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What Is a Dab Pen & How Do You Use One

11.09.21 - 4 min read

Here’s How Dab Pens Work and What To Expect.


  • “Dab pens” are also called “wax pens” or “wax vaporizers” 
  • Dab pens are NOT the same as vape pens 
  • Dab pens work by heating a cannabis concentrate in order to ‘vaporize’ it 
  • Dabbing results in a ‘clearer’ high as opposed to smoking 
  • Dab pens work with pure concentrates as opposed to vape pens that require cartridges 

What Is a Dab Pen and How Do You Use One?

As cannabis continues to grow in popularity, you’re probably seeing new products popping up regularly in a dispensary near you. If you’ve been looking into the latest devices hitting the market, there’s a good chance you’ve seen some buzz around dab pens.

Wondering what makes them unique, why people are into them and if they’re a good fit for your needs? We’ve got you. Scroll on and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about dab pens—how to use them, what sets them apart from similar devices like vape pens and why they might be right for you.

Dab Pens like the Pax are popular options

What Is a Cannabis Dab Pen, exactly?

First, it’s important to note that dab pens can be known by several names. You might also hear them referred to or sold at cannabis dispensaries under names like wax pens or wax vaporizers. These terms all basically refer to the same thing, with only slight differences.

Dab pens are a relatively recent addition to the cannabis industry, and the specifics of each model can vary, but they all essentially work the same way: they involve heating a cannabis concentrate to a high temperature in order to vaporize the concentrate so it can be inhaled.

Dab pens work a lot like dab rigs, but they’re more portable and accessible. With a rig, you have to use lots of accessories and open flames, but dab pens simply rely on electronic energy to heat up the concentrate. Also, as the name implies, they’re typically pen-shaped and sized, allowing them to be easily carried around easily and used more subtly.

How Do You Use a Dab Pen?

Now that we’ve seen what a dab pen is, let’s take a closer look at how to use a dab pen. We’ll show you how simple it is to use and give you a few pro tips to make it even easier.

The first step is actually getting your oils or concentrates into the device. Dab pens have to be loaded manually, and some oils can be sticky or viscous. With a dab pen, you’ll need to manually insert the concentrates into the pen’s heated chamber.

Dab Pens and Tools at RISE Dispensaries

Dab tools can aid with this process, and once the oil or concentrate is inside, you can switch on your pen and usually adjust the temperature and settings according to your own personal preferences. Most devices are really easy to use and come with step-by-step guides for beginners to follow.

Once the temperature has been set, you can fire up the dab pen and start the vaporization process. From there, you can use the pen just like any vape pen or e-cigarette, inhaling the vapor and enjoying the experience.

The Difference Between Vape Pens and Dab Pens

On the outside, vape pens and dab pens share a lot of similarities. If you look at a dab pen and a vape pen side by side, it can be hard to tell the difference. They’re both usually designed in compact shapes for portability and convenience, but it’s on the inside that they have some big differences.

Vape pens are designed to make use of cartridges or pods containing oils and other additives. The oils are sucked up into an atomizer, heated into vapor, and then inhaled.

Dab pens don’t work with cartridges; they allow the user to insert ‘dabs‘ or concentrates like oils and wax straight onto a heating coil which heats the dabs into a form that you can then inhale.

Cannabis Extracts and Concentrates from RYTHM

This is what makes dab pens unique: you can use them with a wide range of different concentrates and extracts. Some models are even able to handle flower, allowing you to use wax, shatter, butter and crumble as desired. With vape pens, you’re limited to cartridges or pods and have less control over how you vape.

Overall, dab pens are a great choice for users who want to be precise and have the highest levels of control over their experiences. They give you lots of ways to experiment with different cannabis concentrates, so they are well-suited for connoisseurs of cannabis. Vape pens, on the other hand, are a good introduction to vaporizing thanks to the convenience factor—you simply attach the cartridge and go.

What Is a Dab Pen High Like?

One of the things that makes dab pens so appealing is the rich and varied highs you can experience due to the different types of concentrates available.

Dab pens offer a high which is like the highs experienced when using dab rigs, as you’re directly making use of pure concentrates

At the same time, most dab pens aren’t able to reach the same extreme temperatures as dab rigs, so the effects on your lungs might not be quite as intense or long-lasting when using a pen as compared to using a rig.

There’s also the fact that the high you experience will really depend on the dabs you’re working with. Each one can offer different experiences, and dabbing enthusiasts often enjoy playing around with different concentrates to see what each one has to offer.

Dab Pen vs. Smoke High: What’s the Difference?

The quality and intricacy of any high is always subjective, but most experts tend to agree that dabbing results in a “clearer” high as opposed to smoking. What does that mean for you? It could allow you to remain more cognitively functional and potentially result in fewer issues with short-term memory or general confusion.

Dab pens and dab rigs can offer a cleaner and purer experience.

The high levels of THC and other cannabinoids in dabs also mean that the that the high you experience will usually arrive much more quickly—often after just one hit—and can be more intense while it lasts as well.

However, as stated earlier on, the specifics of each experience really depend on what concentration you’re using at the time.

best dab pen
Dab Pens Are Available at RISE Dispensaries.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy a Marijuana Dab Pen?

As more is discovered about the benefits of cannabis and the many ways in which it can be used, marijuana laws and restrictions are starting to change across many parts of the US and the world at large. The rules in your precise location may vary and are subject to change, so it’s always wise to check the latest developments for up-to-date information. In general, however, you’ll need to be 21 or older to buy a dab pen.

If you have more questions, we’re here for you. Talk to one of our knowledgeable patient care specialists at your local RISE Dispensary.

How to use Cannabis Concentrates

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