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How to Season Your Dab Nail
Why Season a Dab Nail? Do You Need to?
Dabbing and the use of concentrates is steadily becoming more popular as the cannabis industry starts to grow. Now that it’s flourishing, concentrates are used by more than just the most hardcore of smoker. Over time, it’s become a more mainstream practice, and more people than ever buy wax or other concentrates for the use of dabbing.
And while dabbing isn’t difficult, there are some important things you should know in order to make your dabbing experience the best it can possibly be. Whether shopping for items to share with customers or for yourself, let’s look into the subject of dab nails today, including how to season one.
What is a Dab Nail?
Let’s get down to the basics real quick -- a dab nail has the same function as a bowl for smoking out of a pipe. The nail is what generates heat after a blowtorch is taken to it, which the concentrate is then placed onto to generate smoke.
Dab nails vary in sizes and materials, much like dab rigs themselves. The most common materials used to make dab nails are quartz, titanium, and ceramic. It’s important to make sure the dab nail you’re looking at is compatible with your dab rig if you already have one. While the standard in the industry is 14mm, there are plenty of pieces that vary outside of that dimension.
Likewise, while most dab rigs have a female connector that’s compatible with a male dab nail, some are the opposite -- so make sure to keep track of that small but important detail.
What Does it Mean to “Season” a Nail?
You may be familiar with the idea of seasoning pans, or at least knowing that’s something chefs do regularly to their pans. Much like this practice, more serious dabbers like to season their dab nails.
The purpose of seasoning, in fact for both examples, is just to cover the porous surface of the nail (or pan), with whatever you’re dabbing (or cooking). This improves the flavor drastically. In fact, dab nails are known to have a residually bad taste in the beginning, so seasoning it can only improve the taste faster.
Once you become seasoned in seasoning, the practice will become a main fixture in your dabbing routine, just like utilizing a dab rig has.
Benefits of Seasoning a Dab Nail
We know now that seasoning your dab nail can improve the overall flavor tenfold. There are more advantages than just that when it comes to seasoning your nail, though, so let’s touch on them all.
Safer and Cleaner
After the manufacturing process, there is still dirt or other residue that is left on the dab nail. Seasoning your dab nail before your first hit can eliminate this residue before you ever inhale it. The hits are cleaner and safer when you season the nail first.
Removes Metal Taste
When the dab nail comes straight out of production, it can have a metallic taste at first. To easily avoid this, simply season the nail before your first rip. While this may be the case for mostly titanium dab nails, the same still applies to quartz or ceramic in improving the overall flavor.
Save Your Concentrate
It can be difficult to keep your concentrates on your dab nail if it hasn’t been seasoned first. Nails that aren’t properly prepared, especially nails that don’t have walls, means potentially losing your first few dabs.
You’ll watch them slide right off the surface because the nail isn’t seasoned properly to help keep them on. The dab nails with walls on the side are referred to as bangers, and it’s good to season them if you want the most out of your dabbing experience.
How to Season Your Dab Nail
The process of seasoning your dab nail can vary depending on the material used. There are titanium, quartz, and ceramic nails and bangers, so we’ll touch on the titanium ones first.
Different Ways to Season a Titanium Dab Nail
There are at least three ways you can season your titanium dab nail effectively, so let’s look over those.
The most common method used to season a nail, you can take your torch from 300F to 500F over the span over 10 to 30 seconds, or gradually.
Once you’ve reached that 500F, hold it at that temp for at least 10 more seconds.
Let it cool for 15 to 20 seconds before placing a small amount of concentrate, resin, or other dab extract onto the open pores of the nail.
Let the nail cool completely before repeating this process 3 to 5 times, or as needed, to make a sufficient layer on your nail.
Start with preheating your oven to 400F.
Take some of your concentrate and cover the top of your nail with it while the oven heats up.
Place your nail in the oven on a tray once the oven is heated, in the upright position. Leave it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Keep an eye out for smoke while you wait, as this means it’s gotten too hot and the concentrate is being vaporized off instead of adhering to the nail.
Repeat this process as many times as needed for the nail to be sufficiently covered.
This isn’t a process we recommend trying for seasoning your dab nail. Using water to season your nail can provide inconsistent results, may be less effective, and generally just take longer.
Seasoning Your Quartz or Ceramic Dab Nail
Technically, you don’t have to season quartz or ceramic, but it will always improve the overall flavor.
If you do decide to season your nail, you should try to get the quartz between 450 and 600F, which can take up to 30 seconds.
Wait about 10 seconds for it to cool off and use small dabs for seasoning.
Spread it evenly apart and throughout, then let it all cool completely. Repeat for 3 to 5 times, as needed.
Important Tips About Seasoning Your Dab Nail
While it is an option and you’ll find guides about the subject, we do not recommend seasoning your titanium nail with water. It’s not the best idea, as it can be inconsistent or downright ineffective.
Treat your nail with care. Just because it’s seasoned now doesn’t make it bulletproof. It can still be damaged from prolonged heat, rapid temperature changes, and overheating. Take the time to learn how long you should heat your dab rig and your results will be immensely better.
Finally, make sure you take your time. Seasoning can be a time-consuming task that requires you to put in a lot of repetitive effort to get the job done. In the end, though
Mistakes to Avoid When You Season Your Dab Nail
There are some important things to avoid doing when seasoning your dab nail to ensure you don’t damage or break it.
First, don’t skimp on supplies. Make sure you spend the money on a high-quality dab nail that can last you and make it through the seasoning process. Cheap nails are far more likely to break after prolonged heat exposure. Purchasing a high-quality nail will help you save on replacement costs, overall.
Next, make sure you’re not heating your rig too hot. Especially with titanium nails, they can lose their longevity over time when heated for too long. Likewise, temperatures above 500F when being inhaled can release dangerous chemicals and carcinogens that are harmful to the body. Heating the nail above 800F can cause it to break, crack, and/or be permanently damaged.
In this guide, we covered everything you need to know about seasoning your dab nail. Whether it’s titanium, quartz, or even ceramic, we hope the tips here help you season it properly and easily. A seasoned nail has a lot of long-term value for a dabber, so take advantage of seasoning your nail before you take another hit.