The Glass Game

So you’ve gotten your BOSM Labs Live Resin, and the baller that you are, you decide that now is the perfect time to invest in a brand new pipe.  Since you are a hardworking lad or lass, or at least because you have really rich parents, you’ve found yourself with an excess of liquid funds to support this new purchase.

Luckily for you, the days of buying your paraphernalia at gas stations and porn shops are long behind you and so, you make your way over to a glass shop that likely has “gallery” in its name somewhere feeling excited about coming home with something badass.

Upon walking in however, you are overwhelmed with the options laid out before you.  Some pieces are clear and have loads of percs in them, some are colored, or “worked,” and some look like sculptures that you would see in a museum.  How are you going to choose what brand, or in an increasing number of cases which artist, is right for you?  

Here we are going to look at some different styles of rigs there are and some of our favorite artists to give you a sense of what is out there, and what your money can buy. With that said, let’s get into it!

You Get What You Pay For

Much like with most things in life, what you put in is what you get out.  Sure, you can go to DHgate and buy a knockoff fab egg from a Chinese wholesaler from $15, but frankly put it will be crap.  It will have been made poorly, out of terrible quality glass, and likely by underpaid factory workers.  By spending more money on glass from a reputable source, you will be able to guarantee that your rig will be ready for a lifetime’s worth of dabs.

This is not say that some glass prices aren’t ridiculous (look at this Sagan x Mothership collab below which sold for over $100k as an example), but we would be reticent to trust anything costing less than ~$150.

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The Big Question

The saying goes “form follows function,” and the first step in figuring out which kind of rig you want is to figure out the function you are looking for.  Your answer to this question will inform the type of pieces you are looking at, and ultimately, how much you are likely to pay.  

Luckily, the nature of dabs, and in particular Live Resin, means that there is a relatively high floor when it comes to the way rigs function.  Put another way, if you are dabbing good concentrates, at the right temperature, in a relatively clean rig off a good nail, it should be smooth and delicious regardless of the rig.  

That said, everyone’s tastes are different, and each rig brings something different to the table in terms of function.  A good rule of thumb to follow is the more percs, and the more water, the more resistance, or “chug,” you will get out of your rig.  For example, a recycler will necessarily have more chug to it than a minitube with the same amount of water, and a David Goldstein Fritted Disk (pictured below) will offer more resistance than a simple 2 holed downstem.

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While you might be asking yourself, “but BOSM Labs blog writer, how am I supposed to know what function I want before I buy the piece?”  The simple answer is that any glass shop worth their salt should let you try out any piece with water in it before you buy and if they don’t, we suggest shopping elsewhere.  You are looking to spend a decent chunk of change in their establishment, certainly enough that it is worth 30 seconds of work on the part of the salesperson.  This is a key part in any purchase and you shouldn’t rush figuring out how you want your piece to hit since you will be hitting it a lot.

But What About How It Looks?

Now that you’ve settled on the function you want out of your rig, you are ready to figure out what you want the rest of it to look like.  For some, this is an afterthought and they are fine with as no frills an approach as you can get.  For these people, we are big fans of JM Flow Scientific Glass (pictured below).  A team of professionals who save the pretty colors for their JM Fancy line, Flow has been holding it down making quality rigs with exceptional function for years.  

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That said, JM Flow occupies a space on the affordable end of the spectrum.  Since we said you are doing well for yourself, you may be tempted to splash a bit more cash on your purchase.  This could lead you to brands such as Mobius or Leisure who both produce top-quality rigs on the scientific side of things and are slightly higher end.  Standing tall at the top of the mountain of scientific glass is one company that has set a new standard in what can be done with blowing glass to achieve optimal function, Mothership.  Their Fabrege Egg design (below) changed the game and has quickly become of the “the” pieces to have, and the <$3000 price tag has not done much to discourage interest, and we can see why.  

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Maybe Mothership doesn’t do it for you though, and you are more interested in expressing yourself through a piece of artistic, or “heady” glass that goes much beyond the clear percs of your standard rig fare.  This category of glass is more varied and, due to the nature of pieces that are 1 of 1 and made by artists, has a much higher ceiling on its prices.  While you can get good scientific rigs starting at ~$300, pieces by the following artists will set you back at least $1K and sometimes upwards of $10K

Since the world of heady glass is worthy of having books written about all the different artists and styles we are instead going to focus on a few techniques and artists that exemplify them.

Reticellos

Colloquially known as rettis, this design showcases fine linework that will circle around an entire rig.  The more skilled the glass blower, the tighter the linework is and the more that can fit on a rig.  Some of the artists most well-known for this style are Dosa and Colorado’s own Harold Cooney, both absolute masters of the craft.  

Disk Flips

This tech is the most effective way of “drawing” on a rig.  By creating a mirror image on one piece of glass and pasting it onto the tube (the flip), artists can create detailed pictures on a rig that look like they were painted on.  The king of the disk flip is Puntington (below), whose minitubes have become the bar by which other practitioners can measure their abilities.  With a love of cartoons and video games he is able to bring a sense of frivolity to an often-serious art form.

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Millefiori

A classic technique that has been in use for hundreds of years by master glassblowers around the world, infusing glass with millefiori beads can attach the fascinating patterns contained within to rigs.  This is perhaps best exemplified in the work of Arik Krunk (example to follow) whose milli tubes are frantic and full of color.  With no limit to what can be in the beads, work with millefiori beads has been exciting people for generations and will certainly do so for generations to come.

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Sculpting

While the above techniques can be applied to standard rigs, some artists excel at manipulating the shape of the piece itself, often with stunning results.  Artists such as Buck, Banjo, and Robert Mickelson, push the boundaries of what functional glass can be.

Buck’s elaborate skeletal works,

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Banjo’s spiritual devis,

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and Robert Mickelson’s Weapons of Peace series

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…each redefined what functional glass can be and helped usher in this current golden age of glass that we find ourselves in.

Whatever your tastes, or budgets, are there is a rig out there for you.  The first step is to get out there, follow some good pages on Instagram, and get shopping!

And don’t forget to check out our piece on nails to figure out how to get the most out of your fancy shmancy new rig.

 

Resin vs. Rosin: What’s In A Letter?

With new products and extraction techniques constantly rising to prominence in the wide-world of cannabis concentrates, it can be hard to keep everything straight.

One source of confusion that we have seen a lot of is the distinction between Resin, particularly of the live variety, and Rosin, a product that may be distinct by only one letter, but requires a completely different extraction process. That is why we are here today, to clear the air once and for all about the differences between rosin and resin. In the past, we’ve talked a lot about what Live Resin is and what sets it apart from other kinds of concentrates which you can ready about here and here. Because of that, this post is going to be mostly focused on pressing rosin in particular.

First popularized by the Instagram user Soilgrown, a solventless hash producer from Southern California, the art of making rosin is all about the correct application of heat and pressure to either hash, or the nug directly. Soilgrown introduced the world to this tech via a series of videos where he demonstrated how, by putting hash between two pieces of parchment paper and pressing down on both sides with a heated hair straightener, dabbable extracts could be produced in little to no time from the comfort of one’s own home.

Solventless hash has been made as long as people have been smoking weed, by heating and compressing the hash you are able to separate cannabinoids and terpenes from the left-over plant material. The result is a wonderful clear oil that is oftentimes indistinguishable from regular BHO. This method process doesn’t stop at just being able to turn hash into hash oil, it can also produce dab ready product from most flower. By replacing the hash with cured nug in the parchment, you can go from plant to dab in minutes, an exciting prospect for the home extraction artist.

It is worth noting that pressing out cured buds can have some unintended consequences. By heating and pressing, you might extract something extra from your flower (such as unwanted pesticides) that are left out during the hydrocarbon extraction process.

That said, rosin production has come a long way since the days of pressing with a hair straightener.

Now there are industrial-sized presses and extractors which have been able to get the terpene-cannabinoid separation that most people associate with Live Resin sauce. The fact that there are a number of extraction methods which can produce amazing concentrates is something we are grateful for every day. BOSM Labs is dedicated to producing the highest quality Live Resin, and we love seeing the amazing work done by other extractors to similarly refine their craft.

Whether you prefer you concentrates squished, or frozen and blasted, with all the amazing products being made nowadays there has never been a better time to be a dabber! So get out there, pick up some sauce and get yourself dabbing.

Why Live Resin?

Hey you. Yeah you, person growing weed over there. I notice those plants are flushing right now, do you have any plans for what you are going to do with them once they are ready to come down? No, but you’ve been thinking about either just curing it to smoke or maybe having it run into shatter? Well both of those options sound fine, but have you considered turning you great looking flower into even better looking Live Resin?

Now, you might be thinking that the freezing of plants fresh is a daunting process and the results might not be worth the effort. Well think again because BOSM Labs is here to break down why it is.

Convenience:

While it may seem like the added step of freezing the plant right as it is cut down is extra work when you are working through a harvest, it actually will end up making life easier for you and your team. This is because while it adds the relatively simple step of freezing your plants, it gets rid of the need to trim and cure your buds.

This not only means less time bent over your plants with scissors making them look pretty, but less down time between when your plants are cut down and you are taking dabs of fresh tasting Live Resin. This provides a convenient segue to the other big reason why you should turn your plants into whole plant fresh frozen Live Resin…

The Taste:

You care about your plants. Clones are cut from “mothers” and shortly after they are planted become your children. You then spend months making sure that they are comfortable and can reach the potential that you know they can achieve. Whether it is dealing with some PM that just wont go away or pesky thrips, you are never far away to make sure your plants get the attention they need.

Once those plants are cut down, you want to be able to taste your hard work from the first hit and then pat yourself on the back for a job well done. In addition to reducing the time you need to wait for that first taste, turning your plants into Live Resin will ensure that what you are tasting is as close to the natural terpene profile of a living plant as possible.

This is because as soon as the plant is cut down the terpenes begin to degrade, and with them goes the flavors and smells you have already worked so hard to preserve. By freezing the plant shortly after it is cut down, you stop that degradation process right in its tracks. This is the process that ultimately causes Live Resin to have the sauce like consistency that has come to be associated with it due to the terpenes being liquid in their extracted form. What’s left are concentrates that routinely have half their weight in terpenes which creates an unrivaled aroma and taste sensation.

So in conclusion, turning your flower into Live Resin not only saves you time and labor between when its cut and when you can smoke it, but it also gives you a flavor that is most representative of the plant that you worked so hard to make great. Really the only question left is what are you waiting for?

Perfect Temp Dabs

…or How I Learned to Love the Stopwatch

Tell me if this sounds like a situation you have been in.

You’ve just started dabbing and you’re sitting around with your friends, torch in hand, ready to have a sesh. You then heat up your tiny titanium until its red hot, throw your dome over it, and jump right in with a dab hotter than the fifth circle of hell.

While the seasoned dabbers who are reading this are cringing at the thought of the harsh taste and wasted terps that come hand in hand with a hot dab, chances are most of us have been there at one point or another. For me, this period lasted for the first 6 months of my dabbing life and only came to an end after a new friend of mine practically gave me a heart attack when he shouted, “Whoa! You’re going in hot there!” as my dabber hovered about an inch from the nail.

It was then that he explained to me the art of the Perfect Temp Dab (“PTD”), whose secrets lead to less harsh, better tasting dabs and will now be passed along to you dear reader. To do that though, we will need to start with a little bit of science.

When you open your new package of BOSM Labs Live Resin, you may notice that there are generally two textures in the container; there are the liquid terpenes that give the sauce its flavor and sauciness, and the crystalline THCA which will ultimately provide the high when combusted or vaporized.

Without the important step of heating, the process of decarboxylation cannot occur. It is through this process that the deactivated, and ultimately not psychoactive, THCA is converted into regular THC that produces the high we associate with cannabis. This process is the reason we need to smoke cannabis to get the psychoactive effects rather than just eating it.

The difficulty, comes in attempting to get the concentrate hot enough to turn the THCA into THC without having the nail be so hot that all of the terpenes combust and with them, the taste that we work so hard to preserve in the lab. For taking a dab the sweet spot for this fall right around 300 degrees Fahrenheit – hot enough to vaporize but not to burn.

At this point in his explanation I was skeptical. It seemed to me that while it was fine to know what temperature the nail was supposed to be, how could anyone without a thermometer for a hand know what temperature the nail actually is?

Lucky for me, there is the perfect tool for exactly this problem, a stopwatch like the one found on just about every smart phone. Since quartz will cool down consistently over the course its life, by timing how long you wait after heating your nail you can ensure that it is at the perfect temperature every time. Unfortunately, all nails are different and will require different wait times to get a PTD.

Luckily for us, this will require little bit of experimentation with your nail, which here means… taking dabs.

Once you get the nail nice and hot, you can try taking your dabs at different timings to figure out what the ideal wait time is. Here, you are looking for the concentrate to puddle up in the bottom of the nail and vaporize without burning thus leaving residue behind on your nail. Ultimately, a little concentrate will always be left behind.

While this may seem like a waste of oil, this is exactly where you want to be. Terpenes burn at a lower temperature than THCA does and so by taking your dabs at a lower temperature you are effectively sacrificing a little bit of the psychoactive for better flavor. In our humble opinion, and the opinions of those using the popular hashtag #wasteittotasteit, this trade-off is more than worth it.

After you have had your delicious PTD the only thing left is to clean up the puddle left in the nail, a task that we recommend a Q-tip for, another odd dabbing practice that we wrote about here.

And there you have it, the secrets behind perfect dabs as they were passed down through generations of smokers.

Now get out there and get dabbing!

BOSM Advice: On Nails – Part 2, Style

Now that we have settled on a material for our nail, we now must answer the ever important question of style.

There are almost as many shape and size combinations for nails as there are strains of cannabis, and producers are constantly coming up with new designs. Each style of nail has its own pros and cons, a few of which we will go into here.

First, is the age-old debate between a domed and domeless nails. While the dome can help the nail retain heat and save you from a nasty burn if you’re not paying attention, it requires a smaller nail in order to fit both on the joint and is another piece of glass to break to boot. Since there is no discernible drop-off in dab quality between the two, we believe that domeless nails are superior for both their size, as well as their reduction of potential breakages.

So now that we have settled on a getting a domeless quartz nail, the last major question we need to ask is what shape will it be? While there are a plethora of different shapes that quartz nails will come in, here we will look at two of the most popular ones and our favorites.

Quave Club Banger: The nail of choice for many dab heads, the club banger was invented by the glassblower Quave and quickly became one of the “hot” (excuse the pun) items to have if you were serious about dabbing. A relatively simple design and able to hold large dabs, the club banger is very solid choice for most dabbing needs.

Pukinbeagle Thermal P: A relative newcomer to the nail scene, the Thermal P banger has been making waves recently and is notoriously hard to track down. Made in Colorado, these bangers feature a two-chamber design that allows for consistent heating all throughout the nail and keeps oil from slipping down the neck. The Thermal P also requires that you have a specially made carb cap which fit the opening at the top of the nail and allows the user control of airflow direction. This is a great nail, if you can find one.

It is hard to go wrong with either of these two nails, the Club Banger has a slight edge in usability since you do not need a particular carb cap to effectively use it, but the Thermal P has an advantage when it comes to heating properly and keeping your rig clean. Of course, these are just two options when it comes to nail styles and there are many, many more out there. We chose these because they are both guaranteed to be taste great and last a long time, but everyone has their own personal favorite and don’t let us stop you from dabbing the way you want as long as you remember to be kind and share with your friends.

A note on knockoffs: I know what you are thinking, “well Mr. Blogger, it’s all well and good to say we should buy these nails, but I don’t have $250 dollars to buy a Pukinbeagle and cap. Can’t I just buy a knockoff one for $5 off DHGate? Surely they aren’t that much worse.” In brief, yes, they are that much worse. You get what you pay for when it comes to nails and when you by one for $5 there is a not insignificant chance that you will get more than just quartz. This can include all sorts of nasty things that you do not want to be smoking. So if you do not want to buy a name brand nail, you should make sure that you are at least buying 100% American made quartz.

BOSM Advice: On Nails

So you’ve got hash, your fancy new dab rig, and are excited to try it out. The only problem is that you a need a new nail and are overwhelmed by all the options. Do you go domed or domeless, a club banger or thermal p? Is it worth it to buy the brand names, or can you just order one made from China? What about E-nails? Do not worry intrepid traveler we will answer all your questions here in the three-part Official BOSM Labs Nail guide.

Material:

The first, and ultimately most important, thing to consider when shopping for a nail is what it will be made of. For this, there are generally three options to choose from: quartz, titanium, and ceramic. Each of these materials has their own pros and cons so ultimately it will be up to you, the user, to decide what you are looking for in a nail.

First is ceramic. These nails are made of all natural elements and are the best of the three at heat retention. On the flip side of that, they also take the longest to heat up and as such you will likely wait comparatively long from when you first torch it to when you can dab. While not as flimsy as quartz is, ceramic can break from heat stress and impacts with enough force.

Second is titanium. The most sturdy of all the nails, titanium is second to ceramic when it comes to heat retention, and predictably, second to quartz in terms of heating time. These nails will never break on you. The biggest drawbacks are that it is susceptible to oxidation as well titanium being the worst at carrying flavor of any nail.

Third is quartz, our favorite type of nail. Starting with the negatives, quartz is the easiest to break of any nail and has the worst heat retention. Its sub-par heat retention is countered however by its ability to get hot quicker than any other type of nail. In addition to that, quartz is widely considered to have the best flavor of any nail. It is mainly for this reason that we like them so much. Our concentrates are made to preserve as much terpene flavor as possible and, in our experience, quartz nails are the best medium to translate that flavor to you.

That does it for part 1 of the Official BOSM Labs Nail Guide! Check the link below for Part 2: “Style”.