Dabbing 101: Herb’s guide to everything you need for perfect dabs
The best way to dab is to dab prepared.
For lengthy smoke sessions and killer highs, there’s dabbing. If you’re only beginning to explore the world of highly potent concentrates, waxes, and oils, dabbing is the process of heating and smoking extracted THC using carbon dioxide or butane. Each sticky extract is dropped onto a blazing hot nail and inhaled via a dab rig. Although doing a dab might not be as quick and easy as hitting a bowl, dabbing offers an out-of-this-world experience that cannot be matched by other consumption methods. And you’d be amazed how a little bit of extract goes a long way.
Of all the ways to smoke weed, dabbing does require the most tools for a smoke session. And since you’re working with a lot more flame than you get from a Bic lighter, preparing to do your first dab can be all around intimidating. But when you have all the right tools in front of you, dabbing isn’t as complicated or time-consuming as it could be. From a high-quality dab rig to a container to store and protect your precious concentrates, here’s everything you need to dab.
1. Dab rig and nail
Of course, the number one essential tool for dabbing is a dab rig. Dab rigs come in an array of sizes and styles and are up for grabs at a variety of costs. But for those new to the art of consuming highly potent extracts, it’s always best to start off small. Not just with the size of your dab, but also the rig you use to consume it.
Something else you’ll need along with your dab rig is a nail, which is where your concentrates will be placed and burned. Most dab rigs already come with one in the package. But even if they don’t, virtually all types of nails can be bought at an affordable price.
The Grav Labs 7″ Two-Layer Circuit Rig comes with a 14mm domeless quartz nail and is both small and affordable, but still does the job exceptionally. This dab rig, using a jet-like percolator, shoots water through its two layers and creates a miniature whirlpool each time you hit it. In return, you get smoke that’s cool, soft, and refreshing, perfect for virgin lungs. Thanks to the Circuit’s curved mouthpiece, doing a dab couldn’t be more comfortable, or dry, as it also helps prevent splashback.
To drop your concentrates safely onto the nail, you’ll want a dabber. A dabber is pretty self-explanatory. It enables you to pick up your dabs and avoid sticky fingers. Using your fingers to handle your extracts is not only dangerous as the nail is extremely hot, but it’s also bad for them as it transfers oil and bacteria from your hands to your beloved stash. Being that dabbers cost next to nothing, can be found all over the web, and come in so many different designs, there’s no excuse not to spend a couple of bucks on a dabber, especially when you pay top dollar for your dabs.
Another tool you need to consume sticky oils and waxes is a torch. Unless you have an E-Rig, a device that delivers flameless dabs, or an E-Nail, a more expensive tool used for heating traditional rigs without a flame, a torch is a dabbing necessity. That’s because it’s what you use to heat your dab rig’s nail and get it to the perfect temp for dabbing, which is ideally anywhere between 350°F and 900°F. But for the best taste and the best high, you’ll want to stick to low-temp dabs.
Torches are everywhere, from Walmart to Home Depot, but some are better than others when it comes to how long they last and how fast they can heat up your rig. The Blazer Big Shot GT8000 is one of the most useful torches in the market. Although it’s more costly than most and requires a 35-gram butane canister, which is more than what most need, this torch will last a lifetime and lets you select your temperature, is super easy to use, and even comes with a detachable base to prevent mishaps. The Big Shot GT8000 is just the kind of a torch a beginner needs to dab confidently and safely.
4. Carb Cap
A carb cap, or carburetor, is what you use to cover the nail as you inhale. Carb caps reduce airflow to your nail, allowing your concentrates to boil the fullest extent. The more your concentrates cook, the tastier and thicker the smoke, and in more massive quantities. While a carb cap is a newer tool used for dabbing and isn’t something you necessarily have to have, it improves the experience of dabbing significantly by ensuring that the quality, flavors, aromas of your waxes and oils are preserved. On top of that, it makes it so that you get a full hit and never waste a drop.
5. Silicone container
You can store your cannabis concentrates a variety of ways, but silicone containers are ideal for the short-term. Dabbing newbs aren’t likely going to need to save their extracts longer than a week, but if so, wrapping them separately in parchment paper and placing them inside a mason jar or another airtight jar will do the trick. The goal is to keep them in a small, dark place. That way, all the flavors and potency of your extracts can be maintained. To learn more about storing dabs, glance over
The EDIT Collection Silicone Concentrate Jar is just the right size for storing all your sticky substances. It’s 4cm in diameter, making it a spacious place for keeping your dabs safe. Not to mention, this concentrate jar is mega cheap. And since it consists of food-grade silicone, your extracts will stay in the same, perfect condition as when you first bought them.
6. Dab mat
While a dab mat isn’t a necessity per say, it is something you need to dab the hassle-free way. Dab mats not only keep your oils and waxes neatly in place, but they are also designed to slide under your dab rig and help keep that in place too. No matter the size of your apparatus or how many tools or extracts you have, dab mats are available in all sorts of sizes and can keep even the vastest collection of dabs and dab essentials organized.
Beginners don’t need a large dab mat right away, just something small and simple, like a 2-pack of HoneyWorks Small Honey Mats. One Honey Mat can be used for your at-home dab station, and the other as backup, or for travel. Both heat-resistant and microwave-safe, these silicone mats handle all concentrates regardless of their stickiness. And they are far more environmentally friendly than parchment paper.