Extreme Defoliation: High-Risk Ways to Boost Cannabis Yields and Bag Appeal

Extreme Defoliation: High-Risk Ways to Boost Cannabis Yields and Bag Appeal

[Editor’s Note: It’s the beginning of grow season with lots of grow articles on new techniques. This is a pretty advanced article, yet anyone who grows cannabis will find it of interest.]

Pruning, or defoliation, is a technique that keeps your cannabis plants healthy and growing properly. By removing small amounts of foliage during various phases of the life cycle, growers can increase a crop’s yield and potency by allowing light to hit bud-producing nodes more directly.

All growers perform some light pruning, but there is a different and more advanced approach to plant training: extreme defoliation. This practice requires the mass removal of fan leaves and foliage from an entire canopy during key phases in the cultivation cycle.

We’ll talk about two prominent extreme defoliation techniques, schwazzing and back-building, and how they push the boundaries of defoliation. Coming with a high risk yet offering high rewards, these techniques polarize opinion. Neither method is recommended for beginners, and growers experimenting with these practices should do so with caution.

If you are interested in these techniques, try performing them on one plant at a time. Experimentation in the garden is highly encouraged, just be sure to start slow to reduce the odds of losing an entire crop.

Schwazzing

From Joshua Haupt’s 2015 book Three a Light, schwazzing takes the idea of defoliation to the next level. According to the book, this practice removes the entire canopy of fan leaves within the first few days of the flowering cycle and then again at the third week.

Joshua Haupt coined the term “schwazzing” to describe the sound of scissors and snipping that takes place during the process. The book’s title refers to getting three pounds of cannabis per light, or about twice as much yield in a harvest or even more.

By the entire canopy, he really does mean every fan leaf below the top two or three nodes. The caveat to this risky maneuver is that the stripped plants must receive proper after-care through a high concentration of nutrients following both defoliations. This is crucial to the recovery process. By removing the fan leaves on the first day of flowering and again on day 21, the plants will be able to replenish the lost foliage before all of their energy transitions toward bud development. By supplementing with a high-nutrient feeding, the plants should push through any shock they may have undergone.

What’s the Upside to Schwazzing?

According to the book, the successful implementation of this technique can promote a massive uptick in the yield of a plant. But keep in mind, neither the book itself nor any review of schwazzing—also called heavy pruning or heavy defoliation—has given an exact explanation for why the practice is so successful. According to the book, the successful implementation of this technique can promote a massive uptick in the yield of a plant. Some growers suggest that the practice of removing such a large amount of foliage from a plant in this stage of its development may trigger a defense mechanism, tricking the plant into developing more buds as a survival technique. One possible explanation points to the fact that cannabis is a wind-pollinated species, and the removal of a massive amount of fan leaves may trigger growth hormones to swell buds as a last ditch effort to receive incoming pollen from a nearby male stamen. Another possible explanation is that the removal of fan leaves promotes airflow throughout the plant and in turn, more vigorous bud growth. However, these hypotheses have not been backed by any study.

The Downsides of Schwazzing

Despite praise and success stories, there is a high risk of crop failure with this method. When it comes to overall plant health, even the heartiest of cultivars will experience some amount of shock after this process.

Unless the grower has expertly dialed in every other aspect of their growing process—including lights, grow medium, temperature, humidity, airflow, CO2, and more—simply feeding a plant more nutrients won’t suffice. Even if everything is dialed in and plants are properly cared for, there is still a chance that they will die under this extreme stress. Some genetics might never fare well under such circumstances and some may handle the process better than others. The bottom line is that although schwazzing may work under ideal circumstances, it’s not a method of defoliation that should be practiced without proper experience. This is not recommended for novice growers or anybody working with sub-par genetics or below-average equipment.

Back-Building

Whereas schwazzing increases the overall yield of a cannabis harvest, back-building aims to build a more dense structure in buds and to create a more aesthetic final product. Back-building, bud-pinching, and bud-swelling are all terms used to describe the process of clipping the tips off of flowering colas in order to promote growth—this builds out, or causes swelling in the remaining bud. This advanced defoliation technique needs to be performed roughly halfway through the flowering process, around 3-5 weeks in. The idea behind it is to redistribute the plant’s natural growth hormones to the power areas of the cola. With this technique, only the very top few calyxes and pistils are snipped, and it’s important to only do one cola at a time over the span of a week or two, so that the plant isn’t thrown into stress or shock.

The Pros and Cons of Back-Building

This technique isn’t meant to increase yields but rather to create more bag appeal by encouraging the plant to produce a more uniform and attractive final product. The downside is that not all plants will respond appropriately to having their tips clipped off. Some plants may end up fox-tailing, creating stringy and unsightly columns of cola growth that indicate plant stress and have less bag appeal. It can also be a very time-consuming process because plants must be clipped over the course of several weeks, never all at once.

Original Post: Leafly: Extreme Defoliation: High-Risk Ways to Boost Cannabis Yields and Bag Appeal

Straight From the Source: Clean Water Tips for Your Cannabis Homegrow

Straight From the Source: Clean Water Tips for Your Cannabis Homegrow

[Editor’s Note: All water is not the same. Cannabis growers need to know the differences and what works best for cannabis plants.]

Like all plants, cannabis requires water in order to perform its most basic functions. Water delivers nutrients throughout the plant, and without it cannabis can’t survive. But in order to raise healthy, strong cannabis plants, you’ll need to pay close attention to the type of water you’re providing your crop.

There are two common misconceptions when it comes to sourcing water for a cannabis garden:

  • All water is the same.
  • Water deemed safe for consumption will also be adequate for your plants.

Water can contain a number of contaminants, some of which are safe to be used in a garden and some that can have serious consequences for the plant’s health. Every grower should know where to source clean water and how to treat contaminated water to make it suitable for a garden.

Know Your pH and PPM

An important term to understand when talking about water quality and distinguishing between water types is pH, or potential hydrogen, which is used to measure the acidity and alkalinity of a given fluid. pH measurement occurs on a scale of 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline).

Examples of highly acidic fluids include battery acid, lemon juice, and vinegar, while highly basic fluids include household ammonia, milk of magnesia, and bleach. Distilled water is neutral with a pH of 7.

Depending on the grow medium you’re using, cannabis prefers its water to be in the 6-7 range, the optimal pH for nutrient uptake.

Another important term to know is ppm, or parts per million. This measures the presence of dissolved solids in water. Because most water isn’t pure H2O, ppm gives an accurate measurement of the percentage of contaminants in a given water source.

Contaminants found in water sources can include:

  • Chemical: chlorine, chloramine, magnesium, calcium, salts, nitrogen
  • Physical: rocks, sand, sediment, organic material
  • Biological: bacteria, mycotoxins, viruses, parasites
  • Radiological: uranium, cesium

Many water sources naturally have contaminants. Streams, ponds, and lakes can contain a range of biological contaminants like bacteria and parasites.

Other water sources, such as treated municipal water, or tap water, is often treated with some amount of chemicals like chlorine, calcium, and magnesium, in order to get rid of the possibility of biological growth.

Water that contains higher quantities of minerals such as calcium or magnesium is called hard water. This type of water has a higher ppm due to the extra dissolved solids in it. Water with less minerals and a lower ppm is called soft water.

How and Where to Source Water

Cannabis homegrowers have several options available at various price points when sourcing water for a garden, each with its pros and cons.

Factors to keep in mind when looking at water sourcing options include:

  • Total cost upfront vs. cost accrued over time
  • Availability of water
  • Overall water quality
  • How difficult it is to scale or increase the amount of water needed
  • Labor needed to bring in water
  • Environmental impact

The options below represent the most practical water sourcing methods available to the average homegrower, but keep in mind that other methods are available.

Water Collection Systems

You can create a system to collect your rainwater or gray water. These systems work very well under the right circumstances and can be both inexpensive and environmentally friendly.

The Pros: Water collection systems such as rainwater catches are a great way to sustainably source water for a garden. These systems can last for long periods of time with little maintenance and can be scaled for any size of garden. Systems like this are especially useful in climates with dry periods where water saving is encouraged.

Gray water recycling is a great way to reuse unwanted water. Using catching and filtration systems, you can recycle water that has already been used on a property.

The Cons: Unfortunately, many jurisdictions have ordinances that either completely prohibit or set strict limits on the collection of rainwater and the reuse of gray water. Proponents of these restrictions argue that there are health and safety concerns for doing this.

Although setting up a simple water-catching system can be inexpensive, there is still some start-up capital required. Water that has been collected either by rain or by reuse will need to be filtered and stored properly, requiring filter systems and specially graded storage containers built to withstand the elements without risk of contamination or breaking.

Unfiltered Tap Water

Contrary to popular belief, using unfiltered tap water on cannabis is not a death sentence for your plants. This type of water varies greatly depending on the municipality and their water-treatment protocols.

Contrary to popular belief, using unfiltered tap water on cannabis is not a death sentence for your plants.

Some cities use incredibly hard water with high levels of contaminants such as chlorine, calcium, and magnesium. While water with a low ppm concentration of these chemicals won’t necessarily kill a plant, it can have a negative impact on the biological activity in organic soil.

One trick to rid water of chlorine is to let your water sit out for 24-48 hours. Doing so will allow ample time for the chemical to evaporate, making tap water usable for growing.

The Pros: Tap water is inexpensive, meaning it’s easy to scale and you can increase the amount needed if you have a high plant count. Also, there’s little labor involved in using tap water after the ppm and pH are adjusted.

The Cons: This option may not be available for growers living in cities with heavily treated water systems. Organic growers will also find that the chemicals in treated water may have a negative impact on the biological life in their soils.

Bottled Water

This water is a great pure, uncontaminated source that’s relatively inexpensive for a small-scale garden. Most grocery stores and shopping centers have bottled distilled water and many companies offer water delivery services at reasonable prices.

The Pros: This water is affordable in low quantities and easy to source. It’s also safe for plants and doesn’t need any extra filtration.

The Cons: The cost of sourcing bottled water will accrue over time. It’s great for small growers, but large-scale growers will find this expensive. There is also a certain amount of labor involved in retrieving the water itself.

This method also has a big negative impact on the environment, in the resources needed to create containers for the water and resources needed to transport the water, such as fuel. Trash is also a consideration with water containers.

Water Filtration Systems

For large-scale growers with less financial restrictions, water filtration systems are the go-to option for an unlimited supply of clean water. There are several effective filtration systems available, though reverse osmosis (RO) systems seem to be the most popular for cannabis cultivators.

These systems work by pushing water molecules through a semi-permeable membrane, filtering out most contaminates. There are many varieties of RO systems that vary greatly in price.

The Pros: Using an RO system will ensure absolute filtration and decontamination, making it the safest method for cleaning large quantities of water for a grow operation. After initial installation costs, this system will supply a virtually endless supply of clean water for a garden.

The Cons: The initial cost upfront for even the most basic RO system can be expensive, hundreds of dollars, with more advanced systems stretching into the thousands. With such a high barrier-to-entry, small-scale growers may find that this system is a pipe dream.

RO systems are also known to waste quite a bit of water, making them high on the list for negative environmental impact. RO systems continue to draw and filter water for a period of time after use, thus wasting water. By installing a permeate pump, you can reduce the amount of water wasted.

Original Post: Leafly: Straight From the Source: Clean Water Tips for Your Cannabis Homegrow

Characteristics of a Reputable Cannabis Dispensary

Characteristics of a Reputable Cannabis Dispensary

[Editor’s Note: You want a nice place to go where the people in the store are friendly and knowledgeable. It’s retail and this is a good explanation of what you should expect.]

Brick-and-mortar dispensaries have evolved considerably since the early days of Dutch coffeeshops and private patient collectives in California. Nowadays, storefronts exist across many cities in North America and abroad, taking the cannabis retail experience to the mainstream consumer.

When you first step through the door of a dispensary, you should have a good idea of what type of experience you’re about to have. Between atmosphere, staff, and menu selection, cannabis retailers with high reputations have many ways of standing out from the competition.

For the uninitiated, finding a dispensary worth visiting may not come as second nature. Here are some elements to look for when searching for a dispensary to buy cannabis.

Ambiance

Many pieces come together to create a great ambiance in a dispensary. All of these elements will hit your senses when you first walk in the door:

  • Interior design
  • Lighting
  • Music
  • Merchandise placement
  • Staff presence and attire

These all fuse together to create a mood and feel that, if done correctly, will ensure a comfortable experience for the consumer, from picking a product to buying one. Good dispensaries work hard and use a lot of resources to develop the right ambiance for their customer base. As you leave the store, plunder in hand, every one of your senses should have been catered to.

Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff

Dispensaries are charged with connecting consumers with cannabis, and this experience is far more complex than walking into a convenience store and grabbing a six-pack of beer. A friendly, patient, hospitable, and knowledgeable staff of budtenders makes all the difference.

A well-trained budtender should be knowledgeable about all the various types of cannabis products, how to consume them, and be able to answer any questions you have about cannabis. They’ll be able to recommend an array of products that will meet your specific needs, whether it be flower, concentrates, edibles, tinctures, topicals, or any other cannabis product that they carry. They’ll also be able to tell you how to properly dose products.

Some dispensaries carry seeds and clones, so it’s important to have a budtender with cultivation knowledge at those stores. They should be able to help inexperienced growers get started, as well as be able to guide advanced growers through a library of genetics to help them find the right addition to their garden.

Broad Menu Selection

Having a comprehensive menu is imperative for a dispensary to capture the market. This includes having high-demand cultivars and specific brands and products in stock. Purchasers at dispensaries work tirelessly to create an inventory that captures what consumers want. A customer wants to walk into a single store and find specific brands, strains, or products all in one place.

An expansive inventory of products should include flower and concentrates, as well as various edibles, tinctures, and topicals. Consumers want variety and dispensaries usually offer similar products at various price points as well. This is to appeal to both the customer coming in for an inexpensive half-ounce of flower as well as the customer looking for a gram of top-shelf live resin and everyone in between.

Aside from cannabis products, some dispensaries also sell accessories like pipes, dab rigs, vaporizers, grinders, lighters, torches, papers, and more, to be a one-stop shop for anything a cannabis consumer may need. Not all dispensaries carry accessories though, so be sure to do some research ahead of time.

There is no secret recipe to success in building out a dispensary menu. Research and market data help, but a large part of curating products relies on purchaser intuition. Successful dispensaries rotate their menus and respond to feedback from their community about which products to carry and which to get rid of.

Competitive Price Points

Passing off savings to the customer hasn’t always been easy for dispensaries, especially for stores in states that tack on lofty excise taxes for cannabis products. However, saturation of product in the market forces many retailers to lower their prices, benefitting customers at the end of the day. Dispensaries have to provide their products and services at reasonable and competitive price points.

Dispensaries stay competitive by offering consumers reasons to return. This may include disseminating deals through advertisements, offering loyalty programs for frequent shoppers, and even discounting older inventory. With these tactics, a dispensary can capture and retain customers by giving them reasons to keep shopping at their store.

As the market continues to fluctuate, maintaining consistency in pricing is as important as keeping prices low—customers want to trust that a dispensary will always have certain prices for certain products. Referrals and word-of-mouth advertising also rely on maintaining consistent pricing.

Community Outreach

Visibility is a key factor to help a dispensary stand out among the competition, and a lot of dispensaries promote themselves through community outreach. By offering services other than the sale of cannabis products, businesses have a chance to give back to their local community.

Some examples of community outreach include adopting highways for cleanup, participating in local fairs and gatherings, and facilitating donation drives and fundraisers.

Many great dispensaries may also provide extra—and often free—in-house services for customers and patients. Wellness services such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, massage therapy, and yoga are some examples of additional offerings you may find.

Some retailers even provide cultivation seminars, cooking with cannabis classes, and even lectures from educators, activists, and prominent members of the cannabis community. These extra services aim to drive community participation and engagement, and make a local dispensary stand out among the competition.

Original Post: Leafly: Characteristics of a Reputable Cannabis Dispensary

Which Cannabis Strain Should You Be Growing?

Which Cannabis Strain Should You Be Growing?

[Editor’s Note: If you think growing cannabis is the same from strain to strain, you absolutely needs to read this. There’s a lot to consider when growing cannabis.]

Once you’ve made the decision to grow your own cannabis, you probably have a couple favorite strains in mind. Picking a strain is one of the most exciting aspects of homegrowing, but setting up a successful garden requires careful planning and consideration, no matter what your experience level.

Starting a grow takes an investment of time and money, and which strain you decide to grow will influence how you build out your garden.

Picking a strain to grow is ultimately a matter of balancing what is available to you and what your individual needs, experience, and growing preferences are. Below are some factors to consider to help you pick the right strain for your garden.

Grow Experience

The great thing about cannabis cultivation is that you don’t have to be an expert to get started. Any cannabis enthusiast can grow at home with a bit of planning and research.

Nevertheless, some strains require more care and attention than others. This information is usually made available by breeders and distributors, but be sure to do some research to see how difficult specific strains are to grow.

Difficulty equates to more care and attention, which can involve a more complex nutrient regiment, more training requirements, and perhaps paying more attention to environmental factors. These all take time, patience, and research to master, especially if you don’t have much growing experience.

That being said, don’t let the difficulty factor discourage you from cultivating your favorite strain. As long as you’re determined and know what you’re getting yourself into, by all means, go for it.

Availability of Strains

Where you live and intend to set up your garden will affect what strains you have access to. Although there are many strains in circulation, not all markets carry certain varietals.

The legality of cannabis in your state will determine whether you can buy seeds or clones at the dispensary. Even if you can, you’ll be limited to genetics that are only produced in your state, as seeds and clones can’t cross state lines.

The selection of genetics will be contingent on many variables, including what local farmers are circulating, the time of year, and demand. Popular strains will be easier to find as the market favors supply and demand.

Contact local seed and clone suppliers to see what they have. That way, you can have the jump on genetics you want as they become available throughout the year.

Seed banks exist outside of the US and can sell seeds for “souvenir purposes,” but it is illegal to bring seeds into the US. Customs will seize any cannabis seeds that they find in packages or on a person.

Climate and Environment

Cultivating indoors or outdoors will also affect which strain you choose. Certain strains benefit from open space and are easier to grow outdoors. For example, sativas tend to grow taller than indicas and have a more open bud structure, making them better in warmer and more humid climates.

Cultivars such as Lemon Skunk and Chocolope are known for their towering canopies and moderate-to-intense stretching and will benefit greatly from the extra sun and space of an outdoor garden. Just be sure to plant them early as they have long flowering times.

Other strains need more attention and are more susceptible to pests. These usually benefit from a climate-controlled environment. OG Kush is considered a more finicky strain to grow, so it will probably benefit from being grown indoors despite its tendency to stretch.

Dwarf and auto-flowering varieties grow short and bushy, making them perfect companions for spatially limited grows. Lowryder is a dwarf cultivar and Hash Plant and Critical Kush are other varieties that grow small and have short flowering times.

Garden Planning

Cannabis can be grown successfully in small or large spaces, but know how much space you have to work with before you start building out your garden in order to figure out which strains are suitable. For example, if growing in a small space, consider growing indicas, which tend to grow shorter and bushier.

Many OG strains, like OG Kush, need specific nutrients, like a higher quantity of calcium and magnesium. Other varieties such as Blue Dream or Green Crack don’t need as much watering and can be left alone for longer periods and given a less stringent nutrient schedule.

Also take into consideration flowering time. Some strains take longer to mature than others and if you want a quick turnaround, aim for strains that take 8-9 weeks to flower instead of 12.

Certain strains will need different types of soil, and some will need more watering and nutrients than others.

Other factors to consider before planning out the parameters of a cannabis garden include:

  • What kind of soil or grow medium you’ll use
  • How many lights you’ll need and how bright they need to be
  • The number of plants you’ll have

Be sure to also give yourself room to work in your garden. You’ll need workspaces to put soil in pots, take clones or plant seeds, and room to move potted plants around and water plants.

Strain Preference

At the end of the day, choosing a strain that meets your needs is the most important factor. You want to enjoy the fruits of your labor after months of hard work and dedication. Think about why you want a specific strain:

  • If you’re looking for aroma and flavor, try growing a strain with a great terpene profile, even if it’s lower in THC.
  • If you’re looking to grow a strain simply to process into a concentrate, you’ll probably want something known for producing a lot of resin.
  • If you’re looking for symptom relief, check out Leafly’s strain database and find one that meets your needs—you might want something with a particular THC to CBD ratio.

Research and planning is essential to building out your cannabis garden and picking which strain to grow in that garden. Whatever your wants or needs, as long as you’re determined, you’ll be on the way to growing your own cannabis in no time.

Original Post: Leafly: Which Cannabis Strain Should You Be Growing?

Here’s Why You Should Consider Dabbing With Quartz

Here’s Why You Should Consider Dabbing With Quartz

[Editor’s Note: I admit it, I’ve never dabbed. This article makes me want to try it though.]

Perhaps no other material has made as big of an impact on dabbing culture as quartz has over the past several years. Initially created as an alternative to materials like titanium and ceramics, quartz is now regarded as the gold standard for dabbing rig pieces.

Quartz can withstand and retain heat with less risk of breaking and it can preserve concentrate flavors better than other materials.

What makes quartz so great for dabbing cannabis concentrates? It can withstand and retain heat with less risk of breaking and it can preserve concentrate flavors better than other materials.

Here we look at what makes quartz so popular, how quartz nails and accessories have evolved, and best practices for quartz cleaning and maintenance.

What Is Quartz?

Silicon Dioxide (SiO2), also known as clear-fused quartz or fused silica, is a solid, amorphous (non-crystalline) material comprised of silicon and oxygen. While very similar to traditional glass, the two are distinct in that quartz contains no other materials.

In order to create fused quartz, pure silica sand containing quartz crystals must be melted or fused. This purity gives quartz a high thermal conductivity, and it’s also often used in laboratory-grade materials.

Why Dab With Quartz?

Quartz is great for low-temperature dabbing, the practice of using reduced temperatures when heating a nail in order to preserve terpene flavors during the sublimation and inhalation processes.

When used in conjunction with a carb cap or any other device designed to create convection, quartz nails preserve terpenes because they can maintain a lower temperature for a longer period of time before cooling off. This creates a much more robust and enjoyable dabbing experience compared to other nail materials, which can burn off terpenes with higher temperatures.

Quartz is also a champ when it comes to thermal conductivity. It can withstand high temperatures over time with less risk of breaking, and can also retain steadier temperatures for longer periods, making for easier and less rushed dabbing without the fear of cooling.

The amount of heat a quartz nail can retain depends on its thickness, and this is usually advertised by the retailer.

A Brief History of the Quartz Nail

Before 2010, low-grade flathead nails were easy to produce and often accompanied early versions of dab rigs. These impure glass nails would break easily, so quartz began to show up as a stronger, more resilient alternative.

The introduction of the quartz domeless nail was the turning point when quartz became a major contender for nails.

But the flathead design of early quartz nails was still imperfect. Although it fit well with early dab rigs that had domes for creating convection, concentrates would often melt off the ridges and go to waste. Cupped designs proved to be a better option with domed rigs, but these nails couldn’t retain heat long enough.

The introduction of the quartz domeless nail was the turning point when quartz became a major contender for nails. Designed to be used without a dome, these nails could hold concentrates easier and retain heat longer. Quartz domeless nails were quickly recognized for providing a better flavor when dabbing, compared to titanium and ceramic nails.

As it grew in popularity, several influential American glassblowers started custom designing nails with quartz. Out of this explosion of creativity came several designs, including the Honey Bucket model from Mothership Glass, the Quartz Club Banger from Quave Glass, and the Trough from Joel Halen.

While each of these designs are still popular today, the simplified banger nail has easily become the most popular for quartz enthusiasts because of its functionality, simple and sleek design, and easy replicability. Quartz nails complement glass more than other materials like titanium, bringing a more attractive aesthetic to expensive dab rigs.

A quartz banger nail. (Julia Sumpter for Leafly)

Proper Quartz Hygiene

A fresh quartz nail, translucent and free of cloudiness and debris, will give you better dabs, allowing you to taste the flavors and terpenes of concentrates better.

Because of the amorphous nature of fused quartz, its atomic structure is in a perpetual state of imbalance. When heated to extreme temperatures, a process called devitrification occurs, when the atoms of quartz attempt to reorganize into a crystalline structure.

This can happen when cooled quartz is exposed to various elements, including extreme temperatures, like a red-hot torch flame, the introduction of contaminants like oil reclaim, or continued and prolonged exposure to oxygen as a byproduct of oxygenated torching.

When devitrification occurs, quartz becomes cloudy. This process is irreversible without lab-grade chemicals and it can negatively affect the function of the nail. To avoid this altogether, be proactive in taking care of your nail:

  • Never expose a nail to extremely hot temperatures. This is the easiest way to ruin a fresh nail.
  • Don’t dab on a hot quartz nail. Always wait for the nail to cool a bit before applying a concentrate.
  • After each dab, immediately clean the nail with a cotton swab or similar material to rid the skillet of carbon residue or reclaim.
  • Don’t leave a nail dirty for a prolonged period for risk of creating carbon build-up, which will devitrify the quartz on the next heating session.
  • Don’t clean your nail with water, as this will also cause devitrification.

An old standard for nail care was seasoning—heating a new nail until it clouds and turns red, seasoning it like you would a cast iron skillet. But seasoning is, in fact, not considered a best practice for nail hygiene these days because the extreme temperatures cause devitrification.

Exciting New Quartz Technology

The world of quartz dabbing accessories continues to grow with new technologies, fueled by a never-ending pursuit to create a quality low-temperature dabbing experience. Here are some exciting innovations in quartz to look out for:

Thermal Banger Nails

Quartz bangers can create build-up and residue of concentrates inside the nail stem. This occurs when oil either bubbles over or solidifies within the stem when taking a dab. Thermal bangers mitigate this with their design: With a large cylinder to redirect airflow, residue can’t reach the downstem of the nail.

Bubble Carb and Directional Caps

Carb caps are designed to create convection when dabbing, allowing concentrates to sublimate more evenly over longer periods of time when exposed to lower temperatures. Bubble carb and directional caps help facilitate this process by siphoning airflow toward every corner of the skillet.

Their unique design allows the dabber to manipulate the direction of incoming air when taking a dab by moving the cap around. The result is less reclaim at the end of the dab and a better flavor when low-temperature dabbing.

Quartz Inserts

One way to ensure that high-end quartz nails don’t suffer the fate of devitrification is to use a quartz insert or skillet. These skillets are designed to be pre-loaded with concentrates and placed in a heated flat-top nail. This lets the concentrate be sublimated inside of the skillet, leaving the nail basin free from the potential of residue buildup.

Original Post: Leafly: Here’s Why You Should Consider Dabbing With Quartz

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