Get to Know Your Hashish Gear


With regards to weed consumption, bongs and dab rigs are two staples of as we speak’s cannabis scene. And whereas there are lots of similarities between the 2 gadgets, there are additionally a lot of essential variations that dictate compatibility with flower or concentrates.

To interrupt it down: Usually, bongs are designed for smoking flower, utilizing a easy water filtration system to chill and filter the smoke earlier than inhalation. A dab rig makes use of the identical core water filtration idea as a bong, however the two additionally make the most of fully completely different elements when it comes time for consumption. Whereas a bong is supplied with a bowl that holds flower, a dab rig will sport a banger or nail, which is designed particularly for vaporizing super-potent cannabis concentrates.

This information will provide help to with what that you must find out about bongs and dab rigs, together with a primer on how every works, the important thing similarities and variations, methods to choose the correct gear on your cannabis consumption wants, in addition to the historical past and cultural affect of those iconic types of paraphernalia.  

Bongs vs. Dab Rigs: How They Work

A bong usually consists of a detachable bowl, a downstem that extends right into a water chamber, a neck by way of which the smoke travels by way of, and a mouthpiece, from which the patron inhales the smoke.

The physics of a bong are comparatively easy. You pack the bowl with cannabis flower, then ignite it whereas pulling steadily by way of the mouthpiece. The smoke travels from the bowl down into the water, the place it bubbles its method up into the neck. Once you take away the bowl, the smoke rushes out of the neck, by way of the mouthpiece, and into your lungs.

The important thing part to the whole bong expertise is the effervescent motion. When the smoke passes by way of the water, two issues occur. First, the temperature of the smoke drops, making it cooler earlier than inhalation. Second, heavier particles are pulled out of the smoke, leading to cleaner and smoother smoke.

The dab rig operates very equally. Actually, you possibly can consider a dab rig as an extension of the bong, tailored particularly for concentrates.

On as we speak’s market, yow will discover a number of completely different variations of a dab rig. However the fundamental rig appears to be like rather a lot like a bong. The important thing distinction is that the bowl has been changed by a banger or nail. And as an alternative of packing a bowl with flower, you drop a dab of focus onto a heated nail.

To make use of a dab rig, start by heating the nail to super-high temperatures, usually till the nail or banger is purple scorching. As soon as the temperature cools down, you then place a small quantity of focus onto the nail or banger whereas pulling by way of the mouthpiece. In lots of circumstances, you’ll additionally place a dome over the nail to entice the vaporized focus. As with a bong, the vapor then travels down and thru the water chamber earlier than being cleared by way of the mouthpiece. 

The method of dabbing additionally requires completely different heating sources than a traditional bong. When smoking a bong, all you want is a match, lighter, or hemp wick. However to warmth a nail to the temperatures required to vaporize concentrates, you want both a blowtorch or an e-nail, which electronically heats the nail to the specified temperature.

Key Similarities and Variations


  • Bongs and dab rigs depend on water filtration to chill and filter the smoke or vapor.
  • Each are primarily made out of glass and embrace varied attachments.
  • Each recurrently embrace “ice catches” the place you possibly can add a block of ice to additional cool your smoke or vapor.


  • Bongs are for consuming cannabis flower, whereas dab rigs are for consuming concentrates.
  • Most bongs require solely a detachable bowl, whereas most dab rigs require a nail or banger in addition to a cap or dome.
  • To make use of a bong, you ignite cannabis flowers utilizing flame from a match, lighter, or hemp wick. To make use of a dab rig, you vaporize concentrates utilizing a blowtorch or e-nail.

Choosing the Proper Gear

The very first thing that you must contemplate is what sort of cannabis product you’re going to be consuming. Bongs are for flower; dab rigs are for concentrates.

From there, it’s all about matching your gear to your preferences, wants, and elegance. Listed here are some key elements to think about when deciding on a bong or dab rig:


Bongs vary from smaller items together with the carefully associated handheld “bubbler” to large, tabletop-only multi-chambered items. Be certain you match the scale of your piece to your smoking preferences. 

Dab rigs are just like bongs on this regard, though the biggest part that may differ when it comes to sheer measurement is the core water pipe. As with bongs, these vary from quite simple, purely useful items to a lot bigger, extra advanced, hand-blown items with a number of chambers, percolators, and different equipment.


If you already know you’ll solely be smoking at dwelling, a normal glass piece will serve you finest. However if you wish to smoke a bong out of the home you should buy smaller, moveable bongs and journey circumstances designed for smoking on the go.

There’s not a whole lot of flexibility with regards to the mobility of your dab rig. An all-out dab rig is just about for tabletop use solely. However if you wish to devour concentrates out of the home, go together with a vape pen, which makes use of a small chamber of cannabis oil hooked up to a battery-fueled heating ingredient.

High quality of Smoke or Vapor

If you’d like your bong to ship even cooler, smoother smoke, go for a bong with an ice catch. This accent enables you to drop ice cubes into the neck of the bong to chill the smoke earlier than inhalation. 

Dabbing is all about temperature. You at all times have to warmth your nail as much as temperatures that may successfully vaporize concentrates, giving the person extra management over the expertise. Decrease temperatures produce a smoother and tastier vapor, whereas greater temperatures produce a harder-hitting vapor. Excessive-temperature dabs — 340-700 levels Fahrenheit, or 170- 370 levels Celsius — will scorch your concentrates, giving the dab an astringent and harsh taste. Alternatively, low temperatures dabs — beneath 340 levels Fahrenheit, or 170 levels Celsius — don’t totally vaporize the whole dab, producing a extra flavorful hit and abandoning a small puddle of oil.

For those who actually need to dial in your dabbing temperatures, an e-nail is likely to be the very best route, because it enables you to set a exact temperature. Alternatively, in the event you don’t want that stage of precision, you possibly can at all times persist with a blowtorch and set a timer to optimize your hit.

Operate vs. Fashion

For those who’re solely in it for operate, you will get very inexpensive, quality-made bongs. However in the event you additionally need to add some inventive aptitude, the sky’s the restrict, with high-end glass artists making customized items that may price $100,000 and up.

On this regard, dab rigs parallel bongs. You should buy way more inexpensive rigs that embrace solely the naked necessities. Or you possibly can go for a lot bigger, extra advanced inventive items with heftier value tags.

The Historical past and Cultural Impression of Bongs and Dab Rigs

The Historical past of Bongs

Bongs have a surprisingly lengthy, wealthy, and complicated historical past. In some ways, the historical past of the bong goes hand-in-hand with the historical past of marijuana consumption itself.

Etymologically talking, the phrase “bong” has been linked to a number of linguistic cultures all through Southeast Asia — areas by which the cannabis plant is indigenous and traditionally distinguished.  The trendy time period “bong” seems to be linked to the Thai phrase “baawng,” which describes a marijuana pipe or a hole bamboo stalk, in addition to the Hindi “bhāṅg” and the Sanskrit “bhaṅga,” each of which describe the cannabis plant.

Past the linguistic lineage of the phrase, there’s quite a lot of archaeological proof demonstrating widespread use of bongs and bonglike pipes relationship again lots of and presumably 1000’s of years.

Among the oldest proof for the usage of bonglike pipes comes from the Caucasus Mountain area, which straddles the border of Europe and Asia. In 2013, archaeologists excavating a 2,400-year-old Scythian burial mound within the area found golden bowls caked in cannabis and opium residue. In June 2019, the journal Science Advances revealed a examine by researchers who discovered proof of cannabis use in a 2,500-year-old cemetery within the Pamir Mountains in western China.

Whereas these bowls clearly present that people have been creating cannabis-smoking applied sciences so long as 2,400 years in the past, it’s unclear whether or not these have been correct water pipes. For indeniable proof of water pipes particularly, the analysis factors to Africa.

In accordance with historical past scholar John Edward Philips, Ph.D, the standard assumption that bongs have been invented someplace in Asia is wrong. In a 1983 examine revealed within the The Journal of African Historical past, Philips argues that “by including tube pipes to a water chamber, the San individuals … of southern Africa discovered that they may cool the smoke from their pipes, and thus invented the peculiar ‘dagga [cannabis] pipe’ of southern Africa.” He additionally claims that this invention occurred sooner or later previous to the late 1500s, earlier than the introduction of tobacco into the continent.

That timeline matches different proof for the usage of water pipes. For instance, researchers have found elaborate water pipes in Persia relationship again to a minimum of the early 1600s. Equally, water pipes have been launched to China within the late 16th century, coming from Persia alongside the Silk Highway buying and selling route.

From their earliest makes use of, bongs have been carefully linked to inventive expression and an exuberant celebration of cannabis consumption and tradition. Even the two,400 year-old Scythian pipes — presumably an historic precursor to water pipes — have been made out of gold and etched with ornate illustrations.

Since a minimum of the mid-1900s, there was a robust custom amongst artists and glassblowers of making inventive, advanced, customized items. The artwork e-book “This can be a Pipe: The Evolution of the Glass Pipe and Its Artists”, co-authored by Nicholas Fahey and Brad Melshenker, gives maybe the very best instance of this custom. The e-book highlights among the world’s main glass pipe makers, and reveals extremely advanced, multi-chambered, specialty bongs that completely mix the performance of a water pipe with the creativity of excessive artwork.

Placing all of it collectively, it appears seemingly that whereas people have smoked cannabis out of rudimentary pipes for 1000’s of years, the particular thought of utilizing a water pipe in all probability confirmed up someday within the early 1500s in Africa. The know-how seems to have unfold to Persia, and from there, to different elements of Asia. Both method, bongs have grow to be a mainstay of cannabis tradition, as individuals world wide have constantly used them to smoke cannabis. In the present day, it stays one of many core strategies for consuming marijuana.

The Historical past of Dab Rigs

The historical past of dab rigs combines the lengthy custom of smoking out of bongs with the more moderen emergence of extremely potent cannabis concentrates.

From roughly the 1960s to the 1990s, individuals usually relied on so-called “knife hits” to smoke concentrates. After heating knives on a stovetop till they have been glowing purple, customers would drop a small chunk of hash onto the knives after which inhale the vapors utilizing a tube or soda bottle.

The brother-and-sister glassblowing duo Hashmasta Kut and Lucy Carson created the primary iteration of the fashionable dab rig round 2006. Their piece used a titanium skillet and a glass arm, permitting customers to warmth the skillet, drop a hunk of focus onto it, after which inhale the vapor by way of the glass arm.

This invention paved the way in which for the glass dome and nail, which hit the scene a short while later. These improvements made it potential to vaporize concentrates extra effectively, after which to tug the vapor by way of a water pipe for a one-of-a-kind cannabis smoking expertise, which shortly grew to become often called dabbing.

From there, dabbing and the dab rig took off throughout the cannabis scene. “This can be a Pipe” co-author Melshenker wrote: “flower pipes converted to grease rigs in 2009-2010, and artists actually stopped making flower pipes.”

Given its more moderen historical past, and particularly its explosion onto the cannabis scene throughout the previous 10 years or so, dab rigs are way more embedded in mainstream up to date tradition, together with music, visible artwork, the Web, and electrical and digital know-how.

In popular culture, the presence of dabbing, and by extension dab rigs, consists of the “dab” dance transfer, the origins of that are extremely disputed however which propelled the time period “dab” into the mainstream lexicon; and YouTube and social media, the place cannabis personalities comparable to CustomGrow420 and others recurrently present themselves dabbing.

Within the age of increasing legalization, concentrates have surged in recognition to grow to be the quantity two most bought sort of cannabis product behind flower. That surge has additionally carried dab rigs — the normal technique of consuming concentrates — into mainstream cannabis tradition. 


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