As the mainstream culture continues to embrace cannabis use, people are increasingly becoming experimental with how they consume the plant. And businesses have indulged the public with a growing catalog of products. But one consumption method has persisted, keeping pace with all the industry innovations. 

This article discusses dabbing and serves as a millennial’s guide to dabbing essentials.  

Dabbing 101 

Dabs are THC concentrates extracted from cannabis plants. The extraction process separates trichomes from cannabis plants. The different extraction methods affect the concentrate’s form and potency. The resin is then collected and concentrated using solvents.  

These days, dabs are primarily butane honey oil (BHO), ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, or CO2 based extraction. These solvents are used to extract THC into concentrates that include the following: 

  • Oils: Ideal if you prefer pure and flavorful concentrates. They burn at lower temperatures, which preserve terpenes when vaporized.  
  • Waxes: These concentrates contain the highest THC percentage, often leading to a more intense and long-lasting high.  
  • Shatter: This glass-like extract has emerged as a favorite among dabbing fans. Its brittle texture tends to break when snapped, hence the name. This has a similar THC concentration to wax, using the same BHO extraction process.  
  • Distillate: While it may look like wax, distillates don’t have any naturally-occurring portions of the cannabis plant apart from THC. Without terpenes or flavonoids, the concentrate is as close to pure THC as you can get, making it extremely potent.  
  • Rosin: Instead of using solvents in the extraction process, this extract is squeezed out of the cannabis plant using heat and pressure.  

Dabbing refers to vaporizing these concentrates using dab rigs. These rigs look much like regular glass bongs. However, dabbing rigs have what’s called a ‘nail,’ where dabs are vaporized instead of a bowl where the flower is placed and burned. Generally, dab hits are considered cleaner and more potent than toking from a bong, joint, or pipe. Its effects usually last longer as well, meaning you need less product.   

Dabbing Essentials 

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably exploring other methods of cannabis consumption. And with dabbing basics out of the way, this article discusses the things you’ll need for a solid dabbing setup.   

Traditional Dabbing Rig Setup 

The growing acceptance and commercialization of cannabis have inevitably brought better technology to the cannabis industry. But to get the dabbing basics pat down, you’ll need to understand the components of a traditional rig. If you’re a bong user, you’ll want a separate rig designed for dabbing, as these are made to withstand considerably higher temperatures than a regular glass bong. If you’re going with a traditional rig, you’ll also need the following: 

  • Nail: A solid, heat-resistant nail is crucial to your dabbing setup as it’s responsible for heating your concentrates. Make sure you get a nail that fits your rig. You also want a rig made from high-quality materials, such as titanium. While titanium nails are more expensive, they can last as long as you’re dabbing (if you don’t lose them first). Alternatively, you can opt for more affordable ceramic and quartz glass nails.  
  • Dabbing Tool: These tools look like the small precision tools used on watches and eyeglasses. It may seem like something you can replace with any household item, but dabbing tools are specially designed to scoop the tiniest dabs, allowing you to load them neatly onto the nail. While you’ll have plenty of options for this, it’s best to get a heat-resistant one.     
  • Torch: A solid torch is essential to the traditional dabbing rig experience, as you’ll need to vaporize your dab to get that perfectly thick and smooth hit. Again, you’ll have several options for torches, but ensure you get something that can heat up your nail as quickly as possible.  

Yes, there are more convenient ways of dabbing. But much like rolling joints, some people enjoy the whole ritual of using traditional dabbing rigs.   

Carb Cap 

You can get away without this rig accessory, but it would be wise to include this in your kit. Carb caps allow you to vaporize dabs at lower temperatures. If you’re just getting into dabbing, it’s common to overheat the nail and burn the dab instead of vaporizing it. Carb caps hinder this by restricting the airflow to the nail. In addition, this helps preserve cannabinoids and terpenes, which are usually lost to higher temperatures.   

Dab Containers 

Dabs can be sticky, oily, or both, which can be quite messy. Most dabbing rigs will provide you with a dab container. If you don’t have one, look for a non-stick container made of silicone. Apart from safely containing your precious concentrates, it also limits wastage.  

Electronic Dabbing Rigs 

If you’re looking for a powerful hit minus the tedious process entailed by traditional dabbing rigs, you can take the electronic route. Also known as e-rigs, these devices use electricity to heat the chamber. The specifics will vary depending on the device, but e-rigs usually allow you to set the precise temperature for your dab. The top products also do away with the nail and torch, superheating your concentrates in seconds with a press of a button.  

E-rigs come in different shapes and sizes, from elaborate ones as big as traditional rigs to sleek vaporizer pens that fit in your pocket. If you’re unsure if you’ll enjoy dabbing as much as your other cannabis consumption methods, you might want to go with vaporizer pens, as they’re more convenient and straightforward to use. Once you understand your dabbing preferences, you can progress to more sophisticated setups.  

Final Words  

The potent and long-lasting highs have made dabbing an integral part of the cannabis-smoking culture. If you’re looking to expand your cannabis consumption methods, you can’t go wrong with dabbing.