Dab-ucation 101: How to Take Dabs Like A Pro

Dab-ucation 101: How to Take Dabs Like A Pro


This comprehensive guide aims to dissect the science and process behind the increasingly popular method of cannabis consumption called "dabbing." Whether you're new or simply looking to enhance your understanding, this extensive primer is intended to explore all things dab and answer any questions you may have.

What is Dabbing?

Dabbing refers to the method of vaporizing and inhaling cannabis concentrates using what's called a"dab rig," which can be glass, an electronic device (an"e-rig"), or a dab pen. Originating in the early 2000s, dabbing quickly gained momentum due to the potency and fast onset of its effects. It's now one of the more popular methods of consuming cannabis for connoisseurs looking for increased strength and flavor.

The dabbing process involves heating a small, rice grain-sized amount of cannabis concentrate (a"dab") at a relatively low temperature on a surface and inhaling the vapors. Unlike smoking, the lower temperatures involved in dabbing prevent the concentrate from igniting.

What are Cannabis Concentrates?

Cannabis concentrates are potent substances made by extracting crucial compounds—cannabinoids and terpenes—from the cannabis plant. Each concentrate is unique and is characterized by its extraction process and resulting THC content.

Various forms of cannabis concentrates exist on the market today:

• Charas (Indian hand-rubbed Hash)

• Dry-sift Hash (Like our Moroccan Melts)

• Ice Water or Bubble Hash

• Resin

Live Resin

Dry/Cured Flower Resin

• Rosin

Live Rosin

Dry/Cured Flower Rosin

Virgin Rosin

• BHO – Butane Hash Oil

• Cannabis Distillate (Like our Terp Tanks & Dragon Tears)

Taking it a step further, many (but not all) concentrates come in different consistencies depending on the chemical make-up of the final product.

Those include:

• Budder

A smooth whipped concentrate that features extra terpenes that settle at the top due to its high terpene content.

• Badder

A smooth whipped concentrate with high terpene content and a cake batter consistency makes it easy to work with and handle for dabbing.

• Sauce

The pinnacle of the dabbing experience. Sauce requires the most time and attention to detail to achieve. We carefully craft these sauces in small batches to produce a quality yield of THCa crystals drenched in terpene-rich extract.

• Jelly

Expansive terpene profiles in a jelly-like texture featuring smaller THC crystals in high terpene extract.

• Jam

A warm cured blend of crystalline THCa in a flavorful terpene-rich mixture with a consistency reminiscent of a thick fruit jam.

• Crumble

A drier consistency with a honey-comb-like texture that crumbles to the touch.

• Honey Crystals

A premium refined product designed to maximize dosage while maintaining the flavor and uniqueness of our strains. The flavor is expected to be milder when compared to Budder, Jelly, or Sauce due to a lower terpene content; however, the tradeoff is higher THC content.

• Shatter

A more solid consistency that can vary in firmness from glass-like to a stretchy "pull and snap" texture.

• Diamonds

THC cannabinoids in their natural, crystalline structure, known as diamonds.

• THCa Powder

THCa powder is extracted with hydrocarbon from flower, where the THCa is then isolated from the terpenes and cannabinoids to create a pure and potent product. THCa powder is designed to yield a higher percentage of pure THCa, resulting in a clearheaded euphoric experience.

It's important to remember that the THC content of cannabis concentrations far exceeds what's found in the cannabis flower equivalent; these concentrates serve as a high-potency option for dabbers to choose from.

Storing Concentrates

To preserve the taste and texture of your concentrates, always keep them in an airtight storage container. Put them in a cool, dry place and away from exposure to light. We recommend storing them between 45-65F because colder environments with less oxygen will preserve concentrates for longer periods of time.

Due to the volatile nature of cannabis terpenoids, concentrate textures can shift over time or with exposure to heat and light. This is because of their high terpenoid content and isn’t always because of the degradation of the product. If your concentrate turns to sugar, don’t worry! Sugars and Budders will retain their medicinal value and will still provide a connoisseur-level experience.

The Benefits of Dabbing

Dabbing holds several potential benefits over traditional cannabis consumption methods. Due to the high potency of cannabis concentrates, dabbing can provide rapid and powerful effects.

Quality cannabis concentrates are very rich in terpenes which are easily destroyed in the drying, curing, and combustion process. These terpenes and cannabinoids can survive the lower temperatures of vaporization, allowing full, true-to-plant flavors to come through, providing a richer experience for cannabis connoisseurs to enjoy.

Dabbing can also produce a cleaner ingestion method with less plant material and more concentrated compounds when properly executed. There may be benefits for medical cannabis patients who cannot inhale smoke from traditional combustion and for users seeking immediate relief from symptoms.

Safety Measures in Dabbing

Despite its benefits, you need to be careful when dabbing. Quality is essential when dabbing. You should always use concentrates from reliable sources to avoid contaminated products.

Handle with Care

Use the right tools to keep your fingers clean and to conserve the extracts. Concentrates can be incredibly sticky so handling them with your bare hands can transfer unwanted bacteria, oils or dust particles.

Temperature Control

You will also need to monitor the temperature carefully. When dabbing, the temperature is critical, as too high temperatures can lead to harmful byproducts.

The mantra "Start Low and Go Slow" serves as a reminder to avoid overconsumption, as the potent nature of concentrates can be overwhelming for novice users. For the best flavor and experience, we recommend vaporizing your concentrates between 500-625F for full terpene expression.

What Do I Need to Dab?

Dabbing requires a specialized equipment setup called a "dab rig." A traditional dab rig is made of glass or silicone rubber/glass and looks very similar to a bong. It includes multiple pieces to help the dabbing process go as smoothly as possible.

Dab Rig

This is the cornerstone of your dabbing setup. A dab rig is a glass water pipe designed explicitly for consuming cannabis concentrates. It is the primary tool needed to heat the concentrate until vaporization and transport the resulting vapor to your lungs.


The nail is part of the dab rig where you place your concentrate. It is heated with a torch, vaporizing the concentrate upon contact at the proper temperature. Nails can be made of different temperature-resistant materials, including quartz, titanium, and ceramic.


A dome can be used with certain types of nails. It's a glass hood placed around the nail that captures the vapor before it's inhaled. Domeless nails with larger surfaces for heating the concentrates are also available and don't require a dome.


A dabber is a tool used to apply the concentrate to the nail. It's usually made from glass or metal. The concentrate is collected on one end and then applied to the heated nail, avoiding direct contact with the often-sticky concentrate and avoiding potential burns.

Carb Cap

A carb cap is placed over the nail after the concentrate has been applied. It helps control airflow and a consistent, lower temperature for the best vaporization temperature.


A torch is used to heat the nail to the right temperature for vaporizing the concentrate. Torches for dabbing are usually larger than regular lighter flames, often using butane or propane. E-nails use electricity to vaporize the concentrate, eliminating the need for a torch, but they can be quite pricey.


Of course, you'll need your chosen cannabis concentrate. The concentrate you use—shatter, sauce, budder, etc.—will affect your dabbing session's potency and flavor.

Heat Resistant Mat

A heat-resistant mat is not absolutely necessary, but it's highly recommended for safety reasons. It provides a safe place to rest your heated nail or torch and protects your surfaces from damage.


Again, while not totally necessary, a timer can help heat your nail to the correct temperature and let it cool appropriately before applying your concentrate, enhancing your experience and safety.

Cotton Swabs

Cotton swabs are used to clean the nail after each use, ensuring no residue affects the taste or performance of subsequent dabs.

These tools together form an excellent dabbing setup, each piece contributing to a safer, more efficient, and enjoyable experience.

Setting Up a Dab Rig

The dab rig setup involves assembling all components correctly, ensuring a tight seal for vaporization.

Assemble the Rig

Begin by assembling your dab rig. This includes attaching the nail to the rig itself. Make sure all pieces fit snugly together, forming a sealed pathway for the vapor. Remember, a leaky rig could lead to difficulties further down the line.

Check the Water Level

Dab rigs use water to cool the vapor before you inhale it. So, after assembling your rig, fill the water chamber. The water level will differ depending on the design of your rig, but generally, you should fill it enough so that the downstem (the part of the pipe that extends below the nail) is submerged about one inch into the water.

Prep Your Dab

Prepare your dab before heating the nail. This will make the process smoother. Using a dab tool, section off a small piece of concentrate about the size of a grain of rice. Remember, if you're new to dabbing, start with a smaller amount and experiment with it until you find your comfort level.

Prepare the Carb Cap

Prepare the carb cap while waiting for your nail to cool to the correct temperature. The carb cap is placed onto the heated nail after the dab has been applied. Having the carb cap ready to go immediately after dab placement ensures that no vapor is lost and the temperature is controlled for the most effective vaporization of your concentrate.

Remember, a proper dab rig set up is the foundation of every great dabbing session. By carefully preparing your rig, you can ensure each dab session is as enjoyable as possible. Routine cleaning is also important to maintaining the efficiency and longevity of the rig, along with the quality of the vapor produced.

Dosing Dabs: How Much Should You Use?

Correct dab dosage depends on a few factors, including personal tolerance and the potency of the concentrate used. Due to the potency of dabs, we advise that you start with a small amount and gradually increase your dose until you achieve the desired effects.

Dosing dabs can be tricky because of the variations in THC levels across different cannabis concentrates. For example, a small piece of shatter might pack a more significant punch than a sizeable scoop of Live Rosin Budder. Most solvent-based dabs range between 60-90% THC, while some solventless varieties might contain less than 50% THC.

Understanding the potency of the concentrate is essential, especially for beginners or when trying a new type of dab. Starting with a small dose, roughly the size of a rice grain is advisable, and the amount can be gradually increased as comfort levels rise.

Remember, there's no harm in taking a tiny dab. If need be, you can dab again until you find your ideal dose.

It's important to remember that everyone's body responds differently to cannabis. A dab that's good for one person may be way too much for another. Start small, stay safe, and enjoy your journey into the world of dabbing.

How to take a Dab: A Step-by-Step Guide

Prepare the Dab Rig

Start by ensuring your dab rig is clean and free of residual concentrates from previous sessions. This step is crucial for ensuring the optimal function of your rig and a clean, pure flavor from your concentrate.

Heat the Nail

Using the torch, point the flame at the bottom of the nail until it reaches the proper temperature. Some dabbers suggest waiting until the nail glows red. A general rule of thumb is to heat the nail for 45-60 seconds for a standard quartz nail.

Cool the Nail

After heating, allow the nail to cool for a moment. This step may vary depending on your nail's material and thickness, but cooling for 30-60 seconds is often ideal. The timer is useful here for finding your correct temperature. Overheating can potentially destroy some cannabinoids and terpenes, leading to a harsh and less flavorful experience.

Apply the dab

With the carb cap ready and the nail at the optimal temperature, apply the dab to the nail with your dab tool. Swirl the tool around inside the nail to clean all of the concentrate off the tool. Using the carb cap, regulate the airflow as you inhale the vapor.

Cover with a Carb Cap

Using the carb cap, regulate the airflow as you inhale the vapor. This helps maintain a consistent, lower temperature and creates a mini oven that optimizes vaporization.

Clean the dab rig

After your session, allow the nail to cool. Then clean the nail with a cotton swab to remove any residual concentrate. This practice will help extend your nail's life and ensure a clean taste for each use.

Remember, dabbing involves potent concentrates of cannabis, and each step should be executed with care and consideration to ensure a safe and enjoyable dabbing experience.

How to Clean a Dab Rig

Maintaining a clean dab rig is just as important as the dabbing process itself. Not only does it keep your equipment working properly, but it also ensures that the terpene profiles of your favorite concentrates come through cleanly.

Disassemble the Rig

Begin by disassembling your dab rig. Remove the nail and the dome if you're using one. This allows you to clean each piece without the risk of damage.

Empty and Rinse

Pour the old water from the rig's water chamber and rinse it well. This initial rinse will help to remove any loose debris that may have made it into the chamber.

Soak in Cleaning Solution

Prepare a cleaning solution made of isopropyl alcohol and a bit of salt and soak the individual pieces in this mixture. The alcohol will dissolve the resin, while the salt works as a scrubbing agent. Let them soak for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

Shake and Scrub

A. After soaking seal all the openings of the rig and shake it carefully.

B. For the smaller parts like the nail, use a brush or a pipe cleaner to scrub the nooks and crannies.

C. Be gentle to avoid damaging the delicate pieces.

Rinse Again

Rinse each part of the rig with warm water once again. Make sure all the cleaning solution and loosened residues are cleaned out.

Dry the Pieces

After rinsing, use a towel to dry each piece. Allow the pieces to air dry completely before reassembling to prevent moisture from getting trapped inside the components.

Reassemble the Rig

Once everything is dry, reassemble your rig. It's now ready for your next dabbing session.

Regular cleaning can prevent buildup and extend the lifespan of your rig so every dabbing session can be as fresh and enjoyable as the first.

Final Thoughts

Dabbing cannabis concentrates offers a potent, rapid-onset method of vaping cannabis without combustion. By understanding the science behind dabbing, using only the highest quality concentrates, and employing safe practices, dabbers can explore all the potential benefits of this unique consumption method. As with all cannabis products, dabbing should be done responsibly.

Looking for some premium concentrate to celebrate 7/10? Find Revolution Cannabis concentrates near you!

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