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Dab Kit Essentials
For modern cannabis consumers, there’s nothing better than concentrates. These sticky and potent extracts have taken the market by storm, and are making big bucks for dispensaries and cultivators alike. Colloquially, these powerful cannabis products are called dabs—an umbrella term that includes more specific subcategories of concentrates like wax, shatter, BHO oil, and budder.
Unlike regular marijuana flower, to most effectively consume dabs you’re going to need more than just a rolling paper or pipe. Most experienced dabbers have an entire dab kit that contains all the tools they need to properly enjoy concentrates. This guide is to help dab novices figure out exactly what they need to get started smoking cannabis extracts.
The first thing you’re going to need to get started is a dab rig. Without one of these, you’re not going to get very far in your concentrated journey.
A dab rig is essentially a water pipe that is used to smoke oils and wax instead of flower. There’s all kinds of options out there for dab rigs. They can be made of glass or silicone, and come in various different sizes. Small rigs will be easier to clean, and will provide better tasting hits—perfect for something flavorful like live resin. Bigger rigs have more room for more smoke to fill. These are great options for consumers who want to take big hits.
Bangers and Nails
The next thing you’ll need is a banger or a nail—they serve a similar function as the glass bowl of a bong. Nails are shaped, as you might be able to guess, like a nail used by a carpenter. They are inserted into the downstem of the dab rig, and heated to incredibly high temperatures using either a blowtorch, or an electric current. Once hot, the concentrate is applied directly to the nail where it turns into vapor.
Bangers are similar to nails, but they are shaped more like buckets. They can be made from glass, titanium, ceramic or quartz depending on preference. Each option has pros and cons, like how titanium is durable, but can negatively impact the flavor of your vapor.
Carb caps are glass products that are placed on top of the nail or banger after the concentrate has already been applied. Their purpose is to trap heat, as well any errant vapor emitted from the concentrate itself. These little guys are essential to providing a premier dab experience, and help prevent any of your expensive concentrate from being wasted.
In order to take a dab, you have to get your nail or banger incredibly hot. Way hotter than you’ll be able to achieve with just a pocket bic. Some nails, called e-nails, are able to achieve these temperatures by harnessing the power of electricity. The problem with e-nails is that they can be prohibitively expensive, hard to find, and potentially fire hazards.
For traditional nails and bangers, you’re going to need a torch. These special lighters are fueled by butane, and are capable of creating the kind of heat necessary to properly vaporize a dab. If you’ve ever seen a chef make crème brulee, then you know what you’re looking for.
Dab Tool or Dabber
These small tools like something you’d find at a dentist’s office. A dab tool (sometimes called a dabber) is a skinny rod made from a heat-resistant material that is used to transfer the concentrate from your jar, to the nail or banger. These are absolutely essential to the dabbing process. Because of the extreme heat of the nail, you won’t be able to just drop your dab onto it using your finger. They can come in artful designs and vibrant colors. Most dab tools are made from either glass or titanium.
ContainerYou’ll need something to store your concentrates in when you’re not actively dabbing. That’s where a concentrate container comes in. Dabs are incredibly sticky, and can make a huge mess if you’re careful. These containers not only function as storage, but also make it easier to handle concentrates while you’re in the dabbing process. Some containers are made of glass, but many people prefer silicon, because it is less likely to stick to the dab—making it easier to use, and helping to prevent pieces of concentrate getting left behind.