Dab rig

Concentrated cannabis being applied to the heated nail of a dab rig.

A dab rig is a water pipe used to inhale cannabis extracts, or dabs. It filters cannabis vapor through water, much like a bong. A dab rig can be used to consume a variety of extracts, including oil, rosin, butter, sauce, diamonds, and other solvent and non-solvent forms of hash.

“I dropped $3,000 on a Mobius dab rig last weekend.”

“I left my rig in his car!”

What does a dab rig do?

Dab rigs are specially designed to allow high-THC cannabis consumers to enjoy extracts. A typical cannabis user of flower might use a pipe, bong, bubbler or joint to burn and inhale cannabinoids. Cannabis concentrates behave differently than flower when heated. Butane hash oil, butter, or rosin, for example, liquify when heated and will fall through the bottom of a regular pipe bowl. Concentrate lovers need a specific way to heat and inhale them (ie a hash pipe, dab rig, or oil vape).

How does a dab rig work?

A typical dab rig is a glass water pipe with an attachment for heating cannabis concentrate, called a “nail.” A typical nail is a glass bucket, called a “quartz banger.” The Nail is heated and vapor flows down into the rig and through the water, cooling and filtering the vapor before it is inhaled. 

The nail is heated using the torch, typically for about 30 seconds, depending on the material of the nail. It is left to cool—again, the amount of time depends on the nail’s material—so vapor does not burn your throat. Once it has reached the optimal temperature, use a dabber to scoop a small amount of cannabis concentrate from its container. Apply your dab and inhale. If using a carb cap, place it over the nail before inhaling.

Dab rigs come in many shapes and sizes, and can cost anywhere from $50 to over $10,000 dollars. High-end dab rigs are the currency of a niche art market. Dab rigs and nails can also be electronic, as in the Puffco Peak. 

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