How to Consume Your Weed: Dabbing vs. Vaping

There are many different ways to consume cannabis from edibles to lotions, gel caps to drinks, from tinctures to mints. But, many people prefer the old-fashioned way – they like to inhale their weed.

There are a surprising number of ways in which to do so, including:

  • smoking your bud from a preroll or "joint"
  • inhaling flower from a pipe or bong
  • vaping cannabis oil or even fresh flower
  • dabbing from resin, wax, and shatter
    Smoking your marijuana in a joint, pipe, or bong for many people is the traditional way to consume cannabis, but it is also indiscreet and smelly. Another route to take is by vaping cannabis or dabbing. In this article, we explore these two different methods of consumption.

What is Dabbing?

Dabbing is what many people may consider to be advanced play when it comes to weed consumption. For the most part, dabbing cannabis will pack a real punch – the end result being a very potent psychoactive high.

Dabs are more potent than other methods of consumption as they are concentrated extractions of cannabis containing high amounts of THC and other cannabinoids. Dabs are created using solvents like butane or carbon dioxide which when extracted become what’s known as wax, butane hash oil (BHO), shatter, and budder.

Dabs are consumed by heating the resin within a dab rig and inhaling. While a dab rig is handy, consumers can purchase resin from the local dispensary and heat it on the tip of a nail with a blowtorch. This may seem crude, but it’s an inexpensive way to find out if dabbing is right for you. As concentrates have become more popular there are now new products on the market such as electronic nails, or "enails", which eliminate the need for a torch.

People who dab may do so because they like the intensity of the high or they may need more concentrated amounts of THC to deal with issues such as chronic pain or nausea associated with cancer treatment. If you are new to dabbing and unsure of your weed tolerance, be forewarned that most cannabis extracts test between 60-90% THC which will give you an extremely potent experience.

For some, this may be overwhelming and result in an unpleasant and uncomfortable experience. Lastly, from a medical research standpoint, the long-term effects of dabbing concentrates are unknown. We suggest starting more slowly and that dabbing not be your first experience with cannabis.

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Here’s a HelloMD "how-to" video on using a vape pen to consume your weed.

What is Vaping?

Why vape instead of smoking your weed? It’s a great question and given the popularity of vaping marijuana products, a good one to answer. Essentially, vaping cannabis is the act of heating your weed without burning it. Through the heating process, a vapor is released which is then inhaled. As the cannabis is not burnt, like in a bowl or joint, no smoke is created.

When it comes to vaporizers, you have a variety of choices. Some vaporizers are compatible with flower, some are compatible with concentrates/oils, and some are compatible with both.

There are a few benefits of vaping cannabis over smoking. For one, when you vape cannabis, you forego the sometimes pesky skunky smell that can give you away. Vapes pack a lot of flavor but surprisingly little smell, or if there is one it dissipates quickly – so you won’t alert the neighborhood of your activities. Overall, vaping is also considered to be safer and less harmful to your lungs than smoking. Lastly, most vaporizers whether they are stationary or handheld, are designed to reduce harmful smoke toxins.
In a 2014 study 100 research candidates were surveyed and most consumers reported that they preferred vaporizing over smoking because of:

  • the lack of smell
  • better tasting
  • a similar effect to smoking cannabis
  • easier to inhale

Below we look at some vaporizer and dab rig options for consuming cannabis.

Roam Vaporizer – by GPen

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The Roam Vaporizer is great for dabbing on the go and is even better as it’s a dab rig not made of glass. It heats up fast within seconds and has an LED display for temperature control. The GPen has a super-powerful 1,300mAh battery which helps to deliver a smooth and flavorful draw.

Dust Devil Sidecar Hybrid Dab Rig – by Evolution

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The Dust Devil dab rig is a portable solution for dabbing that comes in at just 7 inches tall. At an affordable price, it comes with a percolator, vapor dome, a quartz nail and banger, an herb bowl, and a sidecar mouthpiece. Although a bit intimidating, like out of a science experiment, it heats concentrates and flower with efficiency.

Pax 3 – by Pax

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By far, one of the most popular portable vaporizers on the market, the Pax 3 is a single button design and a simple starting point for novice cannabis consumers. It even connects via Bluetooth to an Android app so you know the exact temperature and gives pointers on how to target specific terpenes. We advise purchasing the complete kit which will include a concentrate chamber. The Pax 3 allows for both dried flower and concentrate, so you get the two-fer with this sleek design.

Special-K – by KandyPens

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A weed pen, or THC oil pen is a simple, two-part electronic device used to vaporize THC and other cannabinoid oil. The Special-K vape pen. is a super popular model that is not only super compact but also has an elegant design. It has a refillable gold glass oil tank for your favorite cannabis oils and liquids that is elegantly handmade. This is a vaporizer for the more sophisticated among us with its black encasing and gold detailing while at the same time offering a solid vape experience.

Need Your Medical Marijuana Card?

HelloMD provides online certifications for medical marijuana cards via Telehealth appointments. Meet with a licensed practitioner online – it’s fast, easy, and private. You only pay if you’re approved.


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