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There are many ways to consume cannabis and cannabis products. You may know about dabbing because it does get quite a bit of attention in the cannabis industry these days. Dabbing is the most common method of consuming cannabis concentrates.

Dabbing requires a dab rig. These devices fall into a similar category with bongs or water pipes. These devices operate almost the same, but there are some differences. These two devices use different accessories and attachments to heat cannabis for smoking and vaping.

Cannabis flowers sit in a bowl attached to a water pipe or bong. A regular lighter heats the cannabis in the bowl. That creates smoke that billows up through the chamber into the mouthpiece.

A dab rig uses a different device to hold cannabis products. A regular lighter cannot heat that device to the required temperature.

A Dab Rig and Its Parts

There are many parts to dab rigs, which can make these devices seem confusing at first.

A dab rig looks like a water pipe, but there are differences between these devices. The most significant difference is the piece needed to hold your cannabis product. Dab rigs use a nail instead of a bowl on a water pipe. The nail is a platform where you place the concentrate before applying heat.

Titanium, quartz, and ceramic nails are best for dabbing. Some dab rigs have a nail with them, and other devices may need you to buy one. Nails are also known as bangers.

High-quality dab rigs have more water chambers than cheaper versions of this device. The extra water chambers serve a useful function. The idea is to move the water through more sections to help cool it down before you inhale. Cooling the vapour is a helpful feature because dab rigs can become scorching hot fast.

Basic lighters do not work with dab rigs and concentrates because they don’t get hot enough. A butane or propane torch gives you the best results. Propane gets hotter than butane and is not safe to use with ceramic nails because it can cause damage. 

The heat sources required to reach the right temperature can be dangerous. It is best to use caution when operating any torch.

Dab Rig in Action

Dab Rig in Action

Dabbing is a method of consuming cannabis that is becoming popular. It is the most used method for consuming concentrated cannabis products. There are many types of cannabis concentrates, including wax, budder, and live resin. The consistency of these products resembles wax. Concentrated products have higher levels of cannabis compounds, including THC. That makes them stronger than cannabis flowers. Potency levels for concentrates range from 50% to 80% THC. Typical cannabis flowers fall between 10% and 25% concentration of the THC compound. 

Cannabis concentrates work best with a dab rig. These products are also compatible with vaporizers.

An important step to using a dab rig is making sure you heat it to the right temperature. That is why you need to find the right tool. Otherwise, the experience may not turn out the way you hope. The goal is to reach a temperature between 350 degrees to as high as 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

It may take up to a minute to get to the optimal temperature after adding the heat source to the cannabis concentrate. Holding the flame in place takes a little practice. That is another reason to avoid using a basic lighter. It is hard to keep a lighter activated for an entire minute without hurting your hand. Wait about 10 to 15 seconds after removing the heat source from the nail before inhaling.

When you’re heating the concentrate, make sure to move the torch around the nail so the heat covers the entire surface. Your nail will likely glow bright orange and dark red once it is hot enough. Once it reaches that point, you can place the concentrate on the nail’s surface. The next step is to inhale through the mouthpiece.

The Right Heat Source

Finding the proper heat source is important for operating a dab rig the right way. A standard lighter is not powerful enough to heat cannabis concentrate in a dab rig.

A blowtorch is the best tool for dabbing because it can reach much higher temperatures. Blowtorches come in many sizes and strengths. Handheld blowtorches are the easiest to use. They may also be less expensive than other similar, larger devices. They are also somewhat safer than bigger equipment.

The most common fuels found in these devices are propane and butane. A butane blowtorch is your best option. Butane has a high heating point, which you need for dabbing. Butane has fewer impurities than propane. That’s because butane goes through a purity and refining process.

Propane and butane torches have a similar temperature range. There are negatives to propane that butane doesn’t have.

The ideal temperature for the nail is between 350 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Holding the torch to the nail longer will produce more heat. Higher temperatures may give you more massive vapour clouds and more potent hits. Some people prefer heating their devices to 700 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter. 

These devices resemble butane torches used in the culinary world and are easy to find online.

The Right Heat Source

Closing Thoughts

Cleaning your dab rig is essential. Concentrated cannabis products are sticky. They can leave a residue on your device and its parts. Make sure to clean them all before putting the machine away, or you may find a mess that’s too tough to clean up next time.

Always use caution with dab rigs because the parts become very hot. Some users believe the hotter the nail, the bigger the hit is when you inhale. Some people prefer using lower temperatures with their dab rigs. They say that it lets them enjoy the flavours more than heating it above 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures protect the compounds and terpenes in the cannabis product. Many people believe that’s important because those compounds give cannabis products their flavours and aromas. 


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