How To Dab

Once an underground method of smoking for those on the cutting edge, dabbing has exploded in popularity in recent years. Now, smokers of all ages and experience levels across the country are dabbing. Smoking a bong and a pipe is practically the same process, but dabbing can be complicated for beginners. If you’ve never dabbed before and are looking to find out what the hype is about, or just need a quick refresher, check out the information below.

Graphic showing How to Dab on Green background

What are Dabs?

Rather than smoking herbs or plants, dabbing involves smoking wax or oil. This substance is a concentrated form of the chemicals that are found within these herbs. Extracting these chemicals creates a more potent material, and one that will take effect faster than conventional herbs. 

Medicinal Benefits of Dabs

As different parts of the nation are gradually embracing the medicinal effects of smoking herbs, dabbing is picking up steam as well. For patients looking to cure chronic pain, which results from overuse of a certain body part (rather than a sudden injury), dabbing is a common solution. The concentrated effects of the wax relieves the patient of this pain faster, and more efficiently.

What Do You Need to Dab

Dabbing is a somewhat complicated process, and to do it right, you need a few key accessories. Don’t worry, though -- it’s more than possible to dab on a tight budget.

  1. Concentrates, Wax or Oil: In order to dab, you first need concentrates. Traditional herbs cannot be smoked in the same way that one would dab. BHO, CO2 and other concentrates that do not contain solvents (such as rosin) are ideal. Avoid dabbing with any alcohol-based extracts, and others of questionable quality.
  2. Dab Rig: The dabbing process relies on a torch, so you need a specialized dab rig to properly smoke concentrates. Unfortunately, you can’t dab with a water pipe -- at least not without the proper attachments. But, with a dab nail, you can use your bong as a dab rig. If you do decide to purchase a dab nail, then be sure that you selected the correct size.
  3. Dab Nail. The dab nail plays the crucial role of heating up the herbs or concentrates. And, there are plenty of different dab nails on the market. Our online headshop carries a variety, but quartz nails are the best option available. Before moving forward and buying a dab nail, be sure that you are purchasing the correct size for your dab rig or water pipe. Also, be sure to properly season your dab nail before smoking with it.
  4. Torch: One critical distinction between dabbing and other smoking methods is the temperature. The torch heats the nail, which causes the temperature of the wax to rise in a controlled environment. Smaller torches are sufficient, but larger torches tend to heat the nail faster, and make for better hits.
  5. Dabber: The dabber is used to transfer the wax onto the dab nail. Like the dab nail, there are several options for the material of the dabber.
  6. Carb Cap: While not entirely necessary for the dabbing experience, having a carb cap will improve your dabbing experience tenfold. In the same way that carburetors restrict airflow in a bowl, the carb cap allows smokers to enjoy lower temperature dabs.

How To Dab

Torch lighting dab nail 

Step #1 - Heat Your Nail

After you’ve gathered your materials, the first step of dabbing is heating the dab nail. Point the torch flame directly at the dab nail. Over time, you will probably develop a preference for how long to heat the dab nail. In the beginning, though, it’s best to stop heating the nail after it turns red hot.

Heated dab nail being used

Step #2 - Time To Dab

Once you think your nail is heated enough, turn off 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!

Fred Flinstone meme

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.

Throughout this process, take care to avoid handling the dome, nail, or anything else while it is hot.

It’s possible to dab without incorporating all of these materials. In fact, the internal mechanisms inside oil vapes mirror the dabbing process, without the torch and dab rig. Vaporizers are also more discreet.

Dab The Right Way

It is possible to have an unsatisfactory dabbing experience, which will happen if you don’t have the proper materials. At Toker Supply, we carry all of the dabbing accessories that you need to ensure that you have a delightful experience.