Here’s How To Dab In 6 Quick Steps
Want to take your marijuana concentrates to a whole new level? We’ll give you the lowdown on how to dab.
As a regular marijuana user, you might have found it harder overtime to reach the same level of high that you once did. Maybe you’re tired of traditional smoking and seek a cleaner alternative. Maybe you’ve heard your bud buddies talk about how to “dab wax” but were too afraid to ask more about it.
Check out our guide to fill you in on all the tastiest details on how to dab — plus where to buy weed and cannabis concentrates in Canada online.
What is Dabbing?
Dabbing is burning marijuana concentrates in small amounts to inhale for a more intense high. And when we say small amounts, we mean small, like the size equivalent to a pinhead — think: “Just a dab will do ya!”
Users put the dab on high heat using a rig or bong to inhale it. Many experienced cannabis users will “step up” to dabbing from vaping, or smoking joints or bongs once they’ve become more THC-resistant and find it harder to get a good high.
3 Benefits of Dabbing
Everyone has their own preference in how they take their cannabis. If you’re thinking about how to dab, here are a few pros to consider.
1. Tastes Better
Unlike paper-rolled joints or plain pipes, dab rigs use a water filtration system similar to a bong.The vapor that comes from it is more pure, and tastes better than traditional smoking.
2. Produces Fewer Carcinogens
There’s no smoke or added chemicals when using a dab rig. Many users feel the vapor from the rig is easier to inhale than smoke, as the vapor contains more cannabinoids than resin (tar). Be sure to keep your temperature lower to reduce any carcinogens while heating your dab.
3. Potency Is higher
Dabbing concentrates can range between 50% and 80% THC, whereas bud and flower can be anywhere from 15% to 25%. This is why using very small concentrate amounts is crucial when you dab.
What Tools Do I Need To Smoke Dabs?
Dabbing involves more equipment than weed and rolling papers. Here’s a list of what you’ll need.
A dab rig is a device similar to a bong, and is specifically designed to consume cannabis concentrates. Rigs tend to offer better vapor consistency and flavour compared to a pipe or pen.
Sometimes called a “banger” or bucket similar to the bowl you pack weed into, the nail is where your dab burns. Make sure you use a quartz crystal nail for better heat resistance. Glass nails are brittle and will shatter.
• Carb Cap
A heat-resistant cap that covers the nail to limit airflow and heat up your concentrate. Use anything as a cap as long as it’s not made of plastic: a shot glass, a bong flower bowl, mason jar lid, etc. Plastic will melt!
• Terpene Spinner
Sometimes called pearls or splashers, these are optional. But they evenly heat your dab to make each hit last longer.
A handheld butane- or propane-powered blowtorch.
• Cotton Swabs
Keep the nail clean. Make sure they have cardboard or wood handles rather than plastic, which while cleaning the nail..
Use 85%- to 99%-proof alcohol with the cotton swab to clean the dab rig after every use.
Allows users to gauge when the nail is at the right temperature after torching.
• Dab tool or “dabber.”
About the size of a surgical scalpel, a dab tool is essential to measure the right dab amount every time.
This is what you’ll use for your dabbing pleasure. We have various forms of concentrated cannabis, so there’s plenty of choice.
6 Steps On How To Dab
1. Prep Your Dab
Get your dose set up before you heat the rig. Once your rig reaches the right temperature, then your dab’s ready to go.
2. Attach The Nail
Sometimes called a banger, slide the nail into the rig’s downstem.
3. Heat The Nail
Light your torch and keep the flame tip slightly off the nail surface. Evenly heat the nail with the torch for 30 seconds or until it turns a glowing yellowish-orange colour. Kill the flame and wait between 45 and 75 seconds for the nail to cool to the right temperature. Hot dabs cause serious lung issues and waste your THC.
4. Add Your Dab
Use your tool to add your concentrate. Start with very small — remember, pinhead-sized? — amounts and work your way up as you learn your own tolerance. Take slow draws from the rig’s mouthpiece. Slow inhales will be gentler on your lungs and will let the dab last longer.
5. Cap It
Put your cap on top of the banger to create an “oven” to heat your dab and prevent the vaporized concentrate from escaping the nail. While you draw, the spinner will splash the dab around inside the nail for even heating.
6. Clean The Nail
Do this while the nail is still hot, or else it will get sticky and difficult to clean. You want to clean between each dab — think of it as eating off a clean plate every time. Dip one end of the swab in the alcohol. Use the dry end to soak up any residual oil, then use the alcohol-saturated end to clean and sterilize the nail. It may take a few swabs to fully clean the nail. If your nail is blackened, it’s an indication your dabs are too hot.
Best Way To Smoke Dabs Without a Rig
It’s possible to dab without using a dab rig. One of the easiest ways is with a dab pen.
How To Dab Using a Dab Pen
A dab pen can be a safer alternative to a rig, as the dab heats without a blowtorch.
Similar to a weed vape, the dab pen is a small handheld device with a ceramic chamber containing a titanium nail that heats your dab.
Simply uncap the pen, load your dab into the chamber, replace the cap, hold the power button and hit your dab.
Good for beginners and dabbing on the go, dab pens are discreet and battery-powered for less fuss.
However, without the water filtration system a rig or bong offers, the pen will make your dabs feel harsher.
Many online dispensaries sell dab pens and other dabbing equipment.
Cannabis Concentrates in Canada 101
Cannabis concentrates simply refer to concentrated THC extracts from the cannabis flower, and they are excellent dabbing choices. These include, but aren’t limited to:
Crumble. Known for its unique crumbly texture, it has a yellow colour and high THC levels. Sometimes called wax, it’s extracted using a solvent (like butane) under heat and pressure.
Diamonds or “sauce.” A pure form of cannabis, diamonds are extracted from cannabis oil (the sauce) using solvents.The sauce concentrate is heated under pressure to create crystalline THC structures called diamonds.
Hashish. Commonly known as hash, hashish is made from the dried resin or “kief” from the cannabis flower, then put under heated pressure to form a block. It’s typically chocolatey or sandy brown, or khaki-green in colour.
Rosin. Similar to many other concentrates on this list, rosin is made without solvents using a combination of heat and pressure on cannabis plant material called the trichomes.
Shatter. A solid, translucent cannabis extract similar in appearance and texture to actual glass.
One concentrate is no better than another — it’s really up to your personal preference. Since all concentrates range in consistency and THC power, consult a budtender in our online chat if you have any questions about what’s best for your dabbing use. Otherwise, order or buy weed and cannabis concentrates online in Canada right here.
What to Watch Out For
The main issue to watch for when dabbing — particularly if you’re a beginner — is practicing safety when heating the nail with the blowtorch.
Besides the flame itself, the torch’s metal flame guard will stay hot well after the torch has been switched off, as can the nail attached to your rig.
Some users find it safer and easier to keep the blow torch stationary using a tray fitted to the canister so the torch stays still and upright.
You can maneuver the rig to hold the banger in front of the flame. Once the banger is heated, carefully set the rig down to continue your dab.
Also, always make sure you have all your equipment ready, and you’re comfortably seated before you begin dabbing. Standing up, leaning over, and reaching for items can lead to spills, burns and broken rigs.