The Dabbing Intimidation Factor
Seeing someone pull out a dab rig for the first time can be pretty intimidating for someone unfamiliar to the process. Dab rigs are pretty similar to any kind of water pipe, but they have some kind of heated element like a titanium or quartz nail that has to be heated to around 300 to 400 degrees before the concentrate is applied to it, more often than not with a hand-held torch. So when your friend busts out a bright blue propane torch when all you wanted to do was smoke a little there is definitely understandable doubt. Mostly I was just reminded immediately of hot knifing, which again did not garner any confidence in me. There are also straws, essentially a straight glass or glass and metal pipe, which also require their tips to be superheated, some with water chambers for some filtration but some literally just being thick glass tubes. But luckily with the constant expansion of the marijuana industry there have been a number of great improvements to this process that can make regular concentrate use a much less hassling process.
One of the more important ones that I unfortunately do not see people using as often is enails. Enails attach to the heating element of a rig and run electrical current into it to heat it up, and can do so at specific temperatures, which they can then maintain fairly constantly so you don’t have to go through the process of relighting your propane torch every time you want to dab, which as a regular user can be several times in a row. There are a wide variety of enails, many with digital readouts to dial in exact temperatures, which can be nice for those familiar enough to do specific temperatures for different kinds of concentrates to make sure they are getting the most out of them.
I have also used a few devices that are essentially an enail built into a full rig, though really just classifying as box vaporizers with some new level of portability, for instance the VapeXhale which heats your concentrate in it’s own proprietary setup with glass attachments for actual inhale. These can give especially clean hits, and are a little more stable than trying make sure all your enail cables and rig are constantly safe, especially if you use them often. I would personally go this route, as ultimately ditching the torch fuel cost overtime would be worth it for me. These setups have also gotten considerably cheaper now that there are more companies producing them, some of them incredibly easy to use as well.
Vape pens are another growing market now that their demand has risen, similar to the previous vaporizers but almost always pocket sized. These of course don’t have quite the power or stability but they can still be a good option if you’re someone who’s out and about, and there are a huge number of options for them, from disposables to crazy high end, though some can only do specific concentrate types with specific attachments, and I definitely recommend finding one with a double coil over anything else, as vape pens can run into some issues as far as making sure to vaporize all of the concentrate loaded in them, less at a time is definitely better. There are also the preloaded disposable cartridges that can fit many e-cigarette batteries, which can be incredibly portable but may offer less as far as range of strains.So why do it any other way? One of the important element of marijuana usage has always been the process. Some people enjoy getting their nails heated perfectly by themselves, some people still only smoke blunts or joints just because that’s what they’ve always done, some people only break up weed with their hands. But as concentrates continue to grow as an industry it’s nice to know there are people still making innovation in the accessories sector. I recommend trying new gear when you can, you never know what apparatus will hit you the hardest and new things come out all the time