A guide to dab straws

Published Aug 10, 2022 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Roman Budnyi

Dabbing is one of the best ways to get the most out of your cannabis concentrates, and tools like dab straws can play an integral role in the quality of the experience.

What are dab straws?

Dab straws aka honey straws and nectar collectors are small, portable dab rigs in a tube-like shape that make the process easier, without having to invest in or carry around a giant piece. Since the tip is so small, they require less exposure to the torch when compared to your average nail, making it both easier and faster to enjoy the benefits of cannabis concentrates.

The most common styles of dab straws

There are so many unique designs and materials to choose from, and here, we’ll cover the basics to help you get familiar with each one.


Silicone dab straws are one of the most popular choices on the market today, and it’s not hard to see why when you look at the long list of advantages they offer.

  • Affordability
  • Durability
  • Easy to clean

Unfortunately, like with all dab accessories, they also come paired with a few drawbacks like:

  • Aftertaste
  • Less visually appealing
  • Requires a heat source


Glass honey straws provide the same reliable experience you’d expect from a glass rig with less complication, which is a step up from silicone versions.

  • Better flavour
  • Optional water chamber
  • Loads of fun designs available

The drawbacks of glass dab straws are few, but they do slightly impact their portability.

  • Breakable
  • An exposed hot tip that lingers increases the risk of burns


Electric dab straws don’t need an external heat source which is why they are the ultimate tool for cannabis enthusiasts who enjoy their flavorful concentrates, but these added benefits show in the total price.

  • Temperature accuracy
  • Convenience
  • Fast cooling tip
  • Safety
  • Easy to maintain

The drawbacks are fewer but still notable.

  • Expensive
  • Charging required

What’s the difference between a dab straw and a nectar collector?

The terms dab straw and nectar collector are often used interchangeably as if they are one and the same, but the truth is that there are some key differences. The main one is that nectar collectors aka honey straws are smaller and more compact. Some companies even offer electric versions of both types of dab straws to streamline the dabbing process, while more traditionally designed tools require the user to heat the tip manually.

How to use a dab straw

You’ve made the investment, and it’s time to figure out how to use this thing, but don’t worry, it’s not nearly as complicated as the tools look. With these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a higher-quality dabbing experience in no time.

  1. Get your torch, and concentrates at the ready, easily accessible on a table or countertop.

  2. Turn on the torch and get it hot.

  3. Use the torch to scorch the tip of the dab straw.

  4. Use the hot end of the dab straw and dip it into your choice of concentrate while holding your mouth over the opening.

  5. Inhale long and slow while the dab straw vaporizes the concentrate.

How long do you have to heat a dab straw?

Grab a torch and get it going nice and hot before reaching for your dab straw, and then you want to slowly heat the tip of it, which shouldn’t take more than 10-15 seconds.

What is Dabbing and Other FAQs


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