Culture Magazine Interview: Tools of the Trade

Interview & Article By, Jasen T. Davis | CULTURE Magazine | Original publish date: 7/2/2013

Titanium Nail
Titanium Nail

A rundown on the devices that unlock your curiosity about concentrates


CULTURE talked to Alexandra Sussin a.k.a. Tropical420, a patient, business entrepreneur and website administrator for an MMJ-tracking website, for some info about the ins and outs of concentrates and ingesting them.

The first method, the skillet, is simple. You place the concentrate on a metal plate that is placed under a bell-shaped device (usually made of glass) attached to a tube, very similar to a standard water pipe. The metal plate is heated with a flame source, the concentrate smolders and magical medication happens.

“I own a skillet,” says Sussin. “I love it, but the only downfall is that the oil can drip off of the skillet if it’s hot enough.” To catch any drips, she medicates with a domeless titanium nail. “It can be a little messy, but it’s easy to use,” she says.

"Dabber" tool
“Dabber” tool

Consisting of a waterpipe-like glass globe and tube-like rig complete with an opening in the side, the globe and nail method employs a nail (heated with a blowtorch) that is touched to a dabber (dental pick-like tool) placed within the opening. The hot spike simmers the concentrate, which is inhaled through a pipe that is attached to the other side. “I suggest using a titanium nail. Some people like using a glass nail, but they can break,” Sussin says. Sussin says she likes titanium nails, although quartz is another option. “ sells great Globe and Nail rigs for around $50.”

The name atom smasher pipe evokes the image of a complicated, science-fiction device capable of either lighting up or wiping out the entire Eastern Seaboard. The truth is less dazzling. “It’s just a bubbler, kind of like a cross between a [water pipe] and a judge’s gavel. It’s great for smoking wax or budder,” Sussin says.

A drive through Los Angeles never fails to include the sight of mile after mile of twentysomethings, often standing outside of quiet offices or on street corners, discreetly puffing on high-tech, pen-like devices before they go back to work. Their stylish secret is the portable vaporizer or vape pen. “There are so many on the market today,” Sussin says. “Omicron is one, the Atmos Vaporizer Pen is another. I’ve personally used those.” Aside from being convenient, odorless and discreet, part of the reason vaporizers are the preferred method over smoking for asthma sufferers all over is because the medicinal qualities of cannabis are released as steam—not smoke (you’re welcome, lungs)—thanks to the fact that the concentrate is heated beyond 350 degrees.


“It’s like smoking an e-cigarette,” Sussin says. “My favorite is the 710Pen, because it’s so easy to fill. There are a lot of cheap ones out there. Some pens can only smoke concentrates, and can’t smoke [flowers], but the Atmos Vaporizer Pen can do both.”

In the final analysis, which gets Sussin’s biggest vote? “What I use most often is the skillet, but on the road it’s all about the vaporizer,” she says. In the cutting-edge world of MMJ, there’s something for everyone, something for every occasion.

Source: CULTURE Magazine

Tropical420 dabbing from a glass nail and dome oil rig from!
Tropical420 dabbing from a glass nail and dome oil rig from


Tropical420 vaporizing oil from a 710 pen in her garden
Tropical420 vaporizing oil from a 710 pen in her garden

© 2013

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