Dabs and joints waste an equal amount of THC, depending on the cited study. Despite the results, both mediums can be and have been vastly improved upon. Thanks, stoner science! For instance, dab rigs come in many forms. Terp slurpers are a recent innovation that provides a delivery method for consuming extracts that will waste even less THC.
The studies often cited employed red hot titanium nails to achieve results. High temp dabs are archaic in today’s tech, however. By now, quartz is common for dab rigs.
A Gavel, or banger, is essentially a quartz bucket connected to a bong. The quartz is heated and then cooled to an optimal temperature for dabbing cannabis extracts. Once the quartz reaches the perfect temp, the extract is dabbed into the banger before a carb cap is placed on top of the bucket. Carb caps help vape off the concentrate with better airflow.
Keep in mind that vaporization of THC or CBD, for example, is not the only goal of a dab rig. Cannabinoids must be efficiently carried in a stream of vapour for a dab to function. A quartz banger does a poor job at pulling vapour from the bottom of the bucket without agitation. Pools of oil also cool the quartz below the idea range of 400° to 600°F, leaving an incomplete dab.
Balls and better airflow with a terp slurper
Marbles, known as terp pearls or banger beads were incorporated into gavels before terp slurpers appeared. A high-quality ball of boro glass can be kept at the bottom of a spinner-styled banger. Airflow is still conventionally forced down from the top by a directional carb cap, spinning the marble at the bottom of the bucket. This agitates the extract during the dab, increasing the dab’s efficiency.
Terp slurpers redesign this process. The bottom of the gavel is stretched with a dish jutting out at the bottom. Slits at the base of the dish create an air path from the bottom to the top, spinning a boro ball or bead inside the slurper.
Pulling only fresh dab
A second marble sits inside the slurper, which functions as a check valve on top of the extension. Some degraded oil that travels over the dish, through the slits, and past the first bead gets trapped by the second boro ball. Degraded oil won’t pool on the main dish, leaving the flavour of the dab pure.
A quick reheat or two will finish off any leftover dab. Excessive heating does, however, leave behind a difficult-to-remove char. And burnt-on residues will chaz quartz, tainting the flavour. For this reason, it is recommended to wipe off any residual oils inside the slurper after each use. Cue tips should therefore be found in every slurper kit.
Science and innovation
Initially, slurpers were brought out by Toro and loved by Hawaiians as early as 2017. (2) Skipping ahead five years and the slurper has become a popular addition to most heady concentrate consumer’s glass collections.
The way that terp slurpers waste less THC and improve the flavour is by increasing aeration. In fact, the late Morgan Horatio Delbert Sybian noted the need for carbon dioxide to deliver delicate flavours of terp champagne. Brewers know this and that nitrogenation helps deliver the flavour of malts more than terpy hops.
How this design influences the dab requires more scientific analysis. Whether terp slurpers are truly more efficient, distribute a better exothermic reaction, or how much they increase aerosolization can be measured in a lab. Is an update from science on red-hot titanium finally required in the literature?
Let us know in the comments if you think bangers or terp slurpers waste less THC. Is aeration worth it for cannabis smoking and vaping?
Hädener, M., Vieten, S., Weinmann, W., & Mahler, H. (2019). A preliminary investigation of lung availability of cannabinoids by smoking marijuana or dabbing BHO and decarboxylation rate of THC- and CBD-acids. Forensic science international, 295, 207–212.
Legrow, K. 2021. The Tale of the Terp Slurper. M.Y.