What is a Dab Pen?

Looking for a better way to consume cannabis than smoking flower or dealing with the mess of trying to use concentrates the old-fashioned way? Welcome to the world of dab pens, a not-so-new tool category that is making big waves as more states legalize recreational and medical marijuana.

A dab pen is also known as:

  • A wax pen
  • A dab vaporizer
  • A wax vaporizer

Modern dab pens are similar in size to vape pens, with some models having larger designs to accommodate chambers and other features. They’re designed to work with all kinds of concentrates, vaporizing the material so that you can inhale it for a cleaner high than smoking.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about dabbing and how you can make your smoke sessions simpler with modern dab pens.

What is Dabbing?

Dabbing is the name given to the process of consuming marijuana concentrates, and aptly so. Before dab pens, people used dab rigs, nails designed to fit into bongs, and tools known as nectar collectors to consume concentrates. These required the use of torches or some kind of flame to heat the tool, which then was used to take a small “dab” of the concentrate—hence the name “dabbing.”

With modern dab pens, you have two standard options. You can choose a vaporizer-style pen that has a chamber for the concentrate or an electric dab pen that uses a coil to heat the concentrate as you dab it like a nectar collector would.

If you choose the former, you’ll need a tool to help you load the concentrate into the pen. Fortunately, those aren’t hard to find. Some dab pens even come with tools to help you enjoy your smoking experience. The latter simply requires you to turn on the pen and dab it into the concentrate, which you can do right from the container it comes in.

dab pen

What Does a Dab Pen Do to You?

A dab pen is designed to deliver cleaner, more concentrated hits of marijuana. It doesn’t necessarily “do” anything to you or your body—the concentrates are highly processed and pure, so you’re literally just vaporizing marijuana concentrate—no smoke, no tobacco residue (like with blunts), nothing extra.

The biggest selling point of modern dab pens is the “no mess, no fuss” nature of the smoking experience. There’s also no real odor, so you won’t have to worry about blunt sprays, incense, or other air fresheners to cover up that potent cannabis flower smell. Read on to learn more about the benefits of using these tools.


What Are the Benefits of Using a Dab Pen?

As mentioned, dab pens make smoking convenient and easy. Other benefits include:

  • No flame required
  • No mess trying to work with concentrate
  • Easy consumption of cannabis concentrates
  • Ideal for indoor use where smoking isn’t permitted or could result in noticeable odors
  • Most pens are easy to clean and won’t clog with regular cleaning
  •  Dab pens are portable and discreet

Is Using a Dab Pen Safer Than Smoking?

This is a topic that’s currently up for debate. As more ways to enjoy cannabis come along, everyone wants to compare the safety factors, but there’s still a lot of research to be done. Dab pens can be safer than smoking because:

  • They use no fire or open flame
  • There are no chemicals or toxins associated with smoke/ash/etc.
  • There are fewer respiratory effects like tightness, phlegm production, or developing a cough.

While the CDC still says vaping of any kind could be a contributing factor to lung disease and other conditions, a study done in the UK showed that vaping nicotine is as much as 95% safer than smoking cigarettes, so there’s bound to be some correlation there with dabbing, as well.

The concern comes for those with lung sensitivities or the consumption of black market products. Since marijuana has increased its legalization around the country, the latter is becoming less of an issue.

dab pen

Dab Pen vs Vape Pen

A dab pen is not the same as a vape pen. A vape pen, also known as a vape, a cart, cartridge, or any other similar name, is a pre-filled pen or cartridge with liquid marijuana concentrate inside. Vape pens usually have a much lower THC percentage than concentrates, and will not deliver the same kind of high as a result.

Vape pens and carts come pre-filled and ready for use. You may need to attach them to a battery or they may come with one if they’re disposable. Simply turn them on (if a power button exists), inhale, and enjoy.

Dab pens are designed to be used with concentrates, including:

  • Wax
  • Sugar
  • Sauce
  • Live Resin
  • Badder
  • Shatter
  • Diamonds
  • Rosin
  • Crumble
  • Budder

These concentrates are formed with different extraction and processing methods and produce products that have different consistencies and concentrations. However, concentrates for dabbing are generally much higher in THC content than other marijuana products and should be used carefully by those new to doing dabs.

How Long Does a Dab Pen Stay in Your System?

Typically, a dab pen high will last about as long as any other high. This, of course, depends on your body and how much you consume. A few dabs for a seasoned smoker might not be much at all, but for someone who’s never done a dab, a single one could send them into the solar system.

The best answer? Proceed with caution and if you feel like you are getting too high, stop immediately. Give the dabs time to wear off, or eat something or drink some water to help calm your system down.

How to Use a Dab Pen

The first rule to follow in learning to use a dab pen: follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

They exist for a reason, and they’re usually fairly simple to understand. And of course, make sure that your dab pen is always charged and ready before you sit down to enjoy a few dabs. Nothing is worse than being ready to chill only to find out you have to wait for a battery to charge.

No matter what dab pen you have or how it functions, the basic process is the same:

  • Load the concentrate into the pen (if yours has a chamber)
  • Make sure the pen is turned on (if it has a power button, some operate by sensor on inhale).
  • Inhale for five to ten seconds, or until you feel like you’ve got a good hit, and then stop. If you have to hold a button to use your pen, let the button up when you think you’re good.
  • Once you’re done with your dabs, clean the dab pen so it’s ready to use next time. If there’s concentrate left in the chamber, you can leave it for later use.

If you notice that you’re coughing a lot or that you can’t take long hits, you might have the temperature up too high. On the contrary, if you don’t feel like you’re getting a good enough hit, you might need to turn the temperature up. This is usually a matter of preference.

How to Unclog a Dab Pen

Even with the best care, some dab pens will eventually end up getting clogged. Fortunately, that’s a relatively easy fix. You can use the heat of the device to free most clogs, although you may also need some tools like pipe cleaners if you really want to get things cleared out.

Again, as with the use of your pen, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care and cleaning. Instructions for clog removal and regular cleaning should come with your dab pen.

There you have it—everything you need to know about dab pens. Thinking about trying one for yourself? Head over to a Verts Dispensary in your neighborhood and pick up your favorite concentrate today!

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