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So you've outgrown regular joints and want to level-up your weed game. Your buddies talk about learning how to dab, but you weren't sure if they're talking about the dance or whether it's weed-related.

Dab Marijuana Concentrates

Don't worry friend, we're about to open you up to a whole new world. Here's everything you need to know about dabbing so you can enjoy the ultimate weed-smoking experience.

First, What is Dabbing?

Before you Google “how to do dabs”, we need to know the basics. Dabbing is the method of smoking cannabis concentrates like wax and shatter. It’s the vaporization of concentrates that have been made using butane or carbon dioxide.

Dabbing is the method of smoking cannabis concentrates like wax and shatter. It’s the vaporization of concentrates that have been made using butane or carbon dioxide.

As a result, you’re left with a sticky oil that falls under categories like wax, shatters, or budder. They’re all made from Butane Hash Oil which is why they’re called BHOs.

Great! So What Exactly Are Concentrates?

Concentrates are products from the cannabis plant with the goal of keeping the most desirable plant compounds (mainly cannabinoids and terpenes), while removing other impurities.

Cannabis concentrates help increase the potency of your flower. For example, you can add drops of concentrated oil to your cannabis before rolling. Or enjoy them on their own such in a vape or dab rig.

How Do You Talk About Concentrates?

Producers and manufacturers use their own jargon to help you identify key characteristics and qualities of cannabis concentrates.

You'll find certain terms used on labels, such as:

  • The cannabis plant material used to make the concentrate
  • Processing and resulting techniques
  • Intended consumption methods

Before you learn how to smoke dabs, let's get familiar with the different forms of dabs. The most popular are:


This BHO has a translucent amber color and looks creamier. Though, it’s brittle and less malleable than other BHOs. But, if you’re after a long high then shatter is for you.


Want to know how to dab wax? Wax has a buttery-like appearance and is easy to work with thanks to its malleable nature.


As suggested by its name, oils are sticky and have the loosest consistency of BHO.


This BHO has more moisture so it’s gooier, with a wax-like consistency because of the manufacturing process. During the process, this cannabis concentrate is whipped and purged so it gets more air. Because of this, many tokers love it because it’s so smooth.


Crumble is a brittle version of the budder. It has a crumbly-like honeycomb consistency but instead of a glossy texture, crumble tends to have a matted yellow shade.

How Potent Are Dabs?

Before you learn how to dab shatter, it’s important to know how effective dabbing is.

The answer is, they’re very potent. Flowers contain 10 to 25% of THC and because dabs are cannabis concentrates, they’re three times stronger than the stickiest cannabis strain. The range of THC content in concentrates runs between 50% to over 90% for the most potent varieties.

How Much Oil Is Enough to Dab?

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Before plunking a slab of concentrates into your dabber, know that different extracts have various THC concentrations. It’s recommended to start small and increase the dose, only if you feel comfortable.

A small dose doesn’t look like much, it’s no bigger than a crumb. But don’t let its tiny appearance fool you, it’s got a heck of a lot of THC, and you’ll notice the difference your first time.

Got It? Great, Here's What You'll Need 

So you've gotten your feet wet by sprinkling shatter over your joint and you want to try it for real. Before you take the plunge, it's important to get your dabbing gear.

Alongside your dabs, you'll also need:

Dab Rig

This is a type of water pipe made specifically for dabbing. Have a look at reviews such as this dab rig review, so you know it's the right fit for you. It’s also possible to convert a conventional water pipe into a dab rig by taking the bowl components out and replacing them with dabbing attachments.


Dab rigs often come with a nail from glass, titanium, or quartz. Titanium is the most common and you can buy one separately, just ensure it fits your water pipe’s gauge.

Dome and Dabber

A dome is a glass hood you place around the nail, and most dab rigs include this component. And a dabber is where you apply the dab. These are made from glass, metal, or ceramic.

A Torch

Mini torches used to crisp a crème brûlée work or you could invest in a propane-fueled torch that heats nails quicker.

Let's Get to It!

The moment we've all been waiting for! You've got everything ready and now, here's how to take a dab.

Step 1 

Turn on your torch and aim the flame at the nail until it's red-hot.

Step 2

Once the nail is hot, turn off your torch, and place the glass dome over the nail. If you've got a titanium nail, let it cook for 10 seconds whereas a quartz nail will need 45 seconds so the surface isn't too hot.

It's also important to note nails and glass domes become extremely hot when you dab. So take caution when handling and wait for all pieces to cool down before touching them.

Step 3

Take the dabber, and apply the dab directly on the nail inside the dome. Inhale slowly. Rotating the dabber tip on the nail stops you from wasting any oil stuck to the dabber.

Step 4

Exhale and enjoy it!

Now You Know How to Dab!

Dabbing can seem daunting when you first look at the apparatus. But once you break down all components, the various types of cannabis concentrates, it's easy to learn how to dab.

Be sure to start slow so you can get accustomed to the dabbing process and the high. Happy smoking!

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