Up until a few years ago, I had no idea what a dab was let alone a domeless titanium nail. Wandering through booth after booth of my first High Times event in 2014 and witnessing the abundance of cannabis concentrates being openly consumed from spectators, opened my eyes quickly to the reality that cannabis has evolved a long way from simply lighting a joint and sharing it among friends. For the most part, recreational and medical users have been steadily migrating from buds to concentrates for numerous reasons, most notably, due to the fact that concentrated cannabis offers a larger dose of THC than traditional smoking methods, and can be consumed in a variety of ways.
Today, cannabis concentrate sales comprise between 30 and 60 percent of all legal sales in a cannabis market expected to be valued at the $10 billion mark by 2018, and have all but catapulted complimentary goods associated with its use such as dab rigs, wax vape pens, titanium nails, torches, and e-nails just to name a few, to new highs. For the sake of this article, we’ll be exploring the complexities of selecting the ideal titanium nail for cannabis concentrate vaporization and how to determine the best overall nail for your budget.
Titanium Nails Vs. Other Dab Nails
As a great first step to any concentrate nail selection, it’s good to know what type of nails are currently on the market and how each nail will effect the vaporization process of your dabbing experience. As a word of advice, most dab rigs on the market today come with their own stock glass nail and dome as attachments which can be replaced or upgraded with titanium nails of equal size.
Although glass, quartz, and ceramic nails can get the job done and are cost effective, they usually burn out within 3 months of use and aren’t nearly as durable or as high quality as the coveted titanium nail. If you're more of the novice user and only partake of concentrates on occasion, glass, quartz, and ceramic nails are great options as selections for your dab nail; however, if you're a daily dabber, titanium nails will last longer and provide you with a more optimal vaporization experience, based heavily on material durability and resistance to heat.
Sex and Size Matter
Titanium nail sizes can range in size from 10mm all the way up to 19mm for most dab rigs, and can come in a variety of styles indicating functionality, such as adjustable, fixed, honey bucket, banger, or domeless titanium for example. Knowing whether or not your dab rig is compatible with a male or female titanium nail is as easy as figuring out if the joint that connects to the nail is insert-able or not. As an easy rule to follow, a dab rig that requires you to insert its joint into an attached nail is known as male, while a rig that requires you inserting an attached nail into its joint is female.
Once realizing the sex of your nail, you can then determine its size in relation to your dab rig. Depending on the range of your dab rig collection, you may want to opt in for a titanium nail that kills two birds with one stone, or in this case, stoner. For instance, if you have a variety of male and female dab rigs or water pipes that have joint size's of 10mm, 14mm, and 18mm, you may want to invest in a male/female titanium nail that covers all those respected sizes and parameters.
On the other hand, if it's your first dab rig and it only has one size and sex, you're better off purchasing a domeless titanium nail
that's going to be compliant with the parameters of that one specific dab rig. In any case, adjustable e-nails can be positioned around the diameter of nearly all joint sizes of dab rigs, and although much more costly than conventional titanium nails, are considered safer and more effective since they use no butane and fit a wide range of sizes.
The Dangers of Buying Low Grade Titanium
As with any product, not knowing the foundations of its origin can be a lot like playing Russian roulette. The same can be said in the titanium nail business, where not knowing the materials that your titanium nail is made from can mean the difference between inhaling harmful, oxidized byproducts, or breathing the organic remnants of freshly pre-combusted cannabis vapor. That's why it's imperative that you choose a nail from a reputable dealer that sells either grade 2 or grade 3 titanium. Titanium nails that have been certified with these standards are not only made with higher quality, but can retain heat longer, and don't give off unwanted byproducts that can cause severe harm to your internal organs.
Titanium Nail Functionality
Knowing the functionality of the titanium nail that you're purchasing, although not as important as the sex and size of the nail, is still a deciding factor to consider in the selection process. With a plethora of styles to ponder such as adjustable, fixed, honey bucket, banger, or domeless titanium, knowing which style produces the kind of vaporization you're looking for is critical as a final step for purchasing. Functionality of your titanium nail is based heavily on the draw and air flow that's created once the device is fully heated. Banger and honey bucket styled nails for example, have an upper opening at the top that, once closed with a dabber, acts as a carb, drawing increased air flow towards the mouthpiece during inhalation.
The same air flow dynamics can be applied to fixed and domeless titanium nails with the use of an accompanying carb cap, which can be purchased independently from the actual nail itself. Adjustable nails such as the ones found on most e-nails, use electricity to generate heat, and can be gauged with a digital temperature control. Similar to the standard domeless titanium, these nails can also be used in unison with a carb cap to maximize vaporization once the device is heated to its desired temperature.
Specialized nails with additional interior enclosures have recently been making their way to market, showing yet again, the ingenuity and evolution of an industry still in it's infancy stage. Titanium nails such as the Titanium Swivel Lid Domeless Nail 18mm and others like it, that can maximize vapor efficiency in a safe manner, will only continue to advance as more states legalize cannabis and as more people experience the upsides of concentrate vaporization.