Cannabis 101: What Is a Dab Pen and How Do I Use It?

Let’s face it: Some of us are perfectly happy to continue enjoying cannabis the “old-fashioned” way: By smoking it. And hey: Who are we to argue? But for those of us interested in seeing how cannabis technology has advanced in the last twenty years, there’s no end of exciting options. If you’re new to vaping, get up to speed by reading our recent post. And if you’ve wondered “what is a dab pen and how do I try one?” today’s article is for you. In it, we’ll share what you need to know about this exciting, high-tech cannabis delivery system!

What Is a Dab Pen: An Introduction

No doubt about it: Smoking cannabis flower is simple and effective. (And fun! Did we mention fun?) But while it’s easy to do and the cannabis takes effect within a few minutes, there are downsides, too. Although smoking cannabis is objectively less harmful than smoking tobacco, you’re still drawing potentially irritating smoke into your airways.

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That’s where pen-style vaping devices come in. The simplest units use a prefilled cartridge loaded with a cannabis distillate. All you need to do is put the mouthpiece to your lips and take a gentle inhale (some people compare it to sipping hot tea). Nothing it burned; instead, the cannabis concentrate or extract is heated to the temperature at which the volatile compounds—the oils containing the THC and CBD—are released as a cool mist. 

What’s the difference between a standard vape pen and a dab pen? Not much, actually. But they’re different in that they permit users to inhale a vaporized cannabis concentrate, or “dab.” This implies a bit more complexity than a standard vape pen. For one thing, the concentrate is typically loaded one hit at a time into the heating chamber. For another, these devices usually feature temperature controls so that you can vaporize the dab at the optimum setting for potency, flavor, and smoothness.

Take note: Concentrates are fast-acting and extremely potent forms of cannabis. That’s why we recommend this option only to more experienced cannabis users.

What Is a Wax Pen: An Introduction

So, having answered “what is a dab pen,” it’s a short leap to the next style of the device on our list: The wax pen. In fact, there’s no functional difference between the two. But as you may know from our earlier post on dabbing concentrates, you may recall that concentrates come in many different forms and viscosities. In general, wax pens are set up to dab semi-solid concentrates, known as “wax.” But as with so many things in the world of cannabis, these classifications can be a bit loose.

Just so you’re aware, there are vaporizers that use good old cannabis flower, too. Ranging from miniature devices designed for vaping on the go to complex tabletop models, the ones we prefer to offer a range of temperature settings and other options that allow you to fine-tune your experience. But just as with vape pens, they don’t actually burn any plant matter, making them gentler on our airways and lungs than smoking.

Do you have more questions about dab pens, wax pens, or any other topics in the world of cannabis? Reach out! We’re always here to help

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