How to Use a Dab Rig

Unlike in the past, where it was considered a taboo and banned across the world, marijuana is today one of the most discussed and studied plants in the world. Now more than ever, we know about all the various strains and concentrates, what health benefits they provide, and most importantly, the healthiest ways to consume them. 

One of the safest methods of cannabis consumption is dabbing, which basically involves burning cannabis concentrates within a protective tube as opposed to doing it directly in a flame. Dabbing is usually done using a specialized apparatus called a dab rig. This is a type of bong that consists of a hollow surface area (called a nail) where you heat the concentrate, a recycler for water and smoke filtration purposes, and a mouthpiece. 

Tips on How to Use a Dab Rig

What You'll Need

Firstly, make sure you have the following equipment:  

  • A dab rig (of course) 
  • A dab tool
  • A nail, preferably one made from titanium or ceramic 
  • A torch

You may also throw in a carb cap if you are resourceful, but it's not compulsory. 

Getting Started

Just like using a bong, dabbing is quite easy once you get the basics. The first, and most important thing you need to know is how to heat the nail. Here, you don't use the normal lighters you use on blunts, but a special refillable tool called a torch. Alternatively, you can also use an e-nail, which is not only easier to use, but also doesn't need refilling. All you need to do when using an e-nail is to connect its coil to the lig and set your preferred temperature, and it will do the rest of the work for you. E-nails are, however, very expensive to begin with, although they justify their price over the long term, unlike torches. 

Anyways, whatever the lighting equipment you choose, the next step involves heating the nail. Now, this requires quite a bit of heat to ensure that the cannabis concentrate turns into vapor as soon as it touches the nail. Nonetheless, the heat shouldn't be too much to the extent that it burns the concentrate. We recommend pre-testing the nail using a few sprinkles of concentrate before committing all of it. 

As you will find out, the amount of heat required to vaporize concentrate is much lower than the one you need when smoking traditional herb. While the exact temperature you need to dab your stuff depends on the strain of your concentrate, most experienced dabbers would agree that temperatures between 350-450°F produce the best dabs. Temps above 450°F will kill your dab's potency and flavor, making it essentially useless. 

Regulating the temperature is easy when using an e-nail, but very difficult when using a torch. You would need to experiment a lot, and be very observant about how long it takes to heat different strains using different types of nails. 

Now Dab!

After heating the nail and vaporizing the concentrate, you can now inhale your dab. If you've used a bong, you probably know how this part goes. Basically, you pick up some concentrate using the dab tool, then bring it to touch the inner hot part of the nail. If the heat in the nail is right, the vapor will be formed immediately, and you can now inhale.

Notably, different concentrate types behave differently when put in a nail. Some are stickier, while some tend to be more loose. So you may have to keep moving the concentrate around the nail to get the maximum amount of vapor. And that's where a carb cap would come in handy. By placing it above the nail like a lid, the cap will help increase the rate and results of vaporization, particularly when you inhale. Just remember to pull out the cap after every inhalation, to increase airflow into the nail, which is essential in reducing leftover puddles


See, it's not that hard to dab after all, is it? It may cost you a lot, in terms of equipment and effort, but with just a little bit of practice, it's something you can perfect and enjoy for a long time. Your lungs (and insurance company) will certainly appreciate your dabbing habits!