Dabbing Wax vs Vaping Wax:
You may know wax as that gooey yellow substance that gets you super lit, but what exactly is it? What is commonly termed ‘wax’ is a THC heavy cannabis extract made by extracting THC trichomes using butane or CO2 and it is the purest form of THC to date. Butane extraction was the first method used and if made correctly, shouldn’t leave any residual butane. However, critics of this method were trying to find a cleaner extraction method when they invented CO2 extraction. CO2 wax is the way to go if you want to ensure getting the purest, highest concentrate out there. CO2 wax also tends to have incredible flavor.
With the growing popularity of wax concentrates, consumption methods have grown as well. When my buddy made his first batch of wax, in the very beginning of wax production, we either used it to top a bowl or had to use what essentially was a homemade dab rig consisting of two knives and a plastic bottle (I’ll leave the details to your imagination). Since then, wax consumption technology has come a long way. The two best ways to consume it now are by using a dab rig or a wax vape pen. We’ll take a look at each method in depth.
By far, the most popular and easiest method to consume wax, vaping has a plethora of options. There are many types of wax pen vaporizers with various coils such as quartz rods or ceramic donuts. While quartz rods will get you a quick, thick rip, ceramic donuts tend to provide the best flavor. Don’t get me wrong, there are some quartz vapes out there that have excellent taste. However, ceramic won’t give you as big of clouds so it’s really personal preference. Once you choose quartz or ceramic heating elements, there are a ton of great options. The Yocan Evolve is a great quartz option, with dual-quartz coils providing massive rips. Additionally, its genius design with smart coil tops reduces spillage, mess and loss of wax, an essential quality when picking out a vape pen. It also comes in a regular and plus size (Yocan Evolve Plus) depending on your needs.
If massive hits aren’t as important and you’re looking for a vape that provides exquisite flavor, consider buying a wax vape with ceramic donut coils. Ceramic coils offer a consistent temperature that will give you even hits that are always smooth and never dry. It’s the same reason that modern induction stoves use ceramic as a heating element. It’s the ideal material if you’re looking for a heating element with even, consistent temperature and that’s why ceramic works so well in vape pens.
While there are lots of options out there, the Saber Vape Pen is the best on the market. It’s a bit more expensive than other ceramic vapes but will pay off in the long-run. It’s compact, yet incredibly sturdy and well-built. It’s smart design is held together by neodymium magnets at each joint and it comes with a magnetic charger simplifying charging. If you’ve been vaping for years and have been using cheaper pens, you’re probably used to buying a new vape pen every few months. They always start out great but something always seems to go wrong: they get gummed up, the threads wear out, or you have to prop up your charger at exactly the right angle to get it to charge. If you want to save yourself the headache, you can pick up the Saber from a local head shop or an online vape shop.
While vape pens have become the most popular vaporizers due to their size, simplicity and similarity to an e-cig, box mods are another popular option. Box mods are great because they have a simple and reliable design and they’re preferred for RBA (Rebuildable Atomizer) users. Box mods tend to pack a punch, have excellent battery life and are still very portable. One of the most popular box mod combos is the SteamCloud Box Mod with a Yocan Cerum Atomizer.
While vaping wax is definitely the easiest and most convenient way to consume wax (not to mention the healthiest), sometimes you want that hard, old school hit that you can’t get from a vape. To explore the full potential of wax, sometimes you just gotta dab.
While you may have heard friends say they are “dabbing” while vaping, or using a “Dab Pen”, truly dabbing is a totally different way to consume wax. True dabbers are likely using what is called a dab rig.
In a vaporizer, wax is loaded into the coil before heating, whereas in a dab rig, the wax bowl is heated before adding the wax. You might be thinking - That just looks like a bong with a weird extended bowl piece. Well, you’re not wrong. A dab rig is essentially a bong, but instead of a bowl for dry herb, there is a domeless nail made usually made of ceramic, titanium or quartz. To hit a traditional dab rig, you heat up the nail with a blowtorch. If this sounds like a bad idea, don’t worry. Now there are electronic nails available to avoid using a blowtorch and accidentally burning off your eyebrows.
Whether using an electronic nail or heating the nail up with a flame, the idea is to heat the nail to an extremely high temperature and drop a ‘dab’ of wax onto the top of the nail. Once the wax hits the nail, it vaporizes. At that point, you take a big pull just like you’re hitting a bong.
True dabbing using a dab rig is the best way to get those big, hard-hitting dabs that elevate like nothing else.
Nectar collectors are another dabbing option and are more portable than a dab rig. Like most pipes, nectar collectors have a neck, body, and tip and are made of glass or quartz. There are two types of nectar collectors, water and wand. A water nectar collector is similar to a bubbler and is portable but still requires water, so it’s easy to bring over to a friend’s house but not ideal for on-the-go dabs. Wand type nectar collectors are the perfect tool for mobile dabs as it’s basically just a tip, or nail that goes straight to the neck, thus deriving the name wand from their shape. Nectar collectors work like a dab rig, where you heat the nail and apply a small dab to the nail, vaporizing the wax. While you don’t get as massive hits as a dab rig, nectar collectors get you that true dab rip and are still fairly portable.
Main Differences between Dabbing and Vaping:
- Vapes are simple and easy to use: Just load some wax and start vaping. Dabbing with a rig is not rocket science, but it requires more equipment and doesn’t offer the simplicity of a pen.
- Vapes are far more portable: Although mini dab rigs and other products are available for dabbing, you still need a domeless nail and blow torch, not to mention a dabber tool. Nothing is more portable than a small wax vape pen like the Saber.
- Vapes are healthier: While both dab rigs and vapes should vaporize your wax, vapes are engineered to heat up to the perfect temperature to vaporize. On the other hand, you could overheat the nail on your dab rig, burning the wax and inhaling more carcinogens and even possibly some residue from the blowtorch.
- Vapes are discreet: You can bring a vape pen anywhere for a discreet smoke break but whipping your dab rig out at Christmas might raise a few questions from mom and dad.
- Dabbing requires some experience: Dab rigs do call for a bit of hands-on knowledge. If you haven’t used anything like a dab rig before, ask an experienced friend for help before trying it on your own.
- Dab to get lifted: Vapes get the job done but nothing will elevate you like a massive rip from a dab rig. While this might be the only advantage to a dab rig, it’s a game changer.
Should I Be Vaping or Dabbing Wax?
As noted above, vapes are better in so many ways. They’re easy to use, portable, and discreet. They require very little skill as you just load and charge a vape and it’s ready to go. Even your grandma can figure it out. However, veteran dabbers will never be satisfied with the elevation a vape provides. While great for everyday use when you need to get shit done, a pen won’t get you to the next level. For that, you need a dab rig. However, a dab rig probably isn’t leaving home and you should probably have a friend show you how to operate it if you don’t have any hands-on experience. So in summary, whether you should vape or dab wax is really up to you. To enjoy the full potential of good wax, both are required. Leave the dab rig at home for indulging on the weekends and have a vape pen charged and ready for everyday use.