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Dabbing: Everything You Need to Know About Dab Etiquette

Perhaps you’ve recently had a dab sesh faux pas, or maybe you just went on a date with somebody whose talk of terpenes sounded like a foreign language to you. Either way, if you’re new to the dabbing community – welcome home. (And if you’re a seasoned dabber looking to brush up on your dab-tiquette after you got too stoned and accidentally heated the rig, we welcome you too.)

When it comes to smoking flower, everybody knows that there are a few unspoken ground rules: always pass to the left, never burn the entire green on a bowl, ash before you pass – the list goes on. And since smoking some bud with your squad might happen just a little bit more often than coming together for a group dab sesh, finding somebody to give you the low down on the dab etiquette can be a challenge.

But have no fear, that’s exactly what we’re writing this for: in this post, we’ll walk you through dabbing 101, some of the basics of good dab etiquette, and throw in a few good-to-know tips and tricks for good measure. Read on!

Dabbing 101: What is a Dab?

Leafly defines the art of the dabs quite simply as “concentrated doses of cannabis that are made by extracting THC and other cannabinoids using a solvent like butane or carbon dioxide, resulting in sticky oils also commonly referred to as wax, shatter, budder, and butane hash oil (BHO).”

To use these oils – or take a dab – one needs to place it on a hot surface like a nail, and inhale the vapor through a rig, similarly like you would through a bong. The biggest advantage of dabbing that manny canna-seurs proclaim over smoking flower is that the terpene profiles end up being much more vibrant, resulting in a more refined vapor flavor. Similar to essential oils, terpenes are what make cannabis come alive through distinctive tastes and aromas. Terpenes are reported to have many natural benefits like relaxation and stress relief.

How to Dab (The Right Way!)

Because there’s a bit more hardware involved than smoking flower or taking an edible, taking a dab can be a little bit complicated and might even feel daunting.

One of the biggest (and most frightening to dabbing newbies!) challenges to having a great dabbing experience is the blowtorch. You’ve likely seen these circulating in the 710 community, and while they are popular, they’re by far not the safest option. When you use a blowtorch, you’re exposing yourself to butane – which is not only more dangerous in terms of causing an accidental burn but also exposes you to toxic chemicals.

Alternatively, when you use an e-nail kit, you’re much more likely to have a more pleasant dabbing experience that’s butane-free and also just generally easier to use. The MiniNail™ kit will make it super easy to set and control your desired temperature, so if you’re just getting started, you won’t have to worry about accidentally heating your concentrate too low or too high.

Here are a few ground how-to rules to get you started:

  • Have all your tools in order. In order to dab, you need to have a dab rig and an e-nail kit to heat up your rig. Couple those with the right dabbing tool for scooping concentrate – and you’re good to go!

  • Start low, go slow. When it comes to heating your rig, make sure you always start at lower temperatures so that you give yourself room to work up to heat your concentrate to the perfect level.

  • Take your time to dab. Once your nail is fully heated, give it about a minute to cool, apply your favorite tool directly to the nail, and inhale from your rig!

The Perfect Dab: Tips and Tricks

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s wrap up by going through a few good-to-know dab etiquette rules that’ll make for a better dabbing experience (and will make sure you actually get invited to the next sesh!).

  1. Always use a dab mat. To protect your dab rig against any accidental drops, burns, or scrapes, always make sure to use a dab mat to keep your gear in place and your surfaces sticky-icky-free.

  2. Don’t overheat your e-nail. With the help of a MiniNail™, you’ll have no trouble setting your temperature to a setting that’s perfect for dabbing, and doesn’t burn off all those precious terpenes!

  3. Always clean your e-nail dish after each use. Using equipment that’s clean should be a no-brainer, but even the best of dabbers can get settled into their sesh and end up forgetting.To avoid a buildup of burnt oil, make sure to keep a cotton swab (Q-Tip) handy to swipe your e-nail dish after each use. We have found that using a cotton swab dipped in distilled water is the best technique we have found to keep your quartz and titanium much cleaner.

Finally – your safety should always come first when dabbing! Make sure to keep those paws off any hot surfaces, and always use your dabbing tool – as well as a heater coil guard – when handling your e-nail and dab rig. Now that you’re acquainted with the art of the dab, you can focus on what matters most: taking dabs, having a faux-pas-less sesh, and generally feelin’ yo-self.