What Is Dabbing?

With wax concentrate rising in popularity with the downfall of smoking, it is no surprise to hear terms such as dabbing, vaping, or wax pen. How we dab and what types of wax concentrate is available has gradually transformed along with the demands of the market. But what is dabbing? Is it the same as vaping or is it something different? 

What Is Dabbing? 

Like the term dabbing, a dab also tends to be switched out with other terms. For this article, we are referring to the dab meaning a portion of wax concentrate. As the name implies, a dab refers to a tiny portion of something, and dabbing (also known as taking a dab) refers to the process of vaporizing and inhaling the dabs (wax concentrate).

The dabbing process is generally completed using a vaping device designed for wax concentrate. This device is designed to vaporize the concentrate using very high temperatures. Once it vaporizes, the user will inhale the vapor. 

Although wax concentrate is favored by many users, one of the biggest deterrents of dabbing for new users is the number of tools required. While you can partake using a wax pen, most dabbers prefer a dab rig or nectar collector when partaking. These devices require additional tools (such as a blow torch, dab tool, dab nail, and carb cap) in order to get the most out of their device and concentrate. 

Do You Have to Smoke Out of a Wax Pen? 

Dabbing with a wax pen is a common choice for seasoned users, but these are far from the only device you have for vaping wax concentrates. In fact, many wax connoisseurs opt for a more travel-friendly option (a wax pen) and some form of a more stationary device for home use. These devices can include but are not limited to: 

Bongs – Bongs (also known as water bongs) and dab rigs are very similar to one another. The biggest difference lies in the portion of the device where the concentrate is housed and heated. In fact, a bong is so similar to a dab rig that you can use a bong to dab if you have the proper dab nail to fit your device. 

Dab Rigs – A true dabber will always boast about the better quality a dab rig provides over more portable options (such as a wax pen or nectar collector). Dab rigs are available in all sizes, designs, and shapes, and are typically made from either silicone or glass. These rigs are typically comprised of a base or chamber of the rig, some form of a stem, and a nail. 

Nectar Collectors – Nectar collectors are also commonly called honey straws or dab straws. These all-in-one dabbing devices are very easy to use and work great for those who do not like to share their stash. This is because these single straw designed devices are heated up and placed directly into the wax concentrate to get your hit, allowing each person to hit out of their own stash. 

Is there a Difference Between Dabbing and Vaping?

While people often tend to use dabbing and vaping interchangeably, there are a few slight differences between the two. Vaping refers to a more centralized area while dabbing is a broader term for the process. Another key difference is in the device used. Dabbing generally uses a device that is not electronically operated (such as a nectar collector or dab rig) while vaping typically is used when partaking with a battery-operated device such as vape pens or box mods.

How Do You Dab?

The exact process for dabbing is dependent on the specific type of device you are using. While they have slightly different approaches, the overall goal is the same. The most common devices for dabbing include:

Wax Pen – The pen provides a faster and more straightforward approach to dabbing. To use, vapers just need to place their dab into the heating chamber. Once their concentrate is in place, simply turn on their pen and begin their hit. 

Nectar Collector – When using a nectar collector, the vaper should set out all of their supplies in advance. To begin, you should prepare the dab and place it in a silicone container. Then using the blow torch, heat the tip of the honey straw until it is glowing red. Once the tip has cooled to the right temperature (exact time can vary depending upon the type of tip you have), place the tip into your silicone dish directly onto the wax concentrate. As the tip makes contact with the concentrate, begin inhaling the produced vapor. 

Dab Rigs – The most complex out of all dabbing devices, the specific method for using a dab rig can slightly vary depending upon a few factors (for example, the type of dab nail). However, the overall process is fairly similar. To use a dab rig, you will want to set out all of your supplies in advance (including your portion of wax concentrate you want to use). This will help you to speed up the process when you are ready. Once you are ready to begin, simply heat the dab nail using your blow torch. Keep the heat on the nail until it is glowing a red-orange in color, then you can remove it. Next, use your dabbing tool (with the portion of wax concentrate you previously prepared) to place your concentrate onto the already heated nail and inhale. Remember, as soon as the concentrate hits the nail, it will generate the vapor for you to inhale. The size of the portion of wax concentrate will determine how large and intense of a hit you can produce. 

However, when it really comes down to it, the biggest difference between dabbing and vaping is in how your wax concentrate is heated. With dabbing, you heat up the area you will place your wax concentrate prior to adding the wax concentrate. Vaping, on the other hand, requires you to place the concentrate into a specific chamber before you heat up the device.