In a short period of time weed concentrates have taken on many different forms in part due to the recent cannabis regulations. Concentrates have a litany of advantages over traditional weed flower which is part of its massive increase in popularity.
The transition from smoking joints to taking dabs is not necessarily an easy one. There is more equipment needed including a blowtorch which can be off-putting to many people, creating a negative association with hard drugs.
However, doing concentrates is constantly evolving and easier-to-use devices are popping up on the marketplace making it more and more user-friendly. A relatively new device that has been circulating the cannabis scene is the vertical dabbing rig or dab straw.
This rig allows you to inhale the vapor up through a straw. The honey straw and nectar collector are the styles most commonly found although you can get the rig in a variety of brands and styles. This device is incredibly efficient, allowing you to get your full hit with no wasted material.
The advantages of using concentrates
Many old-school stoners are skeptical of the idea of concentrates. The vast amount of different concentrates and their peculiar terminology is legitimately intimidating. Different types of concentrate include:
There are also combinations of those such as sugar sauce or live rosin.
If flower or edibles can get you high then you may wonder why it is even worth trying concentrates. One of the major benefits of them is that you only need a fraction of the amount to get equal effects to what you would with flower or edibles.
Concentrates initially cost more money per gram than flower but because you need a lot less to gain the same effects, it turns out to be more cost-effective in the long run. It also minimizes the amount of carcinogenic smoke that goes into your lungs from incinerating flower. The onset of effects from concentrates is instant which can be of huge relief for medical patients.
Modern-day extraction technology has created concentrates that are representative of the entire plant’s benefits, flavors, and aromas in ways that other forms of cannabis cannot.
Concentrates are much less stinky upon combustion which means for a greater taste as well as discretion if you are consuming weed in public settings.
What is a dab straw?
Sometimes called a nectar collector or honey straw, a dab straw in its simplest form is a long tube-shaped silicone or borosilicate glass pipe. One tip is used for dabbing the concentrate, the other end is for inhaling.
Dab straws are available in a variety of materials and styles. The original straw being the cylinder silicone or glass. There are different materials that make up the tips as well, such as titanium, quartz, or borosilicate glass. The most long-lasting and durable is titanium, whereas quartz and glass provide the purest flavor of the concentrates.
A highly-regarded brand that makes a variety of silicone and glass dab straws is Pulsar. Other brands like Innovaptionz make dab straws that have built-in water chambers for even cooler and smoother hits.
How do you use a dab straw?
It is very easy to use a dab straw. The steps to using one include:
- Gather all of the materials needed. This includes your concentrate, dab straw, and torch. One benefit of dab straws is that you can leave your concentrate in its container.
- Fill the water chamber of your dab straw if it has one. To prevent thermal expansion, dry off all the pieces before attaching the tip. Make sure all parts are secure.
- In one hand, hold the dab straw with the tip pointing at an angle downwards. This is important if you are using a dab straw with a water chamber.
- Ignite your torch and aim the end of the flame directly onto the tip of the straw.
- Distribute the heat evenly by turning the dab straw. Torch the tip until it is beginning to glow. You can possibly overheat the concentrate if you torch the tip any further.
- Wait a moment for the tip to cool down. Dabbing at extremely high temperatures will destroy many of the terpenes and flavors so wait until the tip is no longer orange before dipping into your concentrate. If you torch the concentrate over 600 degrees Fahrenheit then you will burn the cannabinoids into harsh smoke rather than vapor, which is easier on the lungs.
- With your other hand, hold the concentrate container. Place the tip of the straw into the dish and inhale through the mouthpiece. Place the straw tip slowly on the edges of your concentrate, do not drag the tip over the entire concentrate dish.
Whether you are using a quartz dab straw or a glass dab straw, the technique is the same. A quartz dab straw can handle a higher temperature than borosilicate glass because the material is stronger and more durable.
If you are trying to dab budder, a straw that has a water chamber is better than the original long straw. Any unvaporized particles will get filtered out more efficiently in a water chamber straw. Concentrates that are less dense, like budder, can occasionally migrate towards the end of a piece which means you may accidentally inhale the budder instead of vapor.
Electric dab straw
One of the newest devices for dabbing is the electric dab straws. An example is the EVRI from Dip Devices. The entire process is simplified due to the elimination of the torch. It is probably the easiest dabbing technique currently available, all you have to do is push a button and point the straw tip into the concentrate container. The EVRI is also incredibly portable, it is small enough to fit in a pocket comfortably.
The versatility of the EVRI is intriguing. Two magnetic interchangeable attachments allow it to be used as a dab straw or vape/pod battery. That versatility will introduce concentrate users to different methods so that they can pick and choose their favorite.
An electric dab straw is safe and simple to use, with no setup at all. It eliminates the torch which is the main reason many people are too intimidated to use concentrates in the first place.