A dab rig is a special piece of gear, designed specifically for inhaling cannabis concentrates, referred to as dabs. They are typically made of glass and mostly consist of two main parts: a main “rig” and an attachment known as a “banger” or “nail”. Dab rigs work in a similar way to how bongs do with their dried flower buds. They provide a potent, flavourful, and smooth experience for users.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a good grasp of the following:
- What a Dab rig is
- How a dab rig works
- The benefits of a dab rig
- Why a dab rig may be right for you
We’ve already covered a good working definition, but let’s dig a little deeper by getting to know some of the terminology used around dab rigs in general.
Essential dab rig terminology
The cannabis plant is covered in resinous glands that contain cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds. These glands are called trichomes and their contents can be extracted by various methods. What you’re left with is a highly concentrated form of cannabis, this is your “dab” material.
A dab is a small dose of your cannabis concentrate. You can decide how big or small to make your dab, but around half the size of a grain of rice is a good rule of thumb for beginners.
The banger is where the magic happens, it’s that part that you heat up before placing in your dab. The banger gets hot, really hot. 450°C is what you’re aiming for in most cases. They are typically made of glass or quartz, the latter being a better option as it doesn’t crack under extreme heat like glass can.
A nail has the same function as a banger, some people even use the terms interchangeably. The main differences are in their shape, bangers tend to be curved at a 45° or 90° angle while nails tend to be straight up and down. Nails also are usually made of titanium although you can find quartz and glass nails too
After flowing through the down stem, the vapour from your dab collects in the chamber. Within the chamber you’ll find a percolator, which is a fancy way of saying “cooling device”. You’ll have a bit of water in the bottom to help cool the vapour before you inhale.
If you can’t figure this one out, you may need a little more help than this article can provide. It’s where you inhale from.
Your “dabber” is what you’ll use to place your dab into the banger once it reaches the right temperature. Using a dab tool is essential to protect your fingers from the extreme heat of the banger or nail. They resemble something you might find on a surgeon’s table, a long thin tool usually made from stainless steel.
This acts as a lid for your banger or nail. It works in the same way as a pot on the boil, the lid keeps the heat from being lost to the outside air. Similarly, a carb cap keeps the temperature in the banger high, and ensures you don’t lose that precious vapour.
These little gems (literally) are one of the most popular additional accessories to a dabbers kit. They’re little balls made from quartz or ruby, that sit inside your banger. After you add your concentrate, cap it and start drawing, the terp pearls spin around the banger, dispersing the oil evenly. They’re great for getting the most out of low temperature dabs and enhancing the flavour and overall experience.
Now that you’re armed with the lingo, let’s see how a dabbing experience works from start to finish. We’re going to recommend you start with the 30/30 method. It’s great for beginners and gives you something solid to start playing around with until you find what works for you.
- Make sure that your dab rig is set up on a solid surface, it’s going to get hot and you do not want it tipping over.
- Have your dab tool, concentrate container and torch lighter all ready to go.
- (Optional) add your terp pearls if you have some.
- Get the stopwatch up on your phone and put it down somewhere easily visible.
- Hit the banger with some heat! Start your stopwatch, aim your torch lighter at the bottom edge of the banger and wait 30 seconds.
- Stop applying direct heat and wait for another 30 seconds. When your stopwatch says 1 minute, you’re good to go.
- Simultaneously start drawing from the mouthpiece and add your concentrate to the banger using your dab tool. You smear the concentrate on the inner wall toward the bottom edge.
- Place the carb cap on and let it rip. Draw from the mouthpiece until all the vapour is gone.
- Give the banger a clean with some q-tips (ear cleaner sticks). Cleaning straight away keeps everything nice and clean.
Remember this is just one method to get you going, there are dozens of great tutorials and tips on YouTube. Once you get going you’ll quickly learn what works for you and we’re positive that dabbing will become a new favourite for you.
Why use a dab rig?
Now that you know what a dab rig is and how to use one, the next question is why should you bother with dabbing? It seems like there’s a bit of a learning curve and a bunch of gear you need to buy. Wouldn’t it be easier to just stick to other methods? We certainly don’t think so. Here are our top reasons why you should want to give dabbing a go.
Using cannabis concentrate is the main appeal of using a dab rig. Cannabis flower typically offers a potency of around 10-30%. Cannabis concentrates possess a THC content over 50% and sometimes as high as 80%! This means that you’re going to have a more powerful high compared to traditional smoking methods.
Because of the water filtration system built into the dab rig, you’re going to get a nice smooth hit every time. You can control the intensity of your hit by getting to know what temperature works for you.
One of the great benefits of dabbing is not having to deal with the dirty stuff. Smoke, ashes, bong water and stinky roaches are all things left behind by other methods. With dabbing, your concentrate disappears into a puff of vapour, directly into your airway. All you’re left with is a little clean water in the base of the rig.
Dabbing allows you to experience the full flavour of your plant, great for those who enjoy the palate experience of a session.
Let’s be honest, a dab rig is a pretty impressive looking set up. On top of that, there are quite few things that go into setting up and actually having your session. This allows for you to develop a little ritual, which actually adds to the whole experience. You’ll find that anyone who has a favourite method for their cannabis consumption, most often has some kind of ritual.
A Couple of Precautions
Dabbing is potent
We’ve just listed this as a benefit to dabbing, but if not treated carefully, this could lead to a bit more than you bargained for. Remember you can always take another dab so start small! While you can’t overdose on cannabis it’s still not desirable to have more than you can handle at once. Remember half a grain of rice to start with, work up from there.
It Gets Hot!
You’re going to need some serious heating capability to get that banger up to temp. This means you’re going to be dealing with a blow torch lighter. These are dangerous if not used with utmost care. That banger is going to get hot as well so remember to set your rig up on a sturdy surface and keep clear once it’s hot.
The world of dab rigs is intriguing and exciting, offering cannabis enthusiasts an innovative way to enjoy their favourite plant. Although it might seem daunting at first, getting to grips with a dab rig can really enhance your cannabis consumption journey. If you’re considering giving a dab rig a shot, it’s advisable to start slow, with small doses of concentrate, until you’re comfortable with the procedure.
Whether you’re an experienced cannabis aficionado ready to delve into the realm of dabbing, or a curious newbie seeking to understand the buzz surrounding dab rigs, this blog hopefully offers a clearer understanding of this curious device. Make sure you check out the dab rigs we have on offer. We have all you need to get started and can even sort you out with your own rosin press, a device used to extract your very own concentrate.