How to Use a Dab Rig: 7 Simple Steps

As we see more states roll out medicinal and recreational marijuana, the average consumer will be exposed to a greater variety of products. One of the up-and-coming alternatives to traditional weed flower is concentrate.

Concentrates, also commonly known as wax, are a more potent form of marijuana.

If you’re interested in smoking concentrates, you should learn how to use a dab rig to get the cleanest and smoothest hit possible. The process involves a torch, so it’s super important to make sure you’re using everything as intended.

Ready to smoke? Follow these 7 steps to become a dab smoking pro in no time.

1. Grab Your Tools

Alright folks, let’s get this party started! Before taking a dab, you’ll need to make sure you have all the appropriate tools.

First and foremost: how to use a dab rig? A dab rig is a bong or bubbler with a nail attached. The nail is where you apply heat and eventually place the dab.

In addition to a rig, you’ll need a dabber tool. This is what you’ll use to apply the concentrate to the nail. Some people also use a topper-looking thing called a glass carb cap to place on the nail that helps prolong the dab and keep the smoke where it should be!

One of the most important tools and facilitators of smoking these dab rigs is a torch! A torch ejects a powerful flame that helps heat the nail to a temperature that can dissolve the concentrate.

Of course, you’ll need your concentration of choice, and the options here are pretty endless. Looking at marijuana concentrate alone, there are several different forms and strains. Shatter wax tends to work the best with dabbing, but it truly comes down to personal preference.

You’ll need an alcohol wipe or cotton swab available to clean the rig at the end.

2. Just Add Water

If you inhale concentrate through a dab straw, it feels a bit harsh and even hot. To give yourself a nice smooth dab hit that’ll give a punch, you’ll need a dab rig that is filled with water just so.

Similar to a bong or bubbler, you’ll need precisely enough water that when you inhale through the mouthpiece you hear bubbling but don’t get any water in your mouth.

3. Grab the Dab

Once your rig is all set up, you’re almost ready for cannabis consumption!

Prepare your dab by putting a small amount of wax (start around the size of a grain of rice) on the dabber tool. Set this aside for a couple of minutes, being careful not to put the part with the wax directly on something unless it’s nonstick.

4. Heat and Temp

Take out that torch and get ready to fire it up!

Your torch will likely have a dial that controls the flame and a lock button. Make sure that it’s in the unlock position and that the dial is turned so that a lower flame appears. You can gradually adjust the flame as you wish.

The goal is to get the nail hot enough that the concentrate produces a vapour!

How hot is too hot?

The best temperature for dabbing is based on personal preference and type of nail. The most popular way to temp is low-temperature dabs that vaporize at around 350°F. Higher temperatures can mess with the flavour, be harsh, and even lower the potency of your dab.

There are special dab thermometers out there that can measure the temperature of the nail so you get the perfect dab every time, but if you’re new to the dab life it may be a bit too much at once.

Leave the thermometers to the dabbing veterans and try this tip to get your nail to an ideal temperature. If you have a quartz nail, torch it until it turns red and wait thirty seconds before adding the wax. You can play around with this timing to figure out your favourite dab temperature.

5. Concentrate!

You’re going to use the dabber tool to put the wax into or onto the nail. Make sure not to suck in before the dab vaporizes as you’ll send the concentrate right into the rig water.

If you have a carb cap, this is when you’ll place it on top of the nail. You should see the small area between the cap and the nail fill with smoke.

6. Inhale, Exhale

Time to smoke! About 30 seconds after you see the nail turn red you add the concentrate, maybe the carb cap, and put your lips to the mouthpiece.

As you let the concentrate begin to smoke and fill the nail area, suck in slow and steady. You should hear the bubbling of the water as you inhale. The smoke will fill the rig, if you have a carb cap you should twist it, this helps keep the concentration smoking longer.

After you have inhaled all the smoke, keep it in your lungs a few moments before the exhale. If the dab felt harsh or hot going down, adjust the timing between the heating and applying the concentrate.

7. Squeaky Clean

The key to keeping your rig in tip-top shape is to clean it as you go.

When you’re done smoking, use a q-tip to wipe out the nail to remove any excess or burnt concentrate. If you’re done with your smoking session and won’t be using it for a bit, you can use an alcohol swab to get the extra built-in grime.

Now You Know How to Use a Dab Rig

Whew! Learning how to use a dab rig may seem like a long and tedious process, but before you know it you’ll be smoking concentrates like it’s second nature.

Looking for more articles like this? Browse our wide selection of topics spanning from pop culture to vaping to finance.

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