dab pens vs vape pens dab pens vs vape pens

Dab Pens Vs. Vape Pens: A Detailed Discussion

Dab pens and vape pens are two of the top choices when it comes to consuming cannabis due to their convenience, efficiency, and discreteness as more and more people consume cannabis and CBD products. At first glance, dab pens and vape pens may seem similar but upon a deeper look, they aren’t as much alike. In this blog, we’ll discuss dab pens vs. vape pens, how they work, how long it takes for each one to kick in, how they’re used, and the overall experience of using each one is like.

What are Vape Pens?

Vape pens are tiny, portable vaporizers that are used to vape e-juice, THC oils, or CBD vape juice. They can commonly be used for both nicotine and cannabis products. Currently, there aren’t many options for the use of box mods for THC oil so the options available will meet most vapers' needs. We recommend you try the CBD Vape Pen at CBD.co.

Features of Vape Pens

  • E-Liquids and Oils: Vape pens are most commonly used with e-liquids or pre-filled oil cartridges. These carts are available in many different flavors and cannabinoid profiles to suit each user's preference.
  • Lower Temperatures: Vape pens utilize lower temperatures as opposed to dab pens for the vaporization of liquids. This results in a smoother vapor that is easier on the throat and lungs.
  • Pre-Filled Cartridges: Many vaporizer pens feature pre-filled cartridges that are easy to swap in and out, making them simple to use and convenient for all experience levels.
  • Automatic and Manual Options:  Some portable vaporizers have a button that allows you to activate the atomizer, while others are automatically activated by simply taking an inhale from the vapor pen.

Benefits of Vape Pens

  • Convenience: Vape pens are incredibly easy to use, especially those with pre-filled cartridges. Users simply need to attach the cartridge and start vaping.
  • Discreetness: Vape pens give off less of an odor and are more discreet than smoking or using a dab pen. They are perfect for public spaces or traveling.
  • Portability: Vape pens are typically smaller and more portable than a dab pen offering easy on-the-go use that will fit in your pocket or handbag.

Drawbacks of Vape Pens

  • Less Potency: Vape pens are not as potent as dab pens. This is because of the lower concentration of cannabinoids in e-liquids which may be too low for some users who need a stronger effect. 
  • Flavor: Although they still taste great, e-liquids might not taste as great as concentrates. This could put off some flavor chasers.
  • Battery Life: The more you use it, the quicker the battery drains and needs recharging. Can be a nuisance if you don’t have access to a charger straight away.

What are Dab Pens?

Dab pens, also known as wax vaporizers, are portable devices designed for vaporizing cannabis concentrates. Such devices have a heating element – a coil – that reaches high temperatures and vaporizes the concentrate, producing potent and flavorful vapors.

Features of Dab Pens

  • Concentrate Use: Dab pens are made to be used with cannabis concentrates, which are praised for their high potency.
  • High Temperatures: They can reach higher temperatures than vape pens, aiding in the vaporization of thick concentrates.
  • Coils and Chambers: Dab pens have a coil or atomizer and a chamber where the concentrate is placed. The coil heats up, vaporizing the concentrate.
  • Manual Operation: Most dab pens require the user to press and hold a button to heat the concentrate.

Benefits of Dab Pens

  • Potency: Dab Pens compete stronger in this area because the waxes and shatters are used at high temperatures so the concentrated cannabinoids hit harder. This is perfect for people who have severe pain or anxiety issues.
  • Flavor: Concentrates retain more terpenes so they have a richer flavor compared to other forms of cannabis consumption. Fans of different strains will most appreciate the big flavor that dab pens offer.
  • Efficiency: Dab pens are good at delivering a high dose of cannabinoids with each puff. That means you can get lit faster and use fewer puffs to get the desired effects compared to other options.

Drawbacks of Dab Pens

  • Maintenance: Dab pens need to be cleaned periodically so you don’t get any residue build-up that will affect performance. It’s a bit of a hassle though and probably not something you’ll want if you’re after low maintenance.
  • Learning Curve: There is more of a learning curve when it comes to loading and using concentrates compared to pre-filled vape cartridges. New users might find it hard to use dab pens effectively.
  • Portability: Although portable, some dab pens can be bulkier than certain vape pens just because of the design and the fact that you’ll need to carry your concentrates separately. This can make them less convenient for on-the-go use.

Dab Pens vs. Vape Pens: Key Differences

Substance Used

  • Dab Pens: These devices are designed to use cannabis concentrates like wax, shatter, and budder. Concentrates are revered for their high potency and robust flavor profiles.
  • Vape Pens: Vape pens are made to vaporize e-liquids, oils or pre-filled cartridges containing cannabis oil. While not as potent as concentrates, they often feature a wide variety of flavors and cannabinoid profiles.


  • Dab Pens: Operate at higher temperatures to vaporize thick concentrates. Results in more potent vapor but can be harsh on the throat and lungs.
  • Vape Pens: Operate at lower temperatures suitable for vaporizing liquids and oils. This produces smoother vapor that's easier to inhale.


  • Dab Pens: Deliver a more potent experience due to the high concentration of cannabinoids in concentrates. This makes them ideal for users who need strong and immediate effects.
  • Vape Pens: Offer a milder experience with lower potency e-liquids and oils, which can be beneficial for users that prefer a more controlled or gradual effect.


  • Dab Pens: Require more maintenance and cleaning to prevent residue buildup. This can be a bit cumbersome for users who prefer a low-maintenance device.
  • Vape Pens: Require less maintenance, especially with pre-filled cartridges. This makes them more convenient for regular use.

Choosing the Right Pen for You

The choice between a dab pen and a vape pen depends on your preferences and needs. Here are some factors to consider:

Desired Potency

  • If you prefer a stronger, more potent experience, a dab pen may be the better choice.
  • If you are looking for a milder experience, a vape pen with e-liquids or oils will suffice.

Ease of Use

  • For those who value convenience and ease of use, vape pens with pre-filled cartridges are ideal.
  • If you are comfortable with a bit of a learning curve and don't mind handling concentrates, a dab pen can offer a more potent experience.

Portability and Discreetness

  • Vape pens are generally more portable and discreet, making them suitable for on-the-go use.
  • Dab pens, while portable, can be bulkier and may produce more noticeable vapor and odor.


  • If you prefer a low-maintenance device, a vape pen with pre-filled cartridges is a good option.
  • If you don’t mind regular cleaning and maintenance, a dab pen can be a rewarding choice for its potency and flavor.


Both dab pens and vape pens offer unique advantages and can be valuable tools for cannabis consumption. Dab pens are ideal for those seeking a potent, flavorful experience with cannabis concentrates, while vape pens are perfect for users who prioritize convenience, portability, and ease of use. 

By understanding the differences and considering your personal preferences, you can choose the right pen that best fits your lifestyle and needs. Always remember to start with a low dose, especially if you are new to cannabis or trying a new product, and consult with a healthcare provider if you have any concerns. With the right choice, you can enjoy a satisfying and enjoyable cannabis experience.

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