Mastering dabbing is all about being able to maintain an optimal temperature. Heating the nail of your rig properly helps you preserve the delicate balance of cannabinoids and terpenes present in the concentrate — it also seasons your nail.
Seasoning your nail ensures more even heating, more flavorful hits, and longer-lasting nails. If you're ready to elevate your dabbing experience and learn more about dab nail seasoning, this is the guide for you.
What does seasoning a nail mean?
If you've ever owned and cared for a cast-iron pan, you're probably familiar with the concept of seasoning a heating surface. Seasoning a dab nail occurs when you apply heat to your quartz, titanium, or ceramic nail, opening the pores of the material and allowing any residual impurities leftover from manufacturing to escape. Once these pores are open and the surface has been purified, apply a small amount of oil to the nail to fill the gaps and create a smooth, uniform heating surface. Dabbers typically only season brand-new nails before using them to dab concentrates for the first time.
Bottom line: Seasoning is a critical, one-time process that titanium and ceramic nails require but glass and quartz nails can benefit from as well.
Benefits of seasoning your nail
When you season a new nail for your dab rig, you effectively incinerate any chemicals from the manufacturing process that you don't want entering your lungs. Additionally, seasoning strengthens ceramic nails, improving their lifespan and overall performance. Seasoning boosts the efficacy of titanium nails and prevents the sharp, metallic aftertaste that can accompany the first dab via titanium. Seasoning adds nuance to quartz and glass nails, potentially improving the flavor and softening the inhale of the dabs they produce.
Bottom line: Seasoning contributes to an altogether smoother dabbing process across the board, regardless of nail material.
How to season a nail step-by-step
There are two primary ways to season nails: torch or oven.
When seasoning a dab nail with a butane torch:
- Apply heat evenly to the nail until it reaches a temp of approximately 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 Celsius). (Digital thermometers can help you with this.)
- Hold that temp for 10 seconds.
- Let the nail cool for 20 seconds.
- Add a very small amount — think a quarter of a grain of rice — of concentrate to the nail and spread it around, evenly coating the entire interior surface.
- Once the nail has cooled completely, repeat the process three times.
Oven method - not to be used on quartz nails
When using the oven to season your nail:
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Coat the inside of the nail in a thin layer of extract.
- Place the nail upright in the oven for approximately 20 minutes.
- If you see smoke, your nail has overheated and the oil has combusted rather than melted into the metal's pores. In this event, begin the process again at a lower temperature.
Frequently asked questions
How do you season a ceramic nail?
While it's not a must to season a ceramic nail, it is a good way to ensure any manufacturing chemicals are burned off and it may help your nail last longer because it's conditioned to take changes in temperature better. Just follow the steps above.
Do you have to season a banger?
Not necessarily. But titanium tends to give off an unpleasant metallic taste if it hasn't been properly seasoned, ruining those terps dabbers love. Otherwise, the pros of seasoning a banger are the same as those above for seasoning a nail — strengthening, helping them last longer and heat better, and improving the smoothness and taste of dabs.
What is seasoning a titanium nail?
Seasoning a titanium nail is the process of heating up the nail, applying a tiny amount of concentrate, and repeating this process several times before using it for the first time. This helps the nail last longer, burns off any residual chemicals from the manufacturing process, and prevents the metallic aftertaste that typically accompanies the first dab on a titanium nail.