Posted by Derek Champoux
5 years ago / May 12, 2019
Vaping VS Dabbing
In the past few years, the landscape of marijuana consumption has borne witness to significant change. The increasing adoption of legalization is starting to change stigmas, and technological advances improve on both quality and safety.
This has given rise to the vape pen trend, a phenomenon that continues to grow. Cannabis vape pens have earned enormous popularity due to their convenience and safety. They are often touted as the healthy alternative to smoking cannabis.
At the same time as the vaping trend has grown, dabbing has been making similar waves. While it generally does not have the same healthy reputation, it is a popular method of cannabis consumption.
Today’s cannabis consumer is often using one or both methods. In this article, we compare the different advantages of vaping versus dabbing to help choose the best vape pen for you.
Although they are both experiencing a boom in popularity, the effects of vape pens and dab pens are different. Dabbing generally delivers a higher potency than vaping. This extra intensity isn’t for everyone, and the high is sometimes too much for those who don’t consume cannabis on a regular basis.
However, for others, dabbing is preferable. For example, it’s good for people with sensitive lungs. A dab pen allows one to get the full effect of THC or CBD often just using a single dab, rather than multiple hits through a vape pen.
Dabs also use more concentrated forms of cannabis. This can provide better relief for patients with severe pain or nausea.
The lower intensity of vaping often makes it the preferred method for more casual use.
Conduction vs. Convection
One of the big differences between dabbing and vaping is in their use of heat. Vaporizers use convective heating, whereas traditional dab rigs use conduction heating.
Convective heat uses hot air to vaporize the cannabis oil or flower. The best vape pens use ceramic coils so there is no direct contact. This prevents combustion and carbonization, so harmful chemicals like Benzene are not released. The added safety of convective heat is one part of the growing role of vape pens in the medical world.
Conduction heat, on the other hand, applies the heat source directly to the substance. This is a more efficient way to heat the wax. But it’s also not as good for your health and can result in a ‘burnt’ flavor. Fortunately, the higher potency of dabs reduce prolonged use, so risk exposure is fairly low. As well, the best vaporizers for dabbing still deliver rich, full flavor with a clean burn.
The devices used for vaping and dabbing were once the most obvious difference between the two methods. But with the latest advances, they are beginning to look more similar.
For true portability and convenience, vape pens are the most popular device – disposable vape pens in particular. Their pen-like shape is more familiar and easy to hold. As well, it fits more easily into a pocket or bag. It’s a discrete tool that offers a high-quality vaping experience.
For dabbing, technology has come a long way in a few short years. The traditional dab rig was ‘hot knifing’. This was a technique where the user heats up a knife on the stove elements or a blow torch and then touched it to the wax, vaporizing the substance. This was a dangerous and inconvenient method. Later improvements used a heated nail that was touched to the substance.
Due to the unwholesome appearance of these dab rigs, a stigma surrounded dabbing.
The modern dab rig is a more friendly-looking device. The best dab pens today look much more similar to vape pens. They are safer, more portable, and more convenient than their predecessors.
Substance & Temperature
The substances used in vaping and dabbing are generally different. A vape pen uses cannabis flower or oil, whereas a dab pen typically uses wax or shatter.
Wax is a thicker substance, so a dab rig requires a higher operating temperature to convert it to an inhalable medium. This high temperature requires a significant power input, so the best dab pen battery is a necessity for vaping wax.
Vape pens generally operate between 315℉ and 365℉, where dab rigs can range from 315℉ to 900℉. A substantial dab pen battery is a necessity to ensure the charge lasts and delivers consistent results.
Is Vaping Better Than Dabbing?
Both vaping and dabbing have their own set of pros and cons. Which one is best depends on the specific needs of the user. A dab pen offers higher potency and intensity, where a vape pen is more controlled and health-conscious. Many people use both methods depending on their specific intent in the moment.