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“Dabbing.” We’ve all heard the term, but there’s a constant veil of uncertainty surrounding this new-age cannabis-consumption technique. Well, not anymore. Slang for smoking/vaping concentrated cannabis, it’s only been around for about a decade but packs a much bigger punch than any cannabis flower ever could.

If you’re a new medical marijuana patient, take loads of caution when dabbing. When you do, you’re primarily inhaling the active chemicals of marijuana in concentrated form, with 70-90% THC content and no dead plant matter. “Dabs” come in many forms, including shatter, crumble, wax or oil, and can be consumed many different ways. Check out this video to learn more about the different forms of cannabis concentrates.

Here we’ll teach you how to dab properly using these six methods that’ll keep you lit regardless of your experience smoking concentrates.

Dab Rig

ways to dab

I recommend dabbing from a rig ONLY if you have a fairly high tolerance AND know what you’re doing. If you have no clue, find someone who does—seriously. For many, a single hit from a monster rig is equivalent to smoking an entire blunt in one sitting.

But what is this “dab rig” I keep referring to? Above you see a custom rig in-action with the use of a blow-torch. The picture displays the four main components of a typical dab rig: oil rig, torch, nail, and wand (also known as a dabber tool).

how to dab

Smoking cannabis concentrates from a rig intimidates a lot of people, simply because “let me get my blow-torch” and “let’s get high” don’t typically sound like things that belong in the same sentence. In order to properly use a rig and inhale a dab,  you:

  • Apply just a tiny amount of marijuana concentrate directly onto your dab tool (wand)
  • Heat up the nail with your blowtorch until it’s red-hot
  • Finally, “dab” your concentrate onto the nail and inhale.
  • Make sure you don’t use too much concentrate for a single hit.  People have been known to pass out.  Check out this how to dab video for more info.

Electric Nail

ways to dab

If using a blowtorch to get high is too maniacal for you, then the electric nail is the way to go. The process is similar to your typical dab rig, except instead of blow-torching the “nail,” it’s already plugged into a separate power source!

This means you have full control over the temperature (which helps ensure that you’re vaporizing your concentrates instead of combusting) and you’ll never have to worry about third-degree torch burns.

Health Stone

ways to dab

A health stone is essentially a porous rock that slips into your bowl-piece. Unlike using a nail or e-nail, this method requires you to place your marijuana concentrate directly onto the health stone. You don’t even need a dab tool!

However, you’re still going to need that scary blowtorch. The great thing about this dabbing method is that you don’t need to use densely packed marijuana concentrates like shatter. Shatter is best used for dabbing with a rig & nail because it sticks easily to your dab tool, but dabbing with a health stone allows you to explore other cannabis concentrates like hash or crumble!

Watch this video to learn how to dab from a health-stone. (You World of Warcraft fans now know what your character was really doing when you clicked that Health Stone.)

Dab Pen

dab pen

Using a dab pen, sometimes referred to as a “G-Pen“ is perhaps the most convenient way to consume highly-concentrated cannabis. Dab pens are completely portable, easy to use, and don’t confine you to medicating indoors. You don’t need that scary blow torch, or a dabber tool, or a rig.  You really don’t need anything except your pen and the liquid concentrate to pour in it!

The only downside (and it’s not a big one) is that most pens leave a less-than-desirable metal/plastic aftertaste in your mouth, which is why most experienced dabbers prefer the rig over anything else (it has the best taste and the smoothest hit).

For a full rundown on the best vape pens available, check out the PEN15 Challenge: 15 Vapes in 15 Hours.

Pre-filled Vape Cartridges

vape cartridge

There is absolutely no work required with a vape cartridge, as long as you have the means to enjoy the delectable liquid found inside. You can use them with dab pens (see #4) that allow for refillable cartridges, just by dropping the concentrated liquid into the existing cartridge.

Or, and probably even better, you can usually just plug-and-play a vape cartridge into your existing pen type— I’m talking your e-cigarette, vape pen, and dab pen should be compatible with a cartridge!

In my humble opinion, there’s nothing more convenient or discreet on the market. But convenience often comes at a price. These bad boys usually go for $35-$50, just for half a gram! I’d recommend getting one for social activity and one for relaxing at home, but this might be too pricey if used daily, especially when you can get a half gram of potent shatter or wax for $10-15 instead.

SEE ALSO:  The best and worst vape cartridges on the market today


dab mixed with weed

You don’t need any fancy devices to consume super-potent cannabis—it’s really as simple as mixing the concentrate of your choice with some dry herb. Admittedly, the quality of the hit is sub-par compared to an oil rig or dab pen, and you just don’t get as high.

That being said, adding concentrates to flower is a great way to enhance you’re smoking experience, just be warned it might not be the best bang for your buck. Note that when smoked alongside flowers, concentrates like shatter, crumble, wax or oil often burn slower, so please puff-puff and then pass to your friend who’s been waiting patiently for a hit.

My personal recommendation is to sandwich the concentrate in-between your flowers and simply roll a joint. Just make sure you use the proper terminology when rolling a joint mixed with concentrate—it’s “Twax.”



So, we’ve covered six ways to dab—that is, ways to consume cannabis in its most highly concentrated, super-potent forms. There are many other ways to dab not mentioned in this article, but these six methods are most commonly used, and should be a great starting point for anyone new to the dabbing game. It really is all a matter of preference.

And, don’t forget, once you decide on how you want to dab, you need to decide what type of cannabis concentrate you want to dab with.

If you’re a California medical marijuana patient, visit our site to find cannabis products near you and order online from any device!