3 min

How To Make Wax Dabs

3 min

Dabbing may be the new kid on the block, but that hasn’t stopped its popularity from growing significantly. Once you get past the specialist equipment, technical terms, and vast spectrum of cannabis concentrates on offer, an incredible world of astronomically high THC content awaits!


Not to be confused with the likes of cleaning a spillage, a video game emote, a dance move, or striking someone with a light blow, dabbing is actually a method of consuming cannabis concentrates that is incredibly potent.

By heating a concentrated “dab” of cannabis extract, usually a wax-like substance, vapour is inhaled using a dab rig to experience a highly efficient intake of THC. Although similar to a bong, dab rigs have a few key differences, which we will cover later. In the meantime, if the idea of highly concentrated marijuana has grabbed your attention, the list below contains types of cannabis extracts that can be dabbed.


No one type of cannabis extract is entirely superior over another, however, wax does represent the best middle ground when taking into consideration flavour, ease of use, consistency, and potency. Many of the other options start to tip the scale too far in one direction. Wax, on the other hand, can be produced at home, is easier to handle than cannabis oil, and therefore significantly more approachable for dabbing newbies.

Related article

The Ultimate Guide To Dabbing: Everything You Need to Know


Making Your Own Wax

Although mainstream media like to focus exclusively on concentrate creation disasters, making cannabis wax carries a very low risk of danger. The most significant hazard in producing homemade cannabis wax is the isopropyl alcohol. Refrain from drinking it or handling it near an open flame, and you will be just fine.


  • 1l of isopropyl alcohol

  • 3x freezer-proof container

  • Fine metal sieve

  • Unbleached coffee filters

  • Medium-sized pan

  • 2.5 grams of marijuana (strain choice is a matter of personal preference)

  • Ovenproof dish

  • Funnel

  • Small mason jar


Break the buds apart by hand before placing in an ovenproof dish. Place the dish in the oven at 93°C/200°F for 20 minutes.

Transfer the lightly baked buds to one of the freezer-proof containers, and along with the bottle of isopropyl alcohol, place both in the freezer for five hours.

Once five hours have passed, remove both items from the freezer. Pour the 100% proof alcohol over the buds while gently swirling for 20 seconds to ensure they are sufficiently submerged. The liquid should be roughly 3cm higher than the tops of your buds.

Using a second freezer-proof container, strain the alcohol/marijuana mixture through a fine metal sieve. The plant matter can be discarded. The liquid is now our primary focus.

Using the third container, strain the liquid again. This time through unbleached coffee filters. Using a funnel in conjunction with the coffee filters simplifies the process. Wring out the coffee filters into the container afterwards—we don't want to waste any of the cannabinoid-infused alcohol.

Now we need to remove the alcohol to leave behind our potent cannabis extract. There are three options for doing so, listed in order of how time-consuming they are from longest to shortest.

  • Leave the container (with a coffee filter over the top) and wait for the alcohol to evaporate naturally.

  • Submerge the container in a shallow pan of warm water, thus speeding up the evaporation process.

  • Follow the guidance directly above, except this time heat the shallow pan on medium heat until the alcohol evaporates. Ensure the alcohol does not boil.

Once the alcohol has evaporated, scrape the remaining wax into a small, airtight mason jar. You are now the proud owner of cannabis extract.


Dabber Equipment

That equipment we referred to earlier? Well, while the list of requirements may seem daunting to begin with, you can think of a dab rig as a more intricate bong. Comprised of three key components—water pipe, nail, and dome—premium options may feature an electric nail to negate the need for a blowtorch to heat your cannabis extract. Given electric nails cause a significant dent to the wallet, well-priced options like the Glass Herb and Oil Bong by Black Leaf make for an excellent beginner's dab rig. Remember, you will need a blowtorch to heat the nail.

Operating in the same way as a bong, the main chamber of a dab rig holds water to turn the superheated extract fumes into an inhalable vapour. The nail is where we place our extract after a blowtorch heats it. Finally, the bowl rests on top of the nail once the extract has been heated so none of the potent vapour is wasted. Transferring your cannabis extract from the jar to the nail is usually done with a dab tool or wand. Extracts are typically very sticky, so doing this part of the process by hand isn't an option.

If the complex nature of a dab rig is off-putting, specific handheld vaporizers cater to the needs of extract users. The Dr. Dabber Ghost Kit is ideal for discreet dabbing on-the-go. The entire kit includes a loading tool to ease the process, and the device itself is chargeable via USB.

Dr. Dabber Ghost Kit

View Dr. Dabber Ghost Kit

Aside from the five essential tips for first-time dabbers we have collated, the basic premise for any dabbing initiate is to start small. One tiny, roughly fingernail-sized dab can have the same potency as an entire joint, except you’re consuming that whole joint in one hit. Don’t rush; place a small amount of cannabis extract on the nail, and learn to adjust before hitting dab after dab.

Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl has been writing about cannabis, the wellness potential of cannabinoids, and the positive influence of nature for over a decade. Working with several cannabinoid-centric publications, he publishes a variety of digital content, supported by strong technical knowledge and thorough research.
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