Dabbing Wax vs Vaping Wax
If you have yet to try out the newest phenomena in THC intake, known as wax, you are in for a treat. It’s likely the most powerful substance that you will ever ingest that’s made from the cannabis plant. The proper name for wax is BHO or “butane hash oil”. That’s because it’s made by combining butane with herb to create a concentrated distillate that lowers the volume of your weed—but magnifies the intensity. What you get, in the end, is a wonderful, goopy substance that is as fun to use as it is difficult to clean up after. Considering all the trouble that people go through to make the stuff, you won’t be surprised to learn that the act of using it is a little more complex than you might get with its dry herb counterpart.
For starters, when it comes to activating and consuming the ingredients of wax and other concentrates, there are currently two schools of thought: vaping versus dabbing. This controversy simply refers to the different ways in which a person can use wax concentrates. Both ways are effective and have some pretty significant pros and cons. However, overall, vaping is considered the safer and more sophisticated option. Though dabbing, with its open flame and huge, hard hits, has a great appeal to many. Either way, this article is meant to be a resource for those who are starting out and have heard differing accounts for the two methods. Hopefully, by the time you are done reading this, you should be able to decide which method is right for you.
When it comes to using wax, vaping is easily the more popular and easier way to consume it. Everywhere across the world, more and more people are using vaporizers to avoid the pitfalls of combustion and enjoy their favorite substances wherever they want, literally. It is now possible to vaporize nearly anything—and that includes wax, of course. It’s a fairly simple process that can be learned to perfection within just a few sessions. Most vaporizers operate the same, but it can be helpful to use an actual product to understand the differences between vaporizer styles.
The Saber Vape Pen for Wax is built with both a ceramic dish and quartz coils. These are both the most popular options around right now and come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages:
- Flat Ceramic dishes (or donuts as they are sometimes called) are simple constructs that consist of a ceramic plate and a hidden coil that heats the plate underneath it. Ceramic typically will provide users with better flavor while sacrificing a bit of potency.
- Coils, usually made of titanium wrapped around quartz rods, are the most powerful options for wax vaporizers. These are coils of a metallic element that are heated to a high temperature. Again, you will place your wax on the coil, this time being careful to maximize the surface area of your wax that is in contact with the coil. This can lead to huge hits and exceptionally potent vapor at the cost of a little bit of flavor or coolness.
Here are general directions when it comes to vaporizing your favorite shatter or wax using any type of wax pen vaporizer:
- Open the loading chamber of a fully charged concentrate-compatible vaporizer.
- Using a dab tool, move a small piece of wax from its container into the chamber.
- Close the chamber and activate the vaporizer.
- Inhale until wax is completely eliminated from the chamber.
As you can tell, it’s a pretty straightforward process that doesn’t require much besides the wax and the vaporizer. As far as heating customization, portable wax vaporizers will either have an individual temperature setting or a system of presets. But, there are some vaporizers that allow you to change the voltage—like a box mod—and are operated in a slightly different manner.
There are many different kinds of vaporizers, including: 3-in-1 vaporizers, electronic dabbers, vape pens, box mods, etc. But your specific experience will always boil down to the same elements. Above all, the handling of the concentrate, itself, will prove to be the biggest difference between using dry herb or wax.
Here are some tips and tricks for handling concentrates:
- You will need a silicone dab container to keep your wax in. Don’t bother with anything else, you will just ruin your clothing. Trust me. They are available at most every vaporizer retailer.
- Invest in a dabber or dab tool. This is a tool that can safely transport your wax to your vaporizer. Some vaporizers even come with one! Just don’t use your hands or anything you don’t want dipped in isopropyl alcohol.
- There is more to think about when using your vaporizer with wax than with dry herbs. You don’t want your material coating the device or your hands. Keep it upright and you can avoid any sticky situations.
- The temperatures in use are going to be much higher than with dry herbs. But, remember the closer you get to the vaporization temperature of your material, the better it’s going to taste. You want tasty vapor.
It’s possible you’ve heard someone brag about “dabbing” and then take out their dab pen and take a hit. Although they might be using concentrate, one of the key elements of dabbing, that isn’t truly dabbing. Dabbing is the process by which a consumer will heat a metal surface, typically called a “nail” and inhale the fumes of the concentrate as it is vaporized instantly on the superhot nail. There is clearly a world of difference between dabbing and vaping.
For starters, in order to dab, you need a dab rig and a blow torch. Dab rigs vary quite widely in their appearance and their use but the parts are all the same. They all have a nail and the contraption that holds the nail steady. This part can be “domed” meaning it is covered by a glass dome to keep the vapor more contained. Either way, the nail portion is typically connected to a mechanism for inhaling the vapor—usually the back end of a water pipe. That way, the process works basically the same as loading a bong.
Here is the dabbing experience, step-by-step:
- With your material nearby, begin heating the nail on your rig until it changes color—it usually needs to be red hot.
- If you have a domed nail (an enclosure over the bit you are heating) close the dome and wait about 10 seconds for your nail to cool if it is titanium and about 45 seconds if it is quartz.
- With your dabbing tool, get a scoop of the concentrate from your container and place it directly on the nail. Move the tool around the nail until all the concentrate has been turned to vapor.
- Simultaneously place your mouth over the mouthpiece and inhale. If it’s your first time—hold on.
- Exhale and be sure to keep an eye on your still-hot rig
One of the key advantages of the dab rig is its mutable nature. You can mod one from the lowly “rusty nail rig” all the way up to a space-age waterpipe rig with a little patience. There are some great upgrades for nails, including titanium, quartz, and ceramic nails for those dabbers that crave variety. The biggest drawback being the extremely hot flame that is necessary for you to have any fun. That being said, there are ways to prepare yourself for any mishaps and precautions you can take to protect your property when using a dab rig.
- The biggest difference between vaping and dabbing is the learning curve. A modern vaporizer is essentially set-it-and-forget-it. If you can get the wax to the chamber, you’ve accomplished the hardest task. Dabbing can be complicated and using an open flame is never a care-free situation.
- Portability is key to a vaporizer; a dab rig is much harder to move. Sure it is theoretically possible to have a mobile dab rig, but the convenience and portability of a vaporizer is just not beatable. There are some vaporizers out there that can hold a charge for days and days and have the power to vape for hours on end. Considering it takes only a few moments to get as loopy as you’ve even been on concentrates, that’s a great amount of security out on the road.
- Dab rigs are always going to produce the biggest hits. If truly mind-numbing hits are your specialty, then dab rigs are going to be your favorite. Combining the instant gratification of a superhot nail with the powerful intensity of concentrated THC creates an experience that is truly second to none in the vaping world. That being said, a vaporizer that is properly used will never be too far behind. You just can’t beat the all-natural experience.
- Wax Pen vaporizers heat a lower temperature than a dab rig. Wax pen vaporizers generally heat up between 450 degrees Fahrenheit, while dab rigs can heat up as high as 900-1000 degrees. This is why you need to wait for your domeless nails to cool down before taking you dab.
Should I be Vaping or Dabbing Wax?
As you’ve learned today, there are some pretty significant differences between vaping and dabbing wax concentrates. Of course, half the fun is finding out which method appeals to you most directly. If you are someone that values portability, then a modern vaporizer will give you all you ever need. If you need something that’s going to melt your face with incredibly big hits, a dab rig is your device—no question. Either way, be sure to keep your concentrate in a safe place and keep the flames away from the curtains.