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How to Heat a Dab Rig Without a Torch

By Brad N November 07, 2019

How to Heat a Dab Rig Without a Torch

Dabbing can take your experience with cannabis to a whole new level. Not only does each dab pack a serious punch of THC, but it also lets you revel in its flavors and aromas to a much broader extent than with your regular buds.

As with anything new in life, dabbing has a learning curve that you need to follow if you want to maximize the benefits granted by this consumption method. It’s pretty easy to get a good grip over dabbing, but some smokers may feel a bit apprehensive about it due to the number of tools they need to deal with.

While a dab rig is just a scientific bong with certain features that allow for smoking concentrates, the most dreaded element of a rig is the torch.

It’s understandable that some people are afraid of a dab torch — you can nastily burn yourself, not to mention the obvious risk of fire.

If you’re wondering whether it’s possible to heat a dab rig without a torch, here’s some good news — it is!

Better yet, you can do it in several different ways.

In this article, we break down every possible option to heat a dab rig without a torch.

But first, let’s take a look at why people use a torch for heating their rigs.

Why Do You Need a Torch to Take Dabs?

Dabbing means that you take a small portion of cannabis concentrate (a dab) and flash-vaporize it on a red-hot nail.

However, before you transfer onto the nail, you need to make sure that it’s actually red-hot first.

Like really, really hot.

This is what you use a butane torch lighter for. Butane torches are commonly used as lighters for cigars, as the intense flame allows the user to light quickly and evenly the large, damp surface of a cigar.

A similar pattern applies to dabbing. 

Why Do You Need a Torch to Take Dabs

The torch heats the nail to the point where it becomes insanely hot. Then you place a dab onto the nail, placing your lips over the rig’s mouthpiece — and inhale.

How to Heat a Dab Rig Without a Torch

If you don’t have a torch or you’re simply afraid to use one, you may try one of the following methods to help yourself out:

Heat Your Dab Rig on a Stove

You can heat the nail of your dab rig by placing it over a gas or electric stove. This method works with both glass and metal nails, and it requires you to have a pair of solid tongs to protect yourself from burns.

Here’s how you heat a dab rig without a torch using the stovetop technique:

  1. Turn on the stove and set heat to high.
  2. Hold the nail with the tongs and place it over the burner.
  3. Heat the nail for up to 5 minutes.
  4. Take it out and place it in your rig.
  5. Dab as usual.

This method is relatively easy and inexpensive, although it may take a while for the nail to get hot. The temperature also won’t be consistent throughout the nail, so you’ll have to travel back and forth in the kitchen between one hit and another.

Use an E-nail for Your Dab Rig

E-nails are the best option if you’re looking for a flameless heating method. The E-nail is heated through a coil that is loaded from a box. The E-nail usually involves a combination of quartz and titanium for better conductivity and precise temperature control. 

Use an E-nail for Your Dab Rig

Using an e-nail allows you to dab anywhere and anytime you want without the risk of fire. However, a decent e-nail can cost upwards of $200, reaching up to $500 depending on the quality.

Use a Health Stone

Health Stones are pipes and bowl attachments that use a 100% inert ceramic stone to provide dabbers with more portability. Dabs are put on top of the stone, and the user needs to use a small cigar lighter to apply heat under the stone to vaporize the concentrates. The average lifespan of a health stone is around six months, depending on how often you use it.

How to Dab Without a Rig

Dabbing is a lot of fun, but it can cause a few problems. The equipment is expensive, and then there’s the aforementioned torch.

Worry not, though, because there are a few alternative options you can use instead of a rig to enjoy your dabs.

Use a Vaporizer

Vaporizers can be used to inhale dry herbs and/or concentrates. For the latter, you’ll device should have a dab-compatible chamber. The good part about vaporizers is that the battery holds a long charge, sometimes up to a full day’s use. This provides you with the much-desired portability dab users often complain at — not to mention that they’re more discreet than a rig.

Top a Bowl

Concentrates have been around for much longer than dab rigs. So how did people do it back then? Simple — they topped a packed bowl of weed with their dabs.

Top a Bowl

If you have some previous experience with concentrates, you can use about two average dabs per bowl, packing it like a sandwich — first some weed, then some dabs, and more weed. Using this will protect your concentrates against open flame.

Line a Joint

That’s as easy as a walk in the park. All you need to do is make a long snake out of your dab and wrap it around the outside of your joint/blunt. If you’re working with less stable concentrates, you can use your dabber to apply them to the joint.

No Torch? No Problem!

Heating a dab rig without a torch is actually quite simple once you make yourself familiar with the above alternative methods. A dab rig doesn’t have to rely on a torch — your creativity is more important here.

If you have questions about using dab rigs for concentrates, post them in the comment section below and we’ll be happy to answer them!


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