Something changed around 2010. Something called “concentrates” started growing in popularity out west, like the wild manifest destiny of smokers everywhere. But you probably know all about that. Hell, you were probably there. The capital I smoking Industry has, if anything, fostered a much more open and diverse community than it was originally known for. And with this shift towards a wider and more normalized demographic, the values and passions of those in the community have really had the opportunity to crack open. Dab rigs, a more specialized kind of water pipe, started popping up around local headshops everywhere.
Concentrates are generally known for being stronger than flowers. A small dab can get you as much potency as a bowl or two of flower. But concentrates also have the benefits of smoother and more powerful flavors. Since smoking with concentrates uses vaporization rather than combustion, the materials inhaled will need less agents to cool and smooth the smoke and more agents to further pronounce the natural flavors.
Flavor has become an especially important topic with the discussion of terpenes. Terpenes are organic compounds found in all essential oils. It’s what separates your rosewood oils from your citrus oils. Terpenes affect how you consume your concentrate right down to the neurotransmitter level, which means more than just taste — it’s how you enjoy and experience your concentrate too! With the advent of oil diffusers and other forms of aromapathy, the terpenes in concentrates for smoking has become all the more relevant. Between homeopathic medicine and foodie culture, there’s no better time to be experimenting with oils and waxes.
If you truly are a “concentrate connoisseur” (or would like to become one), the first thing you’ll need is a proper rig to match your ferocious hunger (right?). Most concentrate users prefer smaller rigs, since the less water you use, the less your vapors will be filtered, which means stronger natural flavors from your waxes and oils. Often, less conventional body designs like mini beakers and nano rigs are some of the favorites among concentrate regulars.
Other unique body designs have also been created as a way to optimize flavors. One popular design is the fab egg, designed to resemble the Faberge Eggs created as Easter gifts for the Russian Czars of the late 19th century. The fab egg water pipe uses holes in the body and main chamber to bounce water and vapor against the glass walls of the piece, which boosts the terpenes and accentuates the natural flavors. One of the most popular fab egg dab rigs is the “Othership,” a classic design then perfected with a propellor perc in Sesh Supply’s incredible “Circe.”
Three of the most popular designers for concentrate rigs include High Tech Glassworks, Liquid Sci Glass, and JM Flow Sci Glass. High Tech is especially known for their unique rigs inspired by pop-culture, such as their Nuka-Cola Bottle Rigs and Trap Tubes. Liquid Sci Glass, on the other hand, popularized the eponymous Liquid Sci Cereal Box Rigs, a clever joke based around the interesting and sometimes surprising ways concentrates are flavored. JM Flow is mainly known for their impressive recyclers. Recyclers are oil rigs designed for concentrate that features an extra recycling function for your water, which helps to keep your rig pure and clean, making your natural flavors all the more prominent. Recyclers are one of the newest and most luxurious ways to consume concentrates.
Another fun new way to use concentrates is with what is called a Nectar Collector. Nectar Collectors can be hard to learn how to use, but the concept behind them is wonderfully simple. A heated tip can be simply dragged across concentrates on a heat proof surface and then inhaled as if through a straw. Nectar Collectors were designed to make sharing concentrates easier and more intuitive. Nectar Collectors can come as dry tasters similar to a hand pipe, or with a water chamber, which is almost definitely the way to go if you are looking for the most satisfying flavors.
Many concentrate experts have also crafted unique ways to improve the flavors they get out of their rig. Processes such as seasoning the nail and allowing it to cool to a lower temperature help you get the most out of your concentrates while avoiding the burnt and sometimes butane-y taste an improper setup can get you. To keep temperatures even and low, many concentrate users will invest in an e-nail so that they don’t have to keep reheating their nail to find just the right temperature.
There are lots of ways to smoke concentrates, and Smoke Cartel is always stocked and ready to help you get the most out of your dab rig setup. With a whole world of terpenes and strains for you to choose from, high-quality (and affordable!) rigs are an absolute must to make sure that you’re not missing out on any of the wonderful natural flavors that oils and waxes have to offer. These flavors will allow you to experience your concentrates in a variety of new ways, so take a moment to set your flower aside and really appreciate the rejuvenating qualities of a premium dab. And keep checking by Smoke Cartel, the headshop for humans, for all of your glass needs.