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How Dabbing Technology Continues to Advance and Evolve

Dabbing or consuming concentrates has evolved at an alarming rate in a short time. This article explores the evolution of dabbing technology - where we’ve been, where we are, and where we might go in the near future.

Jason SanderJason Sander · Mar. 30, 2021 · 4 min read
How Dabbing Technology Continues to Advance and Evolve

Consuming cannabis concentrates has come a long way, with notable advancements occurring with recent state policy forwarding legalization. Here, we give a brief history of the evolution of dabbing technology, and where it might go soon.

Aside from consuming infused products like infused beverages, taking dabs might be the most popular way of ingesting cannabis currently. Dabbing is now so mainstream that, 710 has now become an unofficial dabbing holiday - but we’ll let you decide whether that’s necessary.

Dabbing has evolved so much, that the first forms of concentrate consumption seem quite antiquated now - and in fact, are downright dangerous. Come along with HashDash as we explore the evolution of the wonderful world of dabbing.

Hot Knives - Primitive and Dangerous

Decades before the emergence of the elaborate and amazing dab rigs we have today, a common way consumers ingested concentrates (mostly hash) was known as doing ‘hot knives’. If you are old enough to remember this consumption method, you probably want to forget it. It’s a primitive way to ingest cannabis from a bygone era, but it’s important to remember - if only as a way to appreciate how far we’ve come, and the drastic evolution of dabbing.

The ‘hot knives’ method involved consumers heating a knife with hash on it - usually on the burner of a home stove. When the knives were hot enough, usually glowing red, consumers inhaled the subsequent smoke from the stove. This primitive method of concentrate consumption is as dangerous and wasteful as it sounds. Thankfully, we now have much better and safer ways to consume, rendering the ancient hot knives method relatively extinct.

Domeless Nails - Dabbing Levels Up

As dabbing evolved, the next step in its evolution was domeless nails. Consumers utilized a heating element made of metal and a glass dome. Although this method was simple, it was a significant upgrade over hot knives. After heating the metal, the glass dome was placed on top, then took a dab tool to the nail with their concentrates. After quartz bangers were invented, domeless nails became quaint and fairly obsolete as well.

Quartz Bangers: Rounding Out the Dabs We All Know and Love

The next step in the evolution of dabbing saw the widespread emergence of quartz bangers. Quartz bangers have a high heat tolerance as well as retention thanks to their silicon dioxide materials, providing a much safer and enjoyable concentrate experience. The risk of burning down your kitchen to take a hash dab also dissipated. Nowadays, dabbing usually involves a quartz banger and a carb cap. The carb cap acts as what old school consumers used to call a “shotgun”, which restricts and opens airflow to control the intensity of the inhale.

Borosilicate glass is the most common material used for dab rigs now, as this glass is one of the strongest and most resistant types of glass, necessary for the high temps needed for dabbing. Although quartz bangers made dabbing safer as they removed the need for hot knives, the danger was still involved due to the use of blowtorches. Using a blowtorch to heat up your concentrates is not only dangerous, it’s sketchy and off-putting to non-consumers. Fortunately, we saw the invention of eNails which replaced blowtorches. eNails utilize electric heating coils similar to that of a soldering iron, making blowtorches unnecessary today.

Dabbing To the Future

If dabbing is human evolution, portable dab rigs are Homo Erectus, the upright human, or the current stage of modern-day concentrate inhalation. At-home dab rigs are bulky, awkward, and heavy - not exactly portable. Portable dab rigs like the Puffco Peak don’t need an eNail, can be taken basically anywhere, and still offer a nice representation of the cannabinoid and terpene profile of your favorite cultivar.

The downside to portable dab rigs is that they’re pretty expensive. A quality portable rig will set you back at least $200, which isn’t exactly super welcoming for beginners. However, as the deeply entrenched layers of cannabis prohibition in the U.S. are peeled back, we will no doubt see more incredible technology emerge. We’re already seeing dabbing technology evolve beyond what many of us ever thought possible - our DabTabs article provides indisputable proof of this.

We’ve Come So Far

Looking back in the relatively distant past of cannabis concentrate consumption, it’s amazing how far we’ve come! It’s exciting to think about where we might go as more states and/ or the federal government legalizes the plant medicine. Anyone reading this who is old enough to remember hot knives undoubtedly couldn’t predict portable dab rigs back then. The future of cannabis is bright, and we’re here for it.

HashDash - Educating and Entertaining Tomorrow’s Cannabis Consumer

We hope you found value in our content about the evolution of dabbing. What’s your favorite way to consume concentrates? Did we miss an important step in the evolution of dabbing? Where do you think we’re headed when it comes to new dabbing technology?

We want to hear what you think! Sound off on our social media - @hashdash on all platforms, except Instagram, where we’re @hashdashdotcom. Be sure to check back to our blog often, because we post fresh content several times every week, with some interesting surprises coming this spring and summer!

Here at HashDash, we are compiling an entire information database that will continue to answer your questions regarding all things cannabis, as well as where to find the best dispensaries in your area. Be sure to sign up for HashDash if you haven’t already to discover your cannabis matches.

As always, please consume responsibly.

Jason Sander
Jason SanderJason is a versatile writer and marketer with over ten combined years of experience working with clients in various industries. He couples this expertise with six years of writing for the cannabis sector as well as a passion for the business side, and the science behind the plant medicine.
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