Getting Stoned with a HealthStone
Whether you’re new to the concentrate world or a seasoned veteran, one thing is easy to agree on: there is an overwhelming array of options available to vaporize your concentrates. There are hundreds of styles of water rigs, different types of butane, dabbers, torches, and nails. Which one do you go with, quartz, titanium, or ceramic? Or do you take it a step farther and use a Healthstone? Healthstone? What on Earth is a Healthstone?
A Healthstone, or, as it’s commonly referred to—the lazy man’s dab rig—is a 100% ceramic material that is a relative newcomer to the concentrate market. Designed in 2010 by AquaLab Technologies, it is made entirely in the USA, California to be exact. Thumbs up for American made products! It is a deviation of a traditional nail and requires a different method of use, which we will address shortly. It is porous and resembles (and is commonly mistaken for) pumice stone. This porousness is what gives a Healthstone its’ unique twist on dabbing, as well as provides a filtration effect of sorts on the smoke. It is a 100% inert material, meaning it will not produce any harmful vapors or chemicals when heated.
Healthstones are typically sold in a pipe (known as a hand-vape) or in a water pipe bowl (known as a vapor slide). The glass surrounding the Healthstone is thick and tempered for use with a butane hand torch, and of course is available in a wide variety of styles and colors.
How Does It Work?
The heat from the flame melts the concentrate into the Stone, and the Stone’s retained heat from the flame heats the concentrate and essentially vaporizes it.
How to Use Your Healthstone
Begin by using your dabber to put your concentrate on top of the Healthstone (if you use a metal dabber, don’t ever “pick” at the Stone, as you don’t want to chip it. I’ve noticed a VapeScrape dabber works really well, as these have silicon ends and will never scrape the stone. Glass dabbers are a good option as well. For the amount of concentrate needed, you can use as much or as little as you like as it won’t burn up instantly like with a nail. Depending on how much you vape, you may be able to load it enough to puff throughout your day!
Grab your tri-flame handheld butane torch, click it on, and hold the flame about 2 inches from your dab: if the Stone starts to light up or turn orange, your flame is too close; back it up a bit. You want to see your dab bubble and melt into the Stone. After you see the dab melt, bring your flame a bit closer and “draw” on the mouthpiece with a steady pull. Don’t bring your flame any closer to the Stone than is necessary to create your hit, as flame too close will overheat your material and provide a hot, burned taste. Never touch the flame directly to the dab- this will incinerate the dab immediately, and will result in a very hot hit with not a lot of smoke, since most of your dab went straight into the air. Unfortunately, many new users make this mistake and conclude that the Healthstone must be a poor product, when in reality it just takes a few uses to get the hang of how it’s done. Inhale as normal, and voila, you just used a Healthstone!
Cleaning Your Healthstone
To clean the Healthstone, simply remove the stone from the glass by tapping it into your hand; if it’s stuck, gently wiggle and push it with something (a bowl poker works well for this). Soak the stone in isopropyl alcohol overnight, rinse in hot water and set it on a paper towel to dry. For cleaning the glass hand-vape or vapor slide, just clean as you would any other pipe or bowl. I highly recommend Formula 710, as it is designed specifically for the extra sticky oil build up on our pieces and is the best concentrate cleaner I’ve found.
How to Change Your Stone
As time goes by you will start to notice that your Stone isn’t working quite as well as it used to-it seems to get dirty faster and it’s harder to get a good, solid hit. Provided you’ve been disciplined with cleaning your Stone, this shouldn’t be an issue for a good 6-12 months after you start using it (With correct use and regular cleaning, these guys have a pretty long lifespan!).
The easiest method to change out your Stone is as follows: Heat up your hand-vape or vapor slide bowl with hot water from the tap; get it nice and hot! Then you can just tap the Stone out into your palm (a Tap Dat Ash ashtray also works great, as it is an entirely silicon ashtray, and there’s no risk of cracking or breaking your glass. These are available at smokinjs.com in a variety of fun colors for only $22.99!) If the Stone seems stuck, you can also use a poker and push the Stone out.
After you’ve removed the Stone go ahead and clean your pipe or bowl as normal. Once it’s clean and dry, grab your new Stone (ahhh, that new Stone smell!) and drop it right into the bowl. Make sure the smaller end goes in towards the bottom or it won’t fit. For the first couple uses the Stone may sit somewhat loosely in the bowl, but after it resinates a bit with use it will “stick” in there just fine. New Stones are available for $25-30 at most smoke shops, and of course Smokin J’s carries them as well.
What Type of Concentrate Should I Use?
Any type of concentrate will work well with the HealthStone, however, very liquid concentrates may get a little messy, due to the fact that they will seep through the Stone faster than it can be heated enough to produce a hit. Shatter, crumble, wax, hash and kief all work very well with a HealthStone. Some people have even put bud (flower) on their HealthStone and used the Stone as a filter; while this is not exactly recommended, it’s a good example of all the fun experiments you can try.
If you use a lot of different concentrates and don’t like getting the flavors mixed up with each other, a good idea would be to buy a couple extra replacement Stones, and just switch them out for whatever concentrate you’re using. For example, have a dedicated shatter Stone, and dedicated kief Stone, etc. Many seasoned HealthStone users employ this method to achieve the ultimate dab-tastic experience.
Usage and Safety Tips
Do not attempt to fit a HealthStone into a glass pipe or bowl that is not a piece specifically designed for use with a HealthStone. HealthStone glass is thick and tempered for the high heat of a torch, and if you try to use a modified piece, the glass may not be up to standard and may shatter and hurt you!
Don’t touch the flame directly to the Stone, especially when using a handvape. This will result in a hot hit and can potentially cause lung and tissue damage. Remember, keep the flame about 2 inches from the dab!
Don’t use a Bic with a HealthStone. Bics don’t produce enough heat, and you will end up wasting your expensive concentrates, as they will just run down into the pipe like reclaim.
If you end up using the silicon VapeScrape dabber we mentioned earlier, be sure the Stone is cooled before you touch the dabber to it- hot silicon smoke is definitely not healthy.
So there you have it! HealthStones are definitely a neat, exciting new item available to the dab world, and their easiness to use makes them great for new users and experienced chronic-sseursalike. They’re a great option for a nature walk or a smoke circle with friends, and they will always make for an interesting conversation as well. If you dab a lot with friends, and the “wait in line for your turn to use the dab rig that takes forever to heat up multiple times” is starting to grate on you, why not try a HealthStone? It can easily be passed around same as an herb bowl, and you never have to leave the couch or pause your movie. At the very least, you’ll get to experience one of the many new methods that are quickly increasing in popularity for pieces designed specifically for use with concentrates.