A bong and a dab rig. What is the difference?

The developments in the cannabis world never stand still. New ways are constantly being devised to get the most out of the beloved cannabis buds and to get nice and high or mega stoned. The weed bong, for example, is an iconic device that has proven its worth for decades as a reliable and convenient means of smoking pure cannabis buds. In recent years, however, a new tool has emerged that is revolutionizing the cannabis experience: dab rigs, otherwise known as oil rigs. At first glance, a bong and a dab rig have many similarities, but due to various factors, there are major differences between the two.


Dabbing is a relatively new method of cannabis use. It came from America, where the phenomenon has grown in popularity since the continued legalization of marijuana. The main difference between a bong and a dab rig is the shape of the weed that is used. Bongs are used to smoke dried buds. A dab rig, on the other hand, is used to vaporize cannabis extracts, also known as concentrates or dabs. These dabs can be in various forms such as oil, wax and other usually sticky substances. Theoretically, the well-known hash is also a type of dab, as it is an extraction of cannabis sativa plant material. You don't do dabs in a bowl, like a bong does, but in a so-called dab nail. This is a heat resistant container that needs to be heated with a lighter. An ordinary lighter is not powerful enough for that.

The future of cannabis?

The reason why dabbing is seen by some cannabis enthusiasts as the future of cannabis use has to do with the raw power of a concentrate used for dabbing. While the dried buds of the stronger cannabis strains have THC percentages of 25%, average concentrates contain up to 80% THC. These are extreme amounts that beginners or inexperienced dabbers should definitely take into account. In addition to THC, dabs also contain much higher concentrations of other cannabinoids such as CBD† Another difference with the bong is that a dab rig uses evaporation and not combustion. This will prevent you from inhaling burnt plant debris, which will likely provide a softer and healthier experience for your throat.


The appearance of both devices is similar. Both are usually made of a special type of glass called borosilicate glass. This strain is temperature and shatter resistant and very reliable when used with cannabis and other herbs. The most important part of a bong that doesn't sit on a dab rig is a bowl, ie the curved end of the attachment where you place the dried weed. With a dab rig you place the concentrate on a so-called titanium dab nail, also called a 'banger'. A banger is actually different from a dab nail, as it has a slightly larger surface area and can be made from materials other than titanium, such as glass or quartz.

Use case

Using a bong is perhaps one of the easiest ways to smoke weed. You fill the chamber of the bong with a little water, enough so that the downstem is submerged. Place the ground cannabis on a gauze pad in the bowl and it is ready to use! Simply light the bruised weed with a lighter or match and start lifting. A dab rig works slightly differently in that respect. Dabbing involves vaporizing a concentrate of cannabis. Fill the dab rig with some water before use, so that the percolator is just under water. Heat the nail with a torch lighter until it is literally red hot. This is not possible with a regular lighter. If the nail is red hot, wait a few seconds until it regains some of its original color. Then grab your dabber tool, an accessory for picking up small amounts of concentrate, and place it on the nail. When this concentrate comes into contact with the red-hot nail, it evaporates and you quickly inhale it through the mouthpiece.





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