All About Dabbing & Dab Rigs
Dabs are the concentrated versions legal plants or herbs. Concentrates are a quicker and more powerful way to enjoy your herbs. Dabs are safely made by extracting the chemical compounds using solvents. This produces a sticky oil, which is commonly called, wax, shatter, or budder.
The dabbing phenomenon has been taking the smoking community by storm. Although it has been around for quite some time, it is only recently that it has been exploding on the market.
Unlike dry herbs that can be smoked or vaporized, concentrates require dabbing. For those of you that are new to the scene, the process may be a bit confusing. This is especially true, since most head shops have a ton of products available for dabbing, and you may not know what is needed or not.
This post has been updated from its original 2017 version, in order to bring you up to date on dabbing!
How Dabbing Works
Dabbing uses convective heating, rather than conductive heating. Convective is healthier, smoother, and less wasteful, since its not burning your herb by exposing it to a high flame.
There's two key steps to dabbing. The first is the nail being heated up by a torch. The second, the dab being heated by the nail. The resulting vapor is inhaled and, voilà! You get a strong yet smooth hit.
Do You Need a Dab Rig for Dabbing?
While there are many make-shift ways to dab, we do not recommend it. For beginners, converting your bong into a dab rig using simple dab tools is the way to go.
While this is a good temproray solution, dab rigs are specialized pipes that you should be using. Dab rigs look like regular water pipes, but will have a few extra parts sticking out of them.
Dab Rig Components
- Nail: The nail is where you put the concentrates when you are ready to smoke. This is located at the main part of the bowl. Nails can be bought separately, but you need to be sure you are getting the right size for you piece.
- Dome: Not all dab rigs come with a dome, but most do. It's simply a cover for the nail to help keep the vapor in place. When you heat your dab, you don't want to lose any of that concentrated hit!
- Joint: All dab rigs have joints. Sometimes at a 90-degree, and sometimes at a 45-degree angle. This helps to keep your vapor more concentrated.
- Dabbing Torch: A small torch will typically get the job done but more seasoned smokers sometimes upgrade to larger propane torches that heat the nail faster.
- Dabber: A dabber can be glass, titanium, or ceramic and is simply used to place your dab on the concentrate nail.
Finally, How to Dab!
Step #1 - Heat Your Nail
Turn your dab torch on and point the flame directly at the nail on your dab rig but keep it about 3-5 inches away. Most people heat the nail until you start to see small red specks or glowing red if you prefer high temp dabs instead of low temp dabs.
Step #2 - Time To Dab
Once you think your nail is heated enough, turn of your torch and move it out of the way. Gather your dab on your dabber tool. It is reccomened to let quartz nails cool down for about 30-45 seconds and titanium nails about 10-20 seconds. Place your dab directly on the nail and inhale!
Step #3 - Exhale and Relax
Now just sit back and exhale and let the medicine do its job. If you are new to dabbing we suggest starting with smaller dabs and working your way up when you get more comfortable with the whole dabbing process.