Though it sounds like something to keep bong water in its place, a splash guard is a quartz insert used when vaporizing or dabbing cannabis concentrates with a dab rig. The insert is like a tiny dish that sits at the bottom of the banger or nail and ensures the banger stays clean during the dabbing process. Splash guards are also called thermal inserts.

Benefits of a splash guard

Dabbers love their tools and gadgets and splash guards fit the bill. Not only do they keep dab nails clean because the oil from concentrates doesn't get baked on, but they serve a couple of other purposes, too. It's becoming increasingly clear that dabbing at lower temperatures is better for preserving delicate cannabinoids and terpenes. A splash guard absorbs and disperses heat to help in that regard. It's also a great way to mitigate the problem of new dabbers heating up the nail too much. Finally, even expert dabbers appreciate the heat dispersal because splash guards can eliminate the need for precisely timing dabs to get exactly the right temp.  

How to use a splash guard

To use a splash guard, you have two choices.

Option 1: You can start cold by placing a dab of concentrate into the splash guard, dropping it into the banger, and heating the banger like usual.

Option 2: You can put the dab inside the splash guard and set it aside while you heat the banger. When it's hot,  place the splash guard inside the banger.

Either way, you'll need a carb cap to place on top of the banger. This lowers the pressure inside, reducing the heat needed to vaporize the concentrate. Conduction energy will heat the splash guard and keep the banger clean and free of any oil. Consider using tweezers or some other protection when dropping a splash guard into a hot banger so you don't burn your fingers.

Why use a splash guard?

Dabbing without a splash guard delivers the highest temp dabs, and therefore the most cannabinoids, first. But at high temps, tasty terpenes usually boil away so they are gone or ruined by the time the banger begins to cool to terpene-friendly temps. By using a splash guard to reverse the process, you get the terpenes at the beginning when the splash guard and concentrate are starting to heat and the cannabinoids at the end as the heat continues to build. It's generally considered the best way to dab by aficionados.  

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The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. This page was last updated on August 5, 2022.