For thousands of years, various cultures have been making hashish by extracting the resin glands (trichomes) from cannabis and then compressing it into a solid form. Our ancestors then smoked the hash using everything from simple pipes to intricate hookahs.
The concept of heating cannabis and breathing in the vapor is far from a new idea. It is the dab extract itself that is the modern invention. Today, cannabis dabbing works in a very similar manner as hash smoking, except modern science has given us the ability to extract cannabis oil that is much, much more potent than hash.
What is a Dab Rig?
A dab rig is the most common type of oil rig, and while there is a huge variety of makes and models on the market, they all function similarly. Common components of a dab rig include:
- The nail: A pointed object or flat surface made of metal, glass or quartz, where the BHO concentrate is placed, and where the flame is applied.
- An assortment of bowls, domes, and chambers: Designed to keep the vapor concentrated and flowing in a loop.
- A mouthpiece: To inhale from.
Dabbing retailers offer a variety of different styles of dab rigs, including:
- Glass Dab Rigs: the traditional dab rig where nearly all beginner dabbers start their journey.
- Recycler Rigs: Similar to a glass rig, but contains extra tubes and chambers that allow the vapor to cycle multiple times before reaching the mouthpiece.
- Mini Rigs: Not surprising given the name, this is simply a traditional dab rig that has been shrunk
- Silicone Dab Rigs: Like a traditional dab rig but made of FDA-approved high-grade silicone. These are easy to disassemble, carry, and clean.
- E-Rigs (Electric Rigs): Rather than applying an open flame to the nail, these rigs are heated up through batteries or electrical outlets.
- E-Nails: The most recent innovation in dab rigs, uses batteries or outlets to heat, but these are shaped like a box and have analog or digital controls to set precise temperatures.
Dab rigs are often large with an intricate and complex design, but these are the workhorses of the dabbing industry, and get the job done nicely.
What is a Honey Straw?
A honey straw is another type of oil rig. It looks similar to a soldering gun or a large magic marker. Components of a honey straw include:
- The tip: The end of the nectar collector is heated up with a flame, and then inserted into a dab of BHO.
- The body chamber: The vapor rises through the device and is concentrated.
- The mouthpiece: The vapor gets inhaled.
The biggest advantage of a honey straw is that it is compact, handheld, and portable.
What is the Difference Between a Honey Straw and a Nectar Collector?
This is kind of a trick question because the answer is none — there is no difference between a honey straw and Nectar Collector. The “Nectar Collector” is simply the brand name given by the folks who pioneered this design. “Honey straw” is the generic name for any of these portable pen-like vertical devices. Think of this as a “Kleenex” versus “tissue” kind of discussion.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Dab Rig?
When discussing the pros and cons of different types of dab rigs, the debate usually boils down to three major factors:
- Temperature control: Dabbing oils is all about achieving a perfect, consistent temperature. If the temperature of the nail is too cold, the dab won’t vaporize. If the nail is too hot, the vapor will be scorched and the taste will be ruined.
- Portability: Can the rig be carried in a pocket? Can it be broken apart into smaller components that are easy to carry?
- Cleaning: The water used in an oil rig can become stagnant and filled with bacteria. The interior surface can build up “reclaim”, a waxy residue of un-vaporized oil which can clog components and ruin taste. Nails can suffer carbon and reclaim build-up, impacting temperature. To combat the above, dabbers must clean their equipment frequently.
What is Better: Dab Rig or Honey Straw?
Another trick question. Neither is better or worse, just different. A full-sized oil rig gives you the best temperature control and taste, but they are harder to transport and clean because of their more complex design.
A compact honey straw gives you portability and is easier to clean, but you lose a bit of temperature control and taste.
Most dabbers end up owning both a full-sized dab rig for home and a portable honey straw for outside of the home.
Want to Learn More?
WeedBonn is a leading provider of information related to the cannabis industry. Their site contains an abundant amount of news, guides, blogs, and reviews covering every facet of the cannabis world. If you have more questions on dabbing, do a quick search on the WeedBonn site and you are sure to find a plethora of information to answer your questions.