Using a Dab Rig to Consume Cannabis

Using a Dab Rig to Consume Cannabis

A dab rig is a device for consuming medical cannabis concentrates. Unlike pipes or bongs, you don’t actually burn the product, so you’re not inhaling smoke. Instead, dab rigs use very high heat to vapourize cannabis extracts and concentrates.   

A dab rig consists of a nail (or banger), where the cannabis extract or concentrate is heated, a carb cap (or dome), for trapping the vapour and a water chamber, for cooling the vapour when you breathe it in. The nail is typically made of a heat-resistant material, like quartz. Classic dab rigs use an external heat source like a blow torch to heat the nail, but modern units include a built-in electric heater and thermometer. 

Dab rigs are efficient—they allow you to consume a higher concentration of cannabinoids in a single hit than vaping or smoking. And since it’s a vapour, you feel the effects faster than when consuming edibles. You choose the amount of cannabis concentrate and the temperature. Lower temperatures allow you to experience the full flavour profile of your cannabis product while higher temperatures provide a more intense effect. 

How to use a dab rig 

While they may seem intimidating to new users, it doesn’t take long to get familiar with the process of using a dab rig.

  • Start by heating the nail to a temperature between 315 and 450o F.
  • Once the rig reaches the desired temperature, use a dab tool (which looks like a clay sculpting implement) to add a “dab” of cannabis concentrate to the nail. Be careful not to touch the nail—it’s hot!
  • As the concentrate or extract starts to melt, place the carb cap over the nail to trap the vapour.
  • You can now inhale it slowly through the mouthpiece. As you inhale, the vapour is pulled through the rig, where it is cooled by the water.  
  • Always use a dab rig in a well-ventilated area and keep it away from children and pets.
  • Clean and rinse the dab rig regularly with hot water and 99% Isopropyl alcohol. 

A larger electronic dab rig like the Focus V Carta 2 makes it easy to find the settings that work best for you.  A smaller, more portable version like the Focus V Saber, is also electric with 3 power levels and interchangeable tips. 

What products work with a dab rig? 

Dab rigs are typically used with cannabis concentrates like live resin, diamonds, shatter, wax, hash oil, as well as live rosin, bubble hash and more. You can find products like these in the Spectrum Therapeutics online store. 

What are the alternatives to using a dab rig? 

There are other ways to consume concentrates. Vape pens also vapourize cannabis products but are smaller and, in some cases, more convenient. One option is Azimuth Collective C99 Glue Live Resin Vape cartridgeLearn about vape pens. Another alternative is concentrate-infused pre-rolled joints such as 7ACRES Sensi Star Bubble Hash Infused Pre-Rolls.    


Always dab in well-ventilated areas and keep your dab rig away from children/pets or anything that can knock it over. Concentrates tend to be higher in THC so always start low and go slow to avoid over-consuming.