Dabbing accessory that restricts airflow and traps heat around domeless nails or bangers, allowing the cannabis concentrate to vaporize at a lower temperature, preserving the quality and flavor of the concentrate.
This carb cap is essential for my set of dab tools.
Before I created a homemade carb cap, all my concentrates tasted the same — but now that I have it, I can really taste the difference.
What Is the Purpose of Are Carb Caps?
The carb cap was invented by Task Rok, founder of dab accessories company Highly Educated, in 2013. The term carb cap comes from the word carburetor. A carb cap is to a dabbing rig what a carburetor is to a car. Just like a carburetor controls the airflow, and, as a result, the pressure around an engine, a carb cab controls the airflow and, as a result, the pressure around a dab.
Different Types of Carb Caps
While the functionality of all carb caps is the same — to trap heat and lower the temperature at which dabs will vaporize — there are a number of different types and styles that are ideal for different dabbing setups.
Some popular types of carb caps include:
Standard Carb Caps
Standard carb caps are simple, with a rounded end that acts as the cap and a handle to hold during the dabbing process.
Bubble Carb Caps
Named for their bubble-like shape, bubble carb caps have hollow stems that extend from both the top and bottom of the cap, creating the carb. They were designed to work with the flat-top quartz carb cap, The rounded shape creates a seal against the flat top, which allows the concentrate to vaporize faster. The shape also allows carb cap dabbers to easily rotate the dab cap, which can move the concentrate across the banger faster (known as chasing), making for a more efficient dab.
Directional Carb Caps
Directional flow carb caps also create a seal on banger-style nails, but a directional flow carb cap features a carb hole and a thin, angled stem that extends from the bottom of the cap. When rotated, the airflow created by the stem will chase the concentrate around the surface of the nail, allowing it to vaporize more quickly.
In terms of materials, most carb caps are titanium, quartz, or glass.
How Do You Use a Carb Cap?
Step 1: Apply a dab to heated nail or banger surface.
Step 2: Cover the nail or banger with the carb cap.
Step 3: If you’re using a directional flow or bubble carb cap, gently twist or rotate the carb cap, which will spread the concentrate across the nail surface by pushing the flow of air around the chamber. If you’re using a standard dab tool with carb cap or a cap with a flat base, use a gentle up-and-down motion to control the airflow.
Step 4: When you’re ready to inhale the vapor, remove the carb cap to clear your rig.
Where to Find a Carb Cap
Carb caps have no other use other than as a dab accessory, so the only place you’ll find them is at dispensaries, smoke shops, or online cannabis accessory retailers.
The Benefits of Using a Carb Cap
Do you need a carb cap?
The main benefit of using a carb cap is that it allows concentrates to be vaporized at a much lower temperature. When the nail of a dab rig is heated to an extremely high temperature — torches can heat the nail to upwards of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 538 degrees Celsius — it can effectively destroy the taste and potency of the dab, leaving dabbers with a burnt, ineffective vapor. By dabbing with a low temp carb cap, heating to only 300 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 149 to 204 degrees Celsius, dabbers can experience the full flavor and taste profile of the concentrate while maintaining the terpenes, which preserves the concentrate’s therapeutic and intoxicating effects.
Why Is Temperature Important For Dabbing?
Temperature is a crucial variable when you’re dabbing. Cannabinoids and terpenes (the stuff that gets you high or makes you feel better) vaporize at different temperatures.
Too high and a good portion of those molecules will be destroyed. That weakens the strength of your hit (No, not that!) and alters the taste of the concentrate.
Most first-time dabbers will burn their nail until it’s red-hot. This pushes the temperature up toward 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Yikes!
The optimum dabbing temperature is 300-400 degrees Fahrenheit. The thing is, that Goldilocks range doesn’t last very long.
Once you drop below 300 degrees Fahrenheit, your wax won’t vaporize and you’ll be left with a gooey mess on your nail. A carb cap helps to maintain that optimum temperature so the heat has a chance to vaporize all the concentrate on the nail.
It does this by capturing vapor as it rises off the nail, increasing the pressure under the dome, and creating a microclimate around the head of the dab rig that preserves the ideal temperature for a few seconds longer.
That makes everything more efficient, increases the strength of your hit even more, and improves the enjoyment you experience from just one inhale. Using a carb cap is well worth the effort.
What Should You Look For In A Carb Cap?
The most common carb caps are made out of either glass or titanium. Titanium carb caps are pretty basic — just a dome and a handle/dab tool.
Glass carb caps — like other glass grass products — are usually a bit more artsy-fartsy. You’ll see weird shapes and a rainbow of fancy colors. Neither of those factors will affect your experience, so don’t be afraid to go a little crazy with your carb cap.
If you choose a titanium carb cap, be sure to get one made out of grade 2 or 3 titanium. If you choose a glass carb cap, be sure to get one made out of high-quality borosilicate.
As we mentioned above, carb caps come in all shapes and sizes. For best results, match the size of your carb cap with the size of your nail.
If you get the wrong size, the airflow to the dab surface will be less than ideal and you’ll lose a lot of your shatter or wax to the ether. So in this case — and perhaps this case only — size does matter.
The overall shape of your carb cap doesn’t really matter as long as it matches the nail type on your dab rig. If you use a honey hole or a banger nail rather than the standard dab nail, you’ll want to make sure the carb cap fits properly.
A regular carb cap (the old-timey-oil-can-looking thing) won’t work with a banger nail, and a banger nail carb cap won’t work with a regular dab nail. Sorry. We don’t make the rules.
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