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Tuesday June 16, 2020

By Matthew Mongelia

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420 Culture

Cannabis concentrates have grown and evolved exponentially in a relatively short time thanks to legalized cannabis markets and modern techniques, and their popularity is higher than ever. For good reason, too: concentrates have a host of advantages over traditional cannabis consumption methods like dried flower.

However, stepping into the concentrate arena isn’t always an easy transition. The moment most people see a blowtorch involved in their cannabis consumption, they assume enjoying concentrates is dangerous and too complex. To some people, just the look and methodology of a dab rig conjures a negative association with hard drugs. So how does one get into concentrates without all the hassle? In our modern cannabis market, there are modern alternatives to traditional dabs.

Why Concentrates?

Many cannabis consumers are wary of even the concept of concentrates. If good ol’ flower or edibles get them where they want to be, why look elsewhere? What makes them so popular?

True to their name, concentrates require only a fraction of the amount of other traditional consumption methods for a person to feel effects.

Not only is this more cost-effective, it also reduces the amount of smoke and other undesirable elements going to our lungs (while we all enjoy a good joint, there’s no getting around the fact that inhaling combusted carbon is not ideal for health). Concentrates work instantly, and advancement in extraction technology has created concentrates that can capture the true-to-plant aromas and flavors of cannabis in ways that other forms can’t. Even when directly smoking a joint, some of the flavor is lost to combustion (and you have to wait and smoke a whole joint).

Concentrates are easier to transport and smell far less than burning flower, with no lingering scent. While a wave of new users have dipped their toes in the new concentrate scene with vaporizer carts, many are apprehensive to dive deeper due to the steep learning and equipment curve that using concentrates seems to require. 

Traditional Dabbing Can Be Complicated

The terminology and variety of concentrates alone can be daunting: rosin, resin, shatter, wax, snap, batter, budder, diamonds, sugar, sauce, live, distillate, then combinations of those terms, like live rosin or sugar sauce. How can someone even get started sifting through the options?

Well, they’ll need equipment, choosing between straws, e-nails, skillets, bangers, inserts, timers and every imaginable variety of rig. Got all that assembled? Time to figure out hot dabs, low temp, cold start… All of it is a far cry from simply rolling a jay and or lighting a pipe.

Torches and dab rigs can be intimidating to newcomers.

And as fun and useful as it can be, traditional dabbing can be dangerous. With open flame, and glass or metal heated to red-hot, there’s always going to be potential to burn something, even yourself. While using a glass or metal-tipped dab straw and a torch may be considered among the “easiest” intro to dabbing, we are yet to meet someone who has used either without at least one burn story.

The worry of burning something is especially poignant for extremely ill patients, or those with accessibility and fine-motor issues, for whom any form of traditional dabbing can be risky.

When using a torch, getting a good, proper, smooth dab usually also requires a timer to find the precise temperature range for optimal vaporization. Hovering over a heated bucket with a countdown to drop your dab at precisely the right moment is an involved task, no matter how you look at it. Also, again, it is particularly hard for those with different levels of accessibility.

Options for Easier and Safer Dabbing

Modern problems require modern solutions. For most people, the first venture into the world of concentrates comes in the form of vape cartridges, typically filled with distillate or CO2 oil. While a welcomed introduction, these presentations make up only a small part of the concentrate market.

One of the best options we’ve seen to traditional dabbing comes in the form of electric dab straws, such as the EVRI from Dip Devices. The elimination of a torch or dab nail removes the element of harm from the equation, and that alone is a reason to consider such an option. It is infinitely easier to use than other dabbing methods, the only requirements being to push a button and aim the end of the straw (dabbing directly into the concentrate). The EVRI is also small enough to fit in a pocket comfortably, making it incredibly portable.

Dip Devices EVRI
The Dip Devices EVRI is the ultimate dabbing product for beginners and on-the-go enthusiasts. photo credit

Specifically, Dip Devices’ EVRI is interesting for its versatility. Two magnetic interchangeable attachments allow it to be used as a dab straw or vape/pod battery, and they’re about to release a third attachment with a packable quartz crystal atomizer to make the EVRI even more versatile. That more or less covers the entire spectrum of available concentrates on the market (and the company has touted more adapter options on the way). Three adjustable heat settings and a powerful battery complete the package.

That versatility not only allows for a wide range of sampling, but it also can act as a bridge to the wider world of concentrates for new users. This allows you to try both without investing in a torch and rig, and the heat settings give consistency over a timer.

Electric Dab Straws for Every Type of Consumer

An electric dab straw solves almost every issue that might create a barrier to dabbing for newcomers. They are safe and easy to use, with no setup or waiting. No torch or potentially scalding surfaces makes it accessible to nearly everyone. The lower price point (the EVRI Starts at $49.99) allows dabbing neophytes to get into concentrates without dropping serious coin on a full dab rig setup.

However, dab straws have their place in the experienced consumer’s dab world as well. Most are surprised at the quality of hits dab straws provide. While we’ve seen some workable solutions to dabbing on the go, nothing compares to the portability of an electric dab straw. As good on the ski slope as it is on the beach, electric dab straws allow for discreet consumption anywhere. The lack of flame also makes it more attractive for things like hiking and camping, where risk of fire is a serious concern. On the EVRI, the option for changing to carts is especially welcomed with some of the solventless and live carts coming out now.

While dabbing the traditional way will always have a place in many consumers’ hearts, sometimes the convenience is just too hard to beat. Cleaning is extremely simple (the bane of most dabbers’ experience otherwise), and replaceable tip attachments keep things tasting fresh and clean with just a quick swap. An electric dab straw doesn’t have to be a replacement to your heady, prized rig, but rather another part of the concentrate enthusiast’s toolkit.

Thinking of getting into electric dab straws? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


Matthew Mongelia Matthew Mongelia

Matthew Mongelia is the Content Manager for He holds an MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BFA in Creative Writing from CUNY Brooklyn College. He has worked in the industry in numerous roles for over 5 years while covering cannabis content from coast to coast. Like so many in the industry, he first became acquainted with cannabis as a medical patient, and has been a passionate advocate for the plant ever since. He is a writer for the comic Dark Beach, and has previously covered music and cultural content for SOL REPUBLIC.

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