Dabbing is an excellent way of consuming cannabis. It has gone from an outlying technology only used by the most devoted stoners to one of the fastest growing weed imbibing methods out there. The invention of the electric dab rig and E Nail changed everything. Time for a bit of history.
Heating something up and sticking hash or extract on it to make it smoke is probably as old as smoking weed, which is at least 3000 years old, so there is nothing new there. It was the invention of the blowtorch that made dabbing a viable technology. Take a nail, heat it in the flame of the blowtorch, apply the dab and bubble the smoke through some water. An instant hit with great flavor and thick smoke.
The trouble with using a crème brûlée torch when you are stoned is obvious: it is very easy to set yourself and anyone else around you on fire. The first hit is usually OK, but by the time you want to use the device a third time, your motor functions are a little impaired. Plenty of dedicated marijuana users have hurt themselves this way, which is why it remained on the fringes of pot culture for a long time.
Then comes the E Nail, or electric dab rig. An E Nail heats up the nail using precisely controlled electricity, not stoner-controlled flame. The safety implications are clear. Combined with vastly improved battery life and safer electronics, the E Nail has become a viable technology for mainstream weed smoking.
More than Just a Novelty
The control given by an E Nail makes it the perfect form of medicinal cannabis use. With a crème brûlée torch, generally, the user got hot, or hotter. It was challenging to get consistent temperatures or the precision needed for the right mix of cannabinoids in medical treatment. Now you can plug in your E nail, set the desired temperature, crack out the dab and get going.
The quality of the smoke from a dab rig is amazingly good. Bongs do not come anywhere near regarding smoothness, thickness or taste. Vaping is the method du jour for new and health conscious cannabis users, but for those who love smoking cannabis, nothing is as good as a dab rig. If you have not tried one, you are in for a treat. Now they do not carry the risk of an incendiary death; they are the kind of tech you can have at home and rely on for consistently excellent results. No tobacco, no plastics, no weirdness, just pure oil or wax and heat.
High, High Heat
With a vaporizer, the highest temperatures they reach are about 260°C, with a dab rig, it can be as hot as 1000°C. These incredible temperatures result in instant vaporization and a unique hit. To get the right taste mix and flavor for you, you need to experiment a bit. The build, insert type and temperature all affect the taste and density of the smoke, but generally, a lower temperature of around 350°C is delicious and flavorsome, a higher temperature of 380°C or thereabouts is about the limit of what most people like. Many people use their E Nails poorly, waiting for it to glow red before using it. If titanium or ceramic is glowing red, it is about 580°C and way too hot for nice smoke. It will get you high, but it won’t be as pleasant as a cooler one. So, let it cool for a few seconds before having a blast, you will taste the difference.
What to Use on an Electric Dab Rig or E Nail
Dry herbs will not work on an E Nail; you need to use oils, waxes or concentrates. This includes shatter and dab, whatever you want if it will vaporize. A little goes a long way: the nail is extremely hot and instantly evaporates nearly every part of the extract, meaning you get a very high yield of cannabinoids per gram of your cannabis. This is one of the most efficient ways to imbibe your favorite herb, so if you are into cost-efficiency, one of these will probably save you money over the years as they can get you quite ridiculously stoned on what looks like tiny dab.
Types of E Nails
From a large desktop based E Nail to a smaller, portable dab rig, the choices are myriad and beautiful. There has never been a better time to enjoy the effects of cannabis, and the E Nail is one reason why. At least a dozen companies offer high-quality dab rigs right off the shelf, and if you are feeling adventurous, you can make one for yourself.
A portable dab rig is not as discreet as a pocket vaporizer, but they are undoubtedly transportable. The glassware and electric dab nail sticking out of the body make them quite a unique looking device, so it is impossible to take a hit in a public place without drawing attention to yourself. That is OK where weed is legal, but not OK where it is prohibited. Battery powered devices should give you about 30 minutes of power for a couple of hours charging, minimum. They heat up quickly, usually in a minute or less, and once you have the hang of it, are very easy to use. Most portable E Nail kit will give at least a few pre-set temperatures; the best ones will provide you with a degree by degree control. Usually, to be found for less than $200, a portable E Nail is a worthy investment.
Desktop E nail Dab machines are very advanced these days. They offer the best smoke in the world with massive precision and strong build characteristics literally. On the best ones, you put your dab onto the mini nail, and the machine does the rest. Turn it on and blaze away after waiting for the 90 seconds or less heat up time. With digital screens to give precise temperature gages and status, they make dabbing easy and enjoyable. An excellent dab rig can set you back anything up to $800.
There are three main types of insert (the nail), titanium, ceramic and quartz. Each will give a high temperature and a very high-quality smoke, but it comes down to individual preference in the end; they are the same in function. Ceramics take longer to heat up and titanium is the fastest, that is about the only difference.
A cover for the nail is useful for lower temperature burns, and it helps capture the vapor that might otherwise be lost.
Cleaning a dab rig is comfortable. For the nail, turn it on high and wipe down with a heatproof cloth. For the rest of the rig, isopropyl alcohol never fails (careful, it’s flammable). If you don’t have it, try hot water and washing up liquid.