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Concentrate Pads - The 4 Things To Know

Posted on Aug 14, 2017

A lot of vaporizers on the market right now , including the Firefly 2, the Mighty, the Crafty and the Plenty, are concentrate compatible. This means, apart from your dry herbs, your handheld vape can also vape concentrates just as well. However, compared to dry herbs, oils and waxes are a lot messier. It sometimes takes some special equipment to get the job done as cleanly as possible. This is where Concentrate Pads come into things and allow your vape to vaporize your waxes with ease.

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The Material

Concentrate pads need to be made from something strong, but also something that can breathe with the airflow of a vaping session. Something heat resistant, but also something that won’t taint the vapor. For these reasons, a mesh of stainless steel wires, woven into a disk, are often chosen. These pads almost always are circular in shape in order to just slip down into some bowls and the wire mesh allows for their to be a lot of room in between the fibres. This allows for airflow to remain strong enough to deliver a good session, which is especially important on a convection vaporizer. Another strong reason why steel mesh is usually used is that steel isn’t porous, which means it doesn’t absorb any of the wax as soon as it touches it. If the wax seeped into the steel you’d have so many problems like ruining your pads almost the second you used them. There’d also be the fact that the wax wouldn’t vaporize fully and you’d end up with a much bigger mess then you really should have.

 

How To Use

In most cases, such as with the Firefly 2, the concentrate pad merely needs to be lowered into the chamber where it’ll rest there. Usually it’s best to have the concentrate pad be snug at the bottom of the chamber and around its edges so pushing it down with a dab tool is advised. This’ll keep the pad in one place and stop it from shifting around as it’s exposed to the heat. Now is the time to add on your concentrates, and really, since concentrates tend to be very strong, you’ll only really need a little. Dropping enough concentrate to cover a quarter of the pad will probably be enough, but it depends on your strain.

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Now that you’ve got your concentrate loaded, you’ll probably have to begin the slow process of bringing the concentrate to temperature, as If you allowed the vaporizer to do it too quickly you may end up combusting it slightly, giving you a fouler taste. That, and it’s a lot more difficult to bring a concentrate to temperature, so it’s best to do it slowly.

This advice, of course, is dependant not only on the kind of vaporizer and concentrate pads you’re using but your strain of concentrate so you should do some research before you vape but those are the basic guidelines for using concentrate pads.

 

Specific Concentrate Pads

There’s a good chance you’ve already got your vaporizer and really are just looking for something new and exciting to do with it. Good brands like the Firefly 2, the Mighty, it’s younger brother, the Crafty, as well as the Vapir Prima, all have strong concentrate capabilities, but only if they’re using concentrate pads. Now, each of these brands, as well as others, come with their own concentrate pads but, at first glance, there doesn’t seem to be any real difference between them. Maybe you’ve bought yourself some Mighty pads a while ago and recently bought yourself a Firefly 2 and want to try out how well it does with concentrates. Well, you should probably hang on a minute because each concentrate pad is actually very specific to the brand that sells it. Density, Wire Gauge and Puck Thickness all matter when it comes to either vape and using the wrong pad could ruin it or the vaporizer.

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You might be thinking, how could different pads really cause any damage if it’s all just heat resistant steel? Well, really, it’s just all about the amount of heat and pressure that the vapes expel during the heat up time that makes it difficult to manage. Extreme heat causes metal to expand and these Concentrate pads are no different. For example, the pads from the Firefly 2 are quite dense and tightly packed into a disk shape, but when it’s heated in that convection oven, the metal becomes a lot softer and actually begins to spread itself more thinly around the bowl, cupping the concentrate more carefully. A concentrate pad with a thinner density wouldn’t be able to take that kind of convection heat and would possibly partially melt inside the bowl, ruining the vaporizer, so it can be very important that you make sure you get the right pads for the right vape.

 

Maintenance

If you're going to vape concentrates through a vaporizer, don’t get too excited. One of the worst things you can do, and a mistake a lot of beginners make, is that they pack the chamber and the pad too much. It was already mentioned above, but just a quarter pad could be considered plenty depending on your strain, so if you pack too much you’re going to start running the risk of not all of the wax vaporizing, leaving you with a hot liquid drying all over your chamber, seeping itself around the concentrate pad, getting into your vapes systems.

If you’re going to do concentrates using a vape, and even if you take all of this into account, you’re still going to have one hell of a cleaning job ahead of you. There’s virtually no way the wax build up won't eventually catch up with you. That said, a lot of people say that the occasional deep clean is well worth the ability to quickly and safely vape concentrates on the go. That said, you don’t have to suffer in silence, so if you’re picking up a set of pads, take a look at some cleaning solutions as well to save yourself some time in the long run.

Just another quick tip, since it takes a little longer to vape the concentrates than it would the dry herbs, it’s sometimes a good idea to have an extra battery charged and ready to go so you can keep the session rolling.