The Art of Dabbing, aka Smoking Wax

Learn how to smoke dabs, wax, shatter, and other concentrates

"Smoking wax" means many things to different people but before we dive into the details on how to smoke concentrated cannabis (dabs), let's talk about safety first.

If your first question is, "what are dabs?" please take a minute to read more before continuing. Seriously, a little dab goes a long way.

Between giant torch lighters, red-hot glass, sticky gooey messes, and right-out clumsiness, learning how to dab properly can be quite dangerous so please exercise caution.

Learning how to Dab... Step 1, Be Careful

Marijuana concentrates, or dabs, have potencies ranging from 60%-90% and can easily cause discomfort among beginner users, especially those under 18 years old. [which shouldn't be using them anyway! We'll address this point shortly.] The thing is, a significantly stronger substance is not the only risk...

It's important to know the signs of contamination in your stash because, in the event of adverse health effects, symptoms can get ugly if left untreated.

Before we get to the benefits, it's important to realize the risk associated with concentrated cannabis or whatever nickname you want to give it from wax, dabs, shatter, budder, and even those oil cartridges; there are real risks that consumers need to be made aware of. Generally speaking, it's safe to say the average cannabis user does not want to be a lab rat for unscrupulous dealers selling untested products. Truth is, quality control is not happening in every greenhouse, processing facility, or basement lab and many consumers are unknowingly putting themselves in harm's way. Any presence of mold in the bud prior to extraction guarantees the mold is also in your dab. Know your grower or budtender and ask the right questions.

6 reasons dabs can be concerning.
Lack of widespread education in areas where concentrated marijuana has emerged created an environment where concentrates are ending up in the possession of minors and misinformed consumers. While the percentage of kids consuming THC has not increased in newly recreational states, an even scarier statistic has arisen, as reported by Science Daily.
Extreme paranoia, anxiety, and discomfort are all too real on high doses of THC. Due to these extremely high doses of THC, recreational states are seeing a rise in the number of kids checked into hospitals after using excessive amounts of dabs in a small timeframe. Quite the unsettling fact. Distributors and users alike need to do a better job of informing and protecting our kids developing minds.
There is a scary truth hiding behind every dab that users do not want to talk about… most homemade dabs are very toxic. Popular extraction methods involve blasting the cannabis with butane, CO2, or another alcohol-based solvent to strip active cannabinoids from the plant material. The process of extracting this sappy goo we call dabs can leave behind bad chemicals when not prepared properly. Not to mention the dangers involved with handling highly flammable solvents.
Garbage in, garbage out. Growers can include unwanted chemicals during their growing process which can be considered toxic when the plant has not been flushed enough, then smoked later / made into concentrates or edibles. Wax is notorious for this because once it's in dab form, there is no way to tell what else besides cannabis is in that slab. Enter lab rat status. Even oil distillate, in its original form, is extremely pure to the tune of 90%-99% after distillation, but that can be mixed after the fact.
Can you become addicted to smoking weed or doing dabs? I think a person can become addicted to anything, but physically dependent? Maybe not, however, mental dependency is on the table in our opinion. Considering the extreme potency in these concentrates and the ever-rising popularity of the online dabbing community taking things to the extreme we may have a small catastrophe on our hands if left unchecked.
Using a blowtorch to heat a glass attachment for a bong? Sounds like a fire waiting to happen… not much explanation needed here. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand if you want to regularly buy butane.

There are a few ways to consume concentrated cannabis. We explain what each one means and how fast it kicks in below.

  • A Dab Rig - Buy Dab Rigs

    Buckle up and strap yourself in for a ride, smoking from a dab rig is the most intense and instantaneous method of cannabis consumption around. Imagine using a water bong, but this time it has a special bowl for wax compared to the normal flower.

    How to use a dab rig

    Getting started with dabbing is simple! Consider these top tips if you're a first dab rig user.

    1. Make sure there is water in your rig and the nail/glass banger is secured safely while it's still cool
    2. Heat up your nail using either a torch or e-nail to the desired temperature. (300-560 degrees is optimal temperature for dabbing)
    3. Using a metal or glass dabber, scoop a ½ pea-sized scoop, or dab, from your container and apply to the heated banger.
    4. Inhale through the rig at that same moment the dab touches a heated surface; maybe a moment before.
    5. The sizzling vapor is what you want to inhale, try to not let it escape!
    6. If you do not finish all the vapor in one breath, then use a carb cap to capture any vapor inside the banger before you stop inhaling.
    7. Complete clearing (inhaling) the rest of the smoke vapor
    8. Exhale when ready, then chill.
    9. Careful with the dab tool, it can get hot after contact with heated nail/banger
    10. Silicone dab mats at perfect for your hot and sticky mess with minimal clean up needed, but they are not required.

    (do we have any amazing fans that would like to put this in a video for us? Email us at to get in touch! )

  • The Dab Pen - Buy Dab Pen

    No matter what brand battery you use from ooze, dr. dabber, kandypens, or o2vape and other manufacturers, wax vape pens are perfect for a more controlled & measured hit. A dab pen still packs a punch but with more restraint than a rig. All while sporting a stylish-discreet look while you are on the go.

    How to use a dab pen

    To get started using your dab pen all you do is...

    1. Double check that your pen is charged and atomizer works. (we recommend always having a backup atomizer too, #accidentshappen)
    2. Scoop a small dab into the atomizer area, try to avoid dabber-to-atomizer contact because coils can break easily versus a dab tool.
    3. I try to keep all concentrate away from the outside edge by packing with my dabber before closing. This way no dabs get stuck in the thread when it comes time to re-pack.
    4. Screw on the mouthpiece to the atomizer/battery.
    5. Press and hold the button to heat up the coil. Remember to keep the pen vertical so when the dabs heat up and become liquid, they do not spill out of the side of the atomizer; we want to vaporize dabs, not clean them off the side of our pens.
    6. Inhale for as long as the button stays lit, and about 2-3 seconds after releasing to clear the chambers.
    7. Success! You've done it, but don't forget to exhale.. It's not a breath-holding competition, oxygen is the most important.
    8. Pro-tip: Keep the pen vertical the entire time, it's easiest to forget right after a hit… but let the wax cool down before pocketing the vape to avoid risk of spillage.

    Dab pens, like dab rigs, will immediately come into effect after inhaling your first hit.

  • Oil Cartridges - Buy an Oil Cartridge Battery

    Smoking (or vaporizing really) distillate in a vape cartridge is the easiest and most discreet method of consuming cannabis in popular culture today; here's how it's done.

    How to use a THC oil cartridge

    1. Remove vape/oil cartridge from any packaging so the bottom threads are exposed.
    2. Screw cartridge onto a battery from your favorite manufacturer
    3. Turn on your battery, per the batteries instructions
    4. Press-and-Hold the button
    5. Inhale from the mouthpiece while the button is pressed, and 2-3 seconds after releasing.

    The effects of using an oil cartridge kick in instantaneously once THC/CBD vapor enters your lungs, immediately finding its way into your bloodstream.

  • Ingest Orally

    First off, do not eat dabs or wax because they have not been decarboxylated and will be a total waste. We are talking about ingesting pure THC/CBD distillate and edibles.

    Sadly, we do not cover making edibles or what it takes to make THC distillate but we shared a few places that do! Experiment at your own risk.

    Orally ingesting oils or edibles guarantees your body will receive 100% of the ingested amounts of THC/CBD, however, they will take at least 20mins to kick in on an empty stomach and up to 2 hours for some people depending on tolerance and metabolism.

    Majority of hospital visits involving edibles are due to this giant time gap that arises with how long it takes a body to process before taking effect. Eating too much too fast because "you do not feel it yet" are famous last words before "I need to go to the hospital" an hour after you tossed another two brownies in your mouth. No, CARRL, you need to take a deep breath because you're likely having a panic attack from the onset of anxiety you ingested with your 3 double-stacked brownies. Either way, do not refuse a friend the right to go to the hospital if they seriously feel the need. Medical emergencies are no joke and need to be assessed right away.

    Beginners often do not realize the length of time it takes for edibles to kick in which can really land them in an "overdosed" feeling for hours; not fun.

    Inform, educate, THEN experiment. Learning the other way sucks.

Choosing the best method to consume cannabis depends on your personal preference and situation, consider consulting a medical professional for personalized advice. (likely they will not recommend any smoking or vaporizing)

Difference between Smoking and Vaporizing cannabis

Vaporizing and smoking share many qualities but one of the main differences between them is how they affect your lungs. Although the clouds look the same, they are grossly different, by definition.

Smoking (cannabis): Inhaling the particles of ash and other carcinogens released from the combustion of an element after it's heated to the point of disintegration. High temps, starting at 600+ degrees to ignite

Vaporizing (cannabis): Inhaling the vapors formed by heating an element to a natural point of evaporation but not hot enough that it bursts into flames and burns. Temps range from 250-600 degrees before particles start breaking down and combusting into flames

In our opinion, the biggest difference between smoking and vaporizing cannabis is that smoking releases more toxic particles (known as carcinogens) than vaporizing does when each is used.

Would you quit smoking completely and switch to vaporizing in order to be more healthy? Answer why or why not on our Facebook!

So… Are Dabs safe to Use?

The answer always varies because there are dabs that are safe, but not all dabs are the same quality. In states where regulated medical or recreational programs exist with rigorous testing, yes, consuming dabs, wax and other concentrates can be safe when they are purchased from a regulated (tested) source abiding by all the rules.

A popular process of making wax using a solvent such as CO2 requires an entire lab equipped with ventilation. Avoiding an extreme explosion is important to your safety when extracting the active THC/CBD particles from the plant using solvents like butane. Making your own dabs at home is very dangerous and highly not recommended without proper training.

Shatter, Rosin, Dabs, and Oil are all the same, right?

Sort of.. considering that dabs/live rosin/oil/shatter are all concentrated THC products, sure they are very similar to the untrained eye but they are not the same. The biggest difference between dabs and oil lies in the way each of them is created.

  • Dabs aka "Wax"/"Shatter"/"Crumble" - is extracted using a solvent like Butane or CO2 which can leave behind trace amounts of hydrocarbon by-products if handled improperly. The nicknames wax, shatter, crumble, and budder refer to the consistency of the dabs when scooped with a dabber tool, ie. 'the slab shattered' or 'these dabs look like budder'.
  • Live Rosin - is extracted using heat and pressure, solventless and one of the most organic ways to make concentrates. However, if the plant is contaminated, your live rosin will be too. Smoking live rosin is also considered doing a dab but it is free of all extraction contaminants involved with using solvents.
  • Distillate Oil - is wax/rosin that has been distilled using short-path distillation. That means heat was used to separate the terpenes, THC/CBD, and then siphon out the contaminants that were left. This oil is sometimes then diluted with glucose and other flavorings to extend each batch.

Hands down our favorite form of concentrates would be live rosin pressed directly from buds, or what's frequently called nug-run live rosin. Again, everyone has their opinion/preference for the types of concentrates they use but we prefer the potency and full flavor of live rosin compared to any other option.

How to store dabs (and live rosin) without wasting any

Do you need a better way to keep your dabs from bouncing off that clumsy wax paper? Everyone does.

Once you get home from your local provision center or dispensary first thing most people do is open their baggies and examine their product. This presents a perfect time to transfer those precious concentrates to a dab container, we prefer silicone dab containers.

Silicone is the perfect material to use with a super hot dabber and not worry about melting it too.

How long does it take to get dabs out of your system?

Dabbing concentrated cannabis will take longer to get out of your system than smoking marijuana flower would. Every decent-sized dab is practically the same as smoking an entire joint but in one hit. Typically 14-30 around days for a semi-regular user depending on their metabolism.

If you are trying to pass a drug test tomorrow then you might be out of luck.

New @ the shop!
Midnight Swirl Linework Spoon Pipe w/ Millie
Red Fire Mini-Tube Dab Rig w/ Honeycomb Dichro
Lavender Linework Mini-Tube 6in Dab Rig with Dichroic Honeycomb Millie 14mm
Dichroic Spoon with Wig Wag Reversal
Unity Rainbow Spoon Pipe Line Work with DNA Cane
Fire Mini-Tube Dab Rig with Dichro Millie
Twisted Flame Trunck One Of A Kind
Flat Mouth Bulbed Flower One of a Kind Pipe
Purple Dab Rig Glowing Mouthpiece
5 1/4in Coloured Double Bowl Spoon Pipe by Jellyfish Glass
5in Silver Strike Eyeball Sherlock by Laughlin Glass
4in Coloured Stripe Spoon Pipe by Jellyfish Glass