Smoking wax is a lot of fun. Seriously, a ton of fun. It gets you high, sure, but it also gets you high as fuck. And for many people, that high lasts a long, long time. It’s probably a bad idea if you have to fly a jet or perform open heart surgery later in the day, but otherwise, why not?

But what is wax, exactly? How do you smoke it? And can you smoke it without a “rig?”

Wax is one of the various forms of concentrated THC. Basically, it’s super-concentrated marijuana, and while the cops and your mother will tell you it’s hell on wheels, don’t believe them. Wax is just like any other weed, only better.

Smoking Dabs with an Oil Rig

There are a few ways to smoke wax. The most popular these days is by way of something called an “oil rig,” or just “rig.”

Dabbing with a dab rig

Using an oil rig is the most popular method of taking dabs.

This is a complicated-looking glass pipe, similar to a bong but smaller, that has a vertical chamber, a mouthpiece, and a small nail made of glass or titanium metal. The nail is positioned where the bowl would be in a standard water pipe; this is where the concentrates are placed.

These are the simple steps for smoking wax with a rig.

  1. Fill your dab rig with enough water to ensure the downstem is completely submerged.
  2. Prepare your concentrates – whether that’s wax, shatter, oil, or something else – on a dabber, ready for use.
  3. Apply heat to the nail. The easiest way of doing this is with an eNail, but a butane torch will do the job too.
  4. Once the nail is red hot, use your dabber to apply your concentrates, which will quickly combust upon impact.
  5. Inhale and try not to cough.

You use a rig by superheating the nail with a butane torch and then “dabbing” a drop of wax onto the nail. This turns the wax into potent smoke, which you inhale. Easy as pie.

But what about if you’re new to dabs and haven’t yet invested in a dab rig; or worse, your favorite glass-piece takes an unfortunate tumble. In these cases, you’ll need to know how to smoke dabs without a rig.

Smoking Wax without a Rig

But what if you don’t have this kind of hardware? Or what if you’re just the kind of stoner who prefers to smoke wax without a rig? How do you go about it?

There are numerous options for smoking wax without a rig. They will all allow you to smoke oil without a rig, but the steps involved differ.

In a Bowl

To smoke wax using a bowl – whether a bong, a bubbler, or a spoon – you first want to pack the bowl half-full. Then you collect a dab of wax with a metal dabber, and drop the dab onto the weed. Next, pack the rest of the bowl.

How to dab without a rig

But there is another easy way to smoke wax without a rig. All you need is the wax, some weed, and rolling papers. Also a roach, unless you like wasting pot.

Why drop the dab halfway in? It’s because touching the wax with an open flame can degrade its quality and incinerate some of the THC you would otherwise inhale. By half-packing, dabbing, and then packing the rest of the bowl, you can light a cherry that burns the wax without igniting it completely.

The great thing about this method is that it’s incredibly simple. As long as you have access to good wax, good weed, and a half-decent bowl, you’re good to go. And even if your weed isn’t all that great, well, at least you’ve got the wax to smoke.

In a Joint

But there is another easy way to smoke wax without a rig. All you need is the wax, some weed, and rolling papers. Also a roach, unless you like wasting pot.

Smoking wax in a joint

Place concentrates into a joint and roll just as you would normally.

First, lay out your paper with the crease facing up (as usual). Next, spread some marijuana on the paper, as you would with any regular J, and make sure to add a roach. Then dab some wax onto the weed. But be careful not to put the wax too close to the end you plan to light. Again, you don’t want an open flame touching the wax.

Finally, roll your joint. This can be a bit difficult, as wax is extremely sticky, but if you use caution and care, you should be able to get the job done. Now light your cherry and suck the whole thing down.

There are a few other ways to dab without a rig , though they involve a bit more effort. Some are worth the bother, some not.

A Vape Pen

It’s not terribly hard to use wax with a vaporizer once everything is set up. The hardest part is finding the right vaporizer.

Vape Pen Dabs

Dabbing with a vape pen is perfect for use when on the move.

Most important, you’ll need a pen with the right atomizer. Vape pens include four parts: a battery chamber (the long part), an atomizer, a cartridge, and a mouthpiece. In many newer models, the cartridge and atomizer are made as a single piece.

“Atomizer” is just a fancy word for the heating element, typically a metal coil heated by the battery. To vape wax, you’ll need direct access to this coil, and an attached cartridge would block that, so you’ll need a pen with a separate atomizer.

Once you have the right pen, here’s how to use it:

  1. Gather a dab of wax on the end of a metal dabber. Keep it small.
  2. Disconnect the atomizer from the battery chamber and dab the wax onto the unheated coil. Try not to let the dabber make direct contact with the coil.
  3. Turn on the battery chamber by clicking the button five times until a flashing light signals the pen is on.
  4. Connect the atomizer to the battery chamber.
  5. Attach the mouthpiece to the atomizer.
  6. Press the button and hold. Place your lips on the mouthpiece and draw slowly. Inhaling too fast lowers the heat and delivers less vapor. Also, keep your mouth open slightly to avoid straining your throat.


Healthstone Dabs

A healthstone is a special type of glass with a porous consistency similar to volcanic rock designed for smoking wax with a standard bong or pipe. The stone is placed in the bowl area of the pipe – this can be inside the bowl itself, or some people attest to placing the healthstone inside the bottom part of their titanium nail. Either way, the aim is to position the healthstone so that all smoke is channeled through to the mouthpiece. Small round healthstones are easy to find online.

Now place a bit of wax on top of the healthstone. Superheat the insert with a butane torch, and then toke as you would with an oil rig. And remember, even with a bong, the idea is to sip, not rip. Wax hits are best taken in moderation.

Hot Knives

Hot Knife Dabs

This is the simplest way to enjoy wax, and everyone has the tools required to do it. It’s great for late nights when you don’t have access to a torch or a vape pen or literally anything else that can be used to smoke hash oil with ease.

The idea is to heat a butter knife with your stove, whether gas or electric, and dab some wax onto it. The wax will immediately vaporize, at which point you inhale the smoke.

This can be a bit hard to do, however, since it will quickly dissipate in the open air. You can deal with this by inhaling the smoke through a straw, a funnel, or the top half of a plastic soda bottle.

Electric Car Lighter (Not Recommended)

If you’re truly desperate, if you’re stuck somewhere with nothing but a car lighter and a car, and if you’re a glutton for danger, you might try this method. But we don’t recommend it, the same way we don’t recommend making some soft of homemade, DIY dab rig.

First, heat up the lighter. When it pops out, hold it back in until it glows red hot. Next, place the top half of a plastic bottle over the lighter, dab a bit of wax onto the hot coil, and inhale the smoke through the bottle.

Easy, right? Also rather dangerous, as you have to hold the lighter in your bare hand while also maneuvering a dabber and a plastic bottle (not to mention sitting in a car). It’s kind of a recipe for second-degree burns. But if it’s all you’ve got . . .

So that, in a word, is how to smoke wax without a rig. So if you’re ever stuck with great wax and no rig, don’t panic. Just keep these simple words in mind: What would MacGyver do?

You might also be interested in: 

How to Make Shatter

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How to Smoke Dabs

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