Dab Rigs

Dab Rig Canada

What is Dabbing?

To understand why you need a dab rig, you must understand dabbing and why it is a great way to consume cannabis products.  


Dabs are a concentrated dose of weed (cannabis) made by extracting cannabinoids and THC (i.e. the good stuff) from the plant by using a solvent like carbon dioxide, butane, or manually with a rosin press.

Think of cannabis as containing a form of sap (that is why it is sticky) that contains all of the great cannabinoids found in dry herb material.  When processed, these byproducts come out in a concentrated form; hence the term concentrates. There are so many different types of cannabis concentrates nowadays, each with about a dozen nicknames, like shatter, budder, rosin, wax, and dabs. See below for a visual picture of what these look like:

Dabbing is the process of vaping or smoking these concentrates.

What is dabbing and why is it important?

Simply put, dabbing involves placing a concentrate on a hot surface.  This vaporizes the material, which produces fumes that are inhaled by the dabber.

Dabbing has increased in popularity over the past few years as users are attracted to the flavour, potency, and vapour versus dry herb cannabis.  Since the cannabinoids are concentrated, the amount of product needed to feel high is minimal.

Many experienced users have moved on from dry bud for these reasons.

Here are the most common forms of concentrates that are available on the market:

Oils — are thick liquids that are usually amber or gold in color; They may be vaporized or smoked. Some forms of oil are even edible. Oils are a popular choice because many people find it easier to determine a precise dose with oils (more on that later). The oil produced can be utilized as is, or can be further broken down into other forms.

Waxes — there are quite a variety of textures and forms of waxes. This form of concentrate is the stickiest of all the concentrates.  Waxes are easy to identify as the colour and feel is similar to ear wax. Other forms of wax include flake, crumble or honeycomb, to name a few.  The appearance and liquidity of each wax is determined by the method used to extract the wax. These latter forms of wax are drier and less oily than standard wax.

Shatter — is a hard, stable form of cannabis oil. It has the appearance of glass, and is similar in texture to a sucker that you would get on Halloween. The term shatter refers to how easily the thin sheets of concentrate can be broken at room temperature. Once heated, the material transform into a honey like substance.

Isolates — are formed from cannabinoids that have been chemically removed from cannabis oil and purified. This process creates a whopping 99% pure concentrate in the form of powders or crystals.

All of the concentrates listed above generally produce the same results upon consumption.  The choice really comes down to ease of use (I prefer the more stable compounds) and personal preference.  Some users prefer the crystal form concentrates, as the terpenes are preserved and are responsible for the flavour in marijuana.

How to Dab

There are now several dabbing tools available on the market, to help you consume your dabs in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

Dab Rigs:

Dab rigs look like bongs and come in many different shapes and forms.  These water pipes have a glass joint that is designed to hold a nail instead of a connector bowl.  It looks like an extension that you would add on to your bong or bubbler. To use this device, you heat up the nail and place the concentrate on on the hot surface which vaporizes the material.  Mini dab rigs are the most popular, however, you can get a larger rig if your usage requires it. You can get a cheap dab rig, but don’t forget that the vapour is going into your lungs and will pick up any chemicals included in your rig along the way.

MJ Aresenal Dab Rig Canada

MJ Arsenal Hydra Dab Rig

Dab Nail:

This is the most important piece of your dab rig, as it will directly affect the flavour and vapour of your session. These are made from different materials depending on the nail; quartz and titanium are the most common.  Quartz is known for giving a better flavour, and titanium can degrade over time due to the high temperatures. Dab nails got their name because the device used to place the concentrate onto the surface looks exactly like a carpenter's nail.  It should be noted, however, that this name eventually became generic and became the name for the surface you place the material on.

Dab Nail

Quartz Dab Nail

Carb Cap:

A carb cap is a lid for domeless nails and quartz bangers, it’s main purpose is to control airflow and prevent heat from escaping.  In short, it will help improve your dabbing experience. It works exactly like the carburetor on your vehicle by control air pressure and improving airflow through the dab rig. Employing the carb on a glass pipe, for example, alters the pressure within the pipe, concentrating air flow through the bowl and reducing the temperature needed for combustion. Adding this accessory to your device will give you a stronger hit in a fraction of the time.

Carb Cap Inside of a Quartz Dab Nail

How to buy a dab rig

Similar to choosing a vape, selecting a dab rig can be overwhelming.  Trying to understand the difference between, a quartz banger and titanium nail, and domes and percolators can be confusing.  Like other vaporizers, you can purchase low-end, mid-level and more advanced dab rigs with all of the extra accessories.

To simplify this, we recommend that you focus your attention to the glass piece itself and the nail  These are the two pieces that will affect your experience the most. We also recommend that you purchase a known brand name like MJ Arsenal or Famous Brandz, as these are well known in the industry and are well crafted.  Buying a cheap dab rig from Amazon or Ebay may be good for your pocket book, but bad for your lungs. A lot of users switch to vaping because it is a safer way to consume cannabis, so don’t negate that by buying a piece of glass oversees that doesn't meet North American safety standards.

You will also need a butane or propane torch with enough fuel for your dabbing sessions.  We recommend a Higher Standards torch as it is easy to use, refillable and built to last. Butane is the best choice for a torch, as propane gets hot too quickly and may ruin your material.

Your dab rig will get dirty over time, but don’t worry.  This build up is called re-claim or resin and can be extracted from your nail and used again in your rig.  You can also spread it onto your papers much like you would with hash.

Ultimately your choice will come down to personal preference.  Experiment, ask friends or send us an email to answer your questions.

Check out our collection of Dab Rigs here.



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