Dab pens have changed the way we view concentrate consumption. A dab describes the consumption of a small amount of THC concentrate. It’s something typically associated with a traditional dab rig.
Dab pens have provided a portable option for consuming concentrates. Almost acting as a hybrid between a classic dab rig and a vape pen. Both dab pens and vaporizers operate by heating concentrates at certain temperatures to produce a vapor which can then be inhaled.
The predominant benefit of this is that the process does not involve combustion. Combustion takes place in more traditional consumption methods such as joints and blunts. It’s because of this that vaping methods are deemed a healthier way to consume.
Check out: What is a Dab Pen?
What concentrates are dab pens compatible with?
So let’s talk all things concentrates, particularly those compatible with dab pens. The amount of different concentrates is simply astonishing with different extraction methods such as solvent and non-solvent extraction. We’ve chosen some of the most popular that you’re most likely to come across and use with your portable dabbing companion.
Wax is a form of concentrate. Essentially, it’s concentrated cannabis oil. In appearance, it’s often an opaque amber color with an almost clay-type texture. You’ll typically find that the best quality waxes out there range between 60%-80% THC. They provide one of the most potent experiences on the market and have become increasingly popular amongst consumers.
Using wax in your wax dab pen is simple. All you need to do is place your wax into the ceramic heating chamber, and choose the temperature setting of your preference.
Concentrates are often described as ‘live’ due to their phenomenally high terpene count. This is where they differ from other concentrates, and it’s all down to the way they’re made.
Live resin is made by freezing the plant matter immediately after harvest. This loss typically occurs during the process of drying and curing. This prevents the loss of valuable trichomes and terpenes which are associated with the living plant.
Live resin is unique in the fact that these terpene profiles still exist, emphasizing the full potential of flavor. It’s no wonder why for many connoisseurs out there, live concentrates are the go-to.
Badder is another form of concentrate. Similar to wax, it can have a malleable texture. This being said, the appearance of badder does vary massively. What dictates the appearance and texture of the badder is the method of extraction and the original material. While some badder is sticky and malleable, some will be noticeably crumbly.
When it comes to using badder with your dab pen, you’ll be happy to know it’s easy. Similarly to using wax, you’ll simply need to place a small amount in the heating chamber using the dabbing tool. Allow your dab pen to heat to your desired temperature and then you’re ready to go.
Budder is yet another form of cannabis concentrate. In potency, it’s comparable to both wax and badder. That’s where the similarities end, though. Aesthetically, it’s much softer and similar to the texture of butter, hence the name. Sounds obvious right!?
Similar to all extracts, the color often depends on the strain from which it has been produced. While typically golden brown in color, it can host a variety of different greens too.
If stored incorrectly, the budder can turn solid and change color. So you’ll need to be careful. To ensure this doesn’t heartbreakingly happen to you make sure it’s stored in an airtight container out of light.
Budder and badder are essentially descriptions of concentrate consistencies. In essence, they have different textures that have been created in the same way. This means both are consumed in the same way with dab pens. Other than your dab pen, all you’ll need is a dabbing tool to load the chamber and you’re ready to go.
Over recent years, shatter has become an increasingly popular concentrate for many dab enthusiasts. It’s often golden in color, translucent, and the most potent form of concentrate consumption on the market.
Shatter is made using a solvent, most commonly CO2 or butane. It’s made running solvent through a container of high-grade plant material to extract all cannabinoids. It can be an extremely dangerous process, but the product is worth it. Shatter provides users with an unrivaled experience of potency and flavor.
In regards to using shatter with a dab pen, there are a couple of things to bear in mind. Concentrates require a certain temperature to be reached to create the desired effect and taste. So, if you’re planning on using shatter with your dab pen, ensure it’s on the highest heat setting otherwise these may be compromised.
How is a dab pen different from a vape pen?
So we know that there are similarities between dab pens and vape pens. They both allow enthusiasts to enjoy consuming their concentrate without the health concerns of smoking. There are differences between the two, though.
This difference lies within the type of concentrates they function with. Vape pens are designed to work only with replaceable distillate and oil cartridges. This is where the dab pen comes into its own lane. Dab pens are compatible with an array of different concentrates.
While vape pens use disposable cartridges, dab pens operate differently. Instead, they often feature a ceramic bowl and coil to heat your concentrate. The more high-end models come with a ceramic chamber instead of the coil. Where coils can easily break, the ceramic chamber manages to heat your concentrate without this risk. They’re also a whole lot easier to clean and provide a more consistent and efficient experience.
Check out: A Beginner's Guide to Dab Pen
The benefits of dab pens
So, we know dab pens are a great way to consume your concentrate on-the-go. We also know how they differ from vape pens, so now we can delve further into the other benefits of dab pens.
Firstly, they’re incredibly stealthy. Due to there being no process of combustion in vaping concentrates, there’s far less smell than you’d imagine. Particularly in comparison to other consumption methods that involve smoking.
Due to the size of the dab pen itself, and its relative chamber, they’re perfect for micro-dosing. Micro dosing is the consumption of a substance in small quantities, often seen when consuming concentrates for medical reasons.
Following on from this, their size also provides unrivaled versatility. Whether you’re at home or on the go, a dab pen will satisfy all your needs. Due to the nature of concentrates being extremely potent, they’ll deliver the effects of larger desktop versions effortlessly.
The Benefits of Concentrates
By now we’ve mentioned what dab pens are, the benefits they hold, and the fact that they function using specific concentrates. As humans, we’ve been using the plant matter from which concentrates derive for centuries. So what are the benefits of these concentrates, and why have they led us to change the habit of a lifetime for many users.
First things first, and most importantly, concentrates deliver unrivaled potency. Suggested by the name, they contain only the active ingredients and the process of creation excludes all excess matter. With some forms of concentrate boasting up to 80% THC, you’ll never be left feeling unsatisfied.
What comes alongside this increased potency is enhanced flavor. Again, there are multiple benefits of concentration, and taste is definitely one of them. The removal of unnecessary materials intensifies the flavor, resulting in a heightened experience for all.
Some Final Thoughts
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran in the dabbing game, or this is your first experience, there’s a lot to say. As technology has evolved we’ve been able to delve further into the world of dab pens and concentrate extraction.
As time has passed, naturally, the quality of these concentrates has increased. The market for dab pens has evolved equally. For very affordable prices, top-quality devices are available to optimize your dabbing experience. If you’ve been a consumer for several years, using a dab pen with concentrates is an excellent way to add variety to your experience.
Dab pens are perfect for on-the-go consumption. They provide the ultimate portability, potency, and discretion. These benefits are unique to dabbing.
While vape pens offer similar things, their safety is often questioned, as well as their environmental impact. Disposable plastic cartridges encourage pollution, while the distillates and oils they are filled with contain harmful chemicals in some cases. Dabbing and concentrates solve these issues.