How To Use A Dab Rig

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How To Use A Dab Rig
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With the constant evolution of the water bong, the cannabis industry has expanded into other forms of consuming marijuana, like dabbing. The art of dabbing is next level stoner stuff that is not recommended for a beginner, but if you’re wanting to upgrade your smoke setup you’ve come to the right place to learn about all things dabbing. If you do not know how to use a dab rig, don’t stress yourself, we've all been there! Here is everything you need to know about how to use a dab rig so you can be a self-proclaimed professional by the end of this article.

What is a dab rig?

How To Use A Dab Rig 2

A dab rig is different from a bong or pipe in the sense that the cannabis concentrate must be heated with a torch to reach optimal dabbing temperatures. A dab rig can also double as a water bong, but taking a bong rip requires a bong bowl while a dab rig requires a banger nail to melt the cannabis concentrate. So why must the cannabis extract be heated up to such scorching temperatures via torch? Well, once the cannabis concentrate is heated to the appropriate temperatures, when transferred to the banger nail it then produces vapor that can be inhaled. 


Does a dab rig get you higher?

Indeed, while a handful of bong rips will get you twisted - a handful of dabs will put you into another dimension. Dabs are much more potent than consuming cannabis flower because concentrate naturally has more THC that’s all. No matter how little concentration you might have on hand, it is usually enough to smack you back to a couch lock for the rest of the day so be careful!

The flavor profiles of a dab are also extremely strong so always expect full flavored dabs no matter how small the amount you are consuming. Dabs are also very efficient to take because of the ability to get high on such a small amount, so if you are looking for a way to get ridiculously high without too much material then dabbing is the winning method by far. Especially when paired with a carb cap!

What do I need in a dab rig setup?

First things first, you are probably still unsure of what the difference is between a bong and a dab rig. Honestly, it can get pretty tricky considering a lot of bongs can also double as dab rigs too so when you master the art of dabbing you can join in on double the fun. Here are a few things you’ll need when creating the perfect dab rig setup:


  • Dab rig. Of course this is a given, but still needs to be mentioned and also listed as number one on the dab setup list. Any dab rig will do, and there are a ton of dab rig setup choices from beginner to expert level.

  • Dab tools. A dab tool mostly refers to a dab wand that allows you to touch the hot nail when dealing with hot temperatures. The heat and stickiness of cannabis concentrates can make for a sticky mess without dab tools. Other dab tools can include a carb cap too. Other cleaning tools like a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol might help too.

  • Dab nail. A dab rig nail can also be referred to as a dab rig nail, a banger, quartz nails, electronic nail, e nail, or just a nail. There are different types of dab rig nails that can be used, just make sure you get the right size for your dab rig. Also note that if you are getting a bong that doubles as a dab rig, be sure to grab a nail if the dab rig set does not already come with one - they usually just come with a bong bowl and will specify if a banger is not included. 

  • Hand torch. For optimal temperature dabs, a hand torch is required to even heat the herbal concentrate correctly. In order to reach the desired temperature to inhale vaporized substances, the right temperature for dabbing falls anywhere between 400-700 degrees fahrenheit. 

  • Water. Adding water to the dab rig chamber is what will create that smooth inhale, so test that you are able to create enough bubbles to your liking. 

  • How to use a dab rig

    Now that you’re more acquainted with dabbing and even the idea of using a dab rig, the main question is: how do you use a dab rig? While it is pretty straightforward, it can be very intimidating to do if it is your first time so try to relax and know every stoner goes through it. When you first start to learn how to use a glass dab rig or even how to use a silicone dab rig, you’ll want to focus on technique and making sure you are hitting all the steps to properly lighting up a dab to its maximum efficiency.

    1. Season dab rig nail

      It is extremely important that brand new dab rig nails are seasoned. Seasoning simply means you are heating up the banger and stripping away any harsh chemicals or residue that was left on the surface from manufacturing. To season your dab nail, simply light it up with the torch until the nail turns red. Then add a bit of essential oil of your choosing onto the heated nail and make sure it covers the heated surface. Transfer (with tongs) into a bowl of water and repeat this three to five times. The essential oil will rid the metallic taste and smell of the nail and it is now ready to use regularly!

      2. Prepare the dab rig setup

        Next, add water to the chamber of the dab rig. Add more water to create more bubbles, and if it hits your mouth when blowing it means you’ve added too much and you should pour some water out.

        3. Prepare your smoke concentrates

        Use the dab tool to take a bit of wax that will be added to the nail when it is heated. You’ll want to prepare this beforehand so that you are ready to roll once the banger is heated and good to go!

        4. Heat the dab rig nail

        The next step is to heat up the dab rig nail. To do this, use the heat torch and start heating. Electronic dab rigs will heat themselves and there are usually presets or customization controls to get the perfect temperature for dabs. Wait about 10-20 seconds after heating up to make sure the temperature is hot enough.

        5. Place cannabis concentrate onto dab nail

        Use the dab tool to put the wax onto the nail, while rubbing the oil around the edges of the nail. Simultaneously you’ll be pulling air through the chamber to create water bubbles which is what will produce the vapor to inhale.

        6. Inhale

        Once you see vapor filling the chamber you’ll want to keep the dabbing motion alive until you are ready to inhale. Once you inhale, get ready to get high because the delivery will be a strong one! Sometimes you can use a carb cap to literally “cap” the dab and finish it out.

        7. Clean dab rig after each use

        One important step in dabbing is to make sure you clean your area every single time! Cannabis oil concentrates can get very sticky and messy so cleaning up your dab rig set is essential to the longevity and quality of your sessions. This is where the cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol come into play.


        Types of dab rigs

        Now that you know how to properly use a dab rig, are you aware of the different types of dab rigs available? From mini dab rigs, to silicone dab rigs, to electric dab rigs, here’s a quick rundown of the different dab rig setups available on the market today. 


        Glass dab rigs

        Of course, this type of dab rig set is the most common and what people are normally referring to when speaking about dab rigs. Durable and heat-safe glass is used for dab rigs and are actually very sturdy! This is an excellent choice for beginning dabbers that want variety and the freedom of options. While you will have to clean a glass dab rig, this is a fantastic option if you have no idea what you are getting into when first stepping into the dabbing world. Don’t forget accessories like a carb cap!


        Electric dab rigs

        Electric dab rigs, or e-rigs, are a popular option due to its travel and user-friendly easability. Electric dab rigs are essential when trying to dab on the go as this will be the best and easiest setup for a dabber. Most have rechargeable batteries or at least a quick USB-C plug-in these days, making it an ideal travel companion when you refuse to sacrifice taking dabs no matter where life takes you. There is hardly a learning curve with e-rigs as they are pretty straightforward to use. Carb caps usually come with an e-rig. 


        Recycler dab rigs

        How To Use A Dab Rig 3

        One of the smoothest methods to take dabs, recycler dab rigs offer the most filtration and have multiple tubes and chambers working constantly to deliver diffusion. There are usually at least two chambers, combined with intake and drain tubes to recycle through over and over. Recycler dabs are very popular amongst dabbers that know what they are doing because baby those heavily filtered dabs just hit different. Just an FYI, recyclers do not necessarily eliminate more toxins than other dab rigs but you will notice the difference in flavor and vapor delivery. Recyclers offer a slow inhale for best use. There is a bit of a learning curve with using recyclers since they have more parts than the average rig so nothing too crazy but use at your own risk! Carb caps go great with recyclers too. 


        Mini rigs

        Obviously the smaller version of an oil rig, mini rigs are not like a dab pipe but basically just a miniature version of a rig that offers many benefits. Mini rigs can often provide great low temp dabs and need very little wax vapor to get you high. Control your low temperature dabs more easily and still experience flavorful herb which will vaporize instantly when using a mini rig. It is best to clean with a q tip since it is smaller in size and normally might be harder to clean so keep this in mind when maintaining your smoke accessories. 


        Mini rigs are usually thicker in size which accounts for how much smaller it is than other rigs. There are mini rigs that electronically heats your thc concentrations and you can even customize mini rigs with quartz banger pieces and more. 


        Silicone dab rigs

        While silicone rigs provide durability and are definitely made to last, this is probably one of the least favorite types of dab rigs around since silicone is not healthy to inhale from. Silicone does keep things nice and tidy, making it less difficult to clean compared to glass pieces, but silicone devices usually sacrifice a lot of flavor and that rubber taste is not suitable for everyone. If you can splurge and get yourself another type of rig besides silicone that is best, but in a pinch silicone dab rigs are the go to for its budget price and longevity. 


        Dab rig final thoughts

        Dabbing is a whole other side of the cannabis community that offers a different experience as compared to smoking flower or consuming tinctures. At first dab, the high temperatures, grabbing more accessories like a quartz nail, etc might have you stressed out but wax concentrates provide a different experience that is worth the wild ride. The more wax vapor you inhale the more you will understand that a water pipe offers something different from a rig and will make you want to start dabbing. When you get used to it, you’ll get better dabs and start experimenting with other concentrate that you can slowly inhale and further enjoy. Be sure to grab a carb cap and other dabbing essentials to keep your space tidy!



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