What Are the Different Ways to Dab?

HHC shatter

Recreational marijuana is becoming accessible to more Americans. On the federal level, hemp-derived compounds like CBD and Delta 8 THC (although state laws vary) have been legal for several years and have gained immense popularity. Hence, there are many options available to consume these products, whether from hemp or cannabis. If you have been working with a dry flower, you may want to spice things up and try novel consumption methods that offer a more potent experience, and that’s when dabs come in. The highly concentrated cannabis isolates come in various forms like shatter, wax, budder, crumble, or BHO – with the primary difference being their consistency.

Each of these isolates, or dabs, offer a completely different experience than smoking a cannabis flower and getting started might be overwhelming even for a seasoned cannabis consumer who has never dabbed before. Also, on top of requiring other equipment, which you probably don’t own yet, there’s no single way of dabbing, making things harder, especially for newbies. However, different methods of dabbing will allow you to choose the one that best matches your personal preferences. That being said, we will guide you to the standard techniques of dabbing, the steps you’ll need to take, and the equipment you’ll need for each of them.

Different Methods of Dabbing

Choose the Cannabis Concentrate to Dab

Getting started with any dabbing method requires a common ingredient – a high-quality cannabis concentrate. Keep in mind the potency of your product – cannabis concentrates have much higher THC levels than dried flowers, so if you are afraid to go overboard, you can ease in with CBD or Delta 8 THC isolates. Extracts come in varying consistencies. Some are softer – budder, crumble, or wax, while others are harder, like shatter or diamonds. Regardless of what texture you prefer and which product you choose, ensure to buy from a reputable and licensed dispensary and check third-party lab test reports confirming the purity and potency of the product.

Using a Standard Dab Rig

Unquestionably, the most common dabbing method is using a dab rig, which is very similar to a bong but is meant to be used with concentrates, not a dried flower. It consists of a water chamber, a nail for heating the concentrate, a dome – a cover trapping the vapor over the nail, and a mouthpiece to inhale.

Dabbing using a dab rig is relatively straightforward. All you need to do is to heat the nail to create a hot surface, so the concentrate turns into a vapor when placed on the nail.

Standard Dabbing Method

There are two ways to use standard dab rigs – standard and reverse dabbing. In the standard method, you’ll first heat your nail until it reaches the desired temperature, and then you place the concentrate on it, cover it with a dome, and begin inhaling.

Reverse Dabbing

As the name suggests, reverse dabbing requires the opposite of the standard method. First, you place the concentrate on a cold nail; then, you heat the nail and start inhaling. The primary goal of the technique is to protect cannabis compounds like terpenes from degrading. A study on the degradation of terpenes while dabbing found that terpenes myrcene, limonene, linalool degraded when placed on a hot surface and didn’t make their way to smoke. Although there’s no evidence reverse dabbing preserves terpenes from degrading, it might help do so.

Using an Electric Dab Rig

Unlike a standard dab rig, an electric dab rig uses electricity to heat the nail, so you won’t have to heat it manually. Another advantage of the electric nail is that it allows you to control the temperature, which like reverse dabbing, could help prevent terpenes from degrading.


Twaxing is popular amongst consumers who want to experience a more potent high from smoking joints. The process involves adding a bit of concentrate to the inside, outside, or the joint’s tip. It’s best to use thicker concentrates for this matter, such as budder or wax.


Vaping is amongst the easiest dabbing methods. All you need is a DAB pen – vape pens designed for concentrates rather than e-liquid. DAB pens are similar to regular vaporizers and consist of a heating component, a battery, and a mouthpiece for inhaling. The difference is that standard vape pens use cartridges – devices pre-loaded with liquid, while DAB pens allow you to place your concentrate right on the heating chamber. DAB pens are easy to use on the go and are widely available online or at local headshops.


The Healthstone vapor nail system is perhaps the most innovative method for dabbing. This carbon-stone patty has very low heat retention allowing you to dab slowly, and because it consists only of carbon, no chemicals or gasses are released in the process. Comprised of an inert material, Healthstone enables consumers to enjoy the flavors of their concentrates. Healthstone fits inside a vapor slide bowl that you place your dabs onto before heating it.

Hot-Knife Method

If you have no equipment on hand but have your concentrate ready to smoke, the hot-knife method is just another way to dab without any device or dab rig. You’ll need a metal butter knife to heat up on the stove or use a torch lighter for this method. Drop your dab on the hot knife and inhale the smoke through the straw. Although easy, the hot-knife method is the least sophisticated of all techniques and involves a lot of waste of smoke. It’s best to use if you have nothing else on hand but a metal knife and cannabis concentrate, but it’s even better to prepare ahead and invest in proper equipment.

If you wish to try a new THC variant made from a federally legal cannabis plant – hemp, then Delta 8 THC concentrates are for you!

Shop for Delta 8 Concentrates at the Hemp Doctor

If you wish to try a new THC variant made from a federally legal cannabis plant – hemp, then Delta 8 THC concentrates are for you! At the Hemp Doctor, America’s premier CBD & Hemp Dispensary you can choose from premium Delta 8 THC concentrates:

Like any other product in our inventory, our Delta 8 THC concentrates are made from U.S-grown hemp and undergo scientifically advanced production extraction methods. Most importantly, we test all products at an independent laboratory to ensure their purity and potency. So shop today and choose a premium product to dab.