Today we are going to talk about two types of cannabis consumption. These are the vaporizer and the dabber. These two devices each have a different function since they allow the consumption of distinct finished products. Although with the first it is possible to vaporize extractions, the flowers are generally used more there. As for the dabber, it will only be able to heat the extractions, mainly rosin. We are going to describe these two modes of consumption to you with different purposes but offering the healthiest methods to use cannabis in all its forms.
List of article content
- Origins and functions of Vaporization vs. Dabbing
- The vaporizer
- El dabber
- Using devices to vaporize
- Using a vaporizer
- Using a dabber
- Effects from vaping and dabbing
- Advantages and disadvantages of using a vaporizer / dabber
- Cleaning vaporizers and dabbers
- Conclusion on vaporization vs. dabbing
Origins and functions of the vaporizer and the dabber
You've probably heard of the Vaporizer volcano, the famous desktop vaporizer that has dominated the market since its release some 20 years ago. The latter, although it was not the first electronic device to allow vaporization, popularized the consumption of cannabis since it offered a healthier mode. Herbal vaporizing is much older than this device and dates back to hookas, or shishas, using charcoal over 15 centuries ago. It was in Amsterdam that Bill "Eagle" Amato was one of the first to take up the principle by creating a vaporizer using a heating element and glass tubes arranged on a large barrel. He later made this means of consumption more accessible by creating the "Shake and Vape", of the size of a pipe and requiring a lighter. The BC vaporizer then took up the principle of filling a glass balloon with vapor but this time using electricity and thus becoming the first electronic vaporizer. A metal plate will heat the plant material in direct contact, which is called conduction. Then comes the unbeatable Volcano, followed by a multitude of vaporizers, especially portable ones which provide even more flexibility since they are in pocket version.
Vaporizing avoids the combustion of cannabis which deteriorates certain active ingredients and terpenes and generates substances harmful to our health. Where a joint will provide around 10-20% of its active ingredients, vaping will take advantage of 80-95% of the cannabinoids present in your flower. Power and efficiency are increased tenfold.
With the arrival in force of cannabis extractions, making it possible to keep only the resin contained in the trichomes where all the cannabinoids are found, it was also necessary to find a means of consumption as healthy as a vaporizer. Some allow it, by using another type of heating hearth to place a form of product other than flowers. But the purists have created a mini bong perfectly adapted to extractions of all kinds to sublimate these products and consume them in the best possible way. This creates an explosion of terpenes, provided you know how to tame the animal!
The origin of dab stems from hashish, which has been produced for thousands of years in different parts of the world. This became popular in Europe in the 18th century, followed by cannabis tinctures and then BHO (extraction using butane gas) in the 1970s. But this technique, in addition to creating a product that is not completely clean, is risky, and many labs have literally blown up! Other solvents make it easier to extract the resin from the flowers, but lately taste and safety have taken precedence. Today's hash makers lean more towards ice-o-lator or rosin. The first will use ice water to detach the trichomes from the plant material and then pass it through various special filters before drying the material. The second is obtained by pressing freshly cut flowers, dried flowers or even the ice-o-lator at a determined temperature, depending on the desired result. It is the most refined product coming from cannabis. Also the most expensive…
How to use the vaporizer or dabber?
The principle is simple, we place a small amount of crumbled dry flowers in a hearth which will heat the plant material until it creates vapor. The molecules contained in the plant begin to evaporate from 157°C and up to 220°C. In principle, all the devices intended for this function make it possible to regulate the temperature, this one will make evaporate certain molecules according to its degree. The consumer can therefore choose according to his needs the different effects that each molecule provides. We will see this in more detail below. This is a great first approach to get a taste of the true taste of your flower, we who are so used to joints/tobacco in Europe!
The dabber, or dab rig, is a glass object that might look like a small bong. It is filled with a small amount of water and will equip different parts. The cannabis concentrate will be placed in a small receptacle called a "banger" or "nail" after it has been heated with a torch (there are also electronic dabbers that do not require a flame, like the famous Puffco).
In order to ensure the correct temperature, the most equipped will place a thermometer below which will measure with a laser. Previously a small quantity, between 0.1 and 0.3 in general, is taken with a "tool" having the appearance of a metal stylus and which will deposit the substance in the heated receptacle. By coming into contact with the hot glass, the cannabinoids will evaporate, the user will be able to suck this vapor through the spout of the device. A dome can be used to avoid the risk of burning on contact with the nail.
What are the effects of consuming through these devices?
You should know that from the moment the material begins to burn, many cannabinoids will be destroyed, on average only about 20% remains compared to 80% when vaporizing. This method of consumption also creates toxic products, including carbon monoxide. This is what vaporization will prevent. Consequently, all the molecules being preserved, the effect when consumed will be more pronounced and active more quickly than for the same quantity that would be smoked. This is especially true when it comes to extractions where the THC level is higher than whole flowers.
As we explained, certain molecules are released at a variable temperature. Each active ingredient will have a particular function at the medicinal level and this will contribute to the general effect on the consumer. In the table attached to the article, find at what temperature the main cannabinoids evaporate and their function.
Be careful though, if your cannabis tolerance is low, prefer the "low temp" method (or low temperature) using a dabber. Using only cannabis concentrates, this mode of consumption exacerbates the effects, including unwanted effects such as paranoia, anxiety or even nausea.
Advantages and disadvantages of using a vaporizer/dabber
Vaping, whether through a dabber or a vaporizer, offers many benefits and they are mainly going to be on the health level. Indeed, by vaporizing you do not absorb toxic elements and adjusting the temperature allows you to control the desired effect. In addition, the true taste of the plant is preserved to the maximum and sometimes even exacerbated if it is rosin vaporized at perfect temperature. A treat for those for whom tasting the terpenes of our favorite plant is essential. Finally, these modes of consumption allow more discretion, especially in terms of the smell which is very volatile and does not become embedded in the fabrics. No smoke or ash that brings dust indoors, this is not negligible.
The disadvantages of this method may seem trivial but it is still worth talking about. First of all, cleaning these devices can seem tedious for some. There is also some prep time which can be longer or shorter, but not much more than when rolling a joint! Portable vaporizers need to be charged regularly, but once you get used to it, it's no more complicated than charging your cell phone. Finally, vaporizing has a cost. On average, quality vaporizers range from a few hundred euros up to 400€. As for dab rigs and all their accessories, they can reach astronomical sums if we take into account that some hand-blown pieces are unique and highly rated, they can even increase in value over time. All these elements are also very fragile and often have to be transported in suitable "boxes" which take up a lot of space. So forget discretion in this case.
Overall the benefits of vaping outweigh the minor annoyances considering it's your health that's at stake!
How do I maintain a vaporizer and dabber?
After a number of uses, vaporizers and dabbers tend to clog up and leave an unpleasant taste. They must be cleaned on average at least once a week for vaporizers, portable or not, and preferably after each use for dabbers, knowing that in general it is enough to simply scour the nail.
To maintain and extend the life of your devices, you will mainly need to bring alcohol at 90°. This is indeed the best way to dissolve the remains of plants or resin stuck to the walls. Each element that will participate directly in the vaporization of the material is removable and can be manipulated or even immersed in alcohol. Cotton swabs soaked in alcohol allow you to rub the nooks and crannies. For portable vaporizers, a soft fiber rod can clean the vent.
Conclusion on vaping cannabis
We can not advise you which of the two to use, the best is to be able to test the vaporizer as well as the dabber, then it will be your personal tastes (and a little your budget) which will decide. In any case, vaping in general is the best method of consuming cannabis in our opinion. The substances are tastier, healthier and there is less wastage of the active ingredients and therefore a slightly lower quantity used, which implies a certain saving in the long term.
Thank you for reading this small overview, you will find a wide selection of vaporizers on our website and the following articles on our blog might also be of interest to you: