Vaping vs Dabbing: Hot Hot Heat

Vaping vs Dabbing: Hot Hot Heat

In recent years, public perception of cannabis has changed rapidly. For example, in 1969, only 12% of the American population thought that marijuana should be legalized. As of 2019, now two-thirds of the population believes that the plant should be available for use by adults.

As cannabis has become legal for medicinal and recreational purposes in a number of states in the United States, many people are considering trying marijuana for the first time. However, at the same time, the market has exploded with new products and technology. While this is exciting, it can also make it difficult to choose the ideal delivery method and products for you.

Have you been wondering about the difference between vaping vs dabbing? While both delivery methods have actually been around for a while, they have risen in popularity because of the convenient devices that have arrived on the market. However, these two forms of ingesting cannabis are not identical and it is a good idea for a beginner to learn what the differences.

If you are interested in learning the distinction between these two terms, stick with us to learn everything you need to know.

What Is Vaping?

Vaping is when a person inhales marijuana vapor from a vape pen, vaporizer, e-nail, or dab ring. In general, it is typically considered to be less harmful than smoking to vape cannabis.

Through a process of vaporization, cannabis flower and oil can be consumed. The process of vaporizing cannabis is most commonly done through vape pens and vaporizes. However, marijuana concentrates can also be flash vaporized through e-nails and dab rigs.

People do not simply smoke THC with vape pens. It has become increasingly popular to use delta-8-THC, which is a legal alternative in many states. Follow this link to find out more about why delta-8 oil is clear and what that tells you.

Vaping has become popular for a number of reasons. For one, they help to control the dosage so you know how much you are taking. Additionally, the effects of vaping setting rather quickly compared to eating edibles but they are also fairly discrete.

People find vaporizes to be convenient because they are often, portable, and versatile. They do not usually smell, and you simply have to push a button and inhale.

As you can see, dabbing is technically a form of vaping, as the substance is vaporized when heated. However, ‘dabbing’ is really a distinct process of its own, and when you hear people use the term vaping they are most likely referring to using a vaporizer or a vape pen rather than a dab rig and wax.

What Is Dabbing?

Perhaps you have heard of dabbing but aren’t exactly sure what it is.

These are cannabis doses that are concentrated. Dabs are made by extracting cannabinoids, including THC, using a solvent like carbon dioxide or butane. This process results in sticky oils.

There are a number of different names to refer to cannabis concentrates. The name that they are given depends on their consistency. Some common names you might hear are shattered, wax, butane hash oil (BHO), and budder.

Cannabis dabs are usually heated on a hot surface. Oftentimes, this is a nail. Then, they can be inhaled through a dab ring.

The process of smoking dabs as a way to consume marijuana has actually been around for at least a decade. However, more advanced extraction methods have arisen, in a way that has led the market to become flooded with cannabis concentrates. For this reason, dabbing has become increasingly popular in recent years.

It is possible to extract other cannabinoids from cannabis for this purpose, such as CBD. However, many people prefer to experience the intoxicating and mind-altering effects of THC. Many people find them to be the most efficient and fastest way to feel incredibly strong effects from marijuana (aka get really, really high).

The aromatic oils known as terpenes that are responsible for the flavor of cannabis can also be extracted. However, these compounds are rather volatile and it can be very difficult to preserve them during the extraction process.

Vaping Vs Dabbing

Both dabbing and vaping are ways of ingesting cannabis. Technically, whether you are vaping or dabbing, you are not actually smoking cannabis. This is because neither of these processes actually involve burning cannabis flower in the same way you would from a joint, a glass pipe, or a bong.


For some vaporizers, you might actually use cannabis flower rather than a liquid extract form. However, it is become popular to use a vape pen and ingest cannabis in a liquid extract form.

When you are vaping, the extract is not actually being burned in the same way the cannabis flower is when you smoke in a traditional fashion. Instead, the extract is heated to a temperature at which the cannabinoids and terpenes, or its volatile oils, are released in the form of a fine vaporized mist.

For this reason, vaporizing is thought to be much more healthy. This is because it is not nearly as irritating to our lungs or to our throat then smoke from a traditional pipe or joint.


On the other hand, when you are dabbing you are heating an implement that is commonly known as a nail. You are bringing the nail to a much higher temperature than it reaches when vaping.

At this point, you use the nail to combust a potent cannabis extract and then inhale the resulting smoke through some kind of pipe. Through this method, you are still not technically burning any plant matter. However, since the temperature of the heat is a lot higher than it would be when vaping, there will be some combustion artifacts in what you inhale.

For this reason, it’s important to understand that dabbing will likely be harsher than using a vape pen or a vaporizer of any kind. At the same time, it tends to be less irritating to the lungs and throat than simply burning the flower.


Another major difference between vaping and dabbing is how potent the smoke is.

When you are vaping, the vapor that is released is basically similar in potency to the smoke that you would produce when you enjoyed cannabis and a more traditional fashion. Interestingly, some fancier models of vape pen and vaporizers can actually allow you to take carefully measured doses. This means that you can stay on top of how much you want to be ingesting rather than ever taking the chance of accidentally using too much.

On the other hand, the waxy and thick extract that people use for dabbing is incredibly potent. The specific potency will depend on the product you are using. However, THC content can exceed 90% in some of them.

If this number does not mean much to you, it’s important to understand that the most potent cannabis flower that you can purchase is about 30% THC. For additional comparison, the average potency of cannabis during the 60s was somewhere around 2% and even the strongest marijuana at this time was no more than 5% THC.

As you can see, these extracts are so many times stronger than just of smoking regular weed. For this reason, it is definitely a good idea to use caution if you are new to dabbing. If you are new to cannabis in general, it might be a good idea to try a different delivery method first.


In the past, one of the most obvious differences between vaping and dabbing more the devices that you used. However, recent advances have made it so both smoking methods can be achieved by similar-looking devices.

Vape pens are one of the most popular devices because they are convenient and portable. In fact, many people enjoy using disposable vape pens. Since they are shaped like a pen, the device is easy to hold and comfortably familiar.

These devices also easily fit into a bag or a pocket, allowing you to bring it with you just about anywhere. People use these to achieve a high-quality vaping experience that is also discrete.

As far as dabbing goes, the technology has really changed in just a couple of years. Traditionally, ‘hot knifing’ was the technique as a part of the traditional dab rig. This is when the individual heats a knife with a blow torch or on the stove and then touches the wax with it in order to vaporize the substance.

This old-school method was pretty inconvenient and kind of dangerous. As the method has gained popularity, using a heated nail became more popular.

There is a lot of stigma around stabbing because this process is kind of odd and seems somewhat unwholesome. Perhaps it reminds people of other processes that people undergo in order to use harder drugs.

At this point, there are modern dab rigs that are much more friendly-looking. You can find dab pens that hardly look any different than vape pens. The more modern devices are more convenient, more portable, and safer than the old-school way of doing.

Substances and Temperature

When you are vaping versus dabbing, you are typically using different substances.

When you are ingesting cannabis through a vaporizer, you are using cannabis flower or oil. When you are using a dab pen or otherwise dabbing, you are usually using shatter or wax.

Because wax is a much thicker substance than dry flower or oil, a higher operating temperature is necessary in order to convert it into a vapor you can inhale. For this reason, it is important to use a dab pen that has a strong battery, as a significant power input is required for this high temperature.

Vape pens are typically operating somewhere between 315°F and 365°F. On the other hand, dab rigs Tend to range from 315°F all the way up to 900°F.

This means that when you are using a dab pen, the best battery is absolutely necessary so that you can get consistent results and the battery charge lasts.

Dabbing Vs Vaping High

If you are interested in choosing between vaping and dabbing, you might be wondering what the difference is in the effects you feel.

Because dabbing is so potent, many people find this to be the fastest and most efficient way to get incredibly stoned. Anecdotally, it has been said that frequent smokers will find dab highs to be one of the most intense highs that they have felt in a long time. It is said to be akin to the sensation of being a beginner smoker again.

For people with a low tolerance, dabbing might simply be so strong that it is intolerable. Or, it might put you into a fairly incoherent state.

On the other hand, it is thought that a vape high is usually more of a had I been smoking in a traditional form. However, some regular smokers feel that using vaporizers doesn’t really get them very high.

Vaping and Dabbing: Is One of These The Right Delivery Method For You?

As you can see, there is a lot to know about both vaping and dabbing. While they have their similarities, they are definitely not the same. For people who are new to smoking cannabis, they should be very wary of trying be highly concentrated wax that is used in the process of dabbing.

Did you find this article on vaping vs dabbing interesting? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more fascinating and informative content!

Ali Zaidi

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