Big thanks to Ritual's Head of Dabbing Andy for contributing to this blog post!
What comes to mind when you think of taking a dab? We get a wide range of responses to this question which isn’t surprising given how rapidly the dab industry has evolved in the past decade. At its worst a dab can leave you coughing, wheezing, drooling, and unreasonably high. That is many people’s first dab experience, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A little bit of education and conservative dosing can lead to a pleasant concentrated experience for just about every user. The benefits of dabbing are much more evident; low residual odor, rapid uptake, and a uniquely mentally “clean” high all make dabbing a helpful consumption method for medical and recreational users alike.
For us the dab process is all about the “Ritual”. There are several different processes depending if you’re using a torch and quartz banger, an e-nail setup, or an e-rig; but the general principles remain the same. Grab your favorite rig, fire up the heat source, monitor temperatures, and then drop your dab at the perfect time for instantaneous extraction. This ritual helps psychologically prepare and adds routine and reverence around consumption.
So how do I even start dabbing? A great starting point is pulling together some of the basic gear required for an enjoyable session. Here we’ll describe our ideal setup for torch / quartz banger dabs, but we’ll dig into some of the other modern dabbing options a little later. The first step for dabbing success is getting a beautiful rig! The rig has a significant impact on a dab both in how it moves and cools the vapor and for the psychological impact of using something that you find visually appealing. Here at Ritual we break our glass options out into two broad categories; Basics and Artisan. Our Basics pieces aim to provide unique and beautiful glass at an affordable price point. Alternatively, our Artisan pieces are all handmade artwork representing immense skill and talent on the part of the artists. We’ve teamed up with some really unique glassblowers to bring you beautiful pieces with a wide variety of aesthetics and styles.
Now that you’ve got your perfect rig, the next step is grabbing a quartz banger. A banger has a huge impact on the entire dab process so we suggest investing in a banger and the necessary accessories to keep it in great condition. There are lots of banger styles out there with the main differences being the shape and what type of inserts you can use. Inserts are quartz (and other durable material) items that swirl around inside of your banger during your hit to make sure all of the concentrates hit the hot surfaces for even extraction. These come in pearls, pills, screws, and lots of other fun shapes. One of those critical accessories (especially for high-end quartz) is a thermometer like the Dab Rite PRO. This utilizes a German IR thermometer to accurately tell you the perfect time to take your dab as well as when to dunk in isopropyl alcohol for a sparkling clean. We also always need to have q-tips around to give the banger a quick swab as part of the post-dab cleaning. This cleaning is vital in preventing “chazzing” where the concentrates stain your banger over time and it loses its once pristine appearance. The easiest way to preserve your banger and avoid chazzing is to not drop your dab into a banger that is too hot and to make sure to clean and wipe out your banger after each dab. Now hopefully you’re starting to see there is more involved than just heat and inhale. Once you have all your tools and a place to store them the whole session starts to flow like a melody.
These torch and banger traditional setups are comparable to our analog thermal extraction devices where there is a slight learning curve, but ultimately you have the ability to customize heating to create your optimal session. And while many dabbers love this routine, it can also be unapproachable to newcomers. Additionally, many people prefer not to be handling hot quartz and torches; luckily there are some other incredible technologies and products that simplify many aspects of the routine. One such device that replicates the dabbing process without a torch is an e-nail which plugs into the wall and allows users to set their temperatures digitally. Many e-nails can be safely operated for long periods of time making them a great party piece that is always at the perfect temperature when someone is ready for a dab. We love the kits from MiniNail which are compact and energy-efficient without any sacrifices to quality. So if you love using quartz to dab but aren’t as excited about looking like a pastry chef an e-nail may be a fun alternative.
Still interested in concentrates but not feeling the hot coil? Or just live an on-the-go lifestyle and don’t have time or space for a desktop setup? Not to worry, there are some incredible enclosed devices that really modernize the dabbing process for maximum convenience. Generally referred to as e-rigs these all-in-one devices allow you to take your dabbing experience everywhere. Our favorites include the Ispire Daab and Wand which utilize induction heating technology for the perfect dab every time. The fully isolated air path in these devices never interacts with the heater or internal electronics ensuring safe dabs in conveniently portable form factors. There is also the Puffco Proxy which replicates the classic sherlock style pipe in a modern dabbing device. Simply turn the Proxy on, pick your heat setting (1-4), drop your concentrates in the chamber, and heat for a clean hit; no water required. These e-rig options really expand options for medical patients who have higher cannabis requirements and can quickly medicate while on the run.
However you choose to approach dabbing we think you can find a really enjoyable Ritual! And hopefully you also understand a little more about why we love the dabbing process so much. It’s focusing, grounding, intoxicating, and with proper cleaning comes full circle to where everything is shiny and ready for another go. We find all of the routine associated with a dab cleansing and helpful in preparing our mental state for the experience to come.
Now for a quick word on concentrate quality. We tend to be purists here at Ritual and when not vaporizing whole flower we definitely prefer solvent-less extracts like live rosin. Farm to grinder and farm to dabber with as little chemicals as possible for maximum peace of mind.
Looking to get your ideal dab setup? Feel free to reach out if you have any questions on our awesome inventory! We’ve got lots live on our website at ritual-co.com and even more Puffco products available (Proxy, Hot Knife, Buddsy) at our pop-up shops and via DM.