A Beginner’s Glossary of Dab Slang and Terminology

May 7, 2021 03:30 pm ET
A Beginner’s Glossary of Dab Slang and Terminology

Let’s take a toke off the rig. First, grab me a tool and then heat up the nail. Wait, what did I just say? If you are new to the cannabis scene and you happen to be joining into a sesh, some of the language and terminology you may hear could cause some confusion. In this article, we are going to help remove the smokescreen around common terms used for consuming cannabis concentrates. Let’s take a closer look at some of the terms you may encounter when in a dab circle! First let’s start with the main device typically utilized to “dab,” a dab rig!

Dab Rig

When smoking cannabis flower, many people roll a joint or blunt, or grind up bud and place it inside of a bowl or bong. Bowls, bongs, blunts, and joints are all things that most people are familiar with. However, when consuming cannabis concentrates, many consumers utilize what is called a dab rig or sometimes simply a rig. Similar to a bong, rigs are typically made of glass and hold water for filtering vapor during use. Instead of having a bowl in which ground cannabis buds are placed in, dab rigs have a component known as a banger or nail which you will learn about below in which cannabis concentrates are placed in or on for vaporization.


A banger is utilized by attaching it to a dab rig. A banger is a glass component typically made of quartz that is an extension of the main dab rig. When utilizing a dab rig, you place cannabis concentrates inside of the banger after it has been heated, or prior to heating if you are doing a cold start dab. It’s important to take care of your banger to avoid chazzing because if you don’t, it can impact the taste of your products.


Nails like bangers are utilized to vaporize cannabis concentrates. The nail is heated with a torch before cannabis concentrates are placed on the surface for vaporization. Some nails require a dome to encapsulate the vapor for inhalation, while others do not. In the past, dab nails were typically made of glass, titanium, ceramic, or quartz. Today, however, the majority of the dab nails on the market are made exclusively of quartz, as it is the most popular material utilized for vaping concentrates. Nails are much smaller than bangers, but in the end, they both get the job done. Whether you use a nail or a banger is a combination of your personal preference and the setup of your dab rig.


An e-nail is an electronic dab nail that consists of a nail wrapped in an electronic coil connected to a power source. This coil, when turned on by the power source, heats the nail or banger in which it is wrapped around. There are some e-nails that are undetachable from the wrapped coil, while there are other e-nails designed to be removed from the nail or banger when not in use. Many consumers choose to utilize e-nails rather than standard dab nails as they allow you to keep your dab rig ready to go without the need for a torch. They also heat your dabs to specific temperatures for your desired effects and preferences.

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Carb Cap

When utilizing a dag rig to consume cannabis concentrates, many consumers choose to utilize what is known as a carb cap. Typically made from glass or metal, the carb cap is placed on top of the nail bucket or banger and rotated while the consumer is inhaling the cannabis concentrate vapor. Carb caps help to prevent the excess loss of vapor during the consumption of cannabis extracts by trapping the heat and helping to produce true convection while the cannabis extract is vaporized. Carb caps are quite essential in doing low temp and cold start dabs.

Dab Tool

A dab tool or simply a tool is one of the most common accessories utilized in the consumption of cannabis concentrates. A dab tool is typically made from metal or glass and will have either a pointy end, a spatula, or a scoop end and sometimes a combo of both. The dab tool sometimes also utilizes silicone covers on the ends. The ends of the dab tool are utilized for collecting cannabis concentrates for placement into a banger or nail for consumption.


If you consume cannabis flower regularly and don’t change your water often (don’t worry we’re all guilty), you’re probably very aware of the resin and gunk that eventually builds up in your piece. When you consume cannabis concentrates, the same thing happens. It’s a dark brown or yellow substance that coats the inside of a dab rig. Since cannabis concentrates are oils, they are hydrophobic. So, if you were to let it really build-up, you’ll eventually see brown globs floating around in your rig.


ISO stands for isopropyl alcohol. While there are many varieties of cannabis concentrates, one thing they have in common is the difficulty when it comes to cleanup. Concentrates are thick and resinous, and standard soaps and cleaning products will not do the job. They need solvent-based cleaners to break down all of the stickiness. There are many cleaners on the market specifically designed to keep your glass and pipes clean. But many consumers choose to use high potency isopropyl alcohol to dissolve that reclaim buildup.

Nectar Collector

Aside from dab rigs, another common way to consume cannabis concentrates is by utilizing what is known as a nectar collector. These types of cannabis concentrate tools are commonly made of glass and utilize a metal tip that is held in place by a plastic clip. Nectar collectors come in many different sizes and shapes, and many also offer the option of changing the metal tips to different sizes and styles based on your consumption preferences. Nectar collectors are smaller in size in comparison to most dab rigs, and the small metal tips require a shorter heating time in order to utilize it for consumption. Nectar collectors are utilized by heating the metal tip and then gently placing the metal tip on cannabis concentrates and inhaling from the opposite end. Nectar collectors are sometimes also called dab straws.

As you can see, if you have never dabbed before, stepping into a sesh could get very confusing. We hope that this terminology overview will provide you a little more confidence when it comes to participating in a dab sesh or in simply purchasing your first dab setup! If you found this information helpful, please be sure to share this article with others! After all, sharing is caring!

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