A growing number of cannabis smokers have added CBD and THC concentrates to their product list. Whether you’re using an oil, wax, shatter, butter, BHO or other form of concentrates, they typically provide more THC and/or CBD. However, to enjoy the effects of a concentrate, also known as a “dab,”, having the right device is essential.
What Is A Dab Rig?
In order to enjoy your dab, it needs to be heated with a very hot surface called a nail or skillet. Some nails are made of glass, ceramic or quartz. You then inhale the smoke and vapor produced by the dab. This means that you take in the THC and CBD in your cannabis products using convective heating instead of conductive heating, as with smoking. It reaches a high temperature of 600 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit to vaporize the active ingredients. Convective heating preserves the active ingredients in your cannabis and helps you enjoy a stronger, purer hit.
One of the best ways to enjoy a dab is by using a dab rig. A dab rig looks similar to a special type of bong or water pipe, especially because they are generally both made from glass. A dab rig is designed to help you get the most out of your concentrates and the vapors that they produce. Most dab rigs are made from glass with a quartz or titanium nail. The concentrate is placed on the nail or skillet with a dabber. The user then uses the mouthpiece of the dab rig to inhale the vapor.
As with bongs, you can choose from an array of interestingly designed rigs to fit your interest and your lifestyle. This type of dab rig not only allows you to enjoy your concentrates effectively, but it also keeps your home safe from the high heat used for an effective dab hit.
What Is A Bong?
On the other hand, a bong is typically used to smoke cannabis flower or dry herb. It’s one of the most popular ways to enjoy cannabis. This type of water pipe dates back millennia, and the presence of bongs over the years has been documented all over the world including in Africa, Asia and Europe. Bongs are similar to hookahs, a different type of water pipe with a hose attached that allow people to enjoy herb or flavored tobacco in a group.
A bong has several different parts:
- Bowl – Dried flower is placed inside this attachment, which is typically rounded and bowl-shaped.
- Carburetor – This hole allows you to clear smoke from the chamber of the bong. There are both pull and slide carburetors or carbs available for bongs; these pieces are exposed when you remove the bowl.
- Downstem – This tube directs smoke from the bowl to the base of the bong, percolating the smoke through the water.
- Base – Located at the bottom of the bong, where the water is held, this piece is typically shaped like a beaker or a bubble.
- Percolator – This filter creates the bubbles in the water when smoke is drawn up to the mouthpiece.
- Tube – Ending in the bong’s mouthpiece, this chamber fills with the smoke after it’s been filtered by the water. You can find specialized tubes that include splash guards and ice pinches, cavities where ice can be used to cool the smoke even more.
People who enjoy the sensations of smoking flower cannabis often opt for a bong because of its cooling, filtering effect. The smoking experience can be smoother and more comfortable.
How Do You Use Dab Rig?
To get started dabbing, make sure you have the cannabis extract of your choice on hand. Also, make sure that you’re not using an alcohol-based extract. Most rosins, honeys, butters and similar concentrates are designed to help you enjoy a dab. Next, get ready to use your dab rig. Like a bong, you’ll fill the bottom of your rig with water to filter the smoke.
In most cases, you’ll only need a tiny amount of cannabis concentrate. A small dose is around the size of a single crumb, but it delivers an effective THC punch. If you’re just trying a dab, it makes sense to start small so that you can adjust to the different feel of a dab. Use your dabber, the tool to take the dab and apply it to the nail, and pick up your dose.
- Turn on the butane torch on your dab rig. Direct the flame at the nail until it turns red-hot. A dab rig might have an electronic nail; if this is the case for you, switch it on until you reach the appropriate level of heating.
- After you heat the nail, switch off the torch and make sure the dome is in place over the nail. You’ll generally want to let your nail cool from around 10 seconds to 45 seconds to get the best results from your dab.
- Apply the dab from your dabber to the nail inside the dome. You can rotate the tip of the dabber over the nail to make sure you get every bit of the concentrate.
- As you’re applying the dab, inhale through the mouthpiece, then exhale as you enjoy the sensations from your concentrate.
While you’re enjoying a dab, watch out for the hot parts of your dab rig, including the nail and the glass dome. Don’t touch these internal parts directly until they are fully cooled.
How Do You Use Bong?
It’s relatively simple to use a bong. First, users simply place the cannabis flower into the bowl of the bong after filling the base of the bong with water. Some users experiment with the fluid in their bongs. You could also try juice, tea or flavored water to have a different effect on the flavor and feel of the smoke that it filters.
Next, ignite the flower in the bowl with a regular lighter or a blowpipe. Then place your lips around the tube and get ready to inhale through the mouthpiece. Make sure to cover any open areas of the tube to ensure that you get all of the smoke directly into your mouth when you inhale.
Types of Bongs & Dab Rigs
There are several different types of bongs and dab rigs. In addition to the materials and styles described below, you can also find many different artistic and creative takes for your rig or water pipe. Browse various selections to find one that appeals to your decor and sense of style.
Glass – Glass is the most popular type of bong material. It’s thick, heavy and does not affect the flavor of the smoke. Glass bongs are typically easy to clean, and you can easily spot areas where resin has built up.
Plastic – Plastic bongs are also popular. They’re less expensive and less likely to be handmade than glass bongs. They’re also durable and easy to take with you when you travel. Some people loathe plastic models because they find that they affect the pure flavor of the smoke.
Ceramic – These are heavier than glass bongs, but they can also be more fragile (and they’re so beautiful). There are many unique, handmade ceramic bongs and they won’t affect the taste of the smoke.
Bamboo – Bamboo bongs are known for their durability. Many classic, early bongs were crafted from bamboo, and they remain a favorite today. You can find simple, streamlined models or decorative options with varnish, metal and painted designs.
Metal – Metal bongs are more rare, but they are also durable and long-lasting. However, metal can impact the flavor of the smoke, and these can be more challenging to clean than clear options.
There are a few specific designs that can help you enjoy the effects of a bong. Here are some of the most popular:
Straight-Tube Bong – This simple design has a tube, closed at the bottom, and a stem and bowl that emerges from the side. It’s easy to use a straight-tube bong; just put some water in the tube, put your flower in the bowl and ignite.
Beaker Bong – A beaker-shaped bong is just as simple and easy as a straight tube bong. However, the base of the tube is flared out, making it look like a beaker in a science lab. This provides more stability and a clear place to add your water. Just put your cannabis in the bowl, ignite and go.
Round Bong – These bongs look just like beaker bongs. Instead of a triangular beaker bottom, they have a globe-shaped bottom with a flat base. They work just the same as the previous two.
Multi-Chambers – Also called “recycler bongs”, this is a different take on the straightforward bong. The straight tube is divided into two chambers, which are themselves connected by another tube. Both the upper chamber and the lower chamber hold water, so you’ll enjoy more filtration of the smoke and a smoother hit. These bongs can be more expensive due to the complexity of their design.
Percolators – These are known for their characteristic bubbling. A percolator is a glass item that dissipates the smoke, causing it to spread out and cool faster. It leaves a bubbling effect behind in the water. Some percolators sit in their own chamber, while others rest at the bottom of the bong.
Dab Rig Materials and Styles
There are also several great options when choosing a dab rig. Here are some of the most popular:
Traditional Dab Rig – This is typically made of glass, and as with bongs, you can find a number of artistic, handmade options. They’re typically around nine inches in height, although you can find rigs of varying heights. The water filtration at the bottom provides that smooth hit, and you can easily pair it with the nail and torch that fits your needs. While glass rigs are the most popular, silicone options are also available and offer more durability.
Miniature Rig – This is a handheld, small rig that you can carry as you enjoy your dab. It’s protected so that you won’t be affected by the heat from the nail and torch. These are a great option for travel, and some people prefer them because they can more directly take in the flavors and compounds in the vapor.
Recyclers and Incyclers – This type of dab rig has two different chambers through which water is cycled for more filtration and smoother hits. They’re interesting to look at because the water swirls around after you take your dab. Incyclers don’t need an exterior chamber; instead, water funnels up and down through the interior incycler with a cyclonic effect. Both types look and feel great, so they can be a big draw at a party.
Honey or Nectar Straws – This is a smaller, slimmer dab rig. Unlike other rigs, you don’t use your dabber to place concentrate on a nail. Here, the nail sits at the bottom of the straw, which you place onto a glass dish holding your butter, wax or resin. The other end has a mouthpiece. This is a small device that can be a great option for travel.
E-Nails – Many people love dabbing but don’t like dealing with torches and heating the nail directly. E-nails are a different solution. They’re battery operated; just flick a switch or push a button to heat the nail. These are more expensive, but many experienced dabbers love the convenience, ease and safety of electronic nails.
How To Clean A Bong Or Dab Rig
Whether you use a bong or a dab rig, you’ll need to clean it regularly to keep it safe to use and functional. Resins can accumulate on your water pipe, leading to a tarry look and an unpleasant flavor that interferes with your experience. Bacteria can even build-up, especially when water is left behind in your pipe.
You’ll need the following dab cleaning supplies:
- Running water
- Coarse salt
- Isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol
- Pipe cleaners or cotton swabs
- Cotton balls and paper towels
- Plastic resealable bag
First, empty any dirty water and wash the pipe with hot water. Next, use your alcohol and salt. For small items like bowls, fill your plastic bag with a 2:1 ratio of alcohol and salt and place the small items inside. For larger pipes, fill the bottom with the same solution, typically around your normal water line. If your glass is dirty, leave it to soak for 15 to 30 minutes. If you clean it every day or every time you smoke, you won’t need to soak it. Just shake the item vigorously to circulate the solution, then use your pipe cleaners or cotton swabs to target any difficult, hard-to-reach area.
Finally, rinse your item with hot water. If your glass is not completely clear, repeat the steps above until it is. Make sure to rinse it several times so that no scent of rubbing alcohol is left behind. You’re ready to go again now and enjoy a fresh, clean flavor.
Dab Accessories Needed
A few dab accessories and tools can help make your dabbing experience better. Here are some options to keep in mind:
Quartz bangers – These quartz nails are dab accessories that can enhance your experience. They are more durable than glass, and they’re designed to fit most rigs. Many dabbers love these because they produce a clean vapor that lets you feel the effects of the cannabis terpenes.
Carb caps – You can use a carb cap to cover up your quartz banger or nail after you take a hit from your rig. It provides more suction and prevents wastage of your precious extract. You’ll also save on cleaning time because these caps prevent unnecessary wastes of resin.
Torches – You can use any kind of torch for your rig, but you can also find dab accessories that are more durable, more petite and more insulated. When you heat your nail, you can use an effective, safe torch to get the heat you need going.
Dabbers – The typical dabber is a plain stick of titanium, but you can also find dabbers that express your creativity. Honeycomb and flower dabbers can be made of quartz for a beautiful look.
The 5 Best Bong Reviews
There are so many great bongs on the market. Here are just a few that you might enjoy:
- Black Leaf Honeycomb Perc Stemless Glass Bong – A stemless glass bong which means bowl connects directly to the main body of the bong. This helps to prevent any type of accident or breakage while using your bong. It’s made of sturdy, thick glass and offers ice-cooling catches as well as a splash guard. The honeycomb percolator offers great bubbling and excellent filtration.
- Grace Glass Straight Ice Bong – This straight-tube bong offers strong filtration and thick, durable glass. With ice catches, you can give your smoke extra cooling power. It’s easy to clean, and it offers strong bubbling as you inhale.
- WeedStar Messias Illusion Single Percolator – This tall, beaker-shaped bong has a tree percolator, which means it has five arms that help to produce smooth, strong hits. It offers notches for ice cubes and a large bowl that slides in.
- Black Leaf Glass Beaker Base Ice Bong With Pre-Cooler – An inexpensive bong that offers a great bang for the buck. It’s made of high-quality, strong borosilicate glass and features a dome percolator with six slits, a slanted downstem diffuser, and ice catches for more cooling. The eye-catching look is great on a shelf or at parties.
- DHC Destroyer – This small bong comes with thick glass and a fused downstem. It’s sturdy and durable, offering a honeycomb percolator and a vortex for a smoother smoking experience. This model can also be converted into a dab rig.
The 5 Best Dab Rig Reviews
Here are some of the most exciting rigs for you to check out:
- G-Spot Dab Rig With Titanium Domeless Nail – This option offers a titanium nail, so you can remain certain that it will be tough and durable. It has removable parts, making it easy to clean and avoid build-up. With a slitted diffuser downstem, you can easily enjoy the bubbles as you dab.
- Snoop Dogg Pounds SFO Beaker Base Dab Rig – This option has a quartz banger nail for more flavor and durability. You can switch out the banger for the included bowl for smoking flower as well. With a wide, beaker-style base, this rig is secure and unlikely to tip or fall. It also allows for a greater amount of water filtration.
- Blaze Glass Oil Recycler Bubbler – This is a compact dab rig measuring just over four inches tall. With a recycling chamber, it recirculates water for a smooth hit. It has a glass nail, and you should be careful to use the dab torch to its side for the best results.
- Pulse Incycler Rig – This is a beautiful rig for a dedicated dabber, with thick glass and creative designs. It is designed to create decorative patterns with the water as you inhale. With a bent neck, water is prevented from rising, and the design produces smooth, flavorful vapor.
- Nexus Nano Puck Rig – This portable yet durable rig resembles a hockey puck. Made of durable borosilicate glass, it has colored accents that you can choose for a style that you prefer. The downstem holes create diffusion, and the fixed stem makes it easy to connect.
Dabbing can be an excellent way to consume various forms of marijuana concentrates. As always, make sure to use caution when lighting your rigs. No one wants to have to put out a fire while they’re up in the clouds.