As cannabis becomes legal in more areas of the United States, more and more people are exploring ways to consume the popular leaf. In this piece, we’ll go into detail about the most commonly used dabbing supplies and smoking accessories for marijuana lovers.
Why Do We Love Weed?
People consume marijuana for multiple reasons: recreation, health benefits (including anxiety and pain relief), inspiration, increased energy, and better focus.
Recreationally we enjoy the high they get from the THC in the cannabis buds. It’s considered relaxing and an opportunity to let go of the daily stresses and worries of daily life. Because cannabis uses our already existing endocannabinoid system in the body, it’s a substance that our bodies can naturally absorb and use.
Thanks to our endocannabinoid system (ECS), people who suffer from ailments such as chronic pain, anxiety, sleep disorders, or undergo chemotherapy can greatly reduce their physical, emotional, and mental stress by smoking (or vaping) cannabis. The cannabinoids in the plant connect with the ECS to lower inflammation, reduce pain, increase appetite, and reduce anxiety. Cannabis has been used to treat these conditions for hundreds of years around the world.
The “head high” one experiences can also a great source of artistic inspiration. With the worries and stresses of daily life pushed to the side, many painters, musicians, writers, and other artists can free up their creativity and focus more on what it is they want to express through their work. Many famous artists have openly discussed their uses of not only cannabis but other mind-altering drugs to create famous works of art.
Regular users of cannabis also find that the drug gives them increased levels of energy. There are various strains of the plant that don’t create the foggy, dazed high associated with THC. If you’re looking to boost your energy levels, do some research into the various strains of cannabis and which ones would best suit your needs.
Finally, if you’re working hard on a project but keep zoning out, some strains of cannabis can help you sharpen your focus and give you the motivation to keep moving forward. Again, do your research to find the right fit.
What other things do you need to know if you plan to become a cannabis enthusiast?
Joints, Blunts, and Spliffs-What’s the Difference?
Are joints, blunts, and spliffs the same thing? Believe it or not, they’re all very different.
- A joint contains ground weed and is rolled in thin, translucent paper. They also often come with paper filters (aka a “crutch”).
- A blunt also contains ground weed but is rolled in tobacco paper, which is thicker.
- A spliff contains both weed and tobacco and is rolled in the finer, thinner paper similar to a joint.
What’s interesting is that each of these papers creates a different experience. The papers can have specific flavors, or they can interact with specific strains of cannabis to create unique flavors and experiences. And while most joint rolling papers are traditionally white, there are whole new lines out there of psychedelic prints and patterns on rolling papers. The thickness of the paper also determines how long the smoke will last. Thicker papers offer a slower burn than the thinner joint papers.
The flavor of joints primarily comes from the strain of the plant used. Many enthusiasts will cross-breed different strains of cannabis to not only come up with unique flavors but also to create strains with higher THC levels. But flavor can also come from the rolling papers used (as mentioned above). With blunts, the thicker tobacco paper does carry a bit of tobacco flavor with it. If you are using cigar wraps, those will also add a distinctive tobacco flavor to your smoke.
Spliffs will always taste and smell more like commercial cigarettes because of the tobacco mixed in with the weed. Spliffs and blunts also tend to have the same type of taste and smell as spliffs include tobacco and blunts are rolled in tobacco paper.
The benefits of each type vary, but joints, blunts, and spliffs all have their good and bad characteristics.
Joints are the most common method of smoking cannabis – and they have been for hundreds of years. Because they contain only cannabis and the rolling papers do not add much (other than flavor), the euphoria from the THC is higher. Joints are easy to store, easy to transport, easy to roll, and easy to smoke.
Blunts primarily create a longer burn – which means, a longer, sustained high. Blunts are also thicker because they contain far more ground cannabis than joints. They’re better for use in groups because they last much longer than joints, and the tobacco flavor adds to the unique flavor of the blunt.
Spliffs are usually rolled in the same papers as a joint, but because they’re part tobacco, part cannabis, they tend to burn more slowly. The nicotine in the tobacco also gives you more energy (nicotine engages your adrenal glands to release adrenaline). And for those who don’t want others to know about the cannabis, the tobacco scent hides the smell of the weed.
No matter which method you choose, always roll your joints, blunts, and spliffs tight – but not too tight. Remember that you’ll need to allow for air to pass through the weed. And always use a weed grinder to prepare your weed for rolling.
Weed grinders are used to turn your buds and flowers into smokable weed. The weed grinder has a compartment for your buds, a bottom chamber to catch kief, and the grinding tool itself. You simply load the compartment with your dried cannabis buds, attach the grinder, and turn it about ten times to grind the weed.
Remove the grinder, and the compartment should be filled with freshly ground weed for your rolling, bowl smoking, dabbing, or vaping pleasure. The leftover kief can be scraped from the bottom chamber and added to the top of your weed to increase your high or used to add some kick to your edibles!
Why not cut up my weed? Why not grind it by hand? Both of these are bad choices. Why? Because these methods can lead to unevenly sized nuggets or “nugs”, which can contribute to an uneven burn. Also, without a grinder, there is no way to collect the kief, which is an essential ingredient for some cannabis enthusiasts.
Grinders also save you money. By using a grinder, you’re using the most effective method of preparing your weed for use. Other methods lead to substantial waste and doesn’t getting high cost enough? Grinding by hand can also contaminate the weed because the natural oils in your fingers will be transmitted to the weed.
There are other benefits to using a grinder. For instance, you will get an improved vaping or smoking experience from evenly ground grains of dry buds. These pieces are better for vaping and pipe smoking. Ground weed makes for a firmer pack, better airflow, and cleaner heat distribution. This will give the user a better experience during the draw.
Grinders also boost the aroma and taste of the strains you smoke. The grinder separates the weed into little pieces so that more flavors and smells are freed. For most smokers, the smell and the taste are two things about weed that bring such great enjoyment.
Grinders also bring about better consistency. Cutting and hand grinding will never give you the consistency you can with a grinder. Consistency gives you an equal extraction of the compounds in the weed. This will improve flavor, taste, and enhance the THC euphoria.
There are three main types of grinders: two-chamber, four-chamber, and electric. The two-chamber grinder is exactly what it sounds like. A chamber for you to place the bud in and grind it, and a chamber to catch the kief. The four-chamber grinder has the grinder chamber, a particle catcher, a pollen screen, and a kief catcher. Electric grinders aren’t as popular as they’re more powerful and tend to turn weed into dust instead of the desired packing material. But hey, we suggest trying one out and see how it works for you.
There’s also one other option called a grinder card. It looks like a mini cheese grater and allows you to grind the buds using a scraping motion. While this is an ultra-cheap method, there is a higher risk for contamination from your skin oils and you could cut yourself, further contaminating your weed with your blood.
If you don’t think that consuming cannabis via joints, blunts, or spliffs is your thing you can learn how to make dabs instead.
Making Your Own Dabs
Dabs are incredibly potent ways to experience cannabis. The process takes the bud of the plant and uses heat and pressure to extract the oils and rosin from the plant bud. These substances can then be applied in a dab rig for smoking.
To make your own dabs, you will need a flat iron hair straightener, parchment paper, and cutting tools. Heat the straightener to between 230-300 degrees. Fold the parchment paper around the bud (you can also grind the buds and press the grinds). Apply pressure for about 4 seconds, until you see a sticky substance leak from the bud. This is the rosin that contains concentrated THC.
The plant bud can be pressed again, but the amount of rosin you yield will decrease with each press. Once the rosin cools, you can use dabbing tools or a razor blade to remove it and prepare it for the dab rig. After removing the rosin from the parchment paper, store it in a jar or dab container. The great thing is that the plant tissue that remains after the press can still be smoked in a pipe or bong.
While there are other methods for making dabs (chemically removing the dab using alcohol or other chemical isolates), the heat and pressure method is the easiest and least expensive way to get high-quality dabs for your use.
So, let’s focus now on the tools and accessories you need to think about investing in if you plan to become a regular user of cannabis.
Dab Rigs and Portable E-nail Dab Kits
A dab rig is a glass device that gives the smoker more of the herb and fewer of the by-products that are produced when the cannabis is smoked. The water vapor based system gives you a cleaner dose of the plant when inhaling.
Dab rigs have several components: the nail, the vapor slide, a 90-degree joint, the recycler, and the mouthpiece. To use the rig, you heat the nail with a butane torch. Then you “dab” your concentrated weed or oil onto the nail. The smoke is then filtered through the vapor slide and joint, mixed with water in the recycler and inhaled through the mouthpiece.
There is a word of caution needed with dab rigs: using a torch to heat the nail can be a fire hazard and a safety hazard. Open flames can get up to 2600 degrees Fahrenheit and you can easily burn yourself or create an unsafe environment-so be safe. There’s also the possibility that you will flash fry your herbs or oils…which is no fun.
These hazards have led to the creation of E-nail dab kits. The nails are heated electronically, and the user has complete control over the temperature of the nail. They are similarly designed but the temperature control feature has many users switching to the E-nail dab kit. E-nails can also be purchased as mini-rigs, far more portable and easier to use than a full, glass dab rig. E-nails come in titanium, quartz, or ceramic versions, each one affecting the taste of the weed. You may have to do some experimenting to find out which variety of e-nail produces the flavor you enjoy.
When you invest in dab rigs, there are accessories and tools you will also need to invest in to keep your equipment clean and functional. To start, if you’re using a regular dab rig, you will need a butane torch to heat the nail. If you’re using an e-nail, you need to have a supply of batteries handy (lithium-ion are the most common).
Pre-filled dab pen cartridges are available for dabbing but are more often used for vaping. You can also fill your own dab pen cartridges if you mix your own strains of cannabis. Atomizer coils (used with wax dabs or oil concentrates) need to be replaced periodically to ensure you get the best experience.
It is also wise to invest in cleaning equipment which includes:
- Sanitizing wipes
- Bristle pipe cleaners
- Vape scrapers
- Smoke soap
- Glob Mops cotton swabs
- Steel wool cleaning swabs
- A ceramic sponge
Glass Smoking Bowls aka “Smoke Pipes”
Smoking bowls are the part of the smoking device that holds the weed. The bowl is attached to a pipe, and you pack the weed in the bowl. Once the bowl is packed, you light the weed and inhale through the pipe. Glass pipes use a small amount of water to filter out carcinogens and residue before you inhale the smoke. This allows for a more full-flavored experience for the user.
The water also acts as a coolant for the smoke to reduce burns, and glass pipes produce smaller amounts of smoke. When compared to other types of pipes (ceramic, silicon, wood, etc.), glass pipes do not get hot as quickly and cool down faster, which makes them a safer option. And because they’re designed as a single piece of shaped glass, they’re far more durable and less prone to breaking.
If you plan to be a connoisseur of glass bowls or pipes, there are some essential cleaning supplies you will need. When used regularly, pipes will collect residue such as tar, resin, and accumulated debris from the smoking process. If you don’t clean your pipes, they will become quite dirty which will affect the quality of your smoke session.
How To Clean Glass Weed Smoking Pipes
There are two ways to clean glass pipes: boiling and using alcohol.
Boiling for glass pipes is safe and easy to do. Start by making sure the pipe is completely filled and covered with room temperature water. Then, heat the water slowly, making sure no air is trapped inside the pipe. Once the water reaches a boil, let it roll until the pipe appears clean (no resin stains). Remove the pot/pan from the heat and allow it to cool for 15 minutes; then, shake the pipe back and forth to remove any additional resin. Use warm soap and water to complete the clean and then air dry your pipe.
To clean them using alcohol, create a solution of isopropyl alcohol and salt with a 2:1 ratio. Put the solution in a container large enough to completely cover and fill the pipe. Seal the cover and then shake the pipe for 2 to 3 minutes. After this, rinse the pipe with just alcohol and clean excess residue with a q-tip. Rinse with warm water and air dry.
Be cautious when using a glass smoke pipe, especially those with water filtration. If you inhale too hard, you run the risk of inhaling the dirty water. If you cough into the pipe, it could crack or break. While glass bowls/pipes give you a cleaner, healthier smoke, they’re actually delicate and require a lot of care.
If you aren’t that much of an enthusiast and consider yourself more of a social smoker, you might want to consider smoking pens.
Types of Cannabis Smoking Pens
Weed smoking pens are a variety of vaporizing pens or vapes. They’re made up of two things: a battery and a heating element. The heating element brings the weed to the smoking stage and you inhale through the vape. This method does not filter out many of the additional cannabinoids found in weed (like CBD), so you get not only the euphoria of THC, but the health benefits of the other cannabinoids in the leaf.
The main difference with a pen is that the weed is only heated to a state of vaporization, rather than combustion that creates smoke. If you prefer to smoke with pens, there are three different kinds: dab (wax), dry herb, and vape oil.
Dab pens work much like vape pens but use very thin dabs. The dabs must be thin to avoid combusting. Dab pens are for users who either prefer to buy dabs or create their own at home.
Dry herb pens allow the user to place a small amount of grind in the chamber. This is very popular for those users who’ve grown their own cannabis strains. Fill the chamber loosely to allow for proper airflow, allow the herb pen to heat (about 10 seconds), and then inhale the vapor.
Vape oil pens are similar to the other pens, except the user fills the chamber with an oil or other weed distillate. The oil is heated and then the vapor is inhaled.
So whichever method you decide to go with, be ready to purchase some dabbing supplies, such as extra batteries, dab (or wax) pen cartridges, replacement coils, and all the necessary cleaning equipment. Most smoking pens take lithium-ion batteries, so you may want to have one or two on hand if you’re a regular smoker.
The dab pen cartridges for the chambers must be replaced regularly to avoid contaminants. Replacement coils are for the heating element of the pen. The elements eventually wear out and require regular replacing.
Lastly, always have on hand a bottle of 91% isopropyl alcohol and a supply of q-tips!