Smoking dabs brings a lot of fun. It gets you high, sure, but this high is at least three leagues above what you’re used to. And for many people, the experience lasts a long, long time.
Dabs (concentrates) boast much more THC than any other cannabis format. While cannabis flowers can have up to 30% of THC, dabs start from 60% and can reach as much as 90% of this psychoactive compound.
The most common consumption method for this super-concentrated marijuana involves smoking it from a dab rig — which is a scientific bong with certain elements incorporated to suit dabs.
But what if you don’t have a dab rig anywhere near but you’ve just bought a gram of that waxy goodness and are ready to try it for the first time?
Worry not, we’ve got you covered.
Here are the 5 common solutions for dabbing without a rig.
How to Dab Without a Rig
1. In a Bowl
To dab without a rig, you can use a bowl — a bong, a bubbler, or a spoon will do as well.
First, you want to pack the bowl half-full with weed. Then you take a dab of your concentrate with a metal dabber and drop the dab onto the greens. Next, you pack the rest of the bowl — just like a sandwich.
Why not just smoke the dab without the weed at the bottom and top? That’s because getting a concentrate in contact with an open flame can burn some of the THC you’d otherwise inhale and thus compromise its quality.
The sandwich method allows you to consume your dabs without lighting them directly.
2. In a Joint
Another easy way to dab without a rig is to add some wax to a joint — simple as that. First, prepare your rolling papers and some marijuana. Spread everything as if you were rolling a regular joint and finish it off with small dots of dabs or a line of wax if you want a stronger high.
Be careful not to put the wax too close to the end of your joint. Again, you don’t want an open flame to touch the concentrate.
Finally, roll the joint. This can be a bit tricky due to the extra weight and stickiness provided by the dab. Nevertheless, if you’re cautious enough, you should be able to get the job done without a hassle.
3. In a Vape Pen
Vaping concentrates can be fun, but you need the right vaporizer for that — and that’s the difficult part.
Most importantly, you’ll need a vaporizer with the right atomizer.
Vape pens are comprised of four parts:
- A cartridge
- An atomizer
- A mouthpiece
The majority of newer models include the cartridge and atomizer as a single piece.
“Atomizer” is just a scientific term for the heating element, typically a coil made of metal and heated by the battery. To dab with a vaporizer, you’ll need direct access to this coil, and a merged cartridge would block that, so you’ll need a pen with a separate chamber for concentrates.
Once you have the right vaporizer, follow the instructions below:
- Take a small dab and place it at the end of a metal dabber.
- Remove the atomizer from the battery chamber and transfer the dab onto the coil.
- Turn on the battery of your vaporizer.
- Connect the atomizer to the battery chamber.
- Attach the mouthpiece.
- Press the power button and hold. Draw the dab slowly through the mouthpiece. Keep it slow to maintain the heat and deliver more vapor to your lungs.
4. In a Healthstone
A healthstone is a special type of glass that has a porous consistency — just like a volcanic rock — and has been designed for dabbing in a bong or pipe when you don’t have an oil rig.
What’s the science behind using a healthstone? Well, you simply place it in the bowl area of your bong. The goal is to position the item so that all smoke is funneled through to the mouthpiece. Healthstones are easy to find online.
Once the healthstone has been attached, you place a small dab on top of it and superheat the insert with a butane torch. Then you inhale as you would with an oil rig. Just make sure it’s a sip rather than rip because concentrates are best when taken in moderation.
5. With Two Hot Knives
This old-school method was practiced by hippies in the 60’s, but they used hash dabs instead of what we know as dabs. It’s actually the simplest way to dab without an oil rig — or a vape pen or literally anything else that could be used to smoke concentrates with ease.
The idea is to heat a butter knife on the stove so it becomes red-hot. Then you just place some dab onto it. The concentrate will immediately vaporize, which is the exact point you should inhale the smoke.
This takes some practice though, as the dab can quickly dissipate in the open air. You can avoid this by inhaling the smoke through, say, the top half of a plastic soda bottle.
Ways Not Recommended for Dabbing
There are a few devices you want to steer clear of when dabbing without a rig. There are better ways to deal with concentrates which we’ve mentioned above. The following list is just for your information:
- Stove: the stove works fine for heating up your hot knives, but trying to drop your concentrates on the eye of the stove is a fool’s errand. Not only the concentrate will drip off the sides and be caught by the stove’s grease trap, but you can also easily burn your face by sticking it to a big, red-hot burner.
- Car lighter: while it’s possible to use the red-hot coil of a car lighter to dab concentrates, you’re most likely going to end up devastating your car lighter faster than you’ve thought. Of course, the coil will vaporize most of the material, but there’s always a chance it will drip on the sides — and this is where all the troubles happen.
- Aluminum foil: this method could work, but the problem is foils tend to release gas more than solid metals. Once this happens, you’ll be inhaling toxic substances along with your cannabinoid-rich vapor.
Have you ever found yourself without a dab rig when you bought some wax? How did you solve that problem?