A dab rig is a device used to consume cannabis concentrates, releasing the active compounds through vaporization rather than combustion. In this article, we will walk you through the detailed steps of using a dab rig, as well as comparisons to traditional smoking methods and essential precautions.
Step One: Preparation
First and foremost, ensure that your dab rig’s “nail” (typically made of quartz or titanium) is securely attached to the device. This step is crucial, as an unstable nail could lead to unnecessary harm.
Step Two: Heating the Nail
Using a specialized torch or heating element, evenly heat the nail. Typically, you can apply the flame directly to the nail, heating it for 20-30 seconds, with the exact time depending on the nail’s thickness and the torch’s power. When the nail is fully heated, you may notice it takes on a red glow.
Step Three: Allowing the Nail to Cool
Let the nail cool, allowing the heat to disperse evenly. A good rule of thumb is to let the nail cool for at least twice as long as you heated it. Even minutes after heating, the nail retains much of the heat, so be cautious not to touch it with bare skin to avoid burns.
Low-temperature dabs offer more flavor and are less harsh on the lungs.
Step Four: Using the Dabber to Apply Concentrate
Use the dabber to place the concentrate onto the nail, typically inside the nail’s “dome.” If the nail was heated correctly, the concentrate will vaporize rapidly. Gently rotate the tip of the dabber until all the concentrate has evaporated.
Step Five: Covering with a Carb Cap and Inhaling
Inhale the dab slowly and calmly while covering it with a carb cap. Be careful not to inhale or exhale too rapidly, as this may irritate your throat and lungs. If you cough while inhaling, it could be a sign that the nail was heated too high. When the dab is at the right temperature, coughing should be minimal.
You may start to feel the effects of the dab within seconds of exhaling.
Step Six: Cleaning the Nail
After inhaling, use a cotton swab to gently clean the nail, removing any residual concentrate.
Dab Rig vs. Traditional Methods
Compared to traditional smoking of cannabis flower, a dab rig offers unique advantages. Firstly, concentrates often contain over 50% THC, significantly higher than the 10-30% found in cannabis flower. This means you need only a small amount to experience effects similar to smoking multiple joints or pipes. Additionally, using a dab rig eliminates concerns about smoke, ash, and the lingering odor associated with traditional smoking, making it an appealing option, especially when using an electronic dab rig.
Precautions When Dabbing
Dabbing is one of the most potent methods of cannabis consumption and should be approached with respect and caution. Start with small, pin-sized dabs and gradually adjust your dosage as needed. You can always take another dab.
In the event of consuming too much cannabis concentrate, do not panic; you cannot overdose on cannabis. Instead, stop consuming dabs and allow your body to process the cannabinoids. Lie down, stay hydrated, rest, or take a shower to help alleviate any discomfort. Additionally, peppercorns and lemon peels are known to help counteract the effects of cannabis use. Depending on your dosage, you can expect to feel the acute effects of the dab for one to two hours.
Exercise extreme caution when handling the torch and nail, as they can become extremely hot. A nail’s temperature can reach up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, more than enough to cause third-degree burns. Dab torches are designed to produce intense heat and should be used far away from flammable substances and surfaces. When dealing with torches and high-temperature nails, always err on the side of caution.
When used correctly, a dab rig can provide a unique cannabis experience, allowing you to conveniently and discreetly consume cannabis in a vaporized form, avoiding the inhalation of ash. Just remember to take it slow, keep the temperatures low, and exercise extreme caution with extreme heat.