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Dabbing 101: What’s The Most Efficient Way To Smoke Dabs?

Essentially, dabs are concentrated versions of butane hash oil (BHO), a cannabis oil known to carry a high concentration of THC. Cannabis oils are extracted chemically using butane oil to obtain this concentrated compound. And to get the most out of these concentrates, you must know and be familiar with how to smoke dabs.

What Is Dabbing?

Dabbing is basically heating your chosen cannabis concentrate form and extracts, then inhaling its vapors. However, dabbing requires practice and having someone demonstrate how to do it, especially if you’ve never done it before. More so, get the most out of dabs by checking out the listed methods below.

Smoking With A Rig

Ideally, one of the best ways to get the most out of your dabbing experience is to get a rig. Below are some of the common setups and methods you can explore: 

1. Use Standard Dab Rigs

The most popular method of smoking dabs is with a basic dab setup. While there are numerous complicated setups available, they all share the following fundamental components:

  • A water chamber
  • A mouthpiece for inhalation
  • A dome to control heat and fumes
  • A nail to heat the dab

Here’s a quick overview of how to use standard dab rigs:

  • Remove the dome from the dab rig first and heat the nail. Use a dabber tool to apply your dabs and concentrate on the nail, and then inhale. Most users will cover the dome with a carb cap to better manage the heat and vapor flow.
  • Avoid going too quickly, as the size of the rig affects the amount of cooling that occurs before the vapor reaches your lungs. If the vapor is scorching, you should avoid inhaling it since this may cause harm to your lungs. After you’ve established an understanding of your rig, you’ll be able to adjust your pull.
  • Avoid concentrating for an extended period in a single dose, and take a seat before breathing. It generally hits rapidly and may surprise the individual taking a hit.

And because some people have passed out following a dab hit, it is vital to have someone with you the first few times you dab. Ensure that you are in a safe place devoid of sharp corners. Additionally, turn off the blowtorch before inhaling.

2. Use Electric Dab Rig

The electric dab rig functions similarly to a standard dab rig, with one significant difference: the device heats the metal nail with electricity, removing the need to heat it manually. Temperature control is one of the benefits of combining an electric dab rig and an e-nail.

It is critical to maintain a steady temperature while working with high concentrations of terpenes, such as THC oils, to safeguard the terpenes and avoid off-flavors. And due to their precise temperature control, e-rigs, on the other hand, can be more suitable for concentrates such as live resin or terp sauce.

3. Use Dab Vape Pens

Another alternative is to vape dabs. If you wish to utilize a vape pen, you’ll need a cartridge and a battery. Cartridges for dispensaries are usually all-in-one devices, including an atomizer and a mouthpiece. It’s pretty beneficial as it’s convenient. You can inhale as soon as the cartridge is put into the battery.

You’ll need a pen with a detachable atomizer if you like to vape your own dab rather than buying a pre-filled cartridge. The atomizer is the heating component, often a metal coil heated by the battery.

4. Consider Cold Dabbing

Dabbing with a cold start maintains more terpenes and tastes than dabbing with a hot start. Additionally, it is a dabbing technique that utilizes a low-temperature solvent.

As the name implies, cold-start dabbing involves placing a dab in a cold nail and then heating it. The wax dissolves at a slightly lower temperature than traditional dabbing, offering the dabber a more tasty and rich experience.

Cold-start dabbing is also advantageous since it eliminates waiting for the nail to cool down between touches. Cold dabbing can also help to keep your hardware in better shape than regular dabbing. It helps reduce the risk of breakage and recover buildup by exposing your nail to less heat.

5. Mini Or Portable Dab Rigs

Naturally, one of the ideal options is to keep a backup dab setup on hand. There are various approaches to this. Your primary dab setup is most likely pretty elaborate and quite valuable.

However, you can purchase smaller rigs as they’re significantly easier to transport and replace. You can buy a tiny portable dab rig or even seed your friends’ homes with micro dab rigs to ensure that you always have one on hand when you visit.

Smoking Without A Rig

Not having a traditional dabbing rig doesn’t mean that you won’t get to experience dabbing. There are other ways you can smoke a dab without an impressive setup

6. Place It In A Bowl

Perhaps, this is the most straightforward method of smoking concentrates without using a dab rig. In this approach, add your herbs and CBD buds to the dish, followed by dabs and concentrates, then light it. Carefully watch the vapor and inhale the smoke. It’s stress-free and requires no special abilities. Continue smoking as usual.

Ideally, before using your wax, it’s good to place it in the freezer for about 10 minutes, especially if it’s sticky or melted. It can help maintain its shape and make it easier to arrange it on top of your dish. The dabs will soon melt if you hold the lighter too close to the bowl. The idea is to dissolve the wax into the cannabis gradually.

7. Use A Bong

You’d also get to smoke your dabs by using a bong. In this method, you can repeat the same process mentioned in the previous point. You can bypass the bud and dab bowl through water filtration, which can help reduce the harshness of the hit while preserving the flavor. To further reduce its intensity, you can place a couple of ice cubes around your bong.

As is customary, grind your cannabis and fill the bong bowl with it. Lightly press the bowl’s rim down with your dabs to keep it from becoming too loose. Then ignite and strike, as is traditional. The dabs will melt and gradually vaporize while smoldering and smoking the bowl.

8. Smoke Dabs In A Joint

This is yet another potent and straightforward dabbing technique. A dab smoking starter kit typically includes rolling papers, dab, and cannabis. Sprinkle some cannabis on the rolling paper and place it on the table.

Place a smidgeon of dab in the cannabis’s center, and then build the joint as usual. Ascertain that the dab does not touch the ignited roll’s end. It’s critical to remember that the dab should never come into touch with an open flame.

9. Use A Straw Glass

Using a glass straw as a temporary dabbing tool can be another approach. This involves using a glass straw instead of the entire dab setup. A drop of dabs on a heat-resistant plate can be used to warm one end of the straw. Take a short dab solution by inhaling the vapor through the straw.

Glass straws can be saved as a backup. However, keep a close eye on things. And in some cases, this method may not be ideal to be utilized long term because of the straw’s brittleness when heated and used frequently. It could also be easy to burn oneself during the process of heating and inhaling.

10. Herb Pen Sandwich

Making a herbal sandwich in your dry herb vaporizer is another popular way to smoke dabs without using a rig that does not require bread or mayonnaise. Filling the chamber of your vape pen halfway with weed, coating it with a thin layer of whatever extract you’re using, and then topping it off with other weed before inhaling the sandwiched concoction is a relatively straightforward procedure.

The entourage effect induced by the mixture of cannabinoids and terpenes can enhance the euphoric benefits produced by this rapid and effective procedure. This is probably the simplest way to smoke dabs without a setup while enjoying your usual weed.

11. Hot Knives (Least Recommended)

‘Hot knifing’ is a knife-wielding technique. Cannabis concentrates have been available on the illicit market since the mid-1970s when the first crude extracts became available. Hot knives were popular when dab rigs and glass oil pipes were scarce, let alone legal to use for wax smoking.

Without using specialist equipment such as a dab rig, using hot knives to evaporate a thicker form of THC concentrate is arguably the simplest and most basic way to enjoy dabs. All you require is a butter knife from your cutlery drawer that has been heated for at least 30 seconds over a heat source until extremely hot.

At this stage, use a dabber to dab a dollop of the extract onto the hot surface of the blade. It will cause the extract to vaporize almost instantly, leaving a trail of ascending vapor that can be promptly inhaled. Due to the rapid evaporation of the steam, cooking with butter knives on the stovetop can be a bit wasteful.


While each of these ways is effective and can assist you in attaining the fix you need, you should always consider safety before attempting to utilize them. And as much as possible, avoid using hot knives, a vehicle lighter, or aluminum foil.

And as you dab more, you’ll gain more confidence with the technique you choose to adopt, enhancing your overall dabbing experience.


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