The word “Dab” spelled in capital letters using cannabinoid wax on a white background.

How Do You Dab? A Guide

There are so many ways to enjoy cannabinoids that it can be hard to keep track of them all.

Here’s one you shouldn’t overlook: Dabs. This unique formulation is packed with concentrated cannabinoids. It’s a favorite among experienced users because of its potent effects.

Let’s dive deeper into dabs. We’ll first review exactly what they are, then look at how to use them. If you’ve never tried dabs before, you can nail down the basics with this guide.

What are Dabs, Exactly?

In the simplest definition, dabs are concentrated cannabinoids.

One distinctive factor that separates dabs from other cannabinoid products is how they’re used. Dabs are enjoyed through the use of specific and specialized tools, like dab rigs.

Dabs are also well-known for delivering more intense experiences than other methods of consuming cannabinoids, like vaping.

With those basics in mind, let’s take a closer look at the two key concepts involved in dabs and dabbing.

Dabs Themselves

Cannabinoids themselves are chemicals found in cannabis and hemp plants. Many cannabinoids have psychoactive effects. In other words, people use them in general, and dabs in particular, to achieve an elevated mood and altered sense of perception.

Dabs are highly concentrated cannabinoids. As Leafly explains, they don’t contain plant material. Instead, concentrates like dabs only include active ingredients extracted from cannabis and hemp plants.

However, not all concentrates are dabs. Some types of concentrates can’t be consumed using dabbing gear, like dab rigs, so they don’t fall into this category. We’ll look at those tools in the next section.

Dabs can be made using Delta 9 THC, the most common cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. This kind of dab is illegal federally but is legal in many states. As MJBizDaily points out, 40 states and Washington, DC, have legal medical cannabis. Additionally, 24 states, as well as DC, allow recreational cannabis sales, including dabs.

Dabs can also be made using other cannabinoids. When those cannabinoids come from hemp plants, dabs are federally legal. However, some states limit or prohibit the sale and possession of these hemp-derived cannabinoids.

Dab Rigs and Other Dabbing Gear

For a concentrate to qualify as a dab, it needs to be consumable using specialized dab gear. The foundational goal in dabbing is to heat the concentrate to a temperature hot enough that it vaporizes but not hot enough to burn or combust it. This gear includes:

  • A dab rig. A dab rig is a specialized water pipe. It’s designed to handle the high temperatures needed for dabbing, as well as cooling the vapor before a user inhales.
  • A dab nail. Dab nails are used to hold the cannabinoid concentrate as it’s heated. They need to stand up to the high temperatures required to effectively vaporize the concentrate. Despite the name, dab nails tend to look like the bowls used in traditional pipes.
  • A cap. The cap, called a carb cap among other names, covers the dab nail. It is used after dropping in the nail (already heated and with concentrate applied). It helps to maintain the correct temperature and manage airflow.
  • A dabber. Dabbers, or dab tools, pick up the concentrate and apply it to the nail.
  • A lighter or torch. Dab torches need to heat the dab nail to a range of roughly 400-600°F, depending on the concentrate and other factors.

Electronic rigs, electronic nails, and dab pens can also be used instead of the standard equipment listed above.

Electronic rigs (e-rigs) are a complete solution for heating and taking dabs. No other equipment is required except for a dabber to pick up the concentrate.

Electronic nails (e-nails) replace the regular nail and torch, heating dabs to an exact temperature. You’ll still need a dab rig to capture the vapor, cool it, and enjoy it.

Dab pens are similar to vape pens in overall appearance, performance, and function. The major difference is that dab pens heat up concentrates that the user loads into the chamber or bowl. Similar to e-rigs, dab pens replace all dab gear except for a dabber.

A close-up view of cannabinoid concentrate being loaded into a dab nail.

How to Hit Dabs

Now that we know what dabs and the gear used to enjoy them are, we can answer this very important question: How do you hit dabs?

We’ll focus on traditional dabs here. E-rigs and dab pens are self-contained devices that don’t follow the process detailed below. Instead, they simply require loading the bowl or chamber with concentrate and heating it to the desired temperature.

Dabbing 101

In a traditional dab setup, you will have: a dab rig, dab nail, carb cap, lighter or torch, and concentrate to dab with. You may also use a self-heating e-nail instead of a traditional nail and lighter.

Dabbing isn’t the most intuitive process, but it’s also not particularly complex. With your dab rig assembled and water in the cooling chamber, you then:

  1. Heat the dab nail using the torch, or turn on your e-nail and set it to the desired temperature.
  2. For traditional nails: heat the nail above the desired temperature, then let it cool to that desired temperature.
  3. Pick up the desired amount of concentrate with your dabber and place it on the nail, ensuring it sticks.
  4. Cover the dab nail with the carb cap. You can remove and replace it to regulate temperature and vaporization.
  5. Inhale to breathe in the dab and start enjoying its effects.

Those are the basics of how to dab.

Dabs are known to be especially intense, So, here are a few final tips to keep in mind for first-timers: Make sure you’re sitting down when you take your first dab. Start with a small amount of concentrate, inhale with restraint, and wait to feel the full effects before taking another.

A Full Range of Cannabinoids from Delta 8 Resellers

Delta 8 Resellers is proud to offer a full range of cannabinoid products, including concentrates for dabs, from the best brands in the industry.

Check out all of our cannabinoid concentrates!


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