How Do You Smoke Dabs?

Like everyone else, I too have my favorite way to consume cannabis. We’ve all been through the times when joints, blunts, and bowls were the trendiest ways to get high. However, now it’s all about dabbing.

So, what is dabbing, and what are dabs?

Dabbing refers to the process of vaporizing cannabis concentrates for consumption, while “dabs” are the actual concentrates. Similar to essential oils, concentrates are produced by extracting cannabinoids and other compounds from the cannabis flower, resulting in a highly potent oil. Dabs come in various forms and names, such as shatter, wax, crumble, rosin, and sauce, with each type categorized based on consistency and extraction method.

Now, let’s discuss some pros and cons of dabbing to help us decide if it’s the right choice for us.

Pro: Potency

When it comes to potency, concentrates made by professional extractors in the medical marijuana industry are known to create products that contain nearly 100% THC! If we’re seeking quick, effective relief with minimal consumption, dabs are the way to go.

Con: Price

Sure, concentrates are more expensive than weed. However, if we compare the dollar value to the effect, it’s a fair price. While cannabis flower typically contains 15-20% THC (and that’s for the good stuff), most professionally made concentrates boast at least 80% THC (unless the focus is on CBD).

Pro: Time-Saver

Dabs offer a quick and efficient solution. It’s like taking a shot of vodka when we want to get drunk as quickly and easily as possible, instead of going through a 12-pack of beer. Because concentrates are so potent, just one dab can provide the relief and effects we’d expect from smoking an entire joint.

Con: Learning curve

As with anything new, our first few dab sessions might be a bit rough, but we’ll soon become pros. We can get our minds (and dabs) ready at Dab University.

In conclusion, dabbing offers a potent, efficient, and time-saving method of consuming cannabis. Though it may be more expensive and requires a learning curve, the benefits could outweigh the cons for many of us.

How to consume dabs?

When it comes to consuming dabs, there are a few different methods available, and only one of them is actually referred to as ‘dabbing.’ The techniques and tools required may vary, but they all provide the benefits of using cannabis concentrates. Let’s dive into these methods.


We can enjoy the most popular way to consume concentrates by using a rig. Rigs vaporize extracts with the help of a heated nail, usually made from quartz. We apply the dab directly to the hot nail, which vaporizes it upon contact. (We’ll discuss this more below…)


Ideal for on-the-go dabbers or those just starting out, vape pens for dabs are discreet, portable, and easy to use. We can choose from vape pens that require a pre-filled cartridge of distillate or go for a handheld vaporizer that can be manually filled with various types of concentrates.


For a simple and fuss-free experience, we can top off our bowl or wrap our joint in wax. There’s no need to worry about supplies and accessories here – just good old-fashioned consumption. The concentrate enhances the flower by intensifying taste, terpenes, and potency.

So, what tools do we need to dab with a rig?

The Essentials:

The following tools are essential if we want to dab with a rig. Skipping any of these tools could lead to wasting expensive concentrates.


A dab rig is a water pipe specifically designed for concentrates. They’re typically smaller than an average bong because vapor requires less filtration, and the taste of terps can get lost in a large chamber. A decent rig usually costs between $40 and $120 and is typically made from borosilicate glass. Heady pieces and one-offs are more expensive, of course.


Similar to a bowl in a bong, a nail fits onto a rig and is where concentrates are vaporized. One crucial difference: DO NOT touch the nail! Many of us instinctively remove the bowl before clearing a bong. However, dabbing is different. The nail is heated to around 700 degrees by a torch or an e-nail before use, so hands off!


A dabber is a tool that helps us get our concentrates onto the hot nail. Since we’ve already established that we shouldn’t touch the nail, we’ll definitely need a dabber. These come in various shapes and sizes and are commonly made from materials like stainless steel, glass, and titanium.

Carb Cap

This accessory works with a nail in the same way a lid does with a cooking pot or pan. Carb caps improve convection and control airflow and heat, producing the most vapor at the lowest temperature.

In conclusion, there are several ways to consume dabs, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Whether we choose dabbing, vaping, or topping, it’s essential to have the right tools and techniques to enjoy our concentrates to the fullest.

Elevated Extras:

If we’re passionate about dabbing, dab frequently, or have some extra cash to spend, these tools can elevate our dabbing experience from entry-level to incredibly impressive.


An eNail kit includes everything we need to ditch the torch and go electric. eNails are fantastic because they simplify dabs more than any other tool. There’s no need to count to 40 while heating our nail with a torch – just turn the eNail on. And we don’t have to reheat between dabs. Just keep it on all day.

Terp Pearls

A fan favorite, terp pearls help with heat retention and concentrate distribution, looking cool while doing it. We’ll need a specific carb cap to get terp pearls to spin.

Quartz Insert

This accessory is fantastic because it keeps our nail fresh and clean. We put concentrates in the quartz insert, heat our nail up, and drop the insert in. Alternatively, we can do a cold start dab. Mind blown.

How to smoke dabs with a dab rig

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. How do we smoke wax with a rig?

  1. Gather all our essential tools: a rig, nail, carb cap, dabber, a heat source like a blow torch or eNail, and of course, some concentrates.
  2. Heat our nail with a torch, focusing the flame at the base of the nail for 30 to 60 seconds. (Or, use an eNail.) Note: Heat-up times and temperatures depend on the nail style and our preference.
  3. Turn off the torch and let the nail cool for 10-60 seconds, depending on the type of nail and our temperature preference. During this time, load our dabber with some concentrates.
  4. Place the dabber against the inside wall of the nail and inhale as the extract starts to melt.
  5. While continuing to inhale, place the carb cap on the nail to help maintain the temperature. Exhale and enjoy!

There we have it! If we’re eager to learn more, we can explore resource articles covering everything from heat-up and cool-down times based on our tools, different dabbing styles, and how to keep our accessories clean.

Concentrate extraction methods

Concentrates are usually categorized by how they’re made. Similar to a weed strain, the extraction methods used help users know what to expect.

Some techniques use solvents like butane to strip cannabis flower of THC and other cannabinoids, while other concentrates are “solventless” or “non-solvent,” meaning they’re created using natural measures that employ pressure and temperature to extract terpenes and other compounds.

To learn more about specific methods, check out the following:

  • BHO Extraction
  • CO2 Extraction
  • Ethanol Extraction
  • Rosin Extraction

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions or want to share your experiences. Happy dabbing!

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Harriett S. Miller

Meet Harriett S. Miller, the guy who never met a CBD strain he didn't like! He's been researching and experimenting with CBD for years, and it's safe to say he's a bit of an enthusiast. When he's not busy trying out new strains, you can find him scoping out the latest cannabis accessories and gadgets. Harriett is dedicated to spreading the word about the benefits of CBD and helping people discover the perfect products to enhance their cannabis experience. He may be serious about his research, but he's always up for a good laugh (or a good puff).

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