Oil and Wax Revolution: How to Use a Dab Rig
Posted by Craig Jones on Aug 01, 2018
So how do I smoke concentrates and what is a dab rig? Concentrates can be smoked in many different ways depending on its form. Most connoisseurs of concentrates smoke dabs through a dab rig or oil rig. A dab rig is similar to any other pipe, waterpipe, bubbler or tube, but it uses a nail or banger, dab tool, torch and sometimes a dome or carb cap. Additionally, a dab rig usually has a joint that is flat and parallel to the ground (rather than at an angle) and does not utilize a downstem.
What are the different ways to smoke dabs?
Concentrates can be smoked or vaped in numerous ways. The most common ways typically depend on the form of concentrates and the resources available to the patient. Concentrates vary according to viscosity, appearance, potency, and stickiness. Regardless of the form, it can simply be smoked in a Handpipes on top of a bowl or in a joint or blunt. However, there are ways to smoke dabs that make more efficient use of the active cannabinoids and allow for larger hits. Wax, crumble, shatter and rosin are usually solids or very low viscosity liquids. Oil or honey are liquids that have a higher viscosity. The extracts used in active cannabinoid capsules and pills usually have the highest viscosity.
How to use a dab rig
When using a dab rig, the first step is to heat the nail or banger of your oil rig or dab rig with a torch to the ideal temperature. You can use an infrared thermometer if you want to check to be sure to get the best hit for your purposes. For a low heat dab, it is best to heat the nail to 500°F to 600°F. Lower heats provide more flavorful hits as terpenes vaporize at a lower temperature of 310°F to 400°F. For a high-temperature dab, you can heat the nail to 1000°F. This will provide a more powerful hit but degrade much of the flavor. Many people believe the ideal heat is right around 600°F to 700°F.
Once the nail or bowl is heated with a torch you can use a dab tool to place the wax on a banger and cover it with a carb cap or on a nail and cover it with a dome. On a typical bowl, the hole is at the bottom in the middle, however, with the dab process the hole is either raised (nail) in the center or on the side (banger). Alternatively, you can use an e-nail and avoid using a hot and potentially dangerous torch.
There is debate on whether it is better to use titanium, ceramic, quartz or glass bangers or nails. It seems like the consensus is ceramic or quartz for the ideal hit, but ceramic is probably the most fragile of the bunch. Once the apparatus is heated you can cover the banger or nail with a dome or carb cap to prevent the resulting smoke or vapors from escaping and to allow the optimal amount of oxygen to vaporize the wax the way you desire. This will provide a larger hit. A directional carb cap can be used and rotated to vaporize the concentrates most effectively.
Vaporizers and pens
Another way to smoke concentrates is with a wax vaporizer or wax pen. Wax pens or wax vapes heat to a higher temperature than your typical oil vape pens. Wax or oil pens are convenient and portable ways to vape concentrates and the hits can be very big and satisfying.
Oils are often vaped in pen cartridges and can be vaped with vape pens and other types of vaporizers. These oils are often mixed with glycerin or other lipid-based oil products, like Ready Mix 710, to achieve the proper viscosity. Often times terpenes or other flavor enhancers are added to the mixture. These pens are known to be very convenient, portable and the vapors are virtually odor-free. The problem is that the pens are often made from a lower quality product or trim and often lack the potency that many connoisseurs desire in a cannabis product. But who can pass up the opportunity to smoke or vape undetected in a controlled society that condemns us for making these benign decisions and exercising what should clearly be civil liberties.
While a vape pen is quite convenient, the hits shouldn’t technically be as good as dabs through a good dab rig preferably with water filtration. A dab rig can provide good filtration and ultimately a larger, cooler and smoother hit. The water filtration that cools the water and removes much of the remaining particulate matter should, in theory, be a healthier way of doing dabs, but the larger hit size may arguably partially cancel out some of the benefits.
Wax or oil can also be smoked or dabbed with a nectar collector or nectar straw. Again, use a torch to heat up the end of the straw or collector to the preferable temperature. Then the user must touch the straw or collector to the concentrates and inhale. This is generally a very direct high heat way to smoke dabs.
Finally, wax or oil can simply be smoked in a pipe on top of a bowl or in a joint or blunt. This is the least efficient method for using concentrates, as much of the effective compounds and active cannabinoids are lost in the combustion process.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
**The beliefs and opinions expressed in this blog are not those of Waterbeds ‘n’ Stuff.