What Are Dab (Terp) Pearls?
Dab/terp pearls make both quartz (and even SiC) way easier to clean; on top of increasing the flavor and efficiency compared to using a bare banger. By keeping the dab from climbing up the relatively cooler side walls, you can avoid banger crusting and “chazzing”. Any residue that ends up on the walls will get there only from condensing from the vapor rather than climbing up from the bottom. It will be much lighter and easier to q-tip away compared to skipping the pearls.
Pearls come in a variety of materials such as: ruby, quartz, SiC, or even borosilicate glass. I’m a bit disappointed in myself for underestimating dab pearls after recently finding out how they step up the SiC insert experience so much more than I initially expected.
Surface Area Adds Heat Efficiency
Terp pearls greatly increase the “surface area” or the amount of heated area that the dab can reach at once. Right now you may be asking: “Why don’t I just get a larger banger for more surface area?” In that case you wouldn’t get the benefit from keeping the dab off the side walls or the possibility of stirring the dab around while spinning (read more at bottom on this).
It may not seem like these tiny pearls add much area; but you’d be surprised! If you were to wrap a thin wrapper around two or three pearls then upwrap to reveal the surface, it would likely more than double. This gives quicker energy/heat transfer and a noticeable difference in heat delivery. This is especially important with low temp dabs.
The more surface area, the better for cleaning, terps, and efficiency. You want the dab to be directly heated by the pearls rather than boiling on itself. If the dab bubbles up on itself for too long you not only lose out on terps; but a lot of the dab will just dry up before it’s vaporized. Pearls deliver more of those sweet, sweet cannabinoids, leave less gunk behind — especially on the side walls.
How Do You Use Terp/Dab Pearls?
Easy! Just drop 1-3 inside an insert or straight onto the banger surface. Most people only use one layer and don’t stack them in a pile — although this could be a fun experiment. The most common number of pearls to use is two if you are set on getting them to spin. Spinning pearls is nice because it stirs the dab around and makes it heat up quicker (but not hotter).
How Many Pearls Do I Need?
One pearl will spin OK, but having a second in there seems to work better for some reason. When you start going up to three and more they will have trouble moving each other when spinning around. Read more in the next paragraph for the major factors on getting your dab pearls to spin easier.
How To Do You Spin Dab Pearls?
By far the biggest factor besides hardware is banger cleanliness and smoothness of the banger surface. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to get behind on this. It may be easiest to just have a few extra pearls around since clean pearls matter more than a clean banger surface (although somewhat important).
The easiest factor to overlook is leveling the rig/banger. The pearls cannot orbit around the banger nearly as well when tilted. Your beads will have trouble traveling back upward after reaching the lowest point. Even being so ever slightly off can make a big difference. Other than assuming that your capper should spin pearls when it just doesn’t have the right directional air flow, this is one of the easiest mistakes to make when attempting to spin terp pearls in a banger.
Should I Drop My Terp Pearls Directly In The Insert?
Using dab pearls inside an insert works better for keeping the dab from climbing up the side walls (wasting product and crusting). This is half of the advantage of dab pearls, which is fully harnessed with an insert. However, pearls will also perform this function to a lesser degree without being used inside an insert. However, if you are using a ruby insert you should not drop them straight in; but rather tilt the insert set the pearls on the side wall, and gently tilt back to let them fall to the bottom surface.
What’s The Difference Between “Terp Pearls” and “Dab Pearls”?
No difference really — just different names! All pearls will help with the above improvements to your setup; whether quartz, ruby, or other. I highly suggest trying out even a quartz set ASAP if you are looking for an improvement in efficiency and already have a decent nail and capper.