June 2, 2021

What is a Terp Pearl?

Terp Pearls

What They Are, How to Use Them, and more

What is a Terp Pearl?

what is a terp pearl?
What is a Terp Pearl?

Terp pearls (also called terp balls, banger beads, dab beads) are tiny balls that are placed inside your dab nail (also called a banger) to boost its function. No more leftover puddles from low temperature dabs. No more doing high temperature dabs just to make sure none of the dab is wasted.

The terp pearl is meant to increase the efficiency of your dab, allowing you to dab at a lower temperature and not waste any of the dab. Lower temperature dabs are full of flavor. The flavor of the dabs comes from the terpenes (terps for short) of the cannabis plant. So a terp pearl lets you taste the flavor of your dab at a lower temperature without wasting any of it.

What are Terp Pearls Made of?

Terp pearls can be made of glass, quartz, ceramic, opal, ruby, sapphire, silicon carbide (SiC), shinju ceramic, diamondium. Each material differs in how much heat it retains and how durable they are. Heat retention is important because you want the terp pearl to remain hot enough to help vaporize your dab in the banger. Durability is also important because fresh equipment means tasty dabs. As a pearl wears down and starts to discolor, that is called "chazzing" your pearl. Don’t chazz your pearls.

  • Glass pearls are the cheapest, but retain the least heat and chazz easily. 
  • Ceramic pearls have great flavor and retain heat pretty well, but they are quite fragile and more cumbersome to deal with. Torching them to clean is a big No, No: they will crack.
  • Quartz pearls retain heat well and have good flavor. They can also be cleaned using a torch, but they will most likely chazz if you do this.
  • Opal pearls are eye-catching and can elevate the look of your dab set up. Opal provides some, but not the best, heat retention. They are susceptible to thermal shock and can crack if a direct flame is applied or they are taken from hot banger to isopropyl alcohol before cooling.
  • Ruby and Sapphire pearls have superior heat retention and flavor, but they can be tricky. They can crack from thermal shock if you take them straight from the hot banger to isopropyl alcohol (for cleaning). Torching them can also cause a thermal shock crack. 
  • Silicone Carbide (Sic) pearls look like little metal balls and they have top notch heat retention. They are also quite easy to clean and they are resistant to thermal shock. You can clean them with a torch or isopropyl without risk of chazz. 
  • Shinju pearls are made of a special ceramic that retains heat superbly well and provides top notch flavor. They are extremely durable and can be cleaned like-new with a torch or isopropyl alcohol.
  • Diamondium pearls seem to be invincible. They are extremely thermal shock resistant and non-stick, making cleaning quite easy. These pearls retain heat better than most.

How to Use Terp Pearls

Terp Pearl inside Quartz Banger

To use terp pearls, place 1 or 2 in your banger before heating it up (note: some people put the terp peal in the banger after heating up the nail). Anymore than 1-2 could restrict airflow in the banger. With the banger heated up and the terp pearl inside, wait for the banger to cool to a proper dabbing temperature (about 500-700℉). Using a temperature reader like the Dab Rite is useful for dabbing at precise temperatures. Otherwise, a 45 second to 1 minute and 15 second cool-down should allow the banger to cool to a proper temperature.

Once cooled, place the dabs inside the banger then place a carb cap onto the banger to seal it. Carb caps are important to keep the heat inside the banger and to control airflow. Carb caps like the Channel Cap have small slits that will create a flow of air through the cap and into the dab nail. This airflow spins the terp pearl inside the banger.

This spinning agitates the dab and spreads it out inside the banger rather than letting a puddle sit. By spreading the dab out, more of the dab is in contact with the walls of the banger. This increased surface area means more of your dab will vaporize in a shorter period so you do not have to worry that the banger will cool down before you can use the whole dab. 

How to Clean Terp Pearls

Cleaning your terp pearl after a dab is pretty simple. Take a cotton swab and clean leftover dabs from the inside of the banger and off of the terp pearl. For extra cleaning, you can then drop the terp pearl into some isopropyl alcohol. It is suggested that you wait for the terp pearl to cool down before dropping it into isopropyl alcohol. Fast changes from hot to cold temperatures could cause cracks from thermal shock. Additionally, it is not suggested that you apply a direct flame from a torch to clean your terp pearl as this could also cause thermal shock cracks.

Are Terp Pearls Worth It?

Dabs are not cheap, so we always want to get the most out of them. Terp pearls can help achieve that goal. Using terp pearls allows you to get better flavor for your dabs without wasting any. While some dabbing accessories may be considered excessive or only for dab connoisseurs, we feel terp pearls are necessary for any dab setup. Most terp peals will not exceed $20. If you were to take into account the cost of any wasted dabs from going in at too low a temperature, terp pearls would pay for themselves by increasing dab efficiency. Sure you can reheat a dab and not waste it, but that sacrifices the flavor. 

Why Won’t My Terp Pearl Spin?

A terp pearl may not spin inside your banger for a couple reasons. If the terp pearl still has leftover dabs or is otherwise dirty, it may stick to the inside of the banger and not spin. The carb cap being used may not be the most suitable for spinning terp pearls. You need a carb cap with directional airflow like the Channel Cap.

Can Terp Pearls Melt?

Certain materials can melt at very high temperatures. Glass and ruby terp pearls may being to melt at temperatures above 2500℉. That is an incredibly high temperature that your banger should never reach. If your terp pearl does melt, check that the material is not plastic or another material that cannot withstand high temperatures. 

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