What is the best way to smoke concentrates like rosin, resin and other forms of hash? Most serious dab smokers prefer to smoke their concentrates through a dab rig since they can give the biggest, coolest, and smoothest hits from dabs. This is due to the water filtration and the ability to control the heat and airflow in the banger. However, there are many other ways to smoke your concentrates and each one has its benefits and detriments. Using a vaporizer, for example, lets you precisely control the heat but with little control over airflow. Here we take a look at the options for dabbing and discuss what are some of the best ways to dab concentrates.
What are some of the best ways to smoke dabs?
You can smoke, or rather vape, concentrates in many ways. The form of concentrates you have and the type of smoking utensils you have are key factors in determining the ideal methods. Concentrates can vary greatly in appearance, as well as texture, thickness, tackiness, and most importantly potency.
Various forms of concentrates.
Rosin, wax, crumble, shatter, and shatter are usually solid but can be sappy and sticky. They may all be dabbed in rigs or e-rigs. Liquids with higher viscosity, such as oil or honey are typically smoked in dab pens and carts but occasionally are dabbed in rigs when they come in syringes. Extracts in active cannabinoid pills and capsules usually have the highest viscosity and can never be dabbed.
Two of the fastest, and cheapest, ways to smoke dabs are:
- Using a glass hand pipe and vaporizing your dabs in the bowl, or
- Gently wrapping your concentrates around a joint or blunt.
Although these may not be the most effective or efficient ways to smoke your dabs, they can get you through in a pinch. But we are more interested in the other ways to smoke dabs, which make the active cannabinoids and terpenes more effective and give you bigger hits. For best results, we definitely recommend dabbing it in a water-filtered dab rig.
How to Smoke Dabs using a Dab Rig
A dab rig works in the same way as a conventional water pipe or bong except, instead of using a bowl to combust your material with a direct flame, a dab rig uses a heated banger to vaporize concentrates inside.
Concentrate being vaporized in a hot banger.
Simply heat the banger to your desired temperature and drop in your concentrates. That's it! The water in a dab rig will filter and cool the vapor as you inhale allowing for smooth hits.
There are several tools and accessories that can make dabbing with a rig much more enjoyable:
- A high-quality Butane Torch is a must. Butane torches can heat bangers to the temperatures required for dabbing. A BIC lighter or other small flame lighters will not get you to the temp you need for dabbing.
- A carb cap is highly recommended. It is just what it sounds like: a carburetor for your banger. Not only does it stop vapor from escaping during dabbing, but it allows you to control the airflow to get the best hits. There are also directional carb caps which can help circulate air and move your dabs to ensure every last bit gets vaporized, and an emerging trend of coupling them with Terp Pearls.
- A strong, high quality dabber or dab tool is what you need to move your concentrates.
- An Infrared Thermometer is a helpful tool which will help you heat your banger to the precise temperature you need. Unless you're using a Thermochromic Banger or know your butane torch by heart, you will be guessing at what temperature your banger is really at.
Using a dab rig to smoke concentrates is very easy.
First, make sure your rig is clean, filled with water, the banger is attached and a carb cap is nearby.
Next, the banger, or nail, is heated using either a butane torch or with the help of an e-nail. A pocket BIC lighter won't get your nail to the temperature you will need to vaporize your concentrates and it will blacken the banger. Aim the flame of the torch at the bottom of your banger. Heat the banger to your preference, as this will impact the flavor and results you get from your dabs. If you really want to ensure that you get the best hit, an infrared thermometer is a good option.
Heating a banger with a dab torch.
To achieve a delicious low-heat dab it is recommended to heat the nail between 310° F to 500° F. Low heats produce more flavorful hits because the terpenes within cannabis vaporize at these lower temperatures.
Some people heat the nail up as high as 1000° F for a high-temperature dab. This will give you a stronger hit, but it will also seriously degrade the flavor as the terpenes will be burnt off.
While I prefer starting with a lower temperature, I have heard some people say that 600° F is the ideal temperature.
Finally, after heating the banger with a torch, use a dabber to place the wax in the bucket of the banger and quickly cap it with a carb cap. This will vaporize the concentrates and produce the best quality hit, as well as prevent smoke and vapors from escaping.
Dabbing with a Nectar Collector
You can also dab with a nectar collector, also known as a dab straw. These are highly portable dabbing tools that work similarly to a dab rig, by using a torch, and are more-or-less designed literally like a straw.
Nectar collectors have a tip made of quartz or titanium. To use a nectar collector, heat the tip and get it barely touching to your dab, which is usually contained in either a silicone container or glass tray. Then, just inhale through the straw to enjoy the dab vapor.
Traditional nectar collectors are used by heating its tip with a torch to get it nice and hot. This is where nectar collectors are at a disadvantage over a dab rig: they're designed to be easy to use when you're on the go, so you probably won't have a way to check its temperature. Oftentimes the high heats and lack of filtration make nectar collectors a higher heat, less enjoyable experience.
However, very recently we have seen new electric nectar collectors entering the market. These battery-powered e-nectar collectors let you select a temperature to dab at, making a portable dabbing experience hassle-free and much more enjoyable than with a traditional nectar collector.
Dabbing with Vaporizers and Dab Pens
Concentrate vaporizing in a hot dab pen.
Vaporizers, or "vapes", offer a convenient and highly-portable way to enjoy concentrates. The best ways to dab on-the-go or if you need a small dosage of concentrates is with either a Dab Pen or an E-Rig. These electronic ways to vaporize dabs use an atomizer or dish that heats up to a higher temperature than cartridge vapes and can vaporize dabs in mere seconds.
Dab Pens are slim, portable vaporizers you can easily slip in a pocket. Most dab pens offer a set of temperatures or voltages to easily switch between and can heat up to vaporize dabs in a few quick seconds. The biggest drawback to a dab pen is that most do not have water filtration and can produce hot, harsh hits. They also tend to get clogged very easily.
An E-Rig is an "electronic" dab rig. These are larger and more powerful than dab pens, but lack the discretion and airflow of a traditional dab rig. They are very portable though, and e-rigs commonly have a bubbler chamber to filter and cool your dab through water.
The Puffco Peak, an E-Rig, sitting on a table waiting to be used with dabs.
Vaping oils and distillates are often done in cartridges. Most of these cartridges are pre-mixed and disposable, often combined with glycerin, other lipid-based oil products, or worse. Another problem is, these pens often use low quality flower or trimmings and lack the desired potency. Because of these factors, we tend to stay away from dab cartridges.
How to Dab with a Pre-Rolled Cone?
Yes, that's right, you can also dab with your pre-rolls or blunts. Whether to increase your medication or compound effects, putting a dab on your blunts is an acceptable, although less-potent, way to enjoy dabs.
Typically to dab with a joint you will need to very carefully spin a thin thread of concentrate around the outside of a pre-roll. This will make it very sticky, but allow you to combine multiple strains in one product.
Through typical lighting and consumption, smoking a joint will never be ideal to get the full benefits of your concentrates, but this is still a good, cheap way to consume dabs and medicate without needing large glass pieces or expensive vaporizers.
Cones wrapped in sticky concentrate and further covered with kief.
There are many ways to dab. Each method has its own drawbacks and flaws, but experiment and find the method that suits you best. Whether it's having a beautiful glass dab rig to help you take large doses of concentrates, or a discreet dab pen you can slip in your pocket, dabbing concentrates is a great way to medicate.
At Waterbeds 'n' Stuff, we have a great selection of dab rigs, vaporizers, dab pens, e-rigs, and anything else you would need to dab in style. You will find a wide range of options at a great price, so you can find one that is perfect for you. If you have any questions, you can reach out to us on our website, Instagram or at one of our 12 retail stores.
*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.