blue vapor swirling from a dab pen

Dab Pen: What is It & How to Use It

It’s just about impossible to dive into the world of concentrates without learning about dabbing. To dab, you need one of two tools: a dab rig or a dab pen. In this article, we will dive into the world of dab pens, explaining:

  • What’s a Dab Pen?
  • How Do Dab Pens Work?
  • What Concentrates Can You Use in a Dab Pen?
  • How Do You Use a Dab Pen?
  • How Do You Clean a Dab Pen?
  • Dab Pen vs Vape Pen: What’s the Difference?
  • Dab Pen vs Wax Pen: What’s the Difference?
  • Answering Dab Pen FAQs

What’s a Dab Pen?

A dab pen, also known as a wax pen, concentrate pen, and even wax vaporizer, is a portable vaporizer designed specifically for consuming cannabis concentrates. It consists of a battery, an atomizer or coil, and a mouthpiece. The dab pen is heated with the concentrate inside, and the vapor is inhaled. Dab pens are convenient, discrete, and fairly easy to use once you know what you’re doing.

How Do Dab Pens Work?

Dab pens utilize a heating element, typically a ceramic or quartz coil, to vaporize the concentrate. The battery powers the heating element, which rapidly heats up the coil, converting the concentrate into an inhalable vapor. This vapor is what you consume when you use the dab pen.

Most dab pens also have the ability to adjust the temperature at which your concentrate is heated. This is because different concentrates have different ideal temperatures for consumption. Wet waxes like lower temps, for example. Utilizing lower temperatures can preserve the flavor of your concentrate, while higher temperatures can increase your concentrate’s potency.

What Concentrates Can You Use in a Dab Pen?

Dab pens are compatible with various types of concentrates, including marijuana wax, shatter, budder, bubble hash, live resin, and rosin. Basically, if you have a concentrate that isn’t pure liquid, like cannabis oil, you can probably dab it.

How Do You Use a Dab Pen?

The hardest part about using an electric dab pen is getting used to how much concentrate you need to add to get the desired effects without making a mess. Too much concentrate, and you could clog up the pen. Too little, and it’ll be gone before you can really enjoy it.

While pens vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, they all operate under the same principles. Here’s how you use a dab pen:

Step 1: Place the Concentrate in the Atomizer

Start by removing the mouthpiece and exposing the atomizer or coil. Gently place a small amount of your chosen concentrate onto the coil. Be mindful not to overload the coil to avoid clogging or leaking.

Step 2: Turn on the Dab Pen

Activate the dab pen by clicking the power button several times in quick succession. This action will turn on the battery and engage the heating element. For some wax pens, additional clicks will change the temperature of the pen. Always check your pen’s instructions to see how to operate it efficiently.

Step 3: Inhale

Allow the dab pen to heat up for a few seconds. Once the coil reaches the desired temperature, place your lips around the mouthpiece and gently inhale. Take slow, controlled draws to fully enjoy the flavors and effects of the vapor.

How Do You Clean a Dab Pen?

Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential for maintaining the performance and longevity of your dab pen and ensuring that you’re not tainting a concentrate with the leftovers of your last session. After each use, use a cotton swab or a soft cloth to wipe away any residue from the atomizer. For a more thorough cleaning, disassemble the pen and soak the components in isopropyl alcohol. Rinse and dry the parts thoroughly before reassembling them.

Dab Pen vs Vape Pen: What’s the Difference?

Dab pens and vape pens are often used interchangeably—afterall, they’re both portable vaporizers—but there are some differences between the two. Dab pens are specifically designed for semi-solid and solid cannabis concentrates. Vape pens, on the other hand, are typically used with cannabis oil or THC distillate. Additionally, dab pens utilize a different type of heat—conduction—compared to the convection heat that vape pens use.

Dab Pen vs Wax Pen: What’s the Difference?

There is no real difference between a wax pen and a dab pen. They are both the same portable vaporizer designed for cannabis concentrates.

Answering Dab Pen FAQs

You don’t have to wait until you talk to a budtender to get answers. Here’s a few questions and answers we’ve already gathered about dab pens:

How much is a dab pen?
The price of a dab pen can vary depending on the brand, features, and quality. Entry-level dab pens can range from $20 to $50, while high-end models with advanced features can cost hundreds of dollars. Those expensive dab rigs are truly designed for cannabis enthusiasts that only want to consume their product with the best-of-the-best tool. You do not need to spend a lot of money to have an effective and flavorful experience with a dab pen.

What is a wax pen?
A wax pen is just another name for a dab pen. They are both the same type of portable vaporizer that is used to consume cannabis concentrates.

How long do dab pens last?
A dab pen battery can last up to a couple weeks on a single charge—depending on how many times you use it between charges. If you’re planning on a heavy session, we recommend charging your dab pen at the end of the day to ensure it’s ready for you the next time you want to enjoy your concentrates.

As for the actual lifespan of a dab pen, it depends on factors such as usage, maintenance, and quality.

Do dab pens smell?
Compared to traditional smoking methods, using dab pens to smoke concentrates produces a less noticeable odor. However, there may still be a slight scent when using concentrates.

Purchasing a Dab Pen

Dab pens provide an excellent way to experience the potency and flavors of cannabis concentrates in a discreet and convenient manner. Understanding how they work, what concentrates to use, and how to properly use and clean a dab pen is key to enjoying a satisfying dabbing experience. If you’re interested in purchasing a wax pen, just talk to your budtender. They can show you entry-level, budget-friendly dab pens to get you started.

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.