One of the reasons that there has been such an explosion of activity in the cannabis community is the many different ways that people are now able to consume the substance. Before you just had dry herbs, but now you have shatter, wax, oil, hi rosin, distillate, and more. Below we explain what are domeless nails and why are dab rigs used with them.
Portable vaporizers have introduced a whole new level of discretion and convenience into the lives of people using dry herbs, wax and oil. Another area that has changed the way people are consuming cannabis is through dabbing wax. The practice -- which has only taken root as an alternative dry herb consumption method in the past several years -- has attracted a loyal following of consumers who swear by its convenience and low-tech execution.
A principal part of the dabbing experience is the use of domeless nails. These small tools are one of the pillars that makes the entire dabbing exercise possible. Understanding the way domeless nails work will enhance the consumer’s understanding of this valuable and burgeoning wax consumption practice -- and may even result in a few conversions on the part of some dabbing holdouts.
Dabbing occurs when a domeless dab nail is heated red-hot with a blowtorch and then while using a dab tool, you touch a small bit of wax or shatter to the top of the nail. This has the effect of producing pure vapor, which is then inhaled by the consumer with a minimal amount of hassle or technological involvement.
The most common way of dabbing is through the use of a dab rig. These apparatuses often have the appearance of a small bong: They are often made of glass; have a mouthpiece through which the consumer inhales the vapor; are filled to a certain point with water, and are available in various sizes.
There are a wealth of differences between bongs and dab rigs, however. For starters, bongs are often massive in size. This is somewhat because of the difference between smoke and vapor -- smoke’s power does not dissipate if it has to travel a longer distance -- and the fact that a huge bong is often displayed as a novelty item.
Dab rigs, on the other hand, are most often small in size. This is because vapor tends to be at its most powerful and most pure when it has a short distance to travel between its origin and the lungs of the consumer. The greater distance the vapor is forced to travel, the less likely it will yield the desired effect in the consumer.
The second major difference between bongs and dab rigs is the way in which the consumer produces smoke or vapor. Bongs are affixed with a bowl into which dry herbs are placed. These are then lit with a lighter or match, creating smoke that the user then inhales through the bong.
Dab rigs, on the other hand, work differently. Dab rigs deal exclusively with wax and shatter, which is vaporized and inhaled through the rig by the consumer. However, it is the way in which they are heated -- through the use of a blowtorch and a domeless nail -- that makes for one of the key difference between dab rigs and bongs.
The simplest explanation for domeless dab nails is, where bongs have their bowls, dab rigs have their nails.
Being the more dominant design (versus nails with domes), domeless nails, aka simply dab nails, act as the heating elements for the wax or shatter that is vaporized. The process works when the nails are heated with a blowtorch to red-hot levels; the wax or shatter is then touched to the scorching domeless nail, which produces vapor that is then inhaled through the dab rig by the user.
Domeless nails are available in a number of different shapes and styles. The first variable to bear in mind is the “gender” of each nail. This distinction is made between nails that are affixed around the glass joint -- the piece that acts as the hinge between the dab rig and the domeless nail -- while other dab nails are affixed into the glass joint. These are respectively known as female and male domeless nails.
An example of a female domeless nail is the 19mm Female Quartz Nail, which is most often compatible with glass dab rigs that feature a male glass joint. A male domeless nail such as the 14mm Male Birdhouse Quartz Nail, however, is best paired with a female glass joint.
Almost as important to a nail’s gender is the substance out of which it is made. A titanium domeless nail such as the Male Titanium Nail is often quicker to heat than other substances but is known affect the flavor of the shatter or wax.
Ceramics split the difference, with products like the Interchangeable Ceramic Nail providing a more flavorful vapor taste while taking a middling amount of time to heat.
The third option is a quartz dab nail. Glass-like options such as the 19mm Male Quartz Banger Nail often take the most time to heat with the blowtorch -- and often stay hot for the shortest period of time -- but are known to provide the best-flavored vapor.
There are a number of other dab-centric products along with dab nails that are important parts of the overall dab experience.
One such product is the carb cap. A great deal of vapor is often produced after touching the cannabis extract to the heated domeless nail; for the unprepared dabber, this can lead to a great deal of the vapor being wasted in between pulls from the dab rig by the consumer or consumers.
A carb cap is a simple tool that is placed over the domeless nail to stem the flow of vapor so that it may be saved for later use. They are also made of different materials -- with examples being the Universal Titanium Carb Cap and the Ceramic Carb Cap -- that correspond to the needs and preferences of consumers.
For consumers who wish to eschew the traditional nail-and-blowtorch dabbing route, there is also a battery-powered domeless nail available. The Yocan Torch acts as a portable dab nail (aka Portable Enail) and heating chamber that allows the consumer to have a dab-like experience without the other accessories.
Dabbing shatter or wax is more of an activity you do at home because there are only two types of products you can use for dabbing: Dab Rigs and Nectar Collectors. These glass pieces are not easy to take around with you. On top of that, you need to have a blow torch with you to set up this activity. Lastly, when you dab shatter or wax, you are taking massive hits that give you more of a rush to the head and most people generally cough after they take a dab.
Vaping wax is an activity you can do outdoors with friends, whether you are outside a restaurant or at a party. The Saber Vape pen for wax bakes the wax at lower temperatures so that you can get a more optimal flavor. That's one of the key differences between using a vaporizer or vape pen. The hits you take are a lot lighter than using a dab rig or nectar collector.
There are portable vaporizers that are so powerful you feel like you're dabbing. The SteamCloud Box Mod Vape with a Yocan Cerum atomizer is as close as it gets to a portable dab pen. If you set the wattage at 20-25, you can take massive hits from it. Or should we say dabs? Buy one of those and find out.
To Sum Up: Domeless nails are an essential part of the dabbing process, which is only increasing in popularity as different methods of wax or shatter usage enter the mainstream. If you want to check out our domeless nails, visit our online shop or you can continue reading related articles in our Vaporizer Learning Center.
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