What is Dab Wax and How to Use It: A Complete Guide to Dabbing

by Matt Hampton

A person using dab wax with a modern vaporizer in a clean, well-lit room. 

Many people are curious about dab wax but don't know where to start. Dab wax is a highly concentrated form of cannabis that offers a potent experience. This article will guide you through what dab wax is, how to use it safely, and the different types available.

Dive in for all you need to know.

Key Takeaways

  • Dab wax is a highly concentrated form of cannabis that delivers powerful effects due to its high THC content. It's made by extracting THC from marijuana using methods like butane extraction.
  • To use dab wax, you heat it on a nail or banger with equipment such as dab rigs or vaporizers. Start with a small amount because of its potency and ensure your space is well-ventilated.
  • There are many types of concentrates beyond dab wax, including oil, shatter, budder, and live resin. Each offers different textures and potencies for varied experiences.
  • Safety is crucial when using dab wax. Always use quality equipment, store concentrates safely away from children and pets, and be mindful of the potential dangers like overheating or inhaling fumes.
  • Long-term use of dab wax can potentially lead to tolerance or dependence. It's important to consume cautiously and responsibly.

What is Dab Wax?

A close-up of dab wax concentrate with cannabis leaves in the background.

Dab wax is a concentrated cannabis extract known for its high potency. It is made through the extraction of THC from marijuana using various methods, resulting in a sticky, waxy substance rich in cannabinoids and terpenes. 

Definition of dab wax

A person using a dab rig in a stylish smoking lounge.

Dab wax is a highly concentrated form of cannabis that delivers a potent dose of THC. Made through processes like butane extraction, it captures the powerful components of marijuana, resulting in a sticky oil commonly used for dabbing.

This method ensures maximum THC potency and terpene flavors, attracting those seeking an intense experience.

Users heat this concentrate on a hot surface, usually with specialized equipment such as dab rigs or vaporizers. The process turns the wax into vapor, allowing for fast absorption of THC into the bloodstream.

Its high concentration makes it popular among seasoned cannabis enthusiasts looking for efficiency and strong effects.

Types of concentrates/extracts

A variety of cannabis concentrates and extracts displayed on a modern countertop.

Dab wax is just one of the many types of concentrates and extracts derived from cannabis. Some popular varieties include oil, shatter, budder, taffy/pull 'n' snap, live resin, diamonds, sauce, rosin, and hash. Each type offers a unique texture and potency, providing diverse options for cannabis users to explore and enjoy. Understanding these different forms can help users make informed choices about their dabbing experience.

Differences between concentrates, extracts, and dabs

A variety of cannabis concentrates and extracts displayed on a countertop.

Understanding the nuances between concentrates, extracts, and dabs can significantly enhance one's dabbing experience. Here's a straightforward comparison: 

Term Definition Production Method Usage
Concentrates Broad category for any product resulting from the concentration of cannabis compounds. Varies; includes solvent-based and solventless methods. Used in various forms such as dabbing, vaping, and adding to edibles.
Extracts Subcategory of concentrates made using a solvent. Typically involves using CO2, butane, or ethanol to extract cannabinoids and terpenes. Often dabbed or vaporized for potent effects.
Dabs Refers to doses of concentrates consumed typically through vaporization. Relies on the same production methods as concentrates and extracts. Specifically used for dabbing, providing intense cannabinoid and terpene experiences.

This comparison simplifies the understanding of what might initially appear as convoluted terminology. Each term holds a unique place within the realm of cannabis concentrates, highlighting the diversity and versatility of these potent products.

How to Use Dab Wax

A photo of a dab rig being used to smoke wax.

To use dab wax, heat the nail of the dab rig using a butane torch until it's red hot, then wait for it to cool down slightly. Next, apply a small amount of dab wax onto the nail while inhaling through the mouthpiece. 

Dabbing method

A person enjoying a dab rig in nature with diverse surroundings.

To use dab wax, heat up the nail on the dab rig. Then, using a dab tool, pick up a small amount of wax. Place the wax onto the heated nail and inhale slowly as it vaporizes. Exhale after inhaling and enjoy the effects. Be mindful of the high potency and start with small amounts to avoid overconsumption. Keep the equipment clean to ensure a smooth experience each time.

Types of equipment (rigs, vaporizers)

A person enjoying a portable vaporizer in a scenic outdoor setting.

When dabbing, stoners use various types of equipment to enjoy their concentrates. Here are the essential rigs and vaporizers used for dabbing: 

  1. Dab Rigs: These devices are similar to water pipes but are designed specifically for vaporizing concentrates. They typically consist of a glass water pipe, a nail (or banger), and a dome or carb cap.
  2. E-Rigs (Electronic Rigs): Also known as "e-nails," these portable electronic devices eliminate the need for a torch. They offer precise temperature control for consistent and efficient dabbing experiences.
  3. Portable Vaporizers: Compact and discreet, these devices allow users to consume their concentrates on-the-go. Some come with interchangeable atomizers to accommodate various concentrate textures.
  4. Vape Pens: These small, pen-shaped vaporizers are ideal for quick and convenient dabbing sessions. They can be disposable or rechargeable and often come with refillable cartridges compatible with different types of concentrates.
  5. Desktop Vaporizers: Designed for home use, these powerful units provide high-quality vapor production, making them suitable for experienced dabbers seeking intense flavor and effects.
  6. Dab Straws: Also known as nectar collectors, these simple tools consist of a glass or silicone tube with a tip designed for easy concentrate consumption directly from a container or surface.
  7. Dab Nails/Bangers: The accessories used in conjunction with rigs, e-rigs, and other setups; usually made of quartz, titanium, ceramic or glass; they're heated with a torch so that the concentrate can be applied and vaporized.

Potential dangers and safety precautions

Using dab wax comes with potential dangers and risks. Take the necessary safety precautions to minimize harm: 

  1. Ensure proper ventilation in your dabbing area to prevent inhaling concentrated fumes.
  2. Use a timer to avoid overheating the nail or banger when dabbing.
  3. Always clean your dab rig to prevent residue buildup that could cause combustion.
  4. Store your concentrates in child-resistant containers away from children and pets.
  5. Keep flammable materials, like butane, away from open flames and heat sources.
  6. Always use quality equipment to minimize the risk of accidents or explosions.

Popular Types of Dabs

Explore a variety of popular dabs such as oil, shatter, wax, budder, taffy/pull 'n' snap, live resin, diamonds, sauce, rosin, and hash to enhance your dabbing experience. Read on for more detailed information about each type and how to use them effectively.


Person handling dab pen with cannabis oil surrounded by vaporizer accessories.

Oil is a popular form of cannabis concentrate known for its high THC content. It is made by extracting THC and other cannabinoids from the marijuana plant using solvents like butane, propane, or CO2.

This process creates a sticky, viscous substance that can range in texture from runny to thick. Oils are commonly used in dab pens or vaporizers to deliver potent hits of THC without the need for combustion.

Some oils may contain added flavors and terpenes for enhanced taste profiles and aromas. When using oils, it's important to handle them carefully due to their sticky nature and potential flammability.


A person using a dab rig to consume shatter in a modern indoor setting.

Moving on from discussing oil, it's crucial to shed light on shatter. Shatter is a type of marijuana concentrate that has a glass-like consistency and tends to be transparent or translucent.

It gets its name from its brittle nature, making it easy to break or "shatter" into smaller pieces. This concentrate is produced by extracting cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant using solvents like butane or CO2.

The end result is an extremely potent product with high levels of THC that can be consumed through dabbing.

Users typically use specialized equipment such as a dab rig or vaporizer to consume shatter. When heated, the concentrated form of marijuana vaporizes quickly, resulting in fast-acting effects for the user.


A variety of marijuana wax surrounded by cannabis plants and people.

Wax is a type of marijuana concentrate known for its solid, opaque appearance. It is created by extracting THC and other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant using solvents like butane or CO2.

The end product has a sticky, waxy texture that ranges in color from light yellow to amber. Wax can be consumed by dabbing it on a heated surface, such as a nail or banger in a dab rig.

This process creates vapor that can be inhaled through a glass water pipe.


A close-up of colorful budder concentrate on a modern table.

Budder is a type of cannabis wax known for its creamy, buttery texture. It is a THC-rich concentrate created through the extraction process and contains high levels of cannabinoids.

To produce budder, butane or CO2 is used to extract cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, resulting in a soft, malleable substance that boasts a potent aroma and flavor profile. Typically consumed by dabbing, it offers an intense high due to its elevated THC content.

When choosing budder products, it's essential to ensure their quality and purity as they can vary widely in potency and composition. When using budder for dabbing purposes or any other consumption method, always consider obtaining products from reputable sources to guarantee safety and effectiveness.

Taffy/Pull 'n' snap

Moving on from budder, another popular type of dab is taffy/pull 'n' snap. Taffy and pull 'n' snap refer to the consistency of the concentrate. This type of dab wax has a stretchy and pliable texture with a sticky surface, making it easy to manipulate and handle.

Taffy/pull 'n' snap dabs are favored for their manageable texture, which allows for easy handling when preparing to use them. Their consistency makes them versatile for various dabbing methods and equipment.

Live resin

Moving on from the discussion of Taffy/Pull 'n' snap, another popular type of dab is live resin. Live resin is made using freshly harvested cannabis that is frozen immediately after harvesting to preserve its terpene profile.

The extraction process involves using solvents like butane or CO2 to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes without compromising their aromatic and therapeutic properties. This results in a highly potent concentrate with a robust flavor profile that captures the essence of the original plant.

Live resin offers a more flavorful and aromatic experience compared to other concentrates due to its high terpene content. Its ability to retain the original flavors and aromas of the cannabis plant makes it a favorite among dabbing enthusiasts seeking an intense sensory experience.


Diamonds are a type of cannabis concentrate known for their crystalline structure and high potency. They are created through a process that involves extracting cannabinoids like THC or CBD using solvents such as butane or CO2.

The resulting product forms into small, diamond-shaped crystals that can be smoked, vaporized, or dabbed. Diamonds offer a powerful and flavorful experience due to their high concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes.

When consumed responsibly, diamonds can provide users with an intense and long-lasting effect, making them a popular choice among experienced consumers looking for potent concentrates.

Stoners should exercise caution when handling diamonds due to their high potency. It's important to start with a small amount and gradually increase the dosage to avoid overwhelming effects.


Moving on from discussing diamonds, the next popular type of dab is sauce. Sauce refers to a highly potent cannabis extract with a liquid consistency, containing high levels of terpenes and cannabinoids.

It carries an intense flavor profile and aroma due to its rich terpene content, offering users an enhanced sensory experience. When consuming sauce, it's essential to be mindful of its potency and start with small doses until understanding personal tolerance levels.

Sauce can provide a powerful high due to its elevated THC concentration, making it crucial for individuals to approach consumption with caution and responsibility while being aware of potential risks associated with high-potency cannabis products.


A person extracts rosin in a cannabis farm surrounded by nature.

Transitioning from the diverse textures of sauce, Rosin is another popular type of dab that offers a solventless extraction process. The production involves applying heat and pressure to cannabis plant material, resulting in a pure concentrate that preserves terpenes and cannabinoids.

This method ensures a cleaner product without the need for solvents like butane or CO2. With its rising popularity due to its clean nature and rich flavor profile, Rosin has become an attractive option for those seeking a safer way to consume concentrates.

Rosin provides users with a potent, flavorful hit without the potential health risks associated with solvent-based extractions. Its purity and potency make it an appealing choice for consumers who prioritize clean and natural products without compromising on quality or experience.


Hash, also known as hashish, is a potent cannabis concentrate made from the resin of marijuana plants. It can come in various forms such as solid or semi-solid blocks and is typically consumed by smoking or vaporizing.

The manufacturing process involves separating the trichomes (resin glands) from the plant material to create a highly concentrated product with elevated THC levels. Users often find that hash offers an intense high due to its concentrated nature and may vary in potency based on factors like strain and production methods.

Moving on to "Potential Risks of Dabbing".

Potential Risks of Dabbing

Dabbing may lead to tolerance or dependence.

Impact on environment

This potent form of cannabis may affect the immediate surroundings with its strong odor that could potentially disturb others in shared spaces.


Tolerance and dependence

When individuals use dab wax frequently, their bodies build up a tolerance to its effects. This means that over time, they will need larger amounts or stronger doses to achieve the desired high.

The potent nature of these products can contribute to increased tolerance and dependence. It's important for individuals using dab wax to be mindful of their well-being and seek support if they experience negative effects.

As with any substance, moderation is key in safeguarding health while enjoying the benefits of dabbing concentrates. Being aware of personal limits and staying attuned to any changes in mood or behavior is crucial for maintaining a healthy relationship with dab wax.


A photo of a variety of dab wax and dabbing tools.

In conclusion, dab wax is a potent THC extraction that comes in various forms, such as oil, shatter, wax, and live resin. Using it involves the dabbing method with equipment like rigs or vaporizers.

Users should be mindful of potential risks such as tolerance and dependence when exploring the world of dabbing.


1. What is dab wax?

Dab wax is a type of marijuana concentrate made through a process called THC extraction, often using butane hash oil (BHO) method. It is known for its high THC concentration.

2. How do you use dab wax?

To use dab wax, you can vaporize it using special devices like e-rigs or vaporizers designed for vaporizing marijuana concentrates. This process heats the dab wax to produce a vapor that you inhale.

3. Is dabbing with dab wax safe?

When done correctly and with the right equipment, such as quality e-rigs or vaporizers, dabbing can be enjoyed safely. Always ensure ventilation in the area and follow manufacturer instructions closely.

4. What makes BHO Butane Hash Oil popular in making dab wax?

BHO Butane Hash Oil is popular for making dab wax because it efficiently extracts high levels of THC from the cannabis plant, resulting in potent concentrates perfect for those seeking strong effects.

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