Is Dabbing Really Dangerous?

is dabbing dangerousWe’ve all seen the news stories about how dangerous dabbing can be — dramatic accounts of clandestine “drug labs” being blown up by amateur hash-makers– but really, how dangerous is dabbing for the average user? Though there’s been little formal scientific research specifically on the topic (due mostly to the DEA’s listing of marijuana as as schedule 1 substance), empirical data suggests that under ideal conditions, dabbing should pose even fewer health risks than traditional combustion of marijuana.

Dabbing Is a Form of Vaporization

The key to understanding dabbing is to realize it’s just a contemporary form of “hot knife” vaporization– a stainless steel (or ceramic or quartz) surface is heated directly and that surface is used to vaporize hash oil below the ~450°F required for actual combustion (remember THC vaporizes around 300°F)– flame is never applied directly to the hash oil. As a result, the vapor contains mostly water and cannabinoids rather than the mix of tar and potentially dangerous aromatic hydrocarbons contained within smoke.

It’s been well established: vaporizing is much healthier than actual smoking. Of course, certain dabbing rigs can present different safety challenges… propane and butane torches require compressed gas which always requires proper storage and safety to avoid explosion. E-nails can also be hazardous if left on and forgotten and knocked over– though they require about as much precaution as a waffle iron.

The Quality of Your Concentrate Is Important

Now that we’ve established that vaporization is less harmful than combustion, its important to consider what exactly you’re vaporizing. Under ideal conditions, your concentrate will be butane-extracted and the solvent purged below the 3ppm taste threshold (though CO2 and pressure-extracted concentrates offer similarly healthy but less potent alternatives). Butane is relatively non-toxic and is often used as a preservative in the food industry. Under such circumstances, concentrates are composed mainly of plant resin and offer the purest form of cannabinoids available on the market. Very high quality concentrates are also able to capture volatile terpenes stored within the cannabis plant which provide “entourage medicinal effects” and contribute to a concentrate’s flavor.

Of course, dabbing poorly-made concentrate can be just as detrimental to your health as smoking. Amateurs chemists like professional janitor Rick Simpson have become famous for perpetuating “light naptha-based” concentrates, solvents which are not available commercially without severe adulteration of highly toxic chemicals. These solvents are absolutely not safe for use with any product intended for human consumption and concentrates made this way present a serious threat to both the health of patients and the legitimacy of marijuana as medicine.

Negative Health Effects from THC?

Despite the greatly elevated levels of THC in concentrates, there has still yet to be a single case of marijuana overdose in the history of time (and believe me, some folks are out there trying). Still, there are certain hazards to consider with such elevated concentrations of THC. Such high levels of THC can quickly lead to increased tolerance, dependence, and more pronounced withdrawal effects upon cessation of marijuana. Some people can also be overwhelmed by the strength of a dab, causing a marijuana-induced panic attack.

While there appears to be no significant long-term effects from smoking marijuana or its concentrates, more research is needed to fully understand the long-term physical and mental impacts it has on human beings. Until the federal government is willing to clear the way for researchers to do what they do best, we may never have a clear understanding of how marijuana affects our health in the long-run. Still, it would appear that dabbing presents no significant health risks and may provide a healthier alternative to traditional combustion of marijuana.

As states being to legislate their own rules regarding marijuana, we’ll likely see this topic appear more and more– hopefully that will drive the government to reconsider its position so a serious long-term study can be performed.

How To Use A Nectar Collector In 7 Simple Steps + Bonus Review

NECTAR-COLLECTORNectar collectors for the most part, have only been around for the past year or so, but are starting to gain popularity as more and more  people discover this new dynamic method of vaporizing dabs. This new style of dabbing, takes user experience to the next level, by offering a unique vertical vaporizing process that allows  you to gauge your dab intake perfectly every time, without having to worry about excess concentrates being wasted during your hits.

Most nectar collectors on the market today are relatively expensive, ranging in price from $100, of upwards to $1,000, depending on what brand name you buy and which dab accessories come with them. If you’re lucky, you might come across a low priced, yet highly effective nectar collector from an online wholesale smoke shop, but for the most part, they tend to be on the costly side.

nectar collector kit

At first glance, the nectar collector looks like a probing device from an alien spaceship. The glass body is shaped like a syringe and usually features an embedded percolator, that can be used as a filtration device when water is applied. Accompanying the base are a glass mouthpiece that slides into the top, and a nectar collector titanium tip, that is used unconventionally, as a dab nail. Some nectar collector kits also come equipped with a wax dish, such as this one, that is used as a launch pad, for inserting the titanium tip into finely extracted medical concentrates upon inhalation. The more high end nectar collectors typically come with a rotating metal pivoting stand, that assists in the vertical vaporizing process, once inserted into dabs.

How to Use A Nectar Collector In 7 Simple Steps

             

Step 1: Add Water to the Base

Tip #1: Fill the base slowly with water, making sure that it filled about halfway, allowing for the best percolation.

Tip #2: Make sure that the glass mouthpiece and titanium tip are removed before filling with water so that water won’t get trapped in the tip.

pour water nectar collector

Step 2: Check Water Level

Tip: Make sure water level is a little less than half-way full to allow for optimal percolation.

nectar collector water level

 Step 3: Add Glass Mouthpiece to Base

Tip: A small amount of joint wax can be applied to the base in order to prevent the mouthpiece from sliding in place during use.

nectar collector mouth piece

Step 4: Add Nectar Collector Titanium Tip to Base

Tip: Joint wax can be applied as a faint adhesive to the inside of the tip after being heated with a torch, to keep it in place during use.

nectar collector tip

 Assembled Nectar Collector

nectar collector assembled

(Ready for take-off)*

Step 5: Heat Titanium Tip Gently With Butane Torch Until It Has A Light Red Glow

Tip #1: Be careful not to overheat the tip as excessive heating can cause cracking.

Tip #2: Hold the nectar collector horizontally while heating to avoid leaks.nectar collector titanium

(Don’t Be A Dumbass and Burn Yourself or Your Friends!)

Step 6: Inhale While Tip Is Heated, and Submerge Tip in Dabs

heated tip

 (The kit that we purchased came with a glass wax dish)

Tip: The nectar collector titanium tip allows you to use just the amount of dabs needed for your hit, so don’t waste your supply!

Step 7: Don’t Forget to Exhale!

exhale nectar collector

6″ Mini Nectar Collector 10mm Review

Besides the titanium tip and glass mouthpiece, this nectar collector kit features a wax dish for storing dabs in between hits.The nectar collector itself, is 6 inches in length and has a 10mm sized titanium nail. The design is sleek and clean in appearance, and is made with durable borosilicate glass, which is known for it’s high resistance to extreme heat. The only downside to using this piece is the fact that it doesn’t come with a rotating metal swivel stand, as some of the more high end nectar collectors have, but that aside, this piece does it all. While using this device we experienced no issues during the assembly process and the hits were very clean and filtered thanks to the mini percolator. We filled the water too high the first time, but it was an easy fix. All in all, this nectar collector gets the job done at a fraction of the price that you’d normally pay for your average nectar collector, and it makes for an ideal buy, especially if you’re into dabbing or simply want a cheap alternative to your every day dab rig.

The nectar collector featured in this review: http://www.marijuanapackaging.com/6-nectar-collector-10mm.html

Your First Dab Rig: What You Should Know Before You Buy

your first dab rigSo you’ve taken a few dabs and decided you want a setup of your own– welcome to the wonderful world of dabbing! Just as concentrates have evolved over the last few years, so too have the pieces with which to enjoy them and the sheer number of options available can be intimidating if you’ve never owned a rig before. In this article, we’ll explain the basic mechanics behind dabbing and arm you with all the knowledge you need to enjoy picking a dab rig that will serve you well for years to come. Let’s get started!

The Basicsdomeless-titanium-nail-oil-rigjpg

Your standard dab rig these days will consist of three parts: a glass piece, a heating element (called a nail), and a torch lighter with which to heat your nail. When done properly, dabbing is more akin to vaping than smoking because very little of your concentrate actually combusts. As a result, many of the characteristics that make a piece good for smoking make it a poor choice for dabbing. As opposed to cooling smoke, cooling vapor causes it to condense back into liquid form which leaves you with an abundance of “reclaim oil” along the sides of your piece– while still potent to a significant degree, reclaim is unpleasant to dab and many people dispose of it. To avoid this, the ideal rig is small and has minimal diffusion to allow most of the vapor to enter your lungs.

Bonus: small simple dab rigs also tend to be cheaper… economic and efficient. But before you go choosing your piece, you need to think about the most important part of your rig– the heating element aka the nail.

The Nail

At the heart of your dab rig is the nail; it sits on your piece and after heating it with your torch, it heats your concentrate above the point of vaporization. Depending on your preferences, you have four choices of material: quartz (fused silica), glass (borosilicate), ceramic, and titanium. While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence floating around the internet, the science behind these materials is well understood. The truth is, your choice of material will have minimal, if any, effect on flavor. Rather, the material will affect how hot your nail gets and how long it stays hot.

As a chemist and experienced glass-blower, it’s hard for me to recommend a glass (borosilicate) nail since it doesn’t retain heat well and is guaranteed to break at some point– sometimes by shooting a hot chunk directly in your direction. The coefficient of thermal expansion on ceramic nails also means they too will break eventually, though they’re more likely to do so in a less dramatic fashion. The leaves two real options: quartz and titanium.

Titanium vs. Quartz

quartz and titanium nailYou can’t go wrong with either and it all comes down to preference. When picking your first rig, I recommend getting a Ti nail because they’re impossible to break and they stay hot for longer. The problem with Ti nails is that they can be overheated to the point that they start to burn some of your concentrate. Even when this does happen, the combustion is still minimal compared to smoking but this is why its a good idea to pick a rig with just a little water diffusion. Some people have suggested that you can overheat your nail to the point of generating toxic levels of Titanium oxide but rest assured– the nail would need to be a white hot 2,100°F… 500 degrees above the point at which your borosilicate glass piece will begin to melt into a flaming pool on your coffee table– don’t worry about it.

While it’s nearly impossible to overheat a quartz nail, they do cool down quickly which can lead to taking cool hits where you essentially melt the concentrate without vaporizing much of it. It’s as frustrating and disappointing a way to waste your expensive concentrate and as a result, I tend to recommend sticking to a Ti nail until you’ve become more comfortable with setting up and operating your rig.

Dome vs. Domeless

It might seem counterintuitive but I recommend you get a domed Ti nail for your first dab rig. The Ti nail gets up to around 800°F and when you’re really, really stoned, it’s nice to have something protecting your hand (or other things) from accidentally touching your hot nail. Domed nails are also smaller which allow for less heating time.

Torch

You’re going to need torch to heat your nail and that torch should use no fuel other than butane. Propane gets too hot too fast and is just generally a bad thing to keep around the house. You can go to home depot and grab something in the pluming section but I recommend getting a smaller torch with a more manageable flame so you don’t end up heating up the glass on your piece too… which leads to another good point: choose a piece that gives you room to heat your nail (you want the nail to extend out an inch or two). If you find yourself too intimidated by the torch, you’re not out of options! You might consider getting a pen vape or an e-nail.

To Each Her Own

While I recommend a small water pipe with a domed Ti nail as the ideal first dab rig, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and by all means if you enjoyed your experience using a different rig, you should do what makes you happy! There’s no wrong answer when it comes to what you like.

How Legalizing Cannabis Extractions Will Decrease BHO Explosions

house-explosion

The production of marijuana-derived products, like marijuana wax and hash oil, are a common cause of lab explosions throughout the country. The risk of an explosion rises when a laboratory uses any kind of alcohol solvent. But it also rises when the people working in the laboratory are untrained.

Cannabis extractions will always be popular, as they continue to prove beneficial to frequent users with high tolerance and those with serious medical problems. Marijuana wax and hash oil can be used in a variety of ways, and this versatility increases the demand. But because marijuana is illegal in most states, many who produce it are amateurs and are not properly trained .

shatter-final

As with anything illegal, the production of cannabis extractions does not follow a set of guidelines to ensure its workers and the community stay safe. Laboratories for marijuana wax and hash oil products lack proper ventilation, fire-suppression systems and controlled environments. Most workers in the industry are unable to rent safe facilities, resulting in the inclination to produce cannabis extractions in their own home.

Because there are no regulations for making marijuana wax, hash oil and other cannabis extractions, people continue to make the products in residential areas. This results in deadly explosions that could have been avoided had cannabis production been legalized and regulated.

If marijuana use and production were legal throughout the country, with it would come rules regarding how the laboratories are run. Workers would be skilled and trained in safety measures. Business owners could rent out proper laboratories. Businesses selling cannabis extractions would offer it for less than the black market, so people would not be inclined to start a laboratory in their homes.bho-explosion

The production and consumption of cannabis extractions will not cease in this country. If anything, the demand for it will grow over time. When marijuana is legalized, workers in the industry will be skilled professionals working in regulated laboratories, and BHO explosions will be few and far between.

Essential Dab Tools

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dabbing-tools

What’s the Difference Between Male and Female Water Pipes?

male vs female concentrate pipes

There can be a lot of confusion in today’s dabbing world, especially when it comes to concentrate/water pipes in their relation to nail size. One of the main problems that we see from amateur dab heads in the industry is the ability to discern between a male or a female water pipe/concentrate pipe. As a general rule of thumb, most water pipes/bongs are going to be female in nature meaning, a device, usually a downstem or bowl,  goes inside the pipe, where as with a concentrate pipe, which is usually male in nature, bowls and downstems can be probed with the pipe. (similar to male/female genitalia) *wink wink*

Here are examples for a better understanding of what the difference between a male and female pipe typically is.

Female Water Pipe (Straight Percolator Beaker Water Pipe) 

In the following diagram displaying the Straight Percolator Beaker Water Pipe, the downstem is inserted within the female part, and then the bowl is inserted into the downstem. Pipes of this nature are best used with cannabis flowers or buds.

waterpipe_2

Male Concentrate Pipe (10 Inch Single Dome Stemless Honeycomb 14mm)

In the following diagram displaying the 10 Inch Single Dome Stemless Honeycomb 14mm concentrate pipe the glass nail is placed within the male part and then the bowl is placed over the inserted glass nail inside the male part. Pipes of this nature are best used with dabs or medicated concentrates.

concentrate_pipe

 

Vape Pen Review: Smooth 2 Loaded Vaporizer Gold (Wax & Oil Pen)

vape pen

Now that you’ve been well versed as to how vaporizer pens work and operate, we wanted to review one of the best, and shockingly, most cost effective marijuana concentrate or dab vaporizers on the market to date.  The Smooth 2 Loaded Vaporizer Gold (Wax and Oil Pen), sounds like tongue twister when you first say it out loud, but once you use it, you realize it’s one of the better vape pens for wax, oil, dabs, etc., that’s out there currently.

Smooth 2 Loaded Vaporizer Gold (Wax & Oil Pen) setup

When you buy this pen you get one 650mah Battery, one 2 loAded Atomizer, one packing tool (dabber), one wireless USB charger, and one user manual

What Makes This Vaporizer Stand Out?

One thing that I find disconcerting from some vaporizers on the market today is the fact that they take FOREVER to use. Some require you to hold a button for five minutes, wait half an hour for the damn thing to load, or read a set of instructions that when you’re done reading, will have you thinking…..”WTF did I just read? I wanted to vape, not join N.A.S.A.” The great thing about this pen is that there is none of that.  A matter of fact, the pen comes with barely any instructions at all and you kind of have to be in “the know” as to how the heating element works, because in the end, it’s the speed of the heating element that makes this pen stand out from the pack.

The Heating Element

heating element

If you’re like me, you like your vape pens to be quick and stealthy, especially when your blazing your dabs on the go. Unlike other concentrate vaporizers that can sometimes take minutes to heat up, this one heats up your dabs in less than a few seconds. All it takes is a double click from the vape pen’s button and you’re ready to inhale.

How to Use the Smooth 2 Loaded Vaporizer Gold (Wax & Oil Pen)

  • Make sure pen is fully charged before using (the pen comes with a USB charger that you can plug into a laptop or PC)usb charger
  • Once you know the pen is fully charged by the green light indicator, you can screw the titanium GR2 coil on top of the base which had previously been charging.titanium GR2 coil
  • When the titanium GR2 coil is screwed on top of the base, you can add your dabs, but not too much as to over-fill or block                                      the flow of air to the mouthpiece.

dab

  • After your dabs have been placed on top of the coil, you can seal the deal by screwing the 2 loaded atomizer on top and then placing the glass mouthpiece over it l like so. vape pen
  • Now, simply double click the button on the device while inhaling and enjoy your dabs!

All and all, this is great pen at a surprisingly great price, but since it’s our first review we’ll give it a 9/10 instead of the 10/10 since we’ll be reviewing some more products for dabs.

Dabs 101: What is a Dab?

dabs

For those of us who have been stuck under a rock for the past couple of years, are  novices in the evolving marijuana industry, or like me, have been misled by the conflicting information on the internet concerning dabs, this read is for you.

What Is A Dab?

A dab is a small amount of a concentrated cannabis extract derived from marijuana. This concentrate extract is most commonly made from boiling fairly large amounts of cannabis, often with a solvent, to enhance the extraction process, and then using a “vacuum” or similar device for refinement. ….sounds pretty easy right? WRONG. More and more cases of dabbing experiments gone wrong are coming to the surface, so we don’t want to sound like your mom, but use and make dabs with caution or risk exploding consequences. (as shown below)

bho-explosions

Dabs can go by many different names, such as BHO, eerl, shatter, wax, earwax, honeycomb, crumble, green,  honey oil, butane honey oil, and the list goes on.  A lot of confusion about cannabis extracts stems from the lack of unchanging terminology in the cannabis community, in large part due to the many methods of making dabs and their varying consistencies. For instance, ‘BHO’ as it’s commonly referred to, is a type of concentrate made using butane as the primary solvent. While a number of variables can determine the final consistency of BHO (mostly temperature and solvent used), people use different names such as, ‘Butane Honey Oil’ (shown below), when referring to each consistency and style.

bho-oil

                 ‘Shatter’ (shown below) , refers to the glass-like consistency that often breaks or “shatters” when handled.shatter-final

BHO Wax, Earwax, or even “Errl” in some circles is probably the most common type of dab found at most  medical dispensaries. (shown below)

Dabs

 

“Honeycomb Wax” or just “Honeycomb” gets the name from it’s close semblance to “Honeycomb”. (shown below)

honeycomb-wax

“Green” is a type of dab that is usually dark green and gooey in consistency. This is the style most common in ‘ home-made “dabs” unless you have access to a vacuum or other device for advance extraction and refinement. (shown below)

bho-green (1)

Warning: Marijuana concentrate making is best left to the experts, but if it must be done, it should always be done outside or in a lab setting with a specialized ventilation system to ensure proper air flow. Because of the flammable nature of butane gas, even static electricity should be avoided when making BHO (watch out for your cellphones). *These are only a few of the current “dabs” that you’ll find on the market today so if you have dabs of your own, feel free to leave us a comment so that we can be informed!