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Dab Rig Essential Guide

Getting into the world of extracts and concentrates can be an intimidating process. Fortunately, it’s actually a pretty simple! This guide is designed to cover everything you need to know to use a dab rig with confidence. Get ready… to get dabbed out!

Setup: Absolute Essentials

 

Dab Rig

What is a dab rig? The term “dab rig” is typically used for a bong that is specifically designed for smoking dabs. This means that it has a different shape than most of the bongs you’ve used before. Many rigs incorporate something called a “recycler” that collects resin in the water that can later be reclaimed. Most bongs can be converted into a dab rig. Although some purists might scoff at the idea, you could replace the bowl of any bong with a nail.

Dab Nail

A dab nail, otherwise known as a bucket or banger, is what sets a dab rig apart from regular bongs. A nail is usually shaped like a small bucket, with a curved or angled stem that fits into the down stem of the rig. This piece can sustain high temperatures, and is heated to over 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows instant vaporization of the dab as it hits the nail. Much like the bowl to a bong, your nail must fit into whatever type of bong or rig you’d like to use. 

Torch

In order to heat your nail to the desired temperature, you’ll need a torch. Regular lighters or even small cigar torches typically will not be enough to adequately heat a banger to the ideal temperature. You need a small crème brulee torch, or something like a propane camping torch.

Dab Tool

Most dabs are consistencies that can be difficult to handle. Specific tools made for dabs help to get the small amount of dab safely into your banger. Dab tools can be made out of metal, ceramic, or glass. It is important to remember that whatever tool you use to dab off of, is exposed to the high temperatures of the nail. Never use anything that would be hazardous if heated.

Cotton Swabs

After taking your dab, you want to clean out your nail. Besides using cotton swabs to mop up the remaining dab, you can also use your torch to burn off leftover dab in your nail. This is useful when the dab has already cooled. A cooled dab will be extra sticky; cotton swabs should only be used right after taking a dab while the oil is still hot and liquid.

The Process of Using a Dab Rig

  1. Begin heating your nail with the torch, approximately 30-45 seconds
  2. Continue heating until your temperature gauge alerts you of the correct temperature, if you do not have a gauge wait until it is red hot. 
  3. Wait until the nail is no longer red, and checking to see if you can hold your hand 3-5” from your nail comfortably
  4. Prepare your dab by scooping it out with your dab tool if sugar or crumble, prepare your dab by scooping a rice grain sized amount with your tool. If using shatter it may be beneficial to warm up your tool first so the shatter will stick.. If shatter, it may be helpful to slightly warm your tool so that it will stick to the dab
  5. Carefully put your dab into the nail and set aside dab tool
  6. Cover your nail with carb cap as you begin to take inhale
  7. Spin the carb cap around to direct the airflow
  8. Once complete, take a cotton swab and mop up any remaining dab
Dab rig with various accessories

Setup: Nice to Have Extras

Temperature Gauge

The ideal temperature for most dabs is between 500-600 degrees Fahrenheit. Luckily, there are some handy gadgets that can digitally read the temperature of your nail, and alert you when it’s the right temperature. There’s also other products called e-nails that can be set to specific temperatures and will maintain those temperatures as long as you want. Perfect for your next sesh with your friends!

Carb Cap

A carb cap is typically made of glass or metal, and is designed to fit in or over the top of the dab nail. By putting the cap over the nail, it lowers the pressure, and thus lowers the boiling point of the oil. This also maximizes the convection and helps to control the airflow. Some carb caps can be spun to direct the oil around the nail for even vaporization. 

Terp Pearls

A terp pearl is a small glass ball designed to be spun around the nail with the use of a carb cap. This helps spread the oil around the nail evenly as it cools. 

Dab Containers

Storage containers for your dabs are not always necessary, since most of the time your dab will come packaged in some type of container. However, you may encounter products you want to put in a better container. Dab containers are usually made out of silicone or glass. Other dab products will be wrapped in wax paper, or a clear plastic. 

Other Ways To Smoke Dabs

There are many different ways to enjoy your favorite cannabis extracts!

Glass Straw

The most basic way to smoke dabs, a glass straw is exactly as it sounds. It looks like a glass tube with a mouthpiece and tapered tip resembling a straw. The tip is heated to temperatures using a torch and then pressed into the dab while simultaneously taking a hit from the mouthpiece. This option is usually the most cost efficient way to get into dabbing, but it’s also the hottest dabs you’ll take. 

Nectar Collector

A nectar collector is similar to a glass straw, but with a water upgrade. Along the middle of the straw, there would be an additional chamber that holds water. It is used the same way as a glass straw. The water helps to cool down the smoke, and produces a much smoother hit than a regular glass straw. 

Electronic Methods

There are many different types of electronic devices capable of vaporizing dabs on the market today. All of them are designed to accomplish the same thing, without the use of a torch. Most utilize a battery and electronic heating element to heat a container and vaporize the dab. This is a great option for those who feel uncomfortable using a torch. 

Bowls, Joints, Blunts

When it all comes down to it, you can also smoke your dab on top of your flower. You can also sprinkle it into joints or blunts. Crumble tends to be the most ideal consistency for this method. 

Cold Start Dabs

While usually the dab is put into the nail after it has been heated to temperature, a cold start dab is put into the nail then heated to temperature. This is an especially popular method for those using electronic dab rigs. 

Substance offers online ordering and curbside pickup for dabs and other fine products at all dispensary locations throughout Bend, OR and now at our newest location in Cottage Grove, OR.

More Reading:

Cannabis Consumption Methods

How to get an OMMP card

Infusing your own Cannabis Oil

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