The equipment necessary to dab at lower temps is just as readily available as handheld torches. Considering e-rigs don’t require infinite butane refills and separate digital temperature readers, it may be surprisingly easy to justify the upfront price.
Try having some in-depth chats with your budtender about the optimal temperature for each strain of concentrate. The fingerprint of your chosen strain will inform where inside of that 380 – 420 degree range the cannabinoids will activate and the terpenes will bloom rather than burn off entirely.
A basic e-nail can be purchased for around $100 and consists of a car-stereo-sized controller box and a coil that delivers heat directly to the oil rig’s nail. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
OK, so how do you do a low-temp dab?
If you’re looking to experience terpenes and cannabinoids at their purest, concentrates are arguably the best way to consume cannabis. But for those still navigating the world of dabs, the whole process can come off as overly complicated and alarmingly flammable.
Bottom line: Ditching the torch to dab at a low temp will not only preserve your concentrates, but it will also drastically improve the comfort, cleanliness, and psychotropic experience of your dab without sacrificing an intense high.
Electronic nails, or e-nails, are the most common non-torch heating tool for dedicated glass rig dabbers. A basic e-nail can be purchased for around $100 and consists of a car-stereo-sized controller box and a coil that delivers heat directly to the oil rig’s nail. It works usually by fitting around an existing nail or by dropping directly into the rig’s female joint with its own nail. Since e-nails feature an exposed and heated metal coil, dabbing with them requires the wherewithal to turn the control box off before taking that dab and launching into oblivion.
Most e-rigs have pre-calibrated settings for low, medium, and high-temp dabs. With these devices, you can further explore the nuanced differences between a white-hot and low-temp hit. Aside from disparities in comfort, distinct effects can be associated with each temperature range.
Clean your nail. To prevent residue from possibly changing the flavor of your weed, always keep your nail clean. Allow the nail to cool down a bit and then swipe the inside of the warm nail with a cotton swab. For a deeper clean, dip a cotton swab in isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and rub it along the interior of your warm nail.
Yes, dab rigs are legal. There is nothing criminal about owning the equipment in and of itself. However, the dabs themselves may or may not be legal depending on where you live. If you live in a weed-legal place where cannabis concentrates are allowed, then it’s fine to possess dabs. But if you live in a place where marijuana is not legal, or where cannabis concentrates are not allowed, then it is illegal to own dabs. With all that said, there is always the chance that a dab rig with residue in it could be considered illegal drug paraphernalia. Your best bet is to check the specifics of your local laws.
The foundation of any dab rig is a glass water pipe. Both dab rigs and bongs are considered rigs. In addition to containing a water chamber, a rig must also connect to a nail or bowl.
A newer addition to the basic banger or nail, quartz inserts add additional surface area inside your nail or banger, essentially increasing your ability to get the most out of low-temperature dabs. When inserted into a hot nail, quartz inserts act as internal carb caps.
The foundation of any dab rig is a glass water pipe that also connects to a nail or bowl. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Heat the nail with the torch. If it is your first time and you are using a quartz nail or banger, heat it up until it is glowing red. This will ensure that any small particles are burned off and you are starting with the hottest possible surface.
If available, place a carb cap on the nail or banger to better vaporize the dab while inhaling. The carb cap will act as an oven and trap all of the heat in the nail to ensure you get the most out of your experience. When you’re ready to clear all the vapor out of the rig, lift the carb cap.
The Elite Mini is an advanced desktop e-nail by Pulsar. It comes with everything you need to start dabbing (glass sold separately). The kit includes a carb cap, a 20 mm heating coil, a temperature control box with digital display, and a universal-fitting titanium nail. It’s the best desktop rig you can get for under $200.
E-nail rigs, also called e-rigs, are quickly becoming the preferred daily driver for dabbing within the THC and CBD concentrate community. Until their arrival in the market, typical dab rigs required a torch to heat up the nail before it makes contact with the concentrates. Aside from obvious safety concerns, using a traditional dab rig required a certain level of expertise in order to achieve the perfect dab.
Most desktop e-rigs boxes come with an LED screen that will display your temperature in real-time. These boxes typically run on A/C power and plug into your wall, unlike the portable devices. They are not ideal for travel, but a great option for at-home use.
An e-nail is an electronic concentrate vaporizer. Similar to a traditional dab rig, e-nails either attach to a regular waterpipe or vape mod, whereas some are standalone units. Much like dry herb vapes, e-nails can be broken down into desktop and portable models.
Many e-nail users prefer using a carb cap to cover the nail while taking a hit, because it increases both the overall flavor and vapor production. Most carb caps come attached to a dab tool, so there’s one less piece to worry about. Previously, “domed nails” were popular for this reason, but are becoming phased out by the popularity of carb caps.