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When most people think of the act of smoking weed, they visualize someone lighting up a nicely rolled joint. They'll picture the scene from Dazed and Confused, where Mila Jovovich rolls the perfect doobie in the back seat of a car. The joint is seen as the quintessential weed toking mechanism—classic, convenient, and versatile. While the most common forms of smoking weed will forever have a special place in our stoner hearts, times are changing. With the advent of legalized, recreational, and decriminalized pot, people have pushed the envelope when coming up with innovative ways to get high. The most compelling method of smoking marijuana has become the act of "dabbing." In order to dab, you must first fire up a concentrated "dab" of hash through the use of high-heat applied to necessary instruments. The process is entirely dependent upon the conduction or insulation of the "dab nail," to which the ball of wax is applied. A faulty dab nail can result in wasted oil and irreparable damage to other pieces of your dabbing setup. But fear not! We are here to help you delve into the world of dabbing and the products that make this more recent method of smoking possible.
Glass Dab Nails
Dab nails made of glass are the go-to dabbing utensil. Glass is said to provide a better taste and a smoother hit. Glass dab nails are usually cheaper than their ceramic or titanium counterparts, but they are more prone to breaking during use. Glass dab nails are also harder to clean, and because of this, they are considered inferior to the other two types of nails. Unlike other types of nails, glass nails are usually custom-made and can come in all sorts of off-the-wall forms and colors. They may be more fragile, but it’s always cool to support your local glassblower.
Ceramic Dab Nails
The ceramic dab nail allows you to be a little more aggressive while torching up for your next hit. The ceramic composition makes them easier to clean than straight glass, but they break just as easily. Ceramic products are doomed to crack, and even the littlest crack in a ceramic dab setup can compromise the entire piece.
Titanium Dab Nails
After going through your first five or so broken glass nails, you've probably come to the conclusion that you need something more durable. If this is you, then titanium dab nails are where it's at. Titanium nails provide a sweet flavor and are easy to clean. The nails are made to last, and they won't end up shattering and burning a hole in your carpet. Titanium dab nails are plagued with the tendency to lose heat quicker than glass or ceramic, making them more appropriate for high-level temperatures with a longer heating time.
Domes allow you to “carb” or block off air to the dab in order to utilize all of the vapor. Quartz as opposed to titanium provides a cleaner taste and feel when hitting. Allow the oil to melt on your nail completely (making sure there is no splatter) for the best and cleanest hits using domed instruments. The only down side to this method is the extra step of slipping on the glass dome, which allows you to pull the vapor through.
A domeless setup leaves the nail exposed, which can lead to unwanted vapor loss. Domeless nails are less clunky and tend to last longer than their domed relatives. Using a dome or domeless quartz nail will allow you to take bigger hits at lower temperatures.
Dab Nail Accessories
Along with your new dab nail, there are a few essential products needed to make the most out of your smoking experience. Although dabbing can get complicated, we are here to guide you through the shopping process.
The right torch for you may depend on your levels of pyromania—or in most cases—your wallet. A good torch is one that provides a consistent flame that doesn’t sputter or waste fuel. You can find many torches with decent warranty policies. However, they are also easy to repair on your own. Getting accustomed to fixing and replacing your torch is going to be one of the most important things you do as a dabber. The Bed Bath and Beyond torch seems to be a smash-hit among most stoners.
E-nails are the most desired of the various dabbing products, but they are also arguably the most prone to unpreventable breakages. Unlike torches, e-nails allow you to adjust the temperature to your liking. E-nails range drastically in price, size, and complexity depending on your budget and the willingness of your stoner spirit. If you are a regular dabber, then you should definitely look into setting yourself up with an e-nail for your glass rig. E-nails tend to be more of a commitment than other dab products.
The advent of the carb cap has forever changed the art of dabbing. Carb caps act by covering the concentrate and providing it with a little compartment for ventilation. Whether you're a beginner or pro, we all get ahead of ourselves and take hits that we cannot finish. Thankfully, the carb cap is here to save you! The process of capping your concentrate helps collect the vapor and oil residue that is burning away, thus allowing you to get the most out of your dab.
A stoner and a dabber are like an artist and a paintbrush. Dabbers are lightweight pencil-like tools used for controlling and finessing your concentrate while smoking. These intricate and sleek tools are the icing on the cake that is the dabbing experience. Most dabbers are lightweight, cold to the touch, and reasonably priced at under $10.
The sleek and stable quality of silicon provides a great material in which to tote around your ridiculously sticky and sappy concentrate. Most dab jars are about the size of a hockey puck and can carry up to 22 mL of concentrate. The silicone-based material is non-stick, and it can handle even the stickiest of hash concentrates. Most come in fun and colorful containers available on sites like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon.
Dab mats are silicon-based mats used to help keep the dabber’s station clean and organized. The residue from smoking concentrate can leave sappy gunk everywhere. By keeping silicone-based dab mats on hand, you can protect your furniture and your gear from unwanted burns and messes. Dab mats are usually the most “stoner-y” of all the dabber props, as they are usually covered in cartoon and movie references paired with a marijuana theme.