How To Effectively Clean Your Dab Rig

HowToCleanDabRigs

It’s inevitable– dab rigs get gunked up after sufficient use and at some point down the road, every glass-owner needs to learn how to effectively clean their setup. A dirty piece not only looks and smells bad, it affects flavor and can potentially reduce the amount of vapor actually inhaled. Though there are several products marketed specifically for cleaning pipes, the best method is to use a safe, inexpensive polar organic solvent.

Cleaning The Nail

cleaning nailThe nail is the easiest part of the rig to clean but can be difficult to remove as the glass from your rig may have expanded into the nail creating a tight seal. Just lightly heat the nail at the base and gripping from the top using tongs (or better, forceps if you can find them) gently twist the nail loose.

Glass and ceramic nails need only be lightly heated (enough to liquify any offending resin) and wiped with a cotton swab. Titanium nails can be placed on a heat resistant surface (like stone or tile) and heated until glowing red which will carbonize any residue (like a cast iron skillet) and cause excess to flake away upon cooling (you might observe an attractive blue tint to the excess carbon).

Once your nail is hot, be sure to carefully use a cotton swab to clean the underside where the nail makes contact with your rig. Do not use your bare hands to hold the nail at point during the process… trust me, it’s hot (personal experience).

Cleaning The Rig

Regardless of how complicated your rig is, the two best solvents for cleaning glass are Acetone and Isopropyl Alcohol. Acetone can be purchased at the drugstore as clear “nail polish remover” and works almost instantaneously (it’s what chemists use to clean their glassware in the lab) but it smells and shouldn’t be dumped down the drain. Additionally, most nail polish contains “denatonium benzoate” which leaves a residue and is unpleasantly bitter when present even in a few ppm (parts per million) so additional washing with soap and water may be required.

Isopropyl alcohol, while not as vigorous a cleaner as acetone, can also be found at the drugstore as pure as 91% and makes for a great solvent which is very rarely tainted with bitterants like denatonium benzoate (though drinking isopropyl will definitely make you feel terrible). Simply pour it in your rig, shake and wait. A soaked cotton swab can be used for trouble areas. If your rig has particularly bad build up in a hard-to-reach spot, a little salt can be used as an agitator in addition to alcohol but in those situations it’s almost always more effective to resort to acetone (with a thorough wash afterwards).

Basically, isopropyl is for regular grime, acetone is for when you’ve been particularly neglectful. To finish up, let the solvent evaporate and then do a final rinse with water. If you rinse with water before all the acetone/isopropyl has evaporated, you may end up with while scaling on the sides from precipitate in the water. To remedy, just rinse with solvent and let it dry completely before rinsing with water again.

Keep It Clean

Once you’re taking a dab from your freshly cleaned piece, you’ll probably want life to be that way all the time (this is understandable). Though it may take a little training, its important to remember that regular maintenance goes a long way towards keeping your rig clean. Change the water every time you sesh and try not to let your rig develop a solid layer of slime in between cleanings. Remember, dabbing isn’t like smoking– all that resin inside your rig is decarboxylated, re-condensed hash oil that didn’t make it into your lungs. A clean rig develops less build-up!

If you are ready to upgrade your rig, or would like to add another dab rig to your collection, take a look at these dab rigs for cheap.

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.

4 Vaporizer Pens for Oil and Wax: Best Buys

vape pens wax oilIn this day and age everything is becoming smaller and more convenient with the help of technology and hash smoking is no different! The “Wax Vape Pen” has come a long way since the introduction of the G Pen and with a seemingly endless number of options available to the consumer today, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the possibilities while trying to avoid cheap, poorly made pens that can be hazardous to your health.

That being said, many of the pens operate in a very similar fashion (passing a charge through a metal coil to create a heating element) so as long as you’re using a trusted supplier, the best pen for you will depend on your level of experience and your vaping preferences.

Stay Lit Vaporizer Kit

stay lit

If you’re just starting down the path of getting extremely relaxed on the go, the Stay Lit Vaporizer kit is an inexpensive but still high quality way to find yourself and figure out your vaporizing habits. It comes with 4 different attachments (including one for dry herb though it doesn’t work so great) so you can hit any consistency of full-melting concentrate from the most liquid oil to the must crumbly wax. Like most pens, it has a simple on-off push button operation and a locking mode so the battery doesn’t bleed off in your pocket.

Buttonless Vaporizer Pen

If you prefer to vape liquid oil or one of the many glycerinbuttonless vaporizer pen-suspended concentrates, buttonless vapes are the way to go. All you do is load on your pre-filled cartridge and puff away like a cigarette, it automatically turns on and starts vaporizing. It’s an elegant and discreet way to to get medicated.

Micro G Pen Vaporizer

micro g vaporizerIf you tend to stick to waxes and budders, the Micro G Pen offers one of the most reliable names in wax vape pens combines with the ultimate portability. The Micro G is roughly half the length of most other vape pens and though it has a shorter battery life, it has a healthy sized bowl and is even more discreet and convenient than the classic G pen. When stealth is your number 1 priority, this is what you’re looking for.

710 Vaporizer Pen ARK Kit

If the wax vape pen is your vaporization method of choice, then you’re going to want something a little more rugged and fine-tuned to suit your heavier use. The 710 Vaporizer Pen ARK kit contains both the original 710 Mini Battery and the 710 Nano Battery (one for home, one on the go) as well as liquid cartridges and glass domes for each. The large, metal bowls are of the highest quality and make hitting wax or shatter simple without having to worry about a wick. The glass dome ensures you won’t get that nasty “plastic” taste and makes it easy to see how cooked your bowl is (or if you’re spilling). 710-vaporizer-pen-ark-kitMost impressive though, is the heat up time. For so many metal components, these pens manage to heat up in a matter of seconds and the battery can easily last an entire day+ at a time with regular use (better than your smartphone!).

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking to upgrade your current setup, there’s bound to be a pen out there for you! Always remember to use a reliable source when purchasing a vaporizer!

How to Make Solventless Wax: Dry Ice Extraction Method

solventless waxWhen most people think of hash these days, the first thing that comes to mind is the BHO shatter and wax that has become so popular within the last few years. The development of closed-loop extraction systems and vacuum ovens built specifically for concentrates have caused many high-end producers to shift away from traditional hash-making methods in favor of more modern, solvent-based techniques. Recently, however, a few concentrate artists have shared some extraordinary “solvent-less waxes” rivaling the flavor and potency of many solvent-extracted waxes and the technique to making this hash is both simple and incredibly safe—no explosive or potentially toxic chemicals required.

Solvent-less concentrate is made by collecting stalked trichomes from raw plant material. These trichomes are dense with THC and other psychoactive compounds, some of which may not be present in BHO due to their varying structures and solubility properties. While there are several specific methods, trichomes are most easily Trichomes-are-milky-white-collected by sifting—passing the plant matter through a series of screens that separate particles by size. As the heads of the trichomes fall through the smallest screen, they are collected to form the finest grade of “blonde hash” (because the milky heads of the trichomes typically produce an off-white color) or what we’re calling “solvent-less hash” now.

In order to optimize this process, the Pollinator Company in the Netherlands developed the Iceolator Bags (later spun off in the states as Bubble Bags) which allow for an efficient ice-water separation to be carried out. The bags each contain various-sized mesh-screen bottoms (ranging from 200µ to 25µ) which are then stacked within one another so ice, water and plant material can be added and mixed. The ice water helps lower the temperature of the plant material making the trichomes brittle and more readily separated from the plant (and thus, collected).

Unfortunately, the addition of water also requires about 48 hours of drying time and can potentially pick up some unwanted, water-soluble compounds during the separation. That’s why I’ve become very interested in dry-ice extraction. Instead of using water and ice, solid CO2 aka dry ice is used to cool down the plant matter for sifting. Dry ice is both cheap and much colder than regular ice and the way in which it sublimates (goes from solid to gas) rapidly cools down more of the area around it which eliminates the need to use water or some other insulator (water would freeze in contact with dry ice!). The dry ice also serves as an agitator so all you have to do is shake the sifting container/ bag, no need to sit there stirring. Dispensaries seem to carry product listed as “Solvent-less wax” from no larger a screen than 70µ but you will undoubtedly obtain better product (albeit smaller yields) from an even finer screen size.

So the next time you’re thinking about blasting that extra bag of trim/bud you have lying around, consider busting out the bubble bags instead of the butane and turkey baster— your lungs and neighbors will thank you!

For a complete selection of concentrate pipes meant for dabbing be sure to checkout: http://www.marijuanapackaging.com/smoke-shop-supply/glass-and-metal-pipes/concentrate-pipes.html

Essential Dab Tools

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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.

How to Do a Dab in 4 Easy Steps

How to Do a Dab in Easy Steps

Chances are you’ve heard of dabbing, and are reading this because you want to give dabbing a try. If you have no idea what a dab is and want to know more, please check out our last post, Dabs 101. Ok, So let’s get right to it.  There are several ways to ‘do a dab’, but I’ll walk you through the most typical dabbing method.

What You’ll Needoil rig, torch, wand, nail

  • Marijuana concentrate or extract (i.e., shatter, butane hash oil, wax)
  • An ‘oil rig’ or percolator
  • A nail (glass or titanium)
  • A dabber or wand
  • A Handheld Torch

Season the Nail

If you are using a titanium nail, you’ll first need to season the nail by torching it until it is heat the nailred hot and then dunk it in cold water. Use tongs to dunk the nail and repeat the process 5 or 6 times. Now place the nail on the stem of your rig.

Heat the Nail

Heat the nail with a torch until it starts to glow. It is best to wait about twenty seconds for the nail to cool before you begin dabbing. This should give you enough time to prepare your dab.

Prepare your Dabdabbing

Scrape or scoop up a single dose of concentrate with your wand.

Take a Hit!

Slowly inhale the vapor from the mouthpiece of your pipe as you gently touch or ‘dab’ the concentrate to the top of your nail.

Cannabis concentrates are potent, and can be up to 90% THC. So, keep in mind a little goes a long way.