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The brand “Nectar Collector” created the original nectar collector. Although they were first to the name, the tool known as a dab straw has been around for a while. You can think of a dab straw like a dab rig. However, dab straws are more portable, convenient, and loved for potent and flavorful dab hits. 

What are Dabs? 

Dabs are another name for concentrated cannabis oil. Depending on how the cannabis oil is processed, the end product can have a variety of textures like shatter, wax, crumble, kief, budder, and more. We must use specific processes to extract THC oil from the raw cannabis plant. The concentrate will retain all the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes which dictate the flavor and stoney feeling you get from cannabis. Learn more about how extraction works on our blog, BHO (Butane Hash Oil) Basics.  

Why use a Nectar Collector? 

We love nectar collectors because they’re so much easier to use than a dab rig and many dispensaries and glass shops sell nectar collector kits. The process for using a dab rig can feel like it rivals brain surgery, and the equipment is so bulky, you’ll probably be better off leaving the whole contraption at home. There are many ways to take a dab without a dab rig, like vaporizers, infused prerolls, and beyond. You can read more about why nectar collectors are one of the best tools for dabbing on our blog, Nectar Collectors: The Best Dabs Without Bulky Equipment. 

How are Manual and Electronic Nectar Collectors Different? 

Materials like silicone, glass, quartz, and metal make nectar collectors solid and heat-resistant. The main difference between manual nectar collectors and electronic ones is the source of heat used to warm THC extract to its vaporization point. Electronic nectar collectors use a heating coil that the touch of a button can control. If you don’t see a button on your dab straw, it is probably inhale activated, so it requires minimal setup. However, manual dab straws will still need a handful of tools, including a butane torch, which is very dangerous and largely inconvenient. Torches may heat the nail unevenly; you have to “eye-ball” the temperature, and let’s not forget that they can melt your skin off. Be very careful when handling butane torches. 

Steps for using a Manual Nectar Collector

  1. Pick out your concentrate and place your dab on a clean surface. The most popular dab pads are silicone. 
  2. Activate your butane torch and heat the titanium tip of your nectar collector until it is red hot. 
  3. When it’s ready, touch the heated end of your dab straw to the THC concentrate. It should begin melting and vaporizing instantly. To avoid burning the oil before it’s inhaled, we recommend waiting a few seconds for the tip to cool down a bit. 
  4. Touching the heated tip on the side of the concentrate rather than putting the tip over the top of your dab.
  5. Inhale the vapor through the cool end of your dab straw. When you’re hitting dabs, consider the potency of the extract you’re using. Because the THC content is so strong that you can quickly go beyond your limits if you aren’t familiar with concentrate dosing. Dabs are tiny amounts of THC oil. That’s why they’re called dabs. 

Steps for Using an Electronic Nectar Collector.  

  1. The first step is to place your dab onto a heat-resistant surface like a manual nectar collector.
  2. Press the button 5x to turn your E-Nectar Collector on/off. A flashing light will indicate that it is on.
  3. If you prefer to change the heat settings, press the button three times once it is turned on.
  4. After your E-dabber is on and the heat settings are correct, press 2x to begin the heating cycle. Allow 10-30 seconds for the tip to reach temperature. 
  5. Touch the tip of your e-dabber to your concentrate and inhale the vapor once oil begins to melt. 
  6. To prevent wasted concentrate, make sure you remove the tip from your wax before the heating cycle ends. 
  7. If you can’t finish your dab, you can run another heating cycle to ensure there isn’t any concentrate left on your pad or the collector’s coil. 

Now that you know how to use both a manual and an E-nectar collector, you might want to check out our beginner’s guide to dabbing, Learn How to Dab from a Colorado Dispensary. In the article, we give you dabbing cliff notes, how to shop for dabs, and dab responsibly. We recommend any first-time dabbers glance over it before going into a dispensary. Or you can come into a Terrapin Care Station near you, and one of our friendly budtenders can walk you through the process and our selection.