Vaping vs. Dabbing: What is the difference?
As a smoke shop owner or a head shop owner, you might have a number of novice smokers visiting you regularly. Novice smokers can be inquisitive and might seek your guidance and advice while making their purchase decision. Many smoking novices are often confused between vaping and dabbing. Questions like whether they are the same, whether they have a similar effect on the body, are often asked. While they are both popular methods to consume cannabis, they are very different from each other. In this post we will walk you through the differences between both – vaping and dabbing. Let’s get into the details!
Comparing the Basics: Vaping and Dabbing
The cannabis used, when using a cannabis vape pen is generally in a liquid extract form. However, if one is using a purpose-made vaporizer, they could vaporize flower – but they are more elaborate and complex than a normal vape pen. When vaping, the extract is not exactly ‘burned’. Instead, it is heated to a temperature at which its volatile oils (containing the terpenes and cannabinoids like THC and CBD) release a smooth and fine vapor that consists of a range of powerful and aromatic hydrocarbons. This vapor is less harsh than the smoke from a traditional pipe, causing lesser irritation to the throat as well as the lungs. In dabbing, the nail is heated to a very high temperature, and then used to combust the cannabis extract to produce a smoke that can be inhaled through the pipe or mouthpiece. The basic difference between dabbing and vaping is that the temperature in dabbing is much higher as compared to when vaping. Since the temperature is higher, the smoke is harsher too.
Comparing the Potency: Vaping and Dabbing
As compared to flower, the waxy extract used when dabbing is more potent. Some of these might even contain THC that exceeds 90%, as compared to a maximum 30% in the most potent flower. Since the extracts used when dabbing are much stronger, they need to be used with caution. The vapor produced while vaping is similarly potent as compared to smoking a joint or a pipe. With vape pens, you can also use a carefully modulated dose to regulate your intake precisely. To conclude, dabbing offers much more potency than vaping. However, this intensity might not be suitable for everyone. It might be a little too much for those who don’t consume cannabis regularly. The lower intensity of vaping makes it a better choice for beginners or for casual usage.
Comparing the Heat: Vaping and Dabbing
Two different types of heating are used in both these methods. Vaporizers utilize convective heating, which means hot air is used to vaporize the cannabis oil. The most popular vape pens utilize ceramic coils for the purpose, avoiding any direct contact. Due to this reason, combustion and carbonization is prevented, and so is the release of harmful chemicals like Benzene. Not only is this type of heating convenient, it is also safe. Dabbing utilizes conduction heat, in which the source of heat itself is applied to the substance. Even though this is a very efficient and quicker way to heat the extract, it can result in a more harmful smoke or cause a burnt flavor of the smoke, if overheated. But since dabs are highly potent, they minimize prolonged usage and hence, the risk factor is low.
Comparing Safety: Vaping and Dabbing
For people new to dabbing, it is always a great idea to team up with an experienced dabber first. It is recommended to use a very small amount of extract in the initial sessions. The reason for this is because, sometimes first-timers tend to inhale a larger hit than they would like to and then experience the unpleasant after-effects of it. Another step where caution needs to be exercised is when heating the nail. The nail is to be heated by hand with a torch, because it tends to get extremely hot. It's better to go slow and steady when it comes to dabbing; especially if you are new to dabbing and other cannabis experiences. As far as vaping is concerned, the benefit of vaping is that the chances of going overboard with it are very minimal. This is due to the lower potency and more control available with vaping.