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What Are Dabs And How Do You Dab?

By Connor Anderson

This blog is an introduction to dabbing for beginners. It provides instructions on how to dab using traditional dab rigs and nectar collectors, and how to dab using WaxNax inserts. 

Introduction to Dabs

Dabs are highly concentrated globs of THC, which is why the industry often refers to dabs as concentrates. Whereas the THC in bud-form marijuana ranges from a 15% average to over 30% THC, dabs range from an average of 50% to over 90% THC. 

There are various methods of extracting THC from the plant and creating dabs, resulting in different types of concentrate. These include budder, crumble, sauce, shatter, and wax, and are distinguished by THC extraction method. 

“Dab” can also be used in a verb form (“to dab”), to describe the process of using concentrate (i.e. “dabbing”).


Dab Rigs

What is a Dab Rig and How is it Different from a Bong?

Dab rigs and bongs are similar in appearance. The main difference is that bongs have a bowl attachment which burns flower, while rigs use a banger (or nail) attachment to vaporize dabs. Bowls are usually formed in a half-sphere shape while bangers usually come in an open-cylinder shape. 

Some bongs and rigs make it possible to swap between attachments, bowl for nug (bud-form marijuana) and rigs for dabs (concentrate).

Bongs and rigs also differ in how they are used. To hit the bong, the you pack the bowl with flower and use a lighter to burn the nug as you inhale. To hit the rig, you heat the banger with a blow torch until it is hot, and then you place the dab on the heated banger as you inhale. 

As such, bongs produce smoke while rigs produce vapor. Many believe dabs are more healthy than smoking flower since vapor does not produce as many chemicals as smoke does. More information on the health differences between flower and dabs can be found on this blog post

You can also hit the rig by placing the dab on the banger prior to heating in a method called cold-start dabbing (more on this and in depth dabbing instructions in our next blog).


Components of the Dab Rig

Dab Rig Components: labeled pieces of a dab rig

  • A Dab Rig is a glass pipe which appears similar to a bong and refers to the whole device. 
  • A Mouthpiece is the open tube which is used to inhale the vapor.
  • A Water Chamber is usually near the base of the bong. Vapor is funneled through the water, acting as a filter for the vapor.
  • A Nail (or banger) is the attachment used to vaporize dabs and appears similar to a bowl in a bong. It is heated with the torch.
  • A Carb Cap is a circular piece used to cover the nail after the dab has been applied and trap the heat and prolong the session. Many are also purposed to direct airflow towards the remaining concentrate in the banger.
  • A Dab-Tool is a long, thin tool used to scoop dabs out of the concentrate container and apply them to the hot nail.
  • A Torch is a blowtorch used to heat the nail prior to applying concentrate.

How to Use a Dab Rig: Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare the hit. Prior to starting, use the dab-tool to dose out a small amount of concentrate and set it down nearby along with the carb cap. Be careful not to let the dab touch furniture as it is very sticky and difficult to remove.
  2. Heat the nail. Turn on the torch and hold the flame on the nail. Wait for the nail to glow.
  3. Apply the dab & take your hit. Once the nail begins to glow, turn off the torch, and pick up the dab-tool. Place your mouth on the mouthpiece and rub the concentrate on the inside of the nail as you inhale. Vapor should rise as you apply the dab to the hot nail.
  4. Cap the nail. Once you have inhaled your desired amount and most of the concentrate has melted off the dab-tool: exhale, put down the dab tool, and place the carb cap on the nail. This will ensure the banger retains heat for subsequent hits.
  5. Adjust the cap. If you can handle more, continue to inhale (or pass the rig to a friend) while adjusting the carb cap to allow more air to pass through the banger and vaporize the remaining dabs. 
  6. Exhale and enjoy your high.


Nectar Collectors 

What is a Nectar Collector?

A nectar collector is a portable dab rig that functions and appears similar to a straw. There are two types of nectar collectors: torch-heating nectar collectors and electric-heating nectar collectors. 

For torch nectar collectors, you use a torch to heat the tip, then place the hot tip on your desired amount of concentrate as you inhale. Electric nectar collectors make the process easier as the heating occurs with the click of a button. Our favorite electric nectar collectors include the Huni Badger and the Dip Device, which also pair perfectly with our pre-portioned WaxNax inserts.

Components of a Nectar Collector

Nectar Collector components: pieces of nectar collectors broken down by piece

  • The Tip is the straw-like metallic tube which is heated (by torch or electricity) and then placed on the dab as you inhale.
  • The Body is between the tip and the mouthpiece and acts as a filter for the vapor. Some devices allow users to add water to the body for maximum filtration.
  • The Mouthpiece (neck) is on the opposite end from the tip and is where users place their mouths when inhaling.

How to Use a Nectar Collector: Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare your hit. Use your dab tool to remove your desired amount of concentrate and place it in an unused dab container.
  2. Heat the Tip. Turn on the torch and hold the flame over the tip until it begins to glow (or press the heating button if using an electric nectar collector). 
  3. Take the hit. Once the tip begins to glow (or the device tells you it is ready), place your mouth over the mouthpiece as you lower the tip into the container. Inhale as you place the tip on the concentrate in the container.
  4. Exhale. Once finished with your hit, place the nectar collector somewhere safe and away from flammable materials to cool.

WaxNax Inserts

Dabbing with WaxNax is only slightly different from non-insert dabbing. However, it provides many benefits that traditional dabbing does not, such as increased taste, smooth hits, reduced chemicals, pre-measured dosing, and the ability to reheat leftover dabs without wasting concentrate.

How to Dab WaxNax Inserts: Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare it. Open up your WaxNax container and have the included tweezers ready. Set your carb cap down nearby. 
  2. Heat it. Use the torch to apply heat to the nail. Once it begins to glow, it’s ready for a WaxNax glass insert.
  3. Drop it. Use the tweezers to pick up an insert and place it in the banger.
  4. Dab it. Begin to inhale as you drop the insert in the nail.
  5. Cap it. As you inhale, place the carb cap over the nail and continue to inhale. This helps prolong your dab session. Adjust the carb cap to allow more air to flow through the banger.
  6. Exhale it. Exhale when you’ve inhaled your desired amount. Don’t worry about finishing all the concentrate in the insert. Leave the half-full insert in the nail if you want to continue the session. If you’re finished with the current session, remove the half-full insert and place it back in the container for future sessions.
  7. Reuse it. When ready for another hit, use the torch to reheat and vape up the leftovers. Heat the banger until vapor begins to rise. Then, repeat steps 4 to 6.
  8. Dispose it. When there is no concentrate left in the insert, use the tweezers to remove it and place it in your ashtray or trash can (once it has cooled).

For the cleanest, smoothest hits possible, use our cold start dabbing method. Instead of heating the nail before inserting the concentrate, place our insert in the nail and then begin heating. More details on cold start dabbing will be discussed in our next blog.

Our next blog will give you detailed instructions on how to dab WaxNax inserts using various compatible devices as well as how to use our revolutionary cold start dabbing method. Stay tuned!

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