Besides delivering the ultimate high, you can have a portable dabbing experience by using dab pens. Basically, dab pens are mobile vaping systems that make up for the typical deficiencies of cartridges used in vape pens. Therefore, they are an excellent choice for individuals looking for discreteness, portability, and full control over their marijuana consumption experience.
To users who are unfamiliar with the dabbing process, the pens might seem complicated. Nonetheless, a dab pen is a simplified cartridge vaping system. Rather than using a compressed cartridge that requires you to press a button, dabbing only requires you to manipulate the butane hash oil using a separate heating element and surface.
Basically, dab pens feature an attachment that can fit on a standard vape battery. The attachment consists of a replaceable ceramic bowl and a coil that heats up whenever you activate the battery. More advanced dab pens offer variable voltage, thus allowing you to regulate and set the temperature at which you wish to vape. Some of the superior vape pens are somewhat bulkier than the basic ones.
Nevertheless, they give you more control as far as cannabis consumption is concerned. Besides, they are more effective than the basic dab pen versions since they don’t feature coils. Typically, coils create inconsistencies when burning the oil, and are also susceptible to breaking.
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How Do Dab Pens Optimize the Marijuana Experience?
One exciting feature of dab pens is that unlike vape pens, they allow you to choose the concentrates you prefer. Similarly, you can select the quality and texture of your liking. Since you can control the temperature at which you prefer to dab, it’s easy to personalize your marijuana experience.
Thinning agents are usually added to the marijuana oil in most of the vape cartridges you’ll encounter. This is done to make the oil viscous enough and allow the vape device to work. However, thinning the oil or the concentrate reduces the effect of marijuana on consumers.
Vape cartridges lack diversity when it comes to marijuana consumption, whereas with dabbing, you’ll have limitless options. Cartridges are also expensive since they come factory-packed with concentrates. With dab pens, users choose the type and quantity of marijuana oil to consume, which makes them relatively affordable.
2. Dabbing Rigs
Before dabbing any concentrate, you need a base device. A dab rig is among the essential accessories to have as a dabber. It comes with a water pipe that can get altered to suit the methods of marijuana consumption, which is dabbing in our case.
Dab rigs come in different sizes and shapes. Their purposes also differ. You can customize your dab rig to fit any type of product. For instance, there are rigs meant specifically for shatter, while others are for wax. When using dab rigs, concentrates should be vaporized to produce smoke, and dab rigs make all this possible.
Dab rigs are water pipes that resemble bongs. However, they use a dab nail in the place of slides used in bongs. Dabbing has evolved incredibly over the past few years. For this reason, there’s always a new technology, technique, or tool for dabbing. Browsing the Internet, you’ll come across different varieties of dab rigs. Therefore, you can always choose one that matches your preferred style and quality.
Traditional Dab Rigs
It’s easy to make traditional dab rigs your first choice while comparing different marijuana consumption methods. These rigs are not only sturdy and functional but also easy to clean. They come with a tiny electric nail and have temperature-control features. The rigs will always be hot whenever you need to dab. You don’t need a torch to use them.
Traditional dab rigs are best dab rigs for home use. However, they are not as portable as the latest dab rigs in the market. Many people prefer these rigs for low-temperature dabs. On the flip side, however, the length of these rigs’ cable will always be a hindrance. Likewise, they need to be plugged in for them to work.
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If you’re looking for a smooth and flavorful dab, quartz buckets are perfect for you. They help you to fully harness the flavor of your concentrates without interfering with the natural terpenes of the shatters and saps.
A quartz bucket can handle large volumes of concentrate without leaving any mess. However, the setup requires a torch. Although there are a couple of attachments that can enable you to use electric nails with your quartz bucket, such configurations impact the experience. Therefore, few customers prefer this option.
Traditional concentrate pens, including those with percolator attachments, don’t live up to expectations. Fortunately, we now have new technologies that seamlessly fuse the impressive capabilities of traditional dab rigs with the handiness of concentrate pens.
We are talking about electric oil rigs (e-rigs).
These accessories offer the handy performance that you’re looking for. You only need to click on the power button a couple of times and to activate the nail. On average, it takes less than 30 seconds for the nail to be ready. It takes between 45 to 50 dabs for the battery’s charge to run low.
One significant drawback of e-rigs is the small size of the vapor chambers and the nails. This makes it impossible for uses to take bigger dabs. The mobility of e-rigs may be the best feature of them, but it comes at a cost. Hopefully, as technology advances, the technology will equally evolve.
What Differentiates Dab Rigs From Regular Bongs?
Dab rigs differ from bongs because concentrates are needed to consume marijuana via a dab rig. Typically, bongs set their slides into the down stem. On the other hand, dab rigs don’t have a down stem, but instead, they use a joint to secure the nail. Dag rigs are also smaller in size compared to bongs. This allows you to get high faster and without losing much of the product inside the rig. As a result, more people prefer rig dabbing to using bongs. You only need a lighter to use a bong, while dab rigs require multiple tools, including a hand-held torch, to be used appropriately.
3. Nails – Why They Are a Must-Know for Dabbing
Nails are among the essential components of the dabbing process. Basically, these are the shallow dishes that slide into your dab rig, and the part that you direct heat onto. Concentrates ate then dropped on the nails to get vaporized. When it comes to nails, there are dozens of options available to you. Most people make this choice based on the material and structure of the nails. Here’s an overview of the available nail types:
Nails With Domes
These nails can only work alongside additional accessories known as domes. The domes slide over the top of the nail to retain vapor and distribute heat evenly. When using nails with domes, you’ll need to heat them to the desired temperature before sliding the dome over them. The concentrate will drop onto the hot nail, thus allowing you to pull in and inhale the vapor.
With these nails, you don’t need domes since they come with larger dishes and openings at the center that allow vapor to travel into the rig. More marijuana users prefer to use domeless nails because the larger surface area of the dishes in the nails allows them to hit bigger dabs. Besides, domeless nails are more comfortable to use compared to nails with domes, which require you to heat them first before sliding domes over them.
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You’re supposed to use domeless nails with carb caps since they are essential instruments. To use carb caps, simply warm the heating element before putting your concentrates or oil on the nail. After that, place the carb cap over the domeless nail.
Another vital factor that you should keep in mind is dab nail material. There are several options available to you, including:
As the name suggests, these nails are metallic. Therefore, they not only heat up quickly but also retain much of the heat. Titanium nails are durable because they don’t break easily. However, when you use them for a considerable period, there’s likely to be a buildup of titanium oxide, which can affect the nails’ performance.
When subjected to high temperatures, harmful contaminants in titanium nails could leach because titanium nails aren’t food or medical-grade products. Therefore, if you decide to dab using titanium nails, it’s best to choose nails made from grade-2 titanium.
These nails take longer to heat up. However, once you attain the desired temperature, ceramic nails will retain more heat. They are also medical-grade products, which eliminates any concerns you may have about inhaling contaminated vapors. If you prefer using ceramic nails for dabbing, it’s best to keep in mind that they are fragile and prone to cracks and breakage.
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It takes a remarkably short time to heat these nails. Quartz nails do not accumulate potentially harmful contaminants, and this makes them a safe option.
Generally, we know glass to be a fragile material. The same applies to glass nails. They are not only delicate and vulnerable to cracking or breaking when subjected to high temperatures. On a positive note, glass nails are cheap. Besides, they retain heat quite well and are easy to use. If you’re a regular dabber, be ready to make frequent replacements of your glass nails.
4. Heat Source and Dabbers
These are two of the most essential components of a dabbing device. We are going to delve deeper into them to highlight how they enhance the marijuana experience:
Basically, you can heat your nail in two different ways. Manual heating entails the use of blowtorches, while electric heating involves using electronic nails. When you choose manual heating, you can do the job with either mini torches or blowtorches. It’s somewhat tricky to use full-sized torches, especially when you start feeling the impacts of a dab session.
Most people recommend butane blowtorches due to the high quality of gas. These torches are also relatively safer than most products that you’ll find on the market.
Propane isn’t a well-refined gas. Therefore, using propane blow torches to heat your nail is more dangerous than using butane. With propane, you’ll be heating the nail before inhaling, rather than inhaling the vapor directly off the flame. With propane, the nail can also heat up too intensely. This puts it at the risk of damage.
In case you want to avoid the stress that comes with heating your nail manually, you should opt for an e-mail vaporizer. Typically, these devices feature a digital setup, which allows you to set precise temperatures. They also display your nail’s current temperature.
These are a core component of the dabbing system. During your marijuana experience, you use dabbers to scoop out the dab of the concentrate before dropping it on a heated nail. Most dabbers are made from either glass or metal. Regardless of the material you choose, both are effective. However, you should keep in mind that if you leave metal dabbers for too long on hot nails, they will also heat up. Therefore, exercise caution when handling such dabbers.
Today, the most recommended dabbers come as a combination tool featuring an extended handle and a scooper on one end, and a carb cap on the other end. The carb cap is part of the dabbing system that completes your banger nail and dab rig. As the name suggests, this tool is meant to constrict airflow. It also creates convection besides trapping heat to enable you to dab at low temperatures. Carb caps feature a small hole that restricts airflow to the nail, thus increasing flavor.
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Many dabbers refer to percolators as a “perc.” They are also an essential component of dab rigs. They are meant to enhance the water pipe’s performance by creating the bubbling action that causes water filtration. Percolators are designed to enhance the impact of the concentrates as you inhale the vapor. There are many types of percolators, and they vary based on their structure. Here are some of the common varieties of percolators that you can get on the market today:
As the name suggests, these percolators are disk-shaped. They feature a network of small holes that are meant to create bubbles. Disk percolators have a relatively compact size and shape, and this makes it possible for you to stack them into a single rig. This comes in handy when dabbing since you can easily customize your piece.
Trees have branches, and each of them has leaves. Likewise, tree percolators feature separate arms, and each of them comes with small slits or holes. These holes create bubbles, which in turn, improve filtration.
These percolators sit at the base of the downstem, submerged within the water chamber. Showerhead percolators are ring-shaped and feature a series of tiny holes, just like the regular showerhead that you’ll find in washrooms. When marijuana vapor passes via these holes, they immediately create hundreds of small bubbles, thus enhancing filtration.
Frit Disk Percolators
These percolators are created by bonding small glass particles together into a disk-like shape. The process creates numerous small holes throughout the disk, which creates massive bubbling action when dabbing.
As the name implies, these percolators feature intricately laid-out holes with the same structure as a honeycomb. A honeycomb percolator produces more bubbles compared to standard disk percolators.
Also known as stemline percolators, inline percolators function almost like typical downstem percolators. Nonetheless, it doesn’t sit at a downward slanted angle but parallels across the water chamber. When you submerge an inline percolator in water, all the holes will be at the same level. This ensures a more even and efficient filtration process, which is not always the case with percolators featuring holes that are lower or higher than others.
6. How to Make Dabs Work Efficiently
Knowing the different parts of the dabbing system isn’t enough. The critical part of it all is knowing how to make a dab work efficiently. Once the rig is appropriately set up and you’re prepared for your dab, you’re good to go. You should ensure that the components mentioned above are not only in place but also correctly fixed. When taking a dab, you should be in a comfortable seating position because the hit can be intense and immediate.
The Dabbing Process
Dabbing starts with turning on the torch and aiming the flame at the nail directly. Most people prefer heating the nail until it turns red hot.
Heating the Nail
Torching is done to heat the nail until it attains the desired temperature. When using quartz nails, it’s advisable to allow them to cool for approximately 45 seconds. With titanium nails, allow a 10-second cooling period. Letting the nail to cool off ensures that it isn’t too hot for comfort. A timer can help you monitor the cooling period of your nail accurately.
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Applying the Dab
You need to apply the dab to the nail directly using the dabber. It would help if you then started inhaling slowly while rotating the nail’s dabber tip to prevent the wastage of oil that might be stuck on the dabber.
How to Exhale
After inhaling vapor, you need to exhale it. To do this, use a carb cap to cover the dab before exhaling. Cap the dabs at all times since this regulates airflow besides adding more flavor to the vapor. This way, you get to savor the goodness of dabbing fully.
Safety note: When dabbing, nails often become extremely hot. Therefore, you should exercise caution when handling them. For safety purposes, wait until all the components of the dabbing system cool down before touching them.
7. Cleaning Accessories and Tools
Dabbing is meant to be a top-notch way of experiencing marijuana. Therefore, you also need to ensure that the dabbing equipment is top-notch. The simplest way to do this is by keeping your accessories clean at all times. This also makes the dabbing experience easier. Fortunately, most dabbing gear can be taken apart quickly, and this makes cleaning a simple exercise.
The dabbing system is relatively complex. Therefore, you need some specialized cleaning accessories for the job. There are few specialized cleaning accessories but expect things to change as dabbing gains more popularity. Some of the cleaning tools you need include:
- Cotton swabs: You need these for wiping out the nail. With a cotton swab, you can easily give the nails a quick wipe after each dabbing session.
- Cleaning wipes: These cleaning accessories are meant to keep all the glass components of the dabbing system clean. They help you keep the rig in tip-top condition besides enriching the dabbing experience.
- Pipe cleaners: The name says it all. Pipe cleaners are used for flushing out remnants and foreign particles from the downstem. They usually come in the form of cleaning solutions for the percolator and water pipe. Some pipe cleaners are also a solution that is specifically formulated for water pipes.
- Oil reclaimers: These are glass attachments that snugly fit between the water chamber and the nail. Here, they collect all the runoff concentrate and the concentrate that condenses from the vapor. When a significant amount of oil builds up on the reclaimer, you can apply some gentle heat to allow the oil to drip out. Likewise, you can scrape it out. Reclaim oil is still potent because it contains at least five cannabinoids. Therefore, it can be an excellent ingredient for baking or cooking applications.
The market is awash with multi-tools that you can use to enhance the dabbing experience. In many ways, these tools are similar to each other, and they come with scrapers and dabbers, and items such as carb caps, flashlights, tamping tools, cleaning tools, and scissors. Purchasing a well-equipped multi-tool makes dabbing more streamlined and convenient.
Although they may not seem like a must-have, dab mats can make a difference. Typically, they are made from silicone, and they provide a slip-proof surface where you can set up the rig to start enjoying your marijuana experience. Dab mats also make it easier for you to clean the rig. As you familiarize yourself with dabbing, you’ll figure out the most preferred dabbing setup for you. The experience that you garner along the way will enable you to purchase specialized accessories.
The legalization of recreational and medical cannabis in the U.S. is good news to the many people who’ve always wanted to experience the famed benefits of dabbing weed. Dabbing allows you to experience the purest effect of the consumed cannabis since it causes the formation of vapors. Innovators are coming up with different ways of consuming marijuana, and thanks to technology, we now have efficient dabbing systems.
From a historical perspective, dabbing highlights the imagination of marijuana enthusiasts. Scientific evidence suggests that our forefathers discovered many ingenious ways of fully harnessing the power of hemp and cannabis through concentrate resins. Present-day dabbing methods leverage the same technologies and provide a similar effect. This is why thousands of cannabis enthusiasts worldwide are embracing dabbing as their preferred marijuana consumption method.
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The dabbing process requires tools such as percolators, nails, dab rigs, dabbers, and heat sources. There’s a wide range of choices when it comes to creating a dabbing system that suits you. Each of the tools mentioned above has its pros and cons. Apart from the essential dabbing tools, you may also need auxiliary accessories such as cleaning equipment and mats. Though not a necessity, the extra accessories go a long way in enhancing your marijuana experience.
Dabbing is still a relatively new method of consuming marijuana. A lot still needs to be done to enhance the dabbing experience further. These advancements will certainly make dabbing more friendly and easier for the consumer. More accessories and tools that make dabbing more enriching will be available on the market, and this is what every enthusiast longs for.
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