A ring side view of dabbing and dab rigs

Smoking is not the same as dabbing which is the latest trend among smokers. However, both relate to the habit of smoking that can give enough stimuli to become addicted to it. Smoking is as ancient as the hills and it primarily relates to burning tobacco and inhaling the smoke. Till not very long ago smoking only referred to this primitive habit.


With time, smoking has also evolved as people became more conscious about health. The health concerns arising from tobacco smoking did little to deter people who found it hard to give up. This resulted in the discovery of similar but improved smoking habits that could be safe for lungs.

Vapors are safe

Although smoke can be dangerous when inhaled, it can be substituted by vapors. It came to light that inhalation of vapors can give smokers the same kind of pleasure as smoking. This led to the method of vaping that is experienced when you smoke e-cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes produce vapors that can substitute the harmful smoke of tobacco and this paved the way for further development that led to the discovery of dab rigs.

Also known as oil rigs, the dab rigs and oil rigs are much more sophisticated smoking devices that do away with the use of harmful tobacco. The habit of using dab rigs is termed as dabbing that has been discussed in this article.

Dabbing explained

Unlike smoking, dabbing is about inhaling the vapor of herbal extract concentrate derived from medicinal herbs that are considered to be kind on lungs. A small rig made of glass is the device that is used for dabbing. The herb concentrates that are dabbed into the rig in small amount is heated to produce vapors that are inhaled.

The concentrated medication comes in the form of oil and wax. This is perhaps the reason why the dabbing devices are popularly named as dab rigs and oil rigs. The rigs have heating elements known as nails that are heated using torches. The most pleasurable way to enjoy dabbing would depend on the design of the rig that is used.

How dabbing is different from smoking

Although considered as a smoking device, dab rigs are quite unlike the traditional smoking devices like pipes and bongs that you normally see. While the traditional smoking devices rely on burning dry tobacco, rigs do not have any burning facility. Instead, it is provided with heating arrangement by using a torch that can heat up the herb extract concentrate. The concentrate or wax is applied on the heated nails and not the other way round. When you inhale the vapor of the concentrate, you derive the same kind of pleasure that you would have got from smoking.

Many different kinds of dab rigs and oil rigs are available. From rigs in the simplest form, there are mid level rigs and even high end rigs. These are constructed differently and have different features that provide varying degrees of pleasure to dabbers. The effectiveness of dabbing is the reason for the soaring popularity of dab rigs.