Vapes. Vaporizers. Vape pens. Weed pens. Vaporinos. (OK, maybe not that last one.) No matter what you call them, the distinguishing feature of cannabis vapes is that they allow you to inhale cannabis vapor. This is also how they differ from traditional smoking devices like bongs and pipes, which allow you to inhale the smoke from burning cannabis. Similar to a smoking experience, vapor highs kick in quickly (within 15 minutes) and last anywhere from 40 minutes to two hours. 

A dab pen is a device that sits somewhere between a dab rig and a vape pen. You might be wondering why such a device even exists—I mean, if you’re looking for a portable vaping option, why not just use a vape pen? Is it just a scam to get you to spend more money on a new device?

There are so many different ways to consume cannabis—joint, blunt, pipe, bong, vape, dab, etc.—because the way you consume directly impacts the experience. Devices that rely on combustion offer different effects than a device that relies on vaporization, and it is not just about effects. Using devices with water filtration will not affect the high, but it will cool the smoke or vapor to make it more enjoyable. Everyone has their preference.

There are definite advantages to using a dab pen over a standard vape pen. To understand the reasons, we need to understand the shortcomings and benefits associated with vapor consumption methods.

If you’re new to the world of vaping, or even if you’ve been around a while but never paid too much attention, you may have come across the terms dab pen and vape pen. We’re talking in terms of legal marijuana here so nicotine smokers, this article isn’t for you. Dab pens and vape pens are similar enough that a newbie might not notice any differences between the two. Well, we know better and we’re here to spread some of that information on to you. So read on and hopefully learn something new to take your vaping game to the next level.

Vape Pen

whats a dab pen

First things first, vape pens. Broken down into very simple terms, a vape pen is a battery powered device which consists of four main components. There is the tank, the atomiser, the sensors and the battery. Each of these parts work so that the material inside can be heated to produce a vapour, which the user then inhales.

It is pretty simple in how it works – vape pens batteries suck the liquid onto the heating element (usually called a coil). Then the liquid is vaporised, changing it from a liquid form into a vapour. The user then inhales this vapour through the mouthpiece at the top of the device. There. It’s that simply. Obviously if you want to get into how the coils work and stuff, you’re better off asking a scientist.

Dab Pen

A dab pen is something which is used purely for the consumption of dabs. Dabs are tiny little concentrates of THC, instead of your more traditional dry herb or e-liquid. A dab pen is made up of the same components as a vape pen, and works more or less in the same way.

The dabs placed into a dab pen should be of a thin enough consistency that it can be heated to vaporisation point without combusting (burning). The dabs are placed directly onto the coils and heated so it melts down onto a wick which then absorbs the product. The wick then heats up the material to create a vapour which is then inhaled.

The difference

Obviously, there is a difference in how each type of pen works, and the components that make up the two. But there are more differences than just that. Vape pens generally can only be used with liquid forms of THC. In the same vein, dab pens can only be used with dabs. This is because the structure of the two pens is slightly different and therefore are designed to cope with the different types of materials. Some vape pens claim to be able to cope with both but you are far better off buying a dab pen if you want to consume dabs.

A final word – some dab pens are also known as wax pens. This is because some dabs look like drops of dried wax. Dab pens and wax pens are interchangeable so don’t think you can’t use a dab with a wax pen.

The pros and cons of dabbing

When it comes to vaporizing cannabis oil, dabbing is one of the more labor intensive ways, however, it gives the consumer complete control over the process. When done right, dabbing gives the consumer a high-quality possible.

With dabbing, you can:

  • Pick your concentrate, choosing for type/texture and quality
  • Set the exact temperature
  • Choose the amount of oil

Dabbing can look scary to the unfamiliar, especially if using a torch, however, it is essentially just deconstructed cartridge vaping. Instead of a compact cartridge that works by pressing a button, dabbing requires the consumer to manipulate the oil with a separate heating element and surface—usually a torch and nail, or an e-nail.

The big shortcoming with dabbing is it’s not a very portable option. Electronic dab rigs are small, however, not exactly inconspicuous. But, if you are looking for a great tasting, terpene-filled experience, you really can’t do any better than a low-temp dab.

Pros and cons of vape pens

whats a dab pen

Portability is why vape cartridges are so popular. The entire vaping setup can fit inside your pocket, and the low odor associated with smoking oils makes this consumption method very discrete.

Vape carts are portable, however, there are definite drawbacks.

  • Many carts have thinning agents added to the cannabis oil to make it viscous enough for the device to work
  • Cartridges are expensive compared to concentrate sold on their own
  • Vape carts lack diversity in type—no rosins, resins, budders, or waxes, just oil
  • Cartridges generally aren’t reusable, so you end up making a larger environmental impact than you may like—an issue the cannabis community as a whole needs to address

How do you use a dab pen?

Using a dab pen is pretty simple. The most difficult part about using one is getting the oil into the device. Some oils are going to be very sticky and will require some finesse in order to get it from the original package into the oven of the pen. You can use a dab tool to help, and you can also put the oil in the fridge for a few minutes to make it more manageable.

After you get the oil in the device, make sure the dab pen is firing at your preferred setting. There are a lot of different options on the market for dab pens; thankfully, most are pretty intuitive and come with simple instructions.

Once you have the temperature dialed in, all you have to do is activate the device and enjoy the experience. After a few sessions, you’ll be a pro!

With dab pens, you also don’t have to worry about oils being diluted with additives as they can in vape carts—these are the same oils used for dabbing. This is reason enough for many people to choose the dab pen route, as the science is still unclear on the long-term health risks of vaping additives.

And, if you run out of oil, many of these devices have the ability to vape flower!

A dab pen is a great investment if you are looking to improve your portable vape game. They can be a little expensive but are a solid investment for those who truly appreciate quality in vaping cannabis oils.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *