A cannabis consumer’s guide to the e-nail

Published Apr 26, 2021 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / rgbspace

As the cannabis industry evolves, so too do the offerings on the market. Though the simplest delivery methods such as the bong, pipe, or joint are still the most popular, these days, cannabis concentrates are all the rage, and they’re much more challenging to consume using more traditional alternatives resulting in the rise of dab rig and vaporizer sales.

Vaporizers just aren’t the best solution for everyone, and the average basic dab rig comes with a glass nail that must be manually heated to the right temperatures for dabbing, a task that is nearly impossible for the average user to get by eye with the help of a torch. That struggle is exactly why eventually, an even better option was born, the e-nail.

What is an e-nail?

An e-nail, aka electronic nail, is a device used for dabbing cannabis concentrates, and it is connected to a master control box that delivers just the right amount of heat to the nail. The temperature is generally manually operated with either a dial or a button that allows the consumer to gain complete and precise control over the experience.

How much does an e-nail cost?

There are all different types and versions of e-nails on the market today, with new brands hitting the scene each year due to such a high demand for automated cannabis tools, and each one offers a slightly different setup and amount of control, so prices do vary greatly. However, in general, you should expect to pay anywhere from $80-$300 for an e-nail.

Benefits of an e-nail

Like with any cannabis tool, there are both benefits and drawbacks to the e-mail, and it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether or not it could be the perfect solution to all of your dabbing qualms. Still, in this case, the perks far outweigh the risks.

  • Precision control over temperature
  • Smooth hits every time
  • Anyone who can turn a dial or push a button can use one
  • Fast and consistent heating
  • Less mess/residue
  • Easy to clean


The drawbacks of investing in an electronic nail are few, but they are worth mentioning because, for some, these tools can be a bit problematic.

  • Requires a longer downtime to cool (not great to have around pets or kids)

  • High cost

  • E-nails can break with mishandling

  • Most e-nails are more suitable for stationary sessions, so they are not always ideal for those who are often on the go

How to season an e-nail

There is a great debate surrounding the best ways and whether or not it’s even necessary to season an e-nail, but the general consensus is that fresh out of the package, these tools may be covered in metals or other hazardous materials that can be taken care of through seasoning.

Step 1
Ensure that all of the packaging and wrapping is removed from the e-nail, and then affix the coils to the nail.

Step 2
Set the electronic nail to 750°F and then give it enough time to reach that temperature.

Step 3
Now, at this point, you can decide whether or not you want to finish seasoning dry or with the aid of a small dab of cannabis concentrate. If it’s the latter, then you’ll need to apply a small amount of cannabis concentrate to the dab nail before moving onto the next step.

Step 4
Turn off the electronic nail and leave it to cool to room temperature.

Step 5
Repeat steps 2 to 4 three times.
Your e-nail should now be well seasoned and ready to use!

How to use an e-nail

An electronic nail is really easy to use once you’ve got the coils properly attached:

Step 1
Heat the e-nail to the ideal temperature for your preferred experience or concentrate.

Step 2
Give it a few seconds to warm up.

Step 3
Apply a dab of cannabis concentrate to the nail, and then you can dab your heart out.

The best e-nail temperature

The best temperature for dabbing will depend on a few different things, like what aspects of the cannabis you’re looking to harness the most and which terpenes lie within.

Cannabis terpenes generally have a low boiling point so it doesn’t take much to vaporize them, and temperatures that are too high can destroy them. Most terpenes are best preserved somewhere between 250°F and 500°F.

The best temperature for dabbing if you’re looking to get the most out of the THC content of a cannabis concentrate is 311°F.

CBD has a slightly higher temperature requirement for the ideal experience at 329°F.

Many e-nails can heat up as high as 1,000°F, but there is never a time where this much power is needed to dab cannabis concentrates.

Things to look for in an e-nail

If you want an e-nail that’s going to last through several years of use and abuse and you want one that is going to provide you with the best experience, then you’re going to want to look out for a few specific qualities in these devices while shopping.

Many cheaper e-nails will offer a wide range of temperatures, but they don’t always provide complete control when it comes to measuring the heat. If an e-nail doesn’t allow you to select a temperature right down to the exact degree, then it’s probably not a high-quality option.

There are e-nails out there to fit almost every budget and spending a fortune on the most expensive design might not necessarily guarantee a better user experience, so be sure to price compare.

It’s not always necessary to spring for the most expensive e-nail in stock, but well-known brands do tend to offer a higher quality alongside some form of warranty that can come in handy with an investment this large.

All e-nails are made using 1 of 3 different materials, and each one comes with factors to consider. Quartz nails are the best for heating up quickly, while titanium takes a while, but they’re a lot more durable. Ceramic nails are very fragile, which is why they break easily, but they provide the best heat retention which makes longer dabbing sessions possible.

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