September 5, 2015

The Wonderful World of Marijuana Nectar Collectors

September 5, 2015
Nectar collector dabs are very popular among today's marijuana enthusiasts.

When the uninitiated hear Nectar Collector, they may think: Does Home Depot have any left in stock, and can I have one in my garden to attract more hummingbirds? But seasoned stoners are well aware of these ingenious tools, and they see them for what they are: A modern solution for today’s marijuana enthusiasts – and arguably the most simple, efficient and transportable way to enjoy cannabis concentrates. 

What is a Nectar Collector?

A Nectar Collector, also known as a dab straw or honey straw, is a tool used to vaporize cannabis concentrates. The beauty is in its simplicity, as nectar collectors are generally made up of just two central components. You have the vertical, flute-like straw/mouthpiece, and you have the sturdy nectar collector tip – usually constructed with quartz, titanium or ceramic.

While concentrates have been a staple amongst stoners for years now, traditional dab rigs can be expensive and cumbersome. If your lifestyle requires dabbing on the go, you’ll be dragging around a rig, nail, carb cap, and more if you rely on the traditional setup. You might as well rent a Uhaul and bring your coffee table with you too after all that trouble! Instead, buy a nectar collector and save the trouble! But the positives don’t end at portability. 

How to Use a Nectar Collector

Unlike the cargo van of supplies required for a full rig setup, you’ll find there are only two accessories needed to hit a dab with a nectar collector: a torch and a heat resistant tray/oil container. But before you dive in, be sure your nectar collector set is properly assembled! 

How to Put Together a Nectar Collector

If your nectar collector dab pipe isn’t pre-assembled at purchase, or if you’re putting the pieces back together after a thorough cleaning, don’t fret. As we’ve outlined, nectar collectors are loved and lauded for their ease of use, and that extends to assembly too. 

If you have a two-piece nectar collector set, the job is as simple as connecting the nectar collector straw/mouthpiece to the tip. However, if your instrument comes equipped with a percolator, just be sure that you fill it with water before assembling the pieces, and wipe the connecting joint dry to avoid potential heat expansion and cracking. If you’re particularly passionate about protecting your glass, feel free to coat the connecting pieces with some joint wax as well!

The Best Way to Use a Nectar Collector: How to Dab with a Nectar Collector

Hitting a dab with a nectar collector and elevating yourself with that perfect inhale is just a couple steps away.

  1. Place your cannabis concentrate in a heat resistant dish. Silicone, glass, or quartz is the go-to for many dabbers across the globe.
  2. Heat the nectar collector’s tip until it has a faint orange glow.
  3. Let the nectar collector cool to the desired temperature. Most cannabis concentrates vaporize between 600 and 900 degrees F, and it may require some trial and error to get things just right.
  4. Touch the heated tip to your cannabis concentrate.
  5. Inhale gently from the straw-end of the nectar collector and enjoy. 

Or, to put it simply – heat the tip, dip, and sip. 

How Do You Heat a Glass Nectar Collector?

Most stoners use a small butane torch to heat their nectar collector’s tip. While that’s about as extensive as the directions need to be for most first-timers, if you’re feeling a bit anxious about the heating process – no worries. Here are some tips when it comes to heating your tip:

  • Be sure there’s no moisture in the joint connecting the tip to the straw! Moisture leads to heat expansion, and heat expansion leads to a tragically cracked nectar collector!
  • To get an even heat, try using a brushing motion with the torch flame at the very end tip. That, or hold the torch steady as you gently roll the nectar collector’s tip in the flame. 
  • Don’t overheat the tip! Overheating results in burnt concentrate and broken paraphernalia!

How Do You Use a Nectar Collector Without a Torch?

If you’re uncomfortable with the torch suggestion but still want to vaporize some wax with a nectar collector, you’re in luck! There are a few alternatives you can seek out, such as electric nails, heater coils, and electric nectar collectors. If you’d like to learn more about e-nectar collectors, keep on reading to the “What is the Best Nectar Collector For You?” section!

Do Nectar Collectors Waste Wax?

Even with the easy operation, many may still be asking: But are nectar collectors efficient? A great aspect of using a nectar collector to dab is the lack of waste. Due to their streamlined design and straightforward use, stoners can control just how much concentrate they’re vaporizing. When you’ve had your fill and achieved your high, simply pull the tip away from your wax. Like a hummingbird dipping its beak into a daylily, these concentrate straws provide the most controlled and direct source to suck up that sweet cannabis nectar. A true testament to exquisite engineering!

How to Clean a Nectar Collector/Dab Straw

Have you cleaned other glassware? Yes? Good. Then you know how to clean a glass nectar collector. You’ll need a few supplies – ziplock bag, hot water, isopropyl alcohol, and salt . From there, the approach is painless:

  1. Remove the tip of your nectar collector.
  2. If your nectar collector has a water chamber blow out the water down through the tip joint of the piece.
  3. Soak the tip and glassware in the isopropyl alcohol and salt solution for at least 30-60 minutes.
  4. Rinse out each component with hot water. Be sure to thoroughly flush out any residual cleaning solution. 
  5. Dry completely before next use.

As always, be sure to clean your nectar collector – and any other glassware – at least every 3-6 months. Nothing harshes a high worse than bacteria and mold spores. 

How Do You Get Wax Out of a Nectar Collector?

While nectar collectors are more efficient than traditional dab rigs, continuous use can still result in some residual oil buildup. If you’re in a bind and need to reclaim that pot concentrate for a quick smoke session, there are a couple options. 

Before deep cleaning your wax-laden nectar collector, flush out leftover oil with a bit of isopropyl alcohol. Once flushed, pour the alcohol and oil into a non-stick container, and let the alcohol evaporate over the course of a few days. Afterwards, you’ll have a nice collection of ‘reclaim’ to dab – or even infuse into edibles!

If that process is a bit too time-consuming, try using a butane torch to heat the areas with wax build up. The high temperatures will almost instantly liquefy the wax. Just make sure to have a silicone or glass dish nearby to catch your weed wax dribbles!

What is the Best Nectar Collector For You?

Nectar collectors, like the people that use them, come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they all have their place and purpose. So when you’re in the market for a new dab-hitting device, use this guide to find what’s best for you!

How Much Money is a Nectar Collector?

Like any instrument of cannabis consumption, nectar collectors come in a plethora of builds and materials. That means, in looking at cost, there’s a range of variables to consider. Do you want a small nectar collector or a large one? A glass body or silicone? Do you want a wet, dry or electronic model? With such a wide array of options, I’ve seen nectar collectors as inexpensive as $12.95 and as costly as $100+. To see where you should fall on the scale, we need to take a look at the information at hand.

Nectar Collector Materials: Glass, Silicon, or Somewhere in Between?

Are Glass Nectar Collectors the Best?

Glass is the most popular building material for nectar collectors, and for good reason. From an aesthetic perspective, the designs you can achieve with a glass piece are sure to make your friends’ heads swivel. Sure, Robbie from down the street brought a pocketful of wrinkled rolling papers to the smoke session, but you brought a pink flamingo nectar collector! Take that, Robbie!

Additionally, glass doesn’t heat as quickly as some other materials, so it allows for better handling and a cleaner taste. However, the obvious downside to glass is its fragility. If your motivation behind purchasing a nectar collector is reliable durability, glass may not be the right option for you.

Are Silicone Nectar Collectors the Safe Option?

On-the-go Cannabis connoisseurs often gravitate toward more durable materials – like silicone. While the design options are arguably more limited, there are still quite a few colorful choices to pick from. Looks aside, the main attraction of silicone is how user-friendly these pieces are, and how they’re practically unbreakable. You won’t ever feel those twinges of anxiety putting it in your travel bag or pot pack. 

For those wondering(how to use a silicone nectar collector, the process is synonymous with the glass nectar collector experience – heat the tip, dip, and sip. The one deviation is that the straw is less likely to shatter in your hands!

And while there are certainly more obscure choices of material for your next nectar collector, silicone and glass will account for the bulk of your options.

Nectar Collector Models: Dry Pipes, Water Pipes, and(Electric Nectar Collectors

There’s often confusion surrounding the different models of nectar collectors on the market. One of the biggest questions we get here at The Weed Blog is: Do all nectar collectors use water? The resounding answer is: No. Dry pipes are usually the smaller, more portable option of the dab straw world. So, once again, if travel is a priority in your cannabis routine – dry pipes are the route to take.

The collectors with a water chamber – the “wet” models – are more equipped for at-home use. They’re often a tad larger than their dry counterparts, and most have to be kept standing vertically to avoid leakage. However, the benefits of the wet models can outweigh their limitations. Filtering the vapor through water, similarly to using a bubbler or a bong, cools the vapor and provides a cleaner, more satisfying hit. 

However, if portability and hit quality are both a concern, electronic models are quickly emerging as the most versatile and pocket-friendly package. Electronic dab straws are often a 2-in-1 combination with a vape pen, and customizable options lead to better quality and safety of use. The whole world has gone digital – including the weed world.

Are Nectar Collectors Worth It?

Undoubtedly. Nectar collectors provide the most compact, portable, and efficient consumption of cannabis concentrate you can get. But if you’re still skeptical, give one a try for yourself! You’ll soon realize what many stoners already have – not only are nectar collectors good, not only are nectar collectors worth it . . . nectar collectors are top-notch, and they’re here to stay.

Additional Resources:

At The Weed Blog, we strive to produce the latest online news resources regarding marijuana. We also review various strains of cannabis or other edible counterparts. We are committed to helping you find valuable information about marijuana on our website. With marijuana laws constantly changing, learn from us what you can do to promote activism in your area. Otherwise, consider these other top-tier articles regarding cannabis:

All About Dabs: The Comprehensive Guide to Cannabis Concentrates

What is the Best Way To Do Dabs? A Little Dab Will Do!

The Secret of Silicone: Introducing the Unbreakable Water Pipe


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