For years, most cannabis users had no choice but to smoke their weed with a joint, blunt, or bong. Occasionally, people tried edibles, but many preferred the traditional routine of smoking marijuana.

But dabbing and vaping came along and changed the game dramatically. You probably already know that the THC content in concentrates is pretty high, often reaching up to 90 percent. You can vaporize cannabis concentrate and smoke hemp flowers both ways, most commonly with vape pens and dab pens.

The popularity of these two new options has inevitably sparked a debate about which one is stronger. We’ve reviewed and compared vaping and dabbing to help you decide between the two options. Soon, you will learn everything you need to know about dabbing and vaping, their differences, effects, and heating methods


Dabbing Explained

THC and other cannabinoids are extracted using a solvent such as butane or carbon dioxide, resulting in sticky oils. The result is a concentrated dose of cannabis called dab. These marijuana concentrates are known by different names depending on their consistency (BHO), including dabbing wax, shatter, budder, and butane hash oil.

To inhale them, you must first heat dabbing wax or another dab on a hot surface, such as a nail, and then inhale through a dab rig. Dabs have been smoked for at least a decade. However, introducing more efficient extraction processes has led to a flood of cannabis concentrates that have made dabbing even more attractive.

THC is the active ingredient in marijuana wax and other dabs, making them the fastest and most efficient way to get stoned.


Using a Traditional Dab Rig

A dab pipe, also known as a dab rig or oil rig, is similar in appearance and design to a glass water pipe. Dab rigs, on the other hand, are designed exclusively for oil consumption.

Start by filling the chamber of your dab rig with water. Blow into it to test if you can get the water in the downstem of the dab rig to bubble. Pour some water out if it starts to splash in your mouth.

Quartz or titanium dab nails should always be seasoned. Seasoning a dab nail stops leaching by filling the pores with carbon from burnt oils. Pick up a small amount of your favourite concentrate with your dabber.

Take your palm torch and warm up the dab nail; ensure the flame is always pointed away from the dab setup. From there, it’s simple; pick up your wand, rub the oil over the nail, and inhale the fragrant herb as it emerges the downstem.


Vaping Explained

Vapes, Vaporizers, or Vape pens, whatever you call them, the distinguishing characteristic of cannabis vapes is that they allow you to inhale cannabis vapour. This also differentiates them from traditional smoking devices, like bongs and pipes, which enable you to inhale the smoke produced when cannabis is burned. Vapour highs are similar to smoking highs in that they start immediately (within 15 minutes) and last between 45 minutes to two hours.

Vaporization happens when hot air is blown through dry herbs, absorbing their chemical constituents and thereby producing THC-rich vapour, which has a reputation for being significantly less dangerous than smoke. When a user exhales from a vaporizer, the aroma remains for a short period before quickly dissipating; it’s convection heating.


Using a Vape Pen

Inhaling from a pot vaporizer can take some getting used to if you’ve never done it before. Wax concentrates feel different in your lungs and might cause coughing, even though they’re much colder than smoke.


  • Before taking your first puff, wait 30 seconds after your vape reaches temperature (portables usually take a minute or two). 
  • Take a few slow puffs to warm up the vaporizer.
  • Exhale after dragging the mouthpiece until the vapour fills your lungs.


Vaping vs Dabbing Heating Methods

On the one hand, vaporizing has become a popular health trend among marijuana users. Smoking cannabis still exposes the user to burnt plant residue, and many edible companies still rely on sugary desserts as a vehicle for infused products. Vaporizing cannabis is the only foolproof way to avoid the most common downsides of cannabis consumption as this method produces no smoke and is entirely calorie and sugar-free.

On the other hand, dabbing has seen an enormous resurgence, much to the chagrin of the usual cannabis skeptics. However, the strongest argument against dabbing isn’t about health but the general appearance of this activity. When you start putting a blow torch to a metal nail and pouring in the oil, consuming marijuana looks almost entirely like consuming something else.

Though dabbing has earned a daunting reputation, it is a better alternative to smoking in many ways. Before comparing vaping and dabbing and potency, you need to know a few things about what happens to the plant when heated in specific ways. Also, you’ll find what follows very useful if you’re one of those who want to consume cannabis in the safest way possible. Now let’s take a look at conductive and convective heating and their differences.


Conductive Heating

Vaporizers and other tools rely on conductive heating to convert a cannabis product into a consumable form. You often need to place the flower or concentrate directly on a heated plate to use a dab pen. The “hot plate” is an ultra-hot metal nail heated to exceptionally high temperatures with a tiny blow torch for dabbing.

Although dabbing is less dangerous than smoking, it is not the same as vaporizing. When you heat the TI nail to 900°F and drizzle some oil on it while watching it sizzle, that pad will be hotter than a frying pan (when you fry your food). Combustion is visible in the char marks left behind. That also happens when you use combustion to heat dabbing concentrates.


Convective Heating

Convective vaporization involves heating air instead of heating cannabis directly with heating elements (vape pens). When the air temperature reaches a particular point, the hot air heats the cannabis flower or wax concentrates, extracting the THC and turning it into a vapour without scorching it.

Convective vaporization is the healthier of the two options. Because convective vaporization eliminates the charring that occurs with virtually every other method, it produces the purest form of activated, consumable cannabis.


Comparing Dab Pens and Vape Pens

As you just read, the heating mechanics between a dab pen and a vape pen are very different. Users heat a titanium (or quartz or ceramic) nail with a dab rig (a bong with a nail instead of a bowl). Then, they dab the wax over it and inhale the resulting vapour through the rig’s mouthpiece.

An electric heating coil in the vape pen chamber heats the air instead of heating the oil. When the temperature is high enough, hemp’s active cannabinoids and terpenes (THC, CBD, etc.) are drawn from the oil cartridges into the chamber’s air. The result is a pleasant, clear vapour that is easy to inhale.

It’s worth noting that a vape pen is more convenient in general, especially if it’s pocket-sized. This can be slipped into your purse and taken anywhere. In the past, a dab rig would not fit in your pocket, no matter how hard you tried! However, thanks to advances in dabbing, several devices on the market allow for greater portability.

Moreover, experienced users claim that a dab rig delivers more THC per puff than a vape pen. The reason for this is simple; many vaporizers have a precise dose with each puff. Dabbing offers a “free” experience as you consume higher doses of cannabinoids.

However, since vape pens usually have a temperature setting, you can better control the temperature when vaping. The type of wax you use for vaping can make a significant difference in the taste and vapour.


Dabbing Or Vaping, Which is Safer?

Finding the healthiest method of marijuana consumption has been the researcher’s quest for years. Smokers on both sides of the vaping vs. dabbing argument believe their favourite way is safer, though both approaches are considered healthier than smoking cannabis.

Between the two, vaping is probably the safer alternative to dabbing as you are less likely to inhale burnt substances when using a vape pen than a dab pen. Dabbing requires you to use extremely high temperatures. As a result, even if you’re cautious, you will almost certainly burn some wax concentrates and inhale them with vapour.

When vaping, only the active cannabinoids from the carrier oil should be inhaled. However, it would help if you took this idea with a grain of salt. Vaping is unquestionably much healthier than dabbing. Vaping e-liquid, on the other hand, is possibly riskier than dabbing concentrates like wax or shatter.

For example, cannabis e-liquids and vape juices require the correct viscosity for vaporization. In other words, they should have a more “liquid” consistency than pure cannabis concentrates. If you’ve ever made a wax concentrate like BHO wax, you know that it’s thick and sticky and not “clean” like oils.

Cutting the natural concentrate with carrier oils turns it into a liquid ideal for vaping. Manufacturers even use carcinogenic diluent additives like propylene glycol and ethylene oxide to get this result. So, the question of whether it’s healthier to inhale burnt plant matter from time to time rather than vaporized carcinogens remains controversial. So far, we know that both carry their own set of health risks. However, they are still much healthier than other methods of marijuana consumption.


Vaping vs. Dabbing: Which is Stronger

The big “vaping vs. dabbing” debate among experienced cannabis consumers is which one is stronger. No matter whether you inhale vapour or smoke, you’ll feel the effects quickly. It may be argued that dabbing releases more cannabinoids than vaping due to the higher temperatures. However, it all boils down to how much you can consume in a given amount of time.

The THC level of the substance you’re inhaling is the first consideration in terms of potency. Both dabs concentrate and marijuana e-liquids are traditionally much more potent than raw flower buds.

Most high-quality dab concentrates, for example, typically have a THC content of 60 to 90 percent. This is significantly more potent than traditional marijuana strains, typically having a THC content of 25-30%. Similarly, you can get e-liquids with THC concentrations ranging from 15% to 90%.

With vape liquids, you can regulate your high much more easily because your vape pen allows you to take little hits at a time. With dabbing, on the other hand, the goal is to inhale the entire dab at once. Dab the concentrate onto the glowing nail and inhale until the vapour is gone; that’s how it’s done.

With that in mind, dabbing is traditionally much more potent than vaping, at least in “regular” doses. However, suppose you vape an entire cartridge full of 90% THC e-liquid. In that case, you will experience an incredibly unpleasant high.

The most important thing to remember is to be cautious when using either option. Hospitalizations are becoming increasingly common as a result of dabbing and smoking potent cannabis concentrates. The adverse effects of a THC “overdose” can be enough to put you off marijuana for good. So, be careful.


Dab Pen and Vape Pen Effects

Although both are growing in popularity, the effects of vape pens and dab pens are different. As mentioned earlier, dabbing has a higher potency compared to vaping. On the one hand, this higher potency isn’t for everyone. And for those who don’t use cannabis regularly, the dabbing high can be overwhelming.

On the other hand, dabbing is preferred by some; for example, it is a better choice for those who have sensitive lungs. Rather than taking many hits with a vape pen, a dab pen allows you to get the full effect of THC or CBD with just one puff.

Also, dabbing uses cannabis in higher concentrations. Patients suffering from extreme pain or nausea can benefit from this too. Casual users generally prefer vaping because it is less intense compared to dabbing.


Final Word

Dabbing and vaping seems to be the future of cannabis consumption. Both techniques are gaining popularity due to their potency and perceived health benefits. Inhaling vapour is considered better than smoking marijuana. That said, make sure you use high-quality vape blends to get the most out of your smoking sessions, such as CBDN Vape Cartridge or Delta 8 + CBN Vape Cartridge if you’re feeling adventurous.