What is Dabbing Concentrates & How Do You Do It?

July 05, 2023

Fascinated by concentrates like budder, shatter, rosin, and wax? If you’re planning on trying different types of concentrates, you’ll also want to polish up on your dabbing skills. Dabbing, the latest addition to our cannabis glossary, isn’t the only method you can use to consume some cannabis concentrates, but it is one that is growing in popularity. Here, we’re going to teach you everything we know about dabbing concentrates, so the next time you shop at our dispensaries, you can get both the tools and concentrates you need to dab.

What is Dabbing?

Dabbing is the process of consuming cannabis concentrates utilizing a dab rig, also called an e-rig if it’s electronic, or a dab pen. The dab rig contains a nail that heats up to as high as 600 °F. The concentrate is placed on the hot nail and vaporized. Then, all you have to do is inhale the vapor, and you’re dabbing.

What Are Dabs?

Dabs are concentrated forms of cannabis extracts that are used for dabbing. They are typically sticky, wax-like substances that contain high levels of cannabinoids, such as THC or CBD, along with flavorful terpenes. Dabs come in various forms, including shatter, wax, budder, and live resin, each with its own unique texture and consistency.

What Do You Need to Dab?

To enjoy the dabbing experience, you will need to find a dispensary and pick up a few essential tools. These include:

Dab Rig

A dab rig is a specialized pipe designed for dabbing concentrates. It typically consists of a chamber to hold water, a percolator for filtration, nail or banger to hold the concentrate, and a mouthpiece. The rig provides the necessary infrastructure for heating the concentrate and delivering the vapor.

Dab Nail

The dab nail, or banger, is a crucial component of the dab rig. It is usually made of quartz, titanium, or ceramic and serves as the heating surface for the concentrate. The nail is heated with a torch to a specific temperature, and the concentrate is placed on it for vaporization.

Carb Cap

A carb cap is a small device that covers the dab nail after the concentrate is applied. It helps regulate airflow and retains heat, allowing for more efficient vaporization of the concentrate. Because the nail is going to be way too hot to touch, a carb cap can be key to enjoying your concentrate.


A torch (not a lighter) is used to heat the dab nail to the desired temperature. Butane torches are commonly used for this purpose, as they provide a clean, hot flame necessary for rapid and even heating. The torch is not necessary if you’re using an electric rig.


A dabber, or dab tool, is used to handle and apply the concentrate onto the heated nail. It is typically made of heat-resistant materials like glass, quartz, or titanium and comes in various shapes, such as spoons, picks, or flat tips.

How Does Dabbing Work?

Dabbing is a fairly simple process, once you know what you’re doing. If you’re using a regular dab rig, and not an electric rig, the steps include:

  1. Heat the dab nail using a torch until it reaches a little hotter than your desired temperature. The ideal temperature can vary depending on the concentrate and personal preference. It is generally recommended to start with lower temperatures to preserve the flavor and avoid destroying the terpenes. 

  2. Once the nail is heated, allow it to cool for a short period to reach the optimal temperature range.

  3. Using a dabber, apply a small amount of concentrate onto the heated nail, ensuring it comes into contact with the surface. The heat vaporizes the concentrate almost instantly, producing a flavorful vapor.

  4. Place the carb cap over the nail, and cover and uncover the nail in order to regulate airflow and maximize vaporization. 

  5. Inhale slowly and steadily through the mouthpiece, drawing the vapor into your lungs. Then, exhale.

If you’re using an electric dab rig, you don’t need to worry about using a torch. The rig will heat itself.

Answering FAQs About Dabbing

To get good at dabbing, you have to ask questions and get answers from people that have done it before. We’re those people. Here are a few answers you might be looking for: 

Is dabbing similar to vaping?

While both dabbing and vaping require consuming a vapor, they aren’t the same. If you’re vaping, you’re likely using cannabis oil or even dry flower, depending on your vaporizer. If you’re dabbing, you’re using thick concentrates that can be scooped onto a nail. If you enjoy using a vape pen, but you want to consume concentrates, look for a dab pen. They offer a similar experience but allow you to experience different concentrates.

Can I make dabs at home?

Yes, you can, but we don’t recommend it. Most concentrates are made using solvent-based techniques, and these methods are far too dangerous for DIYers. 

Can you dab CBD?

Yes, there are CBD concentrates. They tend to be the same as many THC concentrates. Remember, if you’re purchasing CBD from a marijuana dispensary, it came from a marijuana plant. If you’re purchasing CBD from a CBD dispensary, you’re purchasing a product that comes from industrial hemp. Currently, the CBD market outside of marijuana dispensaries is unregulated, so we don’t recommend buying it unless you’ve done your research.

How to Start Dabbing

Inspired to start dabbing? You’re going to want to head down to your favorite dispensary and shop for the tools and concentrates you need to get started. If you’re unsure of the differences between dab rigs, talk to a budtender. They can help you decide which beginner-friendly dab rig would be best for you based on your budget.

Use of Marijuana Concentrate may lead to: Psychotic symptoms and/or Psychotic disorder (delusions, hallucinations, or difficulty distinguishing reality); Mental Health Symptoms/Problems; Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) (uncontrolled and repetitive vomiting); Cannabis use disorder/dependence, including physical and psychological dependence.   Please consume responsibly. This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product.  State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations. 

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