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How to Use a Dab Rig for Beginners

Maybe it’s your first time, or you just need some brushing up on how to take a dab: either way, these steps will leave you feeling confident and ready to hit like a dab pro.

Posted by Carlyn Atkinson on

Hitting dabs can produce one seriously enjoyable high, and is loved by many around the world - but dabbing also has a reputation for being difficult to master and causing an uncontrollable high compared to a bong or other glass smoking piece.

Making sure you hit your dab right will make sure you have only the best experience possible. Maybe it’s your first time, or you just need some brushing up on how to take a dab: either way, these steps will leave you feeling confident and ready to hit like a dab pro.


What is a dab? Why should you dab vs smoke?

"Dabbing" refers to consuming highly concentrated forms of cannabis. A "dab" itself is a concentrate of butane hash oil that is a more potent version of smoking THC. It can come in many forms that you've likely heard of, like wax, shatter, budder, or honeycomb (among others).

While dabbing is a newer way of consuming cannabis compared to smoking dry herb, it can be used in similar ways. Like dry herbs, these cannabis concentrates can be dabbed,  vaped, or cooked into a delicious treat and eaten.

Concentrates are made by extracting cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant, making dabs incredibly potent and fast-acting which is why some smokers prefer it as a quick and enjoyable way to get stoned. Hitting a dab also requires a different setup similar to a bong type of glass or silicone water pipe, and high temperatures to heat up the wax concentrate.

Stoners enjoy this way of consuming cannabis because it provides a less harsh smoking experience than inhaling straight-up smoke from a joint, blunt, bowl, or one-hitter. Smoking dabs can be a way to get a more potent high than regular flower, while also hitting less.


What will you need to hit a dab?

Hitting dabs require a few tools different than what you may be used to, but luckily Smoke Cartel has all the dab accessories required to get started. The few basics are pretty cost-friendly, but are must-haves in order to have a decent dab rig setup.

Nails/Bangers - Best compared to a bowl from a bong, a dab nail or banger is a type of bowl made to withstand the high temperate of a hot nail. Dab nails are typically made out of titanium, ceramic, and even quartz nails.

Butane Torch - This torch is hotter than a regular lighter, and will heat up your wax concentrates to the perfect dabbing temperature.

Silicone Containers This is a great feature to add on to use as a travel container for your dabs, as they are a sticky substance. Silicone will provide a heat-resistant and non-stick surface, perfect for your crumble, shatter, and oil, not to mention most are usually airtight to prevent stale wax. 

Carb Caps - A carb cap is a small lid placed on top of your nail once your dab is heated up and will minimize waste and maximize vapor production.

Dabber Tool - The dab tool is perfect for handling sticky wax. The stainless steel dabber tool with a silicone grip is built with durable stainless steel, and has an imprinted texture for a safe grip. The silicone tip makes it great for use with oils, thick waxes, and concentrates.

Recycler Bongs - This is a great hybrid smoking piece that can be used for wax and flower alike. There are also other types of pipes made from glass and sometimes silicone.

It is very easy to find complete kits that have all these tools together, making set-up super easy!


How To Use The Dab Rig To Smoke A Dab

Now that you have all your necessary supplies, it’s time for the best part, actually using the dab rig to smoke from!

  • To start, you will need to prepare your dab and dabber tool, dose out the correct amount of wax or shatter onto your dabber tool and make sure there is enough water in your percolator on your rig.
  • On a traditional rig, use your dab torch or preferred heating element to heat up the nail to your desired temperature.
  • Now it’s time to actually place the wax into the nail, cover it with the carb cap, and place your mouth on the mouthpiece.
  • Once the wax vaporizes, inhale as you would a bong!
  • If using an e-nail or an electronic nail or rig, skip the heating up part, because the battery operated device does all the work to get the perfect high temperature.
  • Continue to smoke as normal! Sit back, relax, and enjoy your high. As always, make sure to thoroughly clean your dab rig.

Check out Smoke Cartel as your new online headshop for the best deals and smoking gear.

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