Recently dabbing has exploded in popularity, and it is quickly becoming one of the most popular new ways of consuming cannabis— especially if you are into concentrates!

Dabbing allows you to use a wide variety of concentrates such as shatter, live resin, budder, rosin, terp sauce, and after this article, you will know how to dab whatever cannabis concentrate your heart desires!

How to Dab: Getting Started

You will need these tools to start dabbing— dab rig, nail, blowtorch, and dabber. We also highly recommend a carb cap for tastier, thicker, and smoother dabs. (If you are putting together your own dab kit, learn about all the tools you will need here.)

As the dab rig is a type of water pipe, make sure to add water to the chamber before using it! You need enough water that it bubbles when you inhale from the mouthpiece, but not so much that the water splashes your mouth.

  • Tip: If you do not have access to a dab rig, check if there are any cannabis-friendly lounges or cafes in your area as many will have their own dab rigs you can use. If you want to put together your own dab kit, you can learn about all the tools you will need here.

1. Scoop up a tiny piece of the concentrate using your dabbing tool

Your dabbing tool, also known as a dabber, is a long utensil (usually made from metal or glass) with a flat end that allows you to scoop up the concentrate for dabbing.

Some concentrates, like live resin or budder, are much easier to scoop up and handle than others due to their softer consistency. If you are smoking a harder concentrate like shatter, you might have to break off a small piece first and then scoop it up with your dabbing tool.

  • Tip: If it is your first-time dabbing, make sure it is a small piece as even tiny amounts should be more than enough to get you high, since these are highly concentrated cannabis products. Most concentrates range from 50-90% THC.

2. Turn on the torch and thoroughly heat the nail

In the above image, a torch is being used to heat up a quartz banger.

Grab your blowtorch and heat up your nail until it is hot. The length of time you spend heating your nail depends on the type of nail you are using and the material it is made from.

Amongst the dab connoisseurs, quartz is considered the best material for durability and taste, and many prefer using a banger-type nail.

  • Tip: After heating up the nail, NEVER touch it because it is extremely hot! If you need to remove the nail and you are not sure if it is hot or not, use an oven mitt or a towel so your skin does not make direct contact with the nail. Also beware of loose clothing and hair that could potentially snag on the nail if you are moving around or reaching across the table.

3. Let the nail cool

Once your nail is hot, you will want to turn off the torch and give the nail some time to cool down. Low temperature dabs are all the rage these days because they taste so good, and if you dab right away without cooling the nail, you run the risk of having a harsher dab and you might even burn the concentrate!

If you have a quartz nail, you will want to wait about 45 seconds, while titanium nails only need about 10 seconds to cool down.

4. Apply your dab to the nail and inhale

Grab the dabbing tool and concentrate you prepared in Step 1 and 'dab' the concentrate on the nail. This will melt the concentrate and turn it into vapor. As this is happening, place your mouth on the mouthpiece and gently inhale.

  • Tip: You will want to rotate the dabbing tool around the nail to ensure that any residual concentrate gets vaporized.

4.5. Cap your dab!

This is listed as step 4.5 because while it is not necessary to the dabbing process, it is highly recommended as it will make the experience better.

A carb cap sits on top of your nail after you have applied the concentrate to it. The carb cap helps keep the heat in while at the same time regulating the airflow, making for a smoother, tastier, and thicker dab.

5. Exhale and enjoy!

Easy enough, right?

  • Tip: We highly recommend that you clean your nail after each session. Many people go one step further and clean it after each dab hit.


In the first few runs, the whole dabbing concept might seem a bit complicated, but as time goes on, you will get used to it, and it will become easy and fun. We encourage you to experiment with as many types of concentrates as possible to find what you like best!


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