Once upon a time, people smoked weed. They rolled herb into joints, or they would take hits from the bong. The story has changed over the years, and today, people are burning concentrates, vaping waxes, and dabbing from rigs. All new-age phrases and forms of toking, but toking on concentrates is anything but new.
Dabs are a highly concentrated product of weed that are made by extracting the cannabinoids, THC, and other potent parts of the plant by using a solvent like butane or carbon dioxide. The result? A sticky oil also known as shatter, wax, budder, and THC hash-oil.
The concentrate gets heated on a hot nail and inhaled through what is called a dab rig. Smoking dabs as a way to consume your concentrates has been around for over a decade now, but the advancements in methods of extracting concentrates have opened the floodgates to dabbing as a popular method to toke.
This list of dabbing terms may seem long, but never fear, looks can be deceiving. Most of the terms listed are alternative names for the same thing. Having a basic understanding on these words will make your trip to the dispensary to check out the dab rigs will make your experience much more pleasant.
Buddar- A wax with a creamy consistency that takes on a butter like texture.
BHO (Butane Hash Oil)- The commonly used extract for dabbing. Using butane to strip the weed of all the good stuff: CBD,THC, terpenes extracting them into an oil substance that takes on all different levels of consistency from gooey to crumbly to creamy. Synonyms: Budder, crumble, pull-and-snap, shatter, and wax.
Concentrate- Loose definition of any marijuana product that concentrates the compounds of the cannabis from its naturally raw plant material.
CO2 Oil- Instead of butane, this extraction method uses CO2 and provides a softy, somewhat oil like texture that looks like honey.
Crumble- Any extract that takes on a silky, dry, crumbly consistency.
Dabbing/Dab- Refers to the method of flash vaporization. That means concentrates are placed on a hot surface and inhaled. A dab would be a hoot of any extract used with a dab rig, or dabbing.
Dab Rig- Also called an oil rig, a dab rig is a water pipe with an attachment for dabbing.
Honeycomb- An extract that has a honeycomb-like consistency: soft and mildly creamy.
Nail- This is a the metal, ceramic, or glass spike attached to the dab rig. You heat the nail with a blowtorch, or use an electronic nail and place a small amount of your concentrate onto it.
Oil– This is a loosely used word to describe concentrates. Oil means the consistency is runny, like oil, but it is used to generalize all different types of cannabis extracts ranging in texture and consistency.
Pull-and-Snap- These extracts feel like taffy. When soft they are pliable and when cold they snap when you bend it.
Purge- The process of removing solvents during an extraction. Ensure the solvent you use is lab tested and safe. If residual solvents remain in your extract, consumption may be unsafe.
Rosin- This is an extraction process that does not use any solvent. By using only heat and pressure the THC, CBD and other important compounds are extracted.
Shatter- A an extract that is transparent like glass. This extract has become very popular because of its unique consistency.
Wax– Another popular extract form that has a wax like texture that is soft and pliable.
Medical marijuana patients as well as adults who recreationally consume cannabis find multiple advantages to dabbing as a method of delivery. When you dab safely with clean products that are scrutinized you will find the onset of your concentrate is swift and much more powerful than puffing on a doobie.
If you are suffering from chronic pain or severe nausea, dabbing has the ability to give you fast and effective relief from your symptoms. Unfortunately, it is quite hard to find a physician who will recommend using a dab rig as a method of treatment.
A cannabis manufacturer who takes the proper steps in the creation of their concentrates give us a pure, clean product that is much easier on our lungs than smoking dried herb. When you smoke weed, the burned plant matter gives off resin and hot smoke, and extracts eliminate most of that material, providing you with the purest cannabinoids and cleanest smoke.
Dabbing has ignited more than a cleaner way to smoke. The technological and scientific curiosity it has boosted in the last five or so years. With the rise of dabs, there has been a rise in extraction and consumption innovations.
Cannabis distillates, terpene infusion, full-spectrum extraction, oil cartridges, and dabbing tools to name a few. All these things have stemmed from dabbing as a method of consumption. People are excited and motivated to try new things, and while some people may not embrace this method, they are apart of the changes in the industry.
Dankstop has an enormous variety of recycler rigs, bubblers, nano rigs, and concentrate pipes especially designed for dabbing. Their rigs vary in price. You can get a rig for under $50 that would make a great starter piece.
They have a wide selection of designs, percolator styles, and colors to personalize your choice and each rig is made of high-grade borosilicate glass. That means that your dab rig will last a long time and won’t succumb to heat fractures or cracks easily. For every style and size option, Dankstop will have a piece for you priced at a lot less than their competitors.
Don’t be fooled. The heady rigs that come from the artful creators at Zink do not sacrifice durability for their mind-blowing aesthetic glasswork. They use a bell shaped base, which makes the piece sturdy. Each creature like downstem is hand crafted with perfection. If you are looking for a showy piece or a functional piece of art, look at Zink’s Hook Line And Sinker Rig. Coming in at an astonishing $1200, it’s a definitely a dab rig to talk about.
Mathematix makes bongs, pipes, and most recently dab rigs. They call Los Angeles home and are an up and coming brand/ They are creative: glow in the dark, toy shaped rigs, and percs that are far from the norm. These guys are on the rise. With their creative pieces that are built to withstand constant use, keep an eye out for them. Their Anchor rig is on my wish-list and for good reason. They are unique. The themed pieces they create are amazing, and you can’t beat the price point.
An affordable price, functional scientific glass, and innovative designs are three things GRAV glass is known for. For the last thirteen years these guys have been paving the way and leading the industry into producing affordable glass rigs for the average customer.
Not skimping on quality or design GRAV is home grown in Texas, they’re customer hospitality is the best in the business. Ensuring each customer is knowledged and happy with their rig, these guys go out of the way to prove you don’t have to miss out on quality when it comes to affordability.
These guys are a household name, and for good reason. Being a powerful player on the glass scene, Empire Glassworks has a renowned reputation for intense attention to detail and customer service. Their creative genius is finely tuned producing some of the coolest themed rigs on the market. Their Ice cream Float mini rig shows how highly skilled the artists are.
AFM Glass is an abbreviation for the creators of bright well made dab rigs. The company’s full name is Alien Flower Monkey. This brand’s approach to the modern use of scientific glass is out of this world. Not only do the recyclers and percolators give the rig a galactic effect, AFM designs the rig to incorporate great filtration.
Any piece from these guys will be satisfactory. The design, the price point, and the efficiency of these pieces are all on point and would make a great first time dab rig. Alien Flower Monkey crafts functional and aesthetically pleasing rigs at a very friendly cost.
Because the art of dabbing is fairly new, and can look quite intimidating, it is best to review the basic elements of dabbing and the tools that go along with it. Using a dab rig should be embraced, and if you are they old-school type who is hardpressed to try new things, then at least give it a shot. You may be surprised at how smooth your experience is. You may also find that the onset of your concentrate comes on much swiftly, or that your throat isn’t irritated from hot smoke. Dabbing is here to stay, so let’s review the things you need to get going.
The most important part of the doing a dab-the rig. There is no way to dab without one. A dab rig, or oil rig, is an altered water pipe. Instead of having a standard glass bowl as you would on a bubbler or a bong, there is a a glass joint, either female or male, which holds the nail of the rig. Volume of water, durability, portability, and function are the main things to ponder before a purchase. It all bubbles down to personal preference.
If you are dabbling in an environment where there is lots of movement, you may want a rig that has a large, sturdy base and made from thick glass. A smaller rig will contain less water, which allows you to experience a much fuller flavor, but a larger rig will contain more water giving you a smoother hoot with a small loss of flavor. The prices vary. You can find a small, inexpensive asian-made rig for around $30, but you get what you pay for, Most American made production glass starts at around $80 and can go as high as tens of thousands of dollars for unique one of a kind pieces.
There are two main types of nail that are the most common for dabbing. They are the domeless titanium nails or a quartz nail, which are also known as bangers. Domeless is in reference to the first cycle of dab rig nails which needed additional pieces, and coordination skills, in order to catch the vapor of your concentrate. The domeless is set up in a way where the vapor is sucked through a slit down into the dab rig.
Everyone has their own opinion in regards to whether titanium or quartz is the most ideal material for a dab nail. Personally, I think these guys are interchangeable. Some of the more intense folks in the extract community feel that quartz is the safest and most flavorful way to dab. Titanium is more durable than quartz. It won’t break if it was dropped or manufactured incorrectly. If you are planning on spending ample money on your nail, choose titanium for durability sake.
Goodbye dental tools, sayonara clay-sculpting gizmos, and every other component we’ve used as dabbers. These days are gone. The carb cap/ dabber combination is the new normal for the serious extract consumers. The dabber part is easy, but what about getting your shatter on that hot nail? Your ideal dabber really depends on the type of concentrate you will be consuming. Is is dry or pliable like crumble, or is it sticky like shatter and buddar? An extract that is on the dryer side of the spectrum is scoopable, so find a wider dabber, one that looks like a spoon. If your preference is for shatter, oil, or wax, look for a dabber that has a flat-head or ballpoint look to it.
When dabbing, a crucial way of enhancing and retaining the flavor of your extract is to have a carb cap. This is an essential tool. It allows you to cool the nail faster, which allows your concentrate to vaporize very fast. The carb cap works like a mini oven that you place onto the hot nail. You will be inhaling your dab at around 550 degrees as opposed to well over 700 degrees, which means you will be toking more of the terpenes and other important components of your herb that would otherwise be incinerated.
Understandably one of the most concerning or intimidating parts of dabbing would be the torch. It may make you think of much harder drugs, because, who else heats pieces of metal or glass at such a high heat. This is a very much needed part of dabbing, and those of us who would rather not spend over $200 on an e-nail, it is our only option. You can find a blowtorch at your local hardware store and some grocery stores. Depending on the size and brand you choose, it can cost between $20-$80 to purchase. The best part of having a torch is you can harness your inner chef and master the art of creme brulee, you know, the custard with the torched caramel on top? That way, after your far out dab experience, you’ll have a sweet tasty treat for afterward.
It doesn’t matter if you are in a bind and want the most convenient and inexpensive set up to get dabbing, or if you want to take your time, get the best gear, and spend the coin you need for a fabulous set up, there is something out there for all of us. Word of mouth is great way to find out what works and what is all hype.
Using a dab rig is not as intimidating as it looks. Being a coffee drinker, and I mean a lot of coffee, my hands get quite shaky from time to time. My worst fear was burning myself, but even me and my shaky hands managed just fine. The flavor you get from your concentrate when using your rig is better than the smell of bacon being cooked on a Saturday morning whilst you lay in bed. The right dab rig will definitely enhance your toking experience.
Talk to your friends who dab, or initiate a conversation on a forum, (concentrate connoisseurs are friendly!) and get their opinions. The rigs they have used and the nails they have tried can make an impact on your decision. Just remember to see things through your eyes and keep your needs in mind. Finding the best dab rig is all about your own personal experience. You have the ability to customize your smoking experience. Take a dip in the waters and get dabbing!
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