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Beginner’s Guide to Dab Rig: How-To Use

Updated September 6th, 2020

Ready to transition from more traditional hemp products to a concentrate? Well, then you’re likely considering getting your hands on a dab rig.  A dab rig is a unique device made specifically for concentrates, allowing you to enjoy them to their fullest potential.  But to someone who has never used one before, it can be quite an intimidating contraption. This is because it has some unfamiliar parts.

Good news is that using a dab rig is actually quite easy. Especially, if you’ve experience smoking hemp flower or any other kind of herbal product. First, however, let’s talk about what a dab rig is.

What is a Dab Rig, and What is it for?

A dab rig is a device for smoking concentrates, including wax, hash, shatter, resin, rosin and so on.  It’s a lot like a bong, except where there would be a more traditional bowl, there’s a chamber that sits on what’s called a nail.  This nail becomes very hot, and heats all of the concentrate at once. This in turn creates a lot of smoke to be inhaled.

The Basic Components of A Dab Rig

A dab rig has three primary components: a nail, a glass piece, and a torch lighter. Some people prefer to use a dabber (a small, short rod) to apply the concentrates. You will find a lot of dab rigs sold along with dabbers and torches as complete kits. Some people like to mix and match the components and buy them separately, which makes this a matter of personal taste more than anything.

Different Nail Styles

There is a lot of debate in the dabbing community as to which type of nail works best. Although this issue might seem too nitpicky for beginners, it is not so. The nail is responsible for heating the concentrates. It must be constructed of a material that heats up quickly and retains the heat for a sufficient time. Some of the most popular nail choices include:

  • Glass – Borosilicate is durable and works excellent in pipes and bongs. However, the material doesn’t really cut it when used as a nail. Since they don’t last very long, you will have to keep replacing them frequently. So, in the long run, you will just end up paying a lot more.
  • Ceramic – Ceramic also tends to break easily. While it retains heat better than glass, it is still an inferior option and not worth the investment.
  • Quartz – More durable than ceramic or glass and tough to overheat. The only drawback is that quartz nails do not retain heat for very long. Since it cools quickly, the concentrates may not stay heated long enough to produce vapor.
  • Titanium – This is the choice of material of experienced dabbers. The metal is practically indestructible and an excellent heat retainer. The only downside is that it can overheat and burn the concentrate. But, if you use it along with a water diffuser, you’re all set.
  • E-nails – Although few people bother with e-nails, they are really convenient. They are electric nails that have a coil and a PID that gauges the temperature of the coil. Although they cost more, you no longer have to use a torch. Also, you have much better temperature control, as you get to set the precise temperature. Since the vaporization point of different herbs varies, it is handy to have a nail where you get to set the exact temperature.

Best Practices

Unless you are using an e-nail, you need to be very careful while dabbing. Although it is not dangerous, you need to be cautious while using the torch. Don’t use it while you’re moving around. Find a secure spot and concentrate on the job at hand. Once you have settled down, get all the components in order. While there are a lot of accessories for dab rigs, like inline diffusers and showerhead percolators, most are not really worth the trouble. Just like the rig, these components can get sticky with repeated use. Once there is a sticky buildup, it can be a discomfort to clean it up.

Before you start, make sure that the torch has fuel. You don’t want to start heating up the nail only to realize that you ran out of fuel. Also, have the concentrates ready. As a matter of fact, you can apply them to the dabber’s end ahead of time. Light up the torch and hold it against the nail until it gets sufficiently hot, and then use the dabber to apply the concentrate. It will immediately produce vapor. So make sure that your mouth is over the mouthpiece. Depending on the material the nail is made of, it’ll take some time for it to cool down. On the other hand, if you are using a portable ring that comes with a domed nail, you can close it up almost immediately.

How to Use a Dab Rig

You’ll need four things handy: the dab rig itself, your concentrate, a dab tool and a butane torch.  For those unfamiliar, a dab tool is a small tool that is used to transfer your concentrate from its container to the nail without making a mess or breaking it up by accident.

Time needed: 10 minutes.

Tools: Butane Torch, Hot Nail
Supplies: Concentrates

Today, we will walk you through the steps of using a dab rig successfully in order to successfully start your dabbing sessions off right.

  1. Choose Your Concentrates

    Choose concentrates of your choice. You can find a variety of high quality dabs, waxes, and shatter here at Pure CBD Now.

    CBD Dabs Waxes and Shatter

  2. Heat the Nail

    Use your butane torch to heat the nail of the dab rig. You’ll know it’s properly heated when the nail turns red.

    Heat the Nail

  3. Scoop Out Concentrate

    While the nail is hot, you can quickly but carefully scoop out some concentrate using your dab tool, and then place it directly on top of the nail.

    Scoop Out Concentrate

  4. Concentrate is Ready to Go

    The heat of the nail will melt the concentrate within seconds, which means that you can pull on your mouthpiece to take in all of that smoke at once. Now, the nature of a dab rig only allows you to take a small number of hits before you have to add more. But know that concentrates are, well, highly concentrated, and so you’ll likely not desire as many hits as you would if you were smoking traditional flower.


A Final Note

To have the best dabbing experience possible, you wanna make sure that everything you’re using is high in quality.  Choose a reliable, durable dab rig, high-quality concentrate and the proper tools.  Also, be aware that a dab rig needs to be cleaned fairly regularly. Why? Because it can become dirty and clogged over time.

Grab a Dab Rig Today at Pure CBD Now

Using a dab rig is easily one of the best ways to experience what concentrates such as wax and shatter are capable of.  But, in order to have such an experience, you need to use it properly.  Luckily, this guide will help!

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