What is a Dab Rig? - The Basics of Dabbing

Dabbing and dab rigs are a fan favorite within the cannabis community because of the clear and strong high it provides. It’s a way to diversify your smoking experience if you want a more flavorful and smooth method of getting your dosage of THC. The smoothness paired with the flavor changes the way that a lot of people consume THC. It has also turned a lot of traditional weed smokers into dabbers. 

What is a Dab Rig?

With the rising popularity of THC products in the last decade and thelegalization of marijuana across many states, new ways to consume cannabis have emerged. 

Dabs were included in the rise of THC products, and with that, dab rigs went hand in hand. Rigs are similar to bongs but have features that make their anatomy a little bit different for a more powerful high. 

To get into it, a dab rig is basically the instrument used to vaporize your THC concentrate. With abong or abowl, you light up to burn dry herb and inhale the smoke. However, a dab rig is designed to vaporize cannabis concentrates by applying high- temperature heat. With that being said, dab rigs are typically much smaller since we’re inhaling vapor instead of smoke, and it’s a lot more potent.

What’s a Dab?

Dabs are a beloved staple in the cannabis community. Dabs, also known aswax or shatter, are highly concentrated THC extracts that are in a sticky, gooey, yet somewhat solid form. Since it’s so strong, we only need a small amount to get a powerful high. 

Even better, it allows for a clear, smooth hit compared to ripping a bong which is nice because it allows smokers a different experience than with weed. And for a hybrid experience, many smokers put shatter in theirjoints for a slower, stronger burn. 

Pros and Cons of Dabbing with a Rig



  • Smoking out of a dab rig is more efficient because of its potency 
  • There is a pure plant-like flavor that smokers enjoy
  • The high is faster and stronger than smoking dry weed
  • It’s very strong, so new smokers need to be cautious if they’re prone to anxiety or paranoia
  • Dab rigs aren’t as transportable as a joint or bowl 
  • They require a torch instead of a lighter

How Does a Dab Rig Work?

Basically, through a rig, we vaporize our THC concentrate by heating it up with a torch to reach high temperatures. The rig then fills up with vapor for us to inhale and give us that smooth, flavorful high. The rig has its own bowl called a nail or a banger which is where you place the wax. 

Instead of lighting up the concentrate like you would with traditionaldry herb, you light up the banger, which then causes the wax to vaporize for a smooth inhale. The nail is usually made out of glass, but sometimes silicone or other materials, so it needs to be able to withstand extremely high temperatures. 

Step-by-Step Dabbing with a Rig

Our main goal with any cannabis consumption is to get that perfect high, so it’s important to know the perfect way to heat up your wax through the nail of the rig. Here, you can follow step-by-step to maximize your experience:

1. First, once you have your rig and your concentrate, you can place a tiny amount of the concentrate onto your dabber (many people do this with a tool called a dab claw). I recommend putting a small amount on the claw if you are a beginner.

2. Next, turn on your torch and put it directly towards the center of the nail to heat it up. The time it takes to get to that perfect temperature depends on the size and material of your rig, but the nail should get to a red-hot color once it’s ready.  This is typically between 315 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit to maximize the flavor and strength of the hit.

3. Once your nail is red-hot, let it cool down a bit before you drop your wax in with the dabber. A good rule of thumb is doing a 30 to 30, which is heating up your nail for 30 seconds and letting the nail cool for about 30 seconds. If you put the concentrate in too quickly, it could explode and burn you. If your rig is quartz, it’s especially important to wait those 30 seconds for the cool down.

4. After that, you’re ready for your hit, so place the cap on the nail, let the concentrate vaporize, and enjoy a flavorful inhale until the vapor is gone. If you’re new to cannabis use and dabbing, make sure to only inhale a small amount. You don’t want to overwhelm your body and feel any potential negative effects! Just remember that the results of dabs are much stronger compared to smoking dry herb, so you will feel that in the high.

5. Lastly, let the rig cool a bit, then take a q-tip and wipe out that nail to keep it clean. 

Don’t Forget the Dab Rig Accessories

These accessories make for a perfect experience while hitting your dab rig. These necessities include:

  • Carb caps: You place these over your nail to fully heat up and vaporize the concentrate
  • Dabber tools:This includes dab claws which you place the concentrate into the nail with (these are important to avoid burns while dropping the concentrate in)
  • Nails and bangers:This is where you will place and heat your wax
  • Blow torch:To heat your nail up to the perfect temperature for vaporization

In conclusion

Dabs and dab rigs are a favorite way to smoke for many cannabis users. It offers a tasty, smooth, and potent high for new or experienced smokers. It’s important to understand the potency when deciding to hit a dab instead of burning traditional flower. 

If you follow the step-by-step-guide on how to perfectly vaporize your wax, you’ll be able to indulge in an enjoyable experience. Make sure to get all of your accessories, invest in a good rig, light that nail up to the perfect temperature, and you’ll be good to go. 


What is a dab nail?

A dab nail is a shallow dish that slides into the downstem of your dab rig. This is where you’ll place your concentrate and apply your heat. 

What is a dab pen?

Dab pens, also known as wax pens, work by heating a cannabis concentrate to smoke. It’s known to produce a clear high, and they’re conveniently sized to fit right in your pocket. 

What types of dab rigs are there?

There are plenty of options to choose from when buying a dab rig. This includes silicone, glass, recycler, mini, and e-rigs. They all have a different purpose, and a professional at a smoke shop can help find the perfect one for you. 

What is an electric dab rig?

An electric dab rig, or an “e-rig,” is a vaporizer device that uses an electric or battery-powered heat source compared to a traditional dab torch. This typically has a glass mouthpiece and quartz heating coil and offers a portable way to dab. 

What is a dab rig banger?

A dab rig banger is a type of dab nail where we place and heat our concentrate for vaporization. It’s similar to the bowl on a bong, except the banger itself is being heated instead of the weed. 

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