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The Basics of Dabbing Concentrates

the basics of dabbing concentrates

Concentrates are a very popular way to consume cannabis and for a good reason! They offer potent effects and a quick high. But if you’re new to concentrates, the terminology can be confusing. What is shatter? How do you dab? This blog post will teach you the basics of dabbing concentrates. We’ll cover everything from what concentrates are, how to choose the right rig, and how to hit a dab correctly. Read on to learn everything you need to know about dabbing concentrates!

What exactly is “dabbing”?

Dabbing is a consuming cannabis concentrate that involves heating the concentrate and inhaling the vapour. Concentrates are extremely potent, so a little goes a long way! Dabbing is also one of the quickest ways to feel the effects of cannabis because the vapour is absorbed directly into your lungs.

So, what do you need to dab? Let’s start with the basics:

  • A cannabis concentrate: this can be in the form of wax, shatter, budder, live resin, etc.
  • A dab rig: this is a special type of water pipe designed to use concentrates. Dab rigs often have a dome-shaped nail instead of a bowl.
  • A torch: you will need this to heat your nail. A small butane torch is usually best.
  • A dab tool: is used to place the concentrate onto the nail. Dab tools are usually made of metal or glass.

Now that you have all of the necessary supplies, let’s walk through the process of dabbing step-by-step:

  1. Start by heating your nail with the torch. You want to heat it until it is red hot.
  2. Let the nail cool for a few seconds so that it is not too hot to touch.
  3. Use your dab tool to place the concentrate onto the nail.
  4. Inhale the vapour through the mouthpiece of the rig.
  5. Exhale and enjoy!

What is the process?

Creating cannabis concentrate is the first step in this process. The process involves the extraction of the essential oils from the cannabis plant (stored in the plant’s trichomes, pictured above), either using a chemical solvent such as butane, CO2, or propane or mechanically, such as filtration screens. The final product is a highly-concentrated form of cannabis that can consistently range from viscous oils to waxy shatters. These concentrates are incredibly potent, often containing upwards of 90% THC. You can make concentrates from any Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid strain that you want.

The term concentrate can take many forms, depending on the method used and the final texture:

  • Shatter: a hard, transparent concentrate that “shatters” when broken
  • Wax: a softer, opaque concentrate with a wax-like consistency
  • Budder: a smooth, creamy concentrate that has been whipped for airiness
  •  Live resin: a sticky, viscous concentrate made from fresh (not dried and cured) cannabis plants

When this concentrate, free of plant matter, is put onto a hot surface, it rapidly vaporizes. This is what you inhale when you “dab.” The cannabinoid-rich vapour is quickly absorbed into your lungs and bloodstream, with almost instantaneous effects.

Why dab?

Dabbing offers a few advantages over other methods of consuming cannabis. First, as we mentioned before, the effects of dabbing are almost instantaneous because the vapour is absorbed directly into your lungs. Second, concentrates are extremely potent, so a little goes long. They are perfect for experienced cannabis users looking for a quick and powerful high.

Not a bong, but like a bong?

The most common dabbing method uses a glass pipe, often called a “dab rig.” Dab rigs are similar to bongs in that they use water to cool and filter the vapour. However, dab rigs have a few key differences that make them ideal for concentrates:

  • Dab rigs often have a dome-shaped nail instead of a bowl. This allows you to heat a small amount of concentrate at a time.
  • Dab rigs often have a smaller chamber and mouthpiece. It makes it easier to inhale the concentrate vapour.

The dab setup has four components:

  •  the nail (the metal or quartz piece attached to the heated rig)
  •  the dabber (the tool that holds the dab of concentrate),
  • a crème brûlée-style torch to heat it.
  • Some nails are made of titanium, others quartz.

The type of nail you choose is personal preference, but we recommend quartz because it holds heat better and doesn’t affect the taste of the concentrate as much as titanium.

Should I dab? Should I not dab?

Dabbing is not for everyone. It can be intimidating for first-time users because it involves using a torch and handling small amounts of concentrate. However, dabbing is a quick and easy way to consume cannabis concentrates once you get it.

If you are new to cannabis, we recommend starting with a less powerful method of consumption, such as smoking or edibles. You can even use a weed vape pen to vape cannabis. It is one of the latest and most efficient ways of consuming cannabis. Dabbing concentrates can be overwhelming for first-time users because of their high THC content. However, if you are an experienced cannabis user looking for a quick and powerful high, dabbing may be the perfect method for

The main problem with dabs is that many people make them at home — not only is this dangerous for them (if they’re using flammable solvents), but it’s sketchy and unreliable for you as well if you’re not buying dabs from a dispensary. The best way to avoid this is by only consuming concentrates from a trustworthy source.

What are the downsides?

The main downside of dabbing is that it can be dangerous if not done properly. Remember, you are working with high temperatures and small amounts of concentrate. If you are not careful, you can easily burn yourself. We recommend using a torch with an automatic shut-off feature to help prevent accidents.

Another downside of dabbing is that it can be costly. Dab rigs and nails can be expensive, and concentrates are usually more expensive than flowers. However, a little concentration goes a long way, so you may find that dabbing saves you money in the long run. Further, you can also buy a dab rig from ShopRite, an esteemed smoke shop in Vancouver

Novice dabbers should probably start with a vape pen to get used to concentrates in general and then progress to dabbing.


Dabbing is probably right for you if A) you want a higher level of potency, flavour, and effect than traditional weed but want more immediate and reliable effects than edibles; and B) you don’t want to consume too much. Try it if you meet both of these criteria and are comfortable with the process! Just remember always to start low and go slow.

Have any questions or comments about dabbing? Feel free to contact us, and as always, we will be at your service.

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