Dabbing etiquette

Published Apr 8, 2019 10:40 a.m. ET

If you are new to the big wide world of social dabbing than chance are you have yet to brush up on proper dabbing etiquette. Whether you have just been invited to a gathering where you know dabbing will be available, or you would just like to know what to do in case you ever find yourself in such a situation we’ve got your back. Welcome to the ten most essential rules of dabbing etiquette that every dabber should know.

1. Know your dabs

Rule number one may also be the most essential. You should always know what kind of dabs you are bringing to a gathering so that you can serve them accordingly. Whether it’s the potency which can affect the users, the harshness which might catch a few people off guard, or the type of marijuana concentrate which may change the temperatures that are required to dab it properly. You should know as much as physically possible about your dabs before joining a dabbing session with them in tow to share.

2. BYOD (bring your dabs)

Dabbing is much like smoking cannabis in that you should never show up to a session empty handed. Marijuana concentrates can get expensive, and as much as we all like to help a friend out from time to time, doing so continually might just be enough to get you uninvited next time. If you don’t have or can’t find any, then ask your friends ahead of time if you can pitch in with cash for a purchase instead. Your friends will thank you for it.

3. Keep a clean dab rig

Dab rigs are beautiful devices that work incredibly when they are in tip top shape, but when they aren’t the experience can certainly feel like it’s lacking. If your dab rig requires water than be sure it’s freshly added and before you head out the door you should be giving your riga good once over cleaning. Too much residual resin within the chamber can heavily affect how well the air circulates through the device making draws harder to take. The second most common issue with a dirty dab rig in the awful taste and pungent smell. Both of which can be found in a device that’s only been used a few times without getting a proper rinse in between. Don’t ruin the dabs you and your friends about to enjoy, take five minutes to perform a coarse salt rinse instead.

4. Know where to apply heat

The most crucial aspect of dabbing is in respect to the temperature of the nail or dabber and the temperature it must reach to work correctly. Heating the wrong portion of a dab rig is going to make it difficult to achieve the heat that you need, and it can also be harmful to the integrity of the device. The most common time that breaks occur in dab rigs is caused by being improperly heated. Quartz or glass as is most commonly used to make the base of these devices and they are not meant to be dramatically heated in any way. Excessive heats can cause shattering, hairline cracks, and other problems in the rig, so please, just don’t do it.

5. Empty the dab rig chamber

Whether you are using a bong, weed pipe, dab rig, or any other kind of smoking device that comes equipped with a chamber you should always be sure to empty the tank of any remaining smoke. This is for a few reasons, but the most significant is taste and harshness which will negatively affect the taste of any dabs that are putthrough it. A lot of people will assume that the cooling time required will be long enough for the smoke to dissipate. Instead, it is heavy and able to linger for up to an hour after a deb rig has been used. Take a breath after each toke and one more draw to be sure it’s clear for the next person in line.

6. Clean the dab rig in between uses

Though not everyone takes the time to do this properly daily, your friends and lungs will thank you. The taste and experience that is provided by a freshly cleaned dab rig each time is well worth the time and effort that it takes. If you want to go the extra distance and are dabbing with multiple people than a bowl full of lemon water to freshly sanitize the mouthpiece in between each person is most recommended.

7. BYOT (bring your tools)

Dabbing requires a handful of relatively expensive tools which will have a lot of people not so excited at the prospect of sharing. If you are going somewhere that you know there will be dabbing bring as many of your own tools as you possibly can which may include a dab rig, cotton swabs, coarse salt (for washing), a dabbing tool, and any other rig accessories. Since dabbing can be a somewhat lengthy process, bringing your tools ensures that everyone can have their own set up going at the same time which results in a much faster high for everyone.

8. Clean the nail in between uses

Dab nails get incredibly hot and will continue to hold heat long enough to burn you for several minutes after you have used it. Titanium nails can last even longer making safety of top priority while maintaining clean nail heads. Each time that marijuana concentrates are dropped onto the smooth quartz surface there will be some residual oils left behind. That resin after only a few hits will turn into a buildup that will no longer work for dabbing. Keep handy a small bowl with lemon juice or water combined with coarse salt along with a few cotton swabs for fast and easy cleaning in between hits to keep the nail most effective and the taste nice and clean.

9. Use a dab mat

Though not everyone is going to care about the surfaces you might end up dabbing on, it is proper dabbing etiquette to use a dab mat. This will help to contain any possible mess and also provide you with a safe place to set down tools when you need a break without smearing oils all over your friend’s nice table or counter top. If you don’t have one yourself, then ask if the host has one before setting your dab rig down on any unprotected surfaces.

10. Heat the nail for the next person in line

Dabbing can be incredibly time consuming and a bit difficult for those who are new to juggling a torch and dabbing tools at once. To help out your friends, make it a habit to preheat the dab nail for them after it’s been cleaned. Though it’s certainly not necessary to do someone else's work, if everyone heats the nail for the next person in line it allows the user to focus on preparing themselves and a dab for once it’s hot enough which is just a kind thing to do.


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