Choosing Cannabis Products
Extracts: What Accessories Do I Need?
Consuming cannabis extracts sometimes requires additional tools. To help you make educated purchase decisions, here’s a look at how to choose accessories, how they work, what to consider when making your accessory purchase and tips on maintenance.
- To consume cannabis extracts, you may need to purchase additional accessories, such as vape pens, vaporizers, dab rigs and storage solutions.
- Maintenance products, such as cleaning kits, are available through OCS.ca and Licensed Retailers.
If you choose to consume cannabis extracts (also known as concentrates), you may need a few additional tools. To help you make informed purchasing decisions, here’s a look at the kinds of accessories available, how they work, features to consider when making a purchase and maintenance tips.
Vapes & Batteries
One of the simplest ways to consume liquid cannabis extracts like distillate, is by using a vape pen, which is a handheld or pen-shaped device that’s battery powered. It heats the extract to produce a vapour that can be inhaled.
Some vape pens are disposable, meant only for one-time use. Vape battery units (which are available in 510 thread or closed loop formats), can be reused by attaching a new prefilled extract cartridge. OCS.ca and Licensed Retailers sell only pre-filled cartridges, so the only part of a vape pen that will require cleaning is the mouthpiece, which can typically be wiped with warm water, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.
When shopping for a prefilled cartridge, take note of the battery type it requires. Some cartridges can only be used with brand-specific batteries, but most are compatible with 510-thread batteries. Double-check which type of battery you have before making a purchase.
Dried Flower Vaporizers
Although it works in the same way as a vape pen, a vaporizer is used to smoke dry material, such as cannabis flower. While it’s not for liquid extracts, it can be used with kief when mixed with dried flower or pressed into a puck.
When purchasing a vaporizer, take note of the size, type of heating element it uses (stainless steel, ceramic or another material) and amount of temperature control it provides. Some vaporizers are small and portable, while others are meant for table-top use.
Dried flower vaporizers should be regularly cleaned to stay in good working order. Bristle pipe cleaners, brushes, grime sticks, wipes, cleaning solution and other supplies are available through OCS.ca and Licensed Retailers. These products can also be used to maintain pipes and other cannabis accessories.
Dabbing is the process of adding a small amount of concentrated cannabis, such as wax, onto a heated element and inhaling the resulting vapour. Dabbing can be done with a dab rig, or you can purchase the components — a water pipe, nail, dome, torch and dabber — individually.
Often made of quartz, titanium or ceramic, the nail is the heating element for the extract, and it can either be electronic (self-heating) with precise temperature control or a simple rod that needs to be warmed with a torch. The dabber is a heat-resistant dab tool (often made of glass, metal or ceramic) or paddle to pick up the extract. Not all dab rigs include a dome, but it’s a glass piece placed around the nail that traps the vapour.
Before purchasing a dab rig, consider the size as some dab rigs are large enough for a tabletop, while others are portable. You may also want to consider investing in a dab mat or tray, often made of silicone, to keep all the pieces together.
To keep it in good working order, wipe the cooled nail after every use with a cotton swab. For tougher grime, you can clean the nail by heating it slightly then scraping off any excess material. The hardware can also be soaked in a solution for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinsed with water to remove the alcohol completely.
Before proceeding with any type of cleaning, you should consult the manufacturer for special or specific instructions.
While it is best to keep cannabis products within its original, secure packaging, if you have a locked storage solution, you can store cannabis concentrate inside non-stick containers. These containers are often made of silicone, which means sticky extracts such as shatter and wax won’t adhere to the sides.