Dabs and Dab Rigs: A Brief History Lesson

Dab rigs come in all shapes and sizes, and are one of the fastest growing methods for medical and recreational cannabis extract consumption. As more and more states and localities announce cannabis decriminalization practices and enact medicinal / recreational laws, rules, and ordinances, more users are experimenting with methods previously reserved for the aficionados. As time goes on, its popularity in American culture increases but make no mistake, dabbing is nothing new. 

The Origins: Hashish

The legend of hashish goes back thousands of years, including the methods for extraction, storage, and transportation across continents.  For example, the Afghan trade used various animal hides to preserve the cannabinoid content. During the 18th century, pharmacists in Europe and the United States re-introduced cannabis extracts for its medicinal properties. Prior to prohibition in the United States, cannabis extracts were also available in local apothecaries. 

Afghan Hashish _Traditional

20th Century 

Its popularity in the U.S. did not take off until the 1940s, and to some degree only accelerated in the 1960s and 1970s when water pipes and bongs were used to vaporize concentrates. This allowed for a much deeper vapor inhalation with the larger glass chambers and bowls.  During this period, people also used frying pans and other metal surfaces to heat and vaporize their concentrates. 

In addition, the various methods for extraction requiring solvents, like butane hash oil (BHO), allowed for extraction of much higher Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, even as much as 10-30%. However, due to the specialization, complexities, and types of solvents used in these extraction labs, many labs had literally exploded and subsequently ceased operations. 

In the 1980s, as dabbing continued its increase in popularity, the introduction of quartz and borosilicate glass made for better quality and more durable “rigs” as well as an easier clean-up. 

21st Century

During the last 20 or so years, glass blowers have been coming up with increasingly complex and intricate rig designs - to name a few: recyclers, incyclers, percolators, multi-chamber, etc.

Dab Rig w Banger

 Other innovations have proliferated solventless extraction operations and include the rosin press technique, which extracts cannabis using pressure alone. 


In conclusion, dabbing is on a long journey and with more users in the U.S. and around the world, we are sure to see more and exciting innovations - all for a more pure and better cannabis experience. 

Solventless ConcentrateSolventless Concentrate 2

Back to blog