What Are Dab Pens And Dab Rigs?

Vaping is becoming more and more popular, especially when it comes to cannabis.  Now more so since it is legal in many states in the United States, some even allow individuals to grow, cannabis and vaping go hand in hand. Smoking can be dangerous and is also banned in many places, adding to the popularity of vaping.

As the market develops, new devices become available. Fresh brands enter the vape market regularly, leading to more innovation. For newcomers to the world of vaping, there is much to learn…

What is dabbing?

There are several ways that cannabis can be used in a vaping device. It can be vaped as dry herb, cannabis oil, or wax concentrate. The latter is known as ‘dabbing’ and the devices that allow this method is the dab pen and the dab rigs under.

But what is cannabis wax concentrate? The cannabis plant contains many compounds available for extraction. The two most popular and readily available compounds in cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), but THC is the substance we are most interested in when it comes to dabbing.

THC is the main psychoactive element of the cannabis plant, the one that causes the ‘stoned’ sensation that we enjoy. Buy a premium dry herb to vape and you will find around 20% THC content. Buy wax concentrate and the content can be up to 80%. This is because the wax concentrate is created using extraction methods that isolate THC from most other compounds in the plant.

Dabbing typically offers the highest concentration of THC of all consumption methods, hence its popularity (cannabis oil, also known as hash oil, offers a THC content of around 50%). With the explosive growth of vaping devices in the world in recent years, there is more innovation in this sector and dab pens have also benefited.

Here’s an explanation of how a dab pen and kit work, and why you might want to buy one.

How does a dab pen work?

Vaping is a relatively young and rapidly evolving market. While the concept has been around since the first quarter of the 20th century, it wasn’t until early this century that the first commercially available vape devices hit the market. The introduction of the electronic cigarette, as the first examples were marketed, coincided with many countries banning tobacco smoking in public places. Vaping was, and still is, seen as a safer and more socially acceptable alternative.

The rapid evolution comes with the increase in demand. Soon the market was filled with new brands offering vape mods (bigger devices with higher power) and then the more discreet vape pen. These resembled a typical pen that is long and thin and although many of today’s vape pens are not in this shape, the name stuck.

Essentially, a standard vape pen and a dab pen are the same thing, but for reasons we’ll explain below, it’s not advisable to use a dab pen to vape dry herbs and vice versa. The dab pen is a relatively simple device, so let us explain how to use a typical example.

The most important components of a dab pen are the heating chamber, the coil (or atomizer), and the battery. These are contained in an outer shell that has a mouthpiece attached and a clear airway to the chamber.

The dab, the wax concentrate, is placed in the chamber. The user performs the procedure to start the vaping routine. This usually involves pressing a button a set number of times (although there are some models that do activate). The battery heats the coil to a prescribed temperature at which the wax concentrate vaporizes. The result is a cloud of cannabis vapor that can be inhaled.

Here’s the important thing: unlike a cigarette, there is no combustion. This eliminates the problem of tar and certain elements created by the act of burning, elements that we now know have been responsible for lung disease and can even cause cancer.

There is another important factor that we need to mention, and that is why you need a dedicated dab pen for wax concentrate.  Concentrate, oil and dry herbs are vaporized at different temperatures with different results.  Most likely, the material from which a ballpoint pen’s coil is made is quartz or ceramic. That in a pen for dry herbs can be stainless steel. The efficiency of the pen depends on the correct materials and the correct temperatures being used.