Alright, so if you’re a little bit out of touch with weed culture, you may be asking yourself, what is dabbing, and why do people keep talking about? First blowing up in about 2014, dabs have quickly taken over the scene, and are taking stoners to new heights never before thought possible.

But What is Dabbing?

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Well, its sort of like the combination of a bong and a hot knife. By using something called a dab rig, you heat a metal bowl with a butane torch till the element is red hot, then using your dabber, take your cannabis concentrate (we’ll get into the different types later) and press it against the element. This will instantly incinerate it. Place your glass ‘dome’ over the bowl so that no smoke escapes, and inhale off the mouthpiece, hold in as long as you can, then exhale.

Prepare for the high of a lifetime.

With that basic outline taken care of, lets get into the finer details. Specifically, what exactly you’ll need to start dabbing.


  1. A marijuana concentrate. This is essentially an extracted and refined, very strong form of cannabis. They can come in a variety of forms, but the most common ones for dabbing are called shatter, and rosin. I would never recommend dabbing with alcohol-based extracts, as they can have adverse health effects. If you’re in any doubt at all, talk to your distributor to get the lowdown on how your extract was made.
  2. A water pipe. These look like your classic bong, with some slight differences to account for the following equipment. Talk to your local headshop owner for some options.
  3. A nail. This is the ‘metal bowl’ we talked about earlier. You’ll need a nail that fits the gauge of your water pipe, if you’re buying parts separately consider bringing your piece in to make sure everything fits. Nails come in different materials, but titanium is the most commonly used type.
  4. A dome. This is what you call the glass hood which you place around the nail to keep the smoke from floating away.
  5. A torch. Your typical, run of the mill butane torch will work just fine.
  6. A dabber. This is what you call the glass, metal, or ceramic implement you use to apply a dab.

Alright, now that that’s taken care of, we’ll break down the process of how to dab step by step. 

Once your dab rig is complete, and your dab resting on the dabber you can get started. I would advise you to be seated comfortably while dabbing, as the high can be very intense, and it would be a big shame for you to drop your new rig! This is how to dab.

Step 1: Light the torch and point the flame straight at the nail to begin heating it up. Many people choose to heat the nail until it becomes red hot.

Step 2: Once you have achieved the red-heat, turn off your torch If your nail is titanium, let it cool for about 10 seconds. For quartz varieties, wait about 45 seconds. You do this to make sure that surface temperature isn’t too hot.

Step 3: Taking your dabber, apply the dab into the center of the nail, place your dome over top the nail and inhale slowly.

Step 4: Exhale and enjoy!

Alright, well regarding the different types of cannabis concentrates, there are two which you are most likely to encounter when dabbing weed. The first of which is called “Shatter”. Shatter is made with a butane extraction method, where THC is captured by the solvent passing through cannabis, with the butane removed after. Good shatter will break, not bend at room temperature, hence its name.

Rosin is the other type of concentrate you’re most likely to use. While a little bit more expensive, rosin is well worth the price because it is made using a solvent free process. Technicians press high quality cannabis with heated metal plates, which cause the resin glands to be excited, releasing their THC. Rosin is the result of this process, and is absolutely delicious to smoke. And that’s pretty much it! Hopefully through this article we’ve equipped you with the skills you’ll need to blaze dabs with the best of them. Just remember, concentrates are a lot stronger than traditional Cannabis. Smoke wisely and know what you’re getting yourself into.

For the best selection in concentrates and flowers, visit Herb Approach, your one stop shop for all Canadian cannabis needs!