What is a Dab Rig?
The term “dab rig” refers to all of the equipment that is used when dabbing weed concentrates like hash and rosin. Dab rigs usually resemble small bongs. While they can vary in size, smaller is generally better for efficiency and effect.
Dab Rigs are becoming increasingly popular in the cannabis community. This is largely thanks to the recent rise to prominence of cannabis concentrates. No longer are we just burning joints, ripping bongs and smoking pipes. We are consuming ultra refined cannabis products that shine a new light on our favourite flavours.
What Are Dab Rigs Used For?
Dab rigs are perfect for consuming oils, hash, rosin and other refined cannabis products like shatter. As mentioned, dab rigs can resemble a small bong. They are usually made from glassware, but there are many types of hardware available. There are some great custom set-ups for dabbing enthusiasts wanting to enhance the dabbing experience. However, for those who are just getting started there are kits containing everything needed to set up a dab rig.
How Does A Dab Rig Work?
As we explained, a dab rig is a small bong-like contraption that vaporises hash, oils, shatter, or rosin. This is a stark difference from the combustion process that happens when smoking a bowl, or a joint. It is important to get the temperatures right when you dab, but there are a few other things to consider before you start heating up your banger.
What Is Needed To Set Up A Dab Rig?
It can be relatively expensive to get started, but entry level dab rigs are great to dip your toe. If you have tried dabbing and already know that it’s for you then invest in something a little more expensive. The quality of the experience is generally much better with good quality dab rigs. The same can be said for the material you will be dabbing too.
Nails and bangers
Bangers, also referred to as nails, are the part of the rig is where the action happens. This is where the hash, rosin or shatter is added. A good quality banger should be made of heat resistant material because it needs to be able to withstand very high temperatures. The ideal temperature for vaporising dabs is around 175 Celsius (~350 Fahrenheit) for ideal dabbing.
Electric nails are a great option for convenient dab sessions.
A carb cap is basically a lid. It too needs to be made from heat resistant material. The purpose of the carb cap is to lower the pressure in the banger to make the vaporising process more efficient.
The preferred heating device for dabbers is a butane blow torch. It would be very difficult to get the desired temperatures using a lighter, so blow torch is the easiest way to get the banger up to temp.
The implement used to introduce the hash, rosin or whatever refined cannabis product you are dabbing. Dabbers are usually made from glass or a metal that can withstand high temperatures.
These little balls of greatness disturb the oils during the vaporisation process. Typically made from glass or quarts, terp pearls whizz around the banger when the dabber inhales. This disturbance makes sure to get the most out of the highly concentrated cannabis products.
Why Is Dabbing So Popular?
Vaping has exploded in popularity in the nicotine world because it is regarded as less harmful than smoking. People have found ways to use vaping technology to consume weed too. This is where Dab Rigs enter the scene.
Dabbing uses highly concentrated cannabis products. The cannabis industry is going through immense development. Age old techniques such as hash making are being refined through the application of more scientific techniques. The results are products that are revolutionising the way we get high.
There are a variety of potential health benefits associated with dabbing when compared to smoking marijuana. The temperatures involved in vaporising and dabbing essentially can be less harmful than combusting material as is the case when smoking a joint. This way of medicating is very popular with some people because it can be less harsh. For others, it is popular because it opens a world of new flavours and THC experiences.
The Best Way To Use a Dab Rig
Dabbing is getting more popular, yet so many people don’t know the best way to use a dab rig. Whether you are using a dab rig for medicinal or recreational purposes, it is really important to make sure you have a safe set up. Dab rigs rely on very hot implements so there is a risk of injury and a serious risk of fire. Making sure dab rigs are set up and used in the correct way will protect you and reduce the risk of accidents. It will also mean you get the most from your concentrates. If you’re set up and ready, follow these steps to really enjoy the experience of the dab
Setting Up a New Dab Rig
New dab rigs need to go through a little pre-dab preparation to ensure safety. When all of your kit is factory fresh it could still be coated with products, trace elements and contaminants. Give everything a wipe down with a damp cloth. Once all of the components are clean and dry it’s time to make sure everything fits together and seals properly. There are some really complicated dab rigs out there. It does not matter if the rig includes the most efficient percolator and an electric nail, every dab rig needs to have good seals!! Just check that the banger fits snugly inside the joint
Once the rig ready it is important to give everything a dry run without adding any product. Fill up the chamber with enough water to cover the downstream inlet. Give it a blow and make sure there is not so much water that it could reach your face when it bubbles.
Season the Banger
Heating up the banger for the first time can release residues that may have been left behind during manufacture and transport. Dab nails can be made from a wide range of materials including quartz, glass and titanium. Whatever the nail is made of, it is always advisable to try to burn off any nasty substances before you use a dab rig and inhale the fumes. Quartz banger also need to be sealed by a process of heating, applying essential oils and then quenching in water. Repeating the process several times ensures a thoroughly sealed banger, which will last longer and won’t interfere with the terpenes.
Note: Alwats use heat proof implements to handle everything and always be careful around hot items.
Get Everything Ready
Once you are confident that everything works, it is time to prepare for your first dab. This means heat mats out, dab rig set up, blow torch primed, dabber out and concentrates within reaching distance. Some people prefer to get their dab ready before they heat the banger, others prefer to wait until they’re ready to dab. It matters not.
Heat That Banger
Follow the manufacturer instructions for you blowtorch and always stay safe. Place the flame tip around 5cm (3 inches) away from the banger. Aim to heat up the whole banger and heat from more than one side, but be careful not to heat up the dab rig, especially not to catch any parts that you touch with your hand or face. Some people prefer to heat their banger away from the rig and place it in once it is heated.
Be sure to get the nail red hot – it should glow orange! Once it stops glowing it is best to wait at least 30 seconds for it to cool down. If a nail is too hot it will combust the cannabis concentrates – vaporisation happens at lower temperatures.
Remember there is no set rule for how to achieve the optimum nail temp. Different nails heat up and cool at different rates, and cannabis concentrates such as hash or rosin each vaporise at different temperatures.
Learning how to appreciate the differences between different dab rigs and different concentrates is key to dabbing. An infrared temperature gun can help refile the process, but always use trial and error. Eventually you will end up with a reliable process.
Once you are content with the temperature of the nail, it is time to introduce your dab to the banger. Scoop a small amount of concentrate onto the dabber. Don’t use too much as these products can have very high THC Concentrations – you can always set up another dab afterwards.
Make sure all of the concentrate goes into the banger. It should glide off the dabber very easily, but if you need to wipe the dabber on the sides to make sure it all goes in that is fine.
While all this is going on you should have been steadily inhaling the vapour that is produced.
Now is the time to introduce your pearls if you have them, and once everything is in the nail it’s time to seal the deal with the carb cap. The carb cap changes the pressure inside the chamber and makes sure everything vaporises consistently in the banger.
Continue to inhale until you’re confident everything is done as you watch the vapours travel through the dab rig. Once everything stops bubbling you’re pretty much done, so just enjoy the sensation.
Change the Water In Your Dab Rig
Changing the water is always a good idea every now and then. It is not necessary to change the water between each dab, but over time the water will start to impart some flavour on the concentrates you are dabbing. Depending on how often you use the dab rig, you may want to change the water between sessions.
Staying Safe And Clean When You Are Dabbing
It goes without saying that safety is really important when dab rigs are involved. We are dealing with high temperatures, glass, blowtorches and highly concentrated weed products. As mentioned, heat mats are a must. Keep a heat proof glove around too. Always make sure you have good quality equipment and just be sure to enjoy responsibly.
Having a session on the dab rig is fine, but keeping everything clean ensures you get the most from your product and your rig stays in optimum condition. You can use a cloth to wipe the inside of the banger between dabs. Every once in a while it is also good to give it a thorough clean with isopropyl to remove any residue build up.
If you are reading this dabbing guide and want to get started then there we recommend a kit to get going. It can be a little overwhelming when starting out. If you don’t have access to a dab rig or you can’t get concentrates there are always alternatives. Why not just roll a joint of your favourite flower and smoke a good old fashioned doobie.
Buy a Dab Rig
We hope this article has been helpful for you and there are more coming in the near future. Here at How2Roll we’ve tried a fair few dabs rigs in the past. Below are a selection of entry-level products that will be perfect for you to start dabbing. The cool part is that if you make any purchases through the links we will earn a small commission!
Happy dabbing people!