Conductive vs Convective Dabbing
Dab rigs and vape cartridges are reshaping the cannabis industry. Go to any cannabis store, festival or watch any cannabis YouTube channel and you will notice these two products are all over the place.
Vaporization has become popular as a healthier alternative to smoking. When a cannabis user vaporizes cannabis liquids then there is no production of tar and other chemical associated with the combustion of plant material.
On the other hand, dabbing has also risen drastically in popularity. However, dabbing has developed a bad reputation over the years, mainly because traditional dabbing methods use a blow torch that can cause accidents such as fires and/or injuries. However, new dabbing methods are safe as they don’t use dangerous torches that can cause injuries or fires.
There are mainly two methods used to heat up cannabis concentrates: conductive and convective heating.
Conductive E-Nails or Electric Dab Rigs
This technique consists of applying direct heat to a hot plate that contains the cannabis byproduct (flower or cannabis concentrate). Most of electric dab rigs or e-nails use this technique. In addition, traditional dabbing methods like torches are included in this type of dabbing method. In other words, traditional dabbing applies direct heat to a metal plate that is heated to extreme temperatures using a blow torch.
This technique isn’t “vaporization” and the metal plate gets very hot, much hotter that a sauce pan.
Convective E-Nails or Electric Dab Rigs
This technique, to explain it in a simple way, is the same technique used in ovens. Instead of applying extreme and direct heat to a metal plate, with convective heating the e-nail or electric dab rig heats the air to reach a certain temperature that will allow the cannabis concentrate to vaporize.
The Ispire Wand use this technique to heat cannabis concentrates. The Wand has its own induction patented technology, much safer than traditional dabbing devices. Instead of applying direct heat using a torch, the Wand induction setup uses induction heating that relies on the unique characteristics of radio frequency (RF) energy. Since heat is transferred to the product via electromagnetic waves, the part never comes into direct contact with any flame or contaminant, the inductor itself does not get hot so there is no product contamination. In other words, no residues, char etc. in the glass banger cups.
From a medical point of view, convective heating is a safer and healthier method than conductive heating (less residues, no char).
Dabbing and Temperature: Why it Matters
Too high temperatures can produce benzene. Cannabis does not produce high benzene levels like tobacco. However, high dabbing temperatures could also produce benzene.
Most dabbing devices come with temperature control that you can adjust it to your dabbing needs. For example, the Ispire Wand device can be adjusted from 450 to 800ºF. In addition, you can also dab using a technique known as “cold dabbing or cold start dabbing”. This technique consists of dabbing at low temperatures.
You have to put the cannabis concentrate into the cold banger. After you place the concentrate into the cap, place the carb cap onto the banger and then proceed to heat the banger for 10-15 seconds.
Cold start dabbing reduce breakages and residual buildup (like char).
Conductive vs Convective Dabbing: Conclusion
There are more conductive dabbing devices that convective ones, mainly, because it’s easier to design a conductive design than a convective one. However, as mentioned above, convective devices are better for your health as they don’t produce residues like char. On the other hand conductive devices produce more residues.
In addition, the cannabis concentrate is not in direct contact with a torch or hot plate. In other words, it is the purest way to activate and dab your concentrates.