The popularity of dabbing defied expectations, with many critics dismissing it as a passing fad. Smokers are switching to dabbing as the benefits become more apparent, since it is less harmful than smoking from a joint or a glass water pipe.
Dabbing is the practice of smoking extracts, oils, or concentrates using a dab rig. Dab rigs are types of water pipes specifically designed for burning concentrates. The dome and “nail,” which is typically composed of quartz, titanium, or glass, make up a rig.
Dabbing entails the usage of concentrated products like wax or shatter, which necessitates the use of a specialized piece of equipment.
Over the last several years, an increasing number of scientific research have found that medical marijuana has advantages; in particular, cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. While smoking dry herbs through joints, bongs, and other devices is still a popular pastime, a growing number of individuals are seeking for alternative methods to enjoy the cannabis plant. Vaping has become “the next big thing,” but dabbing isn’t too far behind.
Perhaps you’ve already dabbed and liked it a little. If that’s the case, you might be looking for a dab rig. While we live in an age when there are many options, the size of the equipment range can be daunting to newcomers. Words like “nail” and “dome” (which we’ll discuss later) may already have caused you to believe that you’re out of your element.
We’ll show you what dab rigs are and what they do in this complete guide. We’ll educate you about the many accessories and alternatives available, as well as our take on the 10 Best Dab Rigs on the market in 2022.
What Is a Dab Rig & How Do I Dab?
A dab rig is a glass bong that’s used to intake vapors produced from cannabis botanicals, such as oils, extracts, and concentrates. Dry herb rigs are also available. Although the phrase “smoke” may appear on occasion, it is critical to understand that you are not actually smoking the product; at least not in the same way as cigarettes or joints.
A rig, unlike a traditional smoking device, should not cause anything to catch fire. A torch is used to heat up a nail instead of a flame. When wax is applied to the nail’s surface, it becomes so hot (usually between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit) that when cannabis is placed on it, vapor escapes. Dabbing rigs are meant to keep the vapors inside rather than wasting anything. Inhaling marijuana through a dabbing rig is one of the most efficient methods of ingestion available.
The term “dabbing” refers to the act of vaporizing a small amount of concentrate with a rig. Concentrates are more secure than other drugs since they are hard and less prone to run off the nail. A dabbing implement should be included with each rig so that you can place the wax securely on the hot nail without hurting yourself.
Aside from e-nails, which heat up automatically, a nail must be heated with a torch. When applying the wax, make sure you put your mouth on the mouthpiece to ensure that it vaporizes quickly. If you don’t have a “dome,” you’ll have to wait for the device to cool down before storing it away. Dabbing is popular because it provides a consistent experience and is less harsh than smoking a joint, for example.
How Are Dabs Made?
Dabs are highly concentrated dosages of marijuana that are made by extracting cannabinoids like THC and CBD. To extract the cannabinoids, manufacturers generally utilize carbon dioxide or a solvent such as butane. The end product is shatter, wax, budder, concentrate, or butane hash oil (BHO).
The technique of extracting dabs with cold water is probably the most well-known method. It entails freezing ice water and obtaining a dark brown powdery substance. It’s produced by removing trichomes; these are tiny fibers that contain the majority of marijuana’s active components. Trichomes resemble little hairs and are crammed on marijuana buds, so you’ll be able to spot them easily.
You may freeze flower buds and turn them into ‘bubble hash‘ by applying a trichome-rich coating. They’re shaken manually, then filtered through bubble bags, which are composed of plastic. The bags have varying-sized holes in them. When the THC-enriched trichomes are frozen, you can remove them from the flowers.
You repeat the process, bagging and winnowing the material with progressively smaller holes, to retain the trichomes and remove the ice water. Finally, any extra plant matter is removed, leaving only a pure type of marijuana. Finally, you air dry the goods to get rid of any remaining moisture.
Most dispensaries use butane extraction to create dabs, because bubble hash is both rare and costly. BHO involves extracting the terpenes and cannabinoids from a marijuana plant. Butane is a chemical solvent that washes over the substance and dissolves the cannabis plant’s compounds. After removing the residual solvent, you’re left with only pure cannabis extract in the end.
There are two distinct extraction techniques. The most popular DIY technique is open loop extraction, in which the solvent is sprayed through one end of a tube packed with marijuana. At the opposite end of the tube, there are a set of connected filters that allow the solvent to pass through.
Butane is a hazardous ingredient since butane solvents are highly combustible and the majority of dabs created by do-it-yourselfers fail to adhere to necessary safety procedures. Furthermore, there is no procedure for removing residual contaminants from BHO. The danger of an incident is also significant.
Closed Loop Extraction is used by respected businesses because it is safe, efficient, and produces less-polluted oil. There are two vessels on either side of the cannabis: one for collecting the solvent and another for receiving it. The solvent is pushed through the weed from Vessel #1 to Vessel #2, where it is sealed and pressurized. Then it’s sent back to Vessel #1. The marijuana solution is vacuum-purged to remove the last traces of butane after being evaporated from the solution.
A Brief History of Dabbing
Dabbing is a relatively new practice, and therefore dab rigs have only been accessible for a few years. Marijuana’s history, on the other hand, dates back tens of thousands of years. There is evidence that extracts have been used in South Asian nations like Nepal and India for over 2,000 years.
In the modern era, there is evidence that concentrates have been used for at least a couple of decades.
In the modern era, concentrates have been used since at least the 1960s if not earlier, according to evidence. In the 1990s, BudderKing developed a tiny portable butane device that heated up a small attached surface and was used by users to smoke budder. Despite its inadequacies, it laid the groundwork for one of the most innovative new markets in cannabis consumption: dab rigs.
There were various ways to consume concentrates before the advent of the sophisticated rig. The hot knife technique was effective, but it had a number of issues. The Swing Skillet was an improvement over previous dabbing tools, but they got used to the Nail and Dome only after its invention. We now have domeless rigs and e-nails that heat up the nail automatically thanks to technology advancements.
Why Did the Dab Rig Rise in Popularity?
You’ll know the advantage of butane in the smoking process if you’re an experienced marijuana concentrate user. It is required to remove the potency of a plant before it becomes a concentrate, and to fully extract the concentration while you use it.
Although a standard pipe can be used, it isn’t capable of withstanding the high heat of a butane torch, while normal lighters are unable to vaporize wax. In essence, the only thing you’ll accomplish is clog your bowl and dirty your pipe while also wasting a lot of extract.
The “nail” was formed by the conductive materials used to vaporize wax, and the tube that covered the heated concentrate to control vapor became the dome and carb cap. Attempts at DIY rigs played a crucial role in developing today’s expertly constructed goods. The nail was created by the conductive materials utilized to vaporize wax, whereas the tube that covered the heated concentrate to regulate vapour became the dome and carb cap.
Types of Nail
The dab nail is critical to the success of any rig, and we’ll look at a few different alternatives available on the market.
This is one of the most durable types of glass and also one of the least expensive. However, it is still glass, making it too fragile for nails by nature.
Glass nails are the most easily broken of all glass alternatives, therefore you’ll have to replace them every now and then. Furthermore, unlike the options on this list, glass does not retain heat as effectively. As a result, it won’t be hot enough to vaporize your marijuana in the first place or else it won’t stay warm for long enough to finish the work.
It’s not as light or transparent as glass, but it does have a few things in common with it, such as its low cost and ease of breaking. It does, however, keep heat better than other materials, but you’ll need to change them once again fairly frequently.
Quartz is also constructed of pure quartz that is far more durable than either glass or ceramic and so you should have a good dabbing experience. While quartz can be difficult to overheat, it does not keep heat for long, so you won’t be able to produce much vapor by heating your wax.
Titanium is a very strong and long-lasting material that is also very light. The titanium nail is nearly unbreakable, so it will most certainly outlast your dab rig. Titanium warms up quickly and retains heat longer than glass, ceramic, or quartz. It’s the greatest of the four materials available, but its main drawback is that it overpowers quickly.
Water diffusers, on the other hand, do not provide enough pressure to drive wax through titanium nails. As a result, it’s more likely to burn your wax rather than create vapor. As a result, experienced dabbers frequently use water diffusers with titanium nails.
This is a convenient and relatively recent alternative. Rather of using a torch to light the nail, you may simply allow the e-nail to heat up the dab using electricity. E-nails provide great temperature control, allowing you to customize it based on your concentrate of choice.
E-nails are expensive and need access to electricity. Traditionalists also take issue with the torch being a part of the dabbing experience. Finally, an e-nail is an excellent investment if you have funds to spend.
What is a Domed Dab Rig?
A dome-nail rig is one with a domed nail. Domed nails hold more vapor than their domeless counterparts and heat up faster as a consequence. Domed nails are also safer to use but require a bit more effort than domeless ones.
What Is Domeless Dab Rig?
This is a domeless nail rig. They are more convenient to use, but they are also more dangerous and less attractive than domed nails.
Male & Female Nails
The intake tube is then filled with a male nail, which is inserted into the intake, whereas a female nail is placed outside of it. Some people claim that there is a significant difference in the dabbing experience between the two, while others feel nothing. The majority of dab rigs utilize male nails for some reason.
How to Clean a Dab Rig
Regardless of the waxes or oils you apply, a dab rig will eventually accumulate debris known as “reburn” or “reclaim.” The rate at which your rig gets dirty is determined by the type and how often you use it. There are certain cleaning solutions on the market that aim to make the process easier. If you don’t clean your dab rig on a regular basis, it will get clogged and unusable.
If you’re looking for a cheap way to burn weed, consider collecting and reusing the reburn. Some people even roll it up and smoke it in a joint! There are various attachments available for this purpose, and they’re generally put between the downstem and nail. When scraping your rig, store the reclaim in a container and utilize it again.
Cleaning your rig usually entails using pipe cleaners, rubbing alcohol, paper towels, and a bowl. To increase the cleaning power of the solvent, add some salt to it, according on recommendations from seasoned dabbers. Allow the booze to soak in your rig for at least an hour before removing it. The looser the reburn gets over time, the longer you leave it in there.
The alcohol’s color will eventually become darker. If your setup is particularly filthy, a second helping of booze may be required. Finish cleaning the pipe cleaner and more alcohol with the paper towels once you’re sure it’s clean enough. The use of paper towels aids in the cleanup process.
Who Would Need a Dab Rig?
If you want to quit smoking marijuana but don’t want to use a prescription drug, dabbing is an excellent choice. Concentrates are quite potent, so dabbing is also an excellent option for individuals who desire a more powerful hit. Although a rig is somewhat pricey, it should last years if properly cared for. Once you get used to dabbing, it becomes second nature.
Essential Dab Rig Safety Tips
You don’t have to worry about whether or how to use a torch if you use an e-nail with your rig. Although dabbing isn’t really dangerous, problems may arise if you don’t know what you’re doing. Never try to utilize a torch while moving about. When it’s time to dab, choose a safe location, sit down and take your time.
Although you can acquire a wide range of add-ons, most are not worth the trouble. When attempting to dab on the go, it’s usually best to keep things simple. It’s also a good idea to stick with a single chamber rig for optimal performance and convenience. Multi-chamber rigs look fantastic, but cleaning all of them may be difficult.
While you may buy a large number of add-ons, most are not worth the effort.
Before attempting to heat the nail, double-check that there is enough fuel in your torch. Once again, this is especially crucial when dabbing on the road. Imagine getting ready for a good session only to discover that your torch burner has quit working! Make sure your concentrate is prepared; many people feel it’s best to add it to the dabber first.
The torch, unlike an e-nail, requires some expertise. You must apply the flame until the nail is red hot. Then use the dabber to add the concentrate to the nail and cover your mouth with the mouthpiece. If you’ve heated the nail enough, vaporizing on impact should be simple. Here are a few things to bear in mind:
- While a portable rig with a domed nail cools down rapidly, a domeless nail takes much longer to cool down, so don’t touch it!
- If you don’t clean your rig on a regular basis, the residue buildup will irritate your dabbing. Also, reburning can get too hot and catch fire.
- You don’t have to be concerned about residual solvents if you use premium concentrates.
How Much Does a Dab Rig Cost?
A good quality dab rig with decent features will set you back at least $100. For the record, the entry-level rig on our list is $135, while the top-of-the-line model costs $740. There are even more expensive four-figure rigs available, but they don’t perform as well as high-end devices on this list.
Although the large price range may be perplexing, you typically get what you pay for. If your device costs $50, it will operate in the same way as one that costs $50! This implies it will be somewhat effective but rife with flaws. Cheaper rigs also use glass or ceramic nails, which break rather frequently. It’s also true that the style of nail and the rig itself can account for up to $200 in difference.
Benefits of Dabbing
Dabbing, as long as you use clean tested products, has several advantages. foremost, it delivers a strong dose of cannabis and works much faster than other delivery methods. If you’re experiencing chronic/severe pain or nausea, dabbing is one of the quickest and most effective ways to get relief.
Cannabis extracts that are properly produced are a clean and pure product that is kinder to the lungs than smoking. When you smoke marijuana, the plant matter burns and produces resin as well as hot smoke. Extracts deliver cannabinoids without including any extra material. The following are some of the benefits of dabbing:
- It’s a quick high that can make you feel stoned in only a few minutes. It is the most powerful form of delivery, and even seasoned users claim each dabbing session makes them feel like they’re experiencing their first high.
- Because it is a fast-acting medication, a dabbing hit may help you feel better more quickly.
- A single hit of dab is equivalent to smoking numerous joints, and because it takes only a few seconds to take a hit, you may dab any time.
- Concentrates are tiny and portable.
Downsides of Dabbing
There’s no point dancing around the subject: when done incorrectly, dabbing may be deadly. The biggest hazard comes with residential extraction, which we do not recommend. There’s no need to take a chance with a DIY version when there are so many transparent and pure concentrates on the market for cheap.
Because butane is usually used during extraction, a mix of flammable gases and poor ventilation might cause an explosion. Even if you get the substance out of the plant without causing an accident, you’re likely to wind up with a less-than-perfect wax. Professional businesses use trained extraction specialists, closed-loop extraction equipment, high-grade solvents, and lab testing to avoid problems.
There are, of course, other hazards that we’ll discuss in the sections below:
- Concentrates are significantly more powerful than flower, so you can technically overdose. While no one has died from marijuana overdosing in history, there are a number of unpleasant side effects, including vomiting, accelerated heart rate, and panic attacks. You could also faint.
- In extreme cases, too much dabbing can lead to marijuana psychosis.
- Over time, you may develop a tolerance to cannabis and need higher dosages to get the same results. If you try to withdraw from weed, there are several unpleasant side effects to consider, such as mood swings, wet dreams, and depression.
- There’s a chance of inhalating chemicals and traces of butane if you use concentrates from unknown producers. Residual hydrocarbons levels in concentrate batches less than 500ppm are deemed safe in states like Oregon and Colorado; a threshold that is far too high. Fortunately, top-level dabs only have a tiny percentage of that amount.
- While doing a home extraction, you could suffer serious or even fatal damage.
What Are the Most Common Dabbing & Concentrate Myths?
Dabs have experienced a meteoric rise in the medical marijuana sector, but BHO in particular has been maligned as a hazardous substance. Bill SB-1262, the Medical Marijuana in California Bill, was introduced in 2014 to prohibit high concentrates in the state of California. The objective was to get rid of high THC BHO.
The fact is that the concentrate market is largely unregulated, which means less pure stuff gets through. When purchasing dabs, you must be vigilant, which implies acquiring as much information as possible. We’re going to take a look at some popular concentrates myths now in order to offer you more knowledge on the subject.
FALSE: You Can Evaluate the Quality of Hash Oil Based on Texture
If the product you’re buying has the cannabinoid content and name of the strain, you’ll be ecstatic. Even so, you’re taking these businesses at their word if there is no third-party lab testing data to back up their claims.
Because there is so little information about waxes, buyers are attempting to assess quality based on the oil’s texture. This approach is a waste of time because oil may be hard, runny, crumbly, dry, or sticky and reveals nothing regarding its purity. The only reason to pay attention to texture is
FALSE: Transparent Shatter Is Grade A
Don’t be fooled by the notion that transparent shatter is an indication of superior quality. Sure, it seems attractive, but there’s no evidence to suggest it’s superior. According to Steep Hill Laboratories, a respected laboratory that has conducted thousands of tests on clear shatter, transparent shatter is more prone to include a higher residual solvent level. Because the manufacturing process for transparent shatter uses low purging temperatures, it has a greater part per million (ppm) concentration of residual solvents than other concentrates.
FALSE: BHO Is Inherently Unhealthy
CO2 extraction is increasingly prevalent for businesses to use. It’s pricey, but it ensures consistency and quality. Meanwhile, butane extraction has a negative reputation; owing to the presence of numerous low-quality BHOs as well as the risks of home extractions that frequently involve butane.
Although several respectable businesses still employ butane extraction, this is not the case in reality.
In fact, several trustworthy businesses continue to use butane extraction. They employ cutting-edge technology that produces clean oil that you can consume without risk. Extractions at home are frequently done with canned butane, which is a different story entirely. Because it isn’t food grade, there is no restriction on the amount of chemicals included in such goods.
Because gases have varying evaporative temperatures, most home extractors will have no idea which temperature to use, and the impurities will remain in the oil. You should be alright if you stick with BHO from a well-known manufacturer that has third-party lab testing results freely available.
FALSE: THC Is All That Matters
Because of its propensity to cause intoxication, THC is the most well-known cannabinoid. Because THC is the most well-known cannabinoid, it’s believed that THC content on its own isn’t significant. To begin, pick a concentrate with a low ppm of residual solvent.
Then there’s the issue of the “entourage effect,” in which the various cannabinoids and terpenes present in marijuana work better together than individually. CBD is a cannabinoid with therapeutic effects but lacks the psychotropic properties of THC.
The cannabis plant’s trichomes excrete terpenes, which give the plant its distinct aromas and tastes. Terpenes collaborate with cannabinoids to improve their medicinal effects. When the oil is refined from the plant, it should have a fragrance that is comparable to that of the flower used to make it.
Even today, cannabis consumers and dispensaries alike are concerned about the THC concentration in a concentrate. You won’t be able to tell the difference between 25% and 30% THC, so why worry about it?
FALSE: The Extraction Lab Is Where a Concentrate Becomes High-Quality
Extractions labs aren’t some kind of wonderland where low-grade cannabis magically transforms into high-quality marijuana. The quality of the concentrate you buy begins in the garden. You don’t want to purchase weed that has been heavily poisoned, for example. It’s also a terrible idea to chop down the plant, put it on the ground, and throw it in a trash bag before transporting it to the lab. If producers do not maintain careful watch over their growing and trimming procedures, their labs will be unable to transform lead into gold.
Can I Create a HomeMade Dab Rig?
It’s not funny to suggest that you could make your own dab rig out of nothing. You may use various metals as DIY nails, but if you stick with it, you might be able to produce a low-quality version.
The Apple Dab Rig is not as outrageous as it sounds, and it’s the most well-known DIY approach. You’ll need the following items:
- One apple.
- A butter knife or scissors.
- A dab nail.
- A pen.
Remove the stem from one of the apples and cut out the middle with a knife or scissors. The hole must be big enough for the nail to fit through. We suggest using a male nail because they require a smaller hole. To guarantee that you do not breathe in any apple seeds, remove all of them!
To make a hole for your mouthpiece, push your pen into the apple’s center. Around 90 degrees from the first hole, make a second hold in the apple’s side. This is where the “carb” connects to the center chamber, so it has to be there. Start using your unusual equipment with a nail inserted into the opening!
While an apple rig might be fun, using a rig designed by professionals in the business is recommended. To assist you in selecting the best dab rig, we’ve researched hundreds of brands to produce this thorough dab rig review. Let’s get down to business before we get into specifics; how can you use concentrate without a rig, and what are some things to think about when purchasing one?
Looking for a Quality Dab Rig? Here Are Five Things to Consider
1 – Mouthpiece Size
When it comes to using wax, a smaller mouthpiece is preferable because it allows you to taste it. A wide mouthpiece is popular among people who burn dry herbs since they want a powerful hit. When dabbing, however, the nail continuously lets air through (unless you use a carb cap). As a result, a tiny mouthpiece will not impact your enjoyment.
2 – Rig Size
Smaller is always better! If you have a big rig, the likelihood of the vapor losing its potency as it passes through the chamber increases.
3 – Water Filtration
There are no waterless rigs available; however, inhaling concentrates that have not been cooled via water first is never a good idea. There are certain situations when using a waterless rig is beneficial, such as while camping or traveling light, but overall, you’ll want to use one with filtering.
4 – Internal Glass Percolators
The best percs often have two or four-hole percolators, which aid in the cooling of your concentrates and make for a much more pleasant hit.
5 – Glass Joint Size
The majority of glass joints are 10, 14, or 18ml in size, with male and female measurement types. The size refers to airflow, while the gender specifies whether you need a nail for men or women. If you have a small rig for dabbing, for example, a 10ml glass joint is ideal because it has greater restriction than larger sizes.
Now that we’ve gone over dab rigs in general, how they function, and what to look for, let’s take a look at ten of the most popular models available.
Final Thoughts About Our Best Dab Rig
Rather of creating numerous lengthy paragraphs on the topic, we’ve divided the advantages and disadvantages of each rig into a simple to read table.
If you’re searching for a less harmful alternative to smoking marijuana, consider investing in a high-quality dab rig. They produce similar vapor to vape pens but give you bigger hits. In many ways, they are similar to bongs, yet they offer a more clean experience.
Bongs are used to smoke cannabis, while dab rigs employ concentrates that are purer and do not require as much filtration. Percolation causes the lovely milky white clouds in a rig’s chamber to stack up and cools the vapor before it reaches your mouth and lungs.
You don’t need to buy another dab rig once you’ve found one that’s high-quality. If you pick any one of the 10 dab rigs we’ve evaluated, it’ll last you years of pleasurable dabbling. Finally, keep in mind that marijuana concentrates are powerful, so use them responsibly.