There are so many terms in the cannabis community it’s challenging to keep up. One of the most recent and well-known terms in cannabis culture is dabbing. Many people who begin their cannabis journey with vaping might hear dabbing and think it means the same thing. While they share similar characteristics, they’re different.

What is Vaping?

Vaping is heating marijuana flower, oil, or concentrate without creating smoke. Vaporizers work by heating cannabis to a hot enough temperature to evaporate the active ingredients but not high enough to burn them.

There are many benefits of vaping that dabbing does not possess, such as:

  • It conserves your product and reduces how often you need to purchase.
  • It’s more discreet because the vapor does not have a very strong or distinct smell.
  • It’s healthier because you are not inhaling smoke.

Also, vaping oil or concentrates are much more potent than standard flower. You can make cannabis edibles with concentrates, but not vape oil. Learn what happens when you eat weed here.

What is Dabbing?

Dabbing is putting cannabis concentrates on a hot surface, so it vaporizes. While vape pens use convection, dab rigs use conduction.

With smoking, the flame heats your product and burns it as soon as it cooks off the heat. Dabbing is more specific and deliberate than smoking because you’re only vaporizing small amounts at a time.

There are many kinds of concentrates in the cannabis community. Some examples include:

  • Budder (typically associated with marijuana wax).
  • Butane Hash Oil (BHO) is made using butane’s extra refining process.
  • Shatter is made from BHO and typically hardens up when it cools.
  • Live Resin – a type of extraction that’s been flash-frozen during the process for a sweet taste.
  • CO2 Oil – often found in vape cartridges or syringes, CO2 oil is extracted through pressure and carbon dioxide.
  • Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) – an oil made by extracting the essential compounds of cannabis.

These methods all have secondary names. So, if you’re confused about a concentrate, ask your budtender for more information.

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Dabbing Vs. Vaping: Heat Use

The difference between the two is how they heat the product. Dabbing uses conductive heat that is applied directly. Vaping uses convective heat that heats the air, then transferred to your product.

Dabbing does not combust your product. Vaping heats cannabis at a lower temperature, resulting in more THC and less smoke. Some people skip the flame altogether and choose to consume raw weed. While this won’t produce a high, research shows it has medicinal value.

Which is the Best Option?

As with most things, it depends on your preferences. We often consider vaping healthier than smoking or dabbing because you are not inhaling smoke. However, dabbing offers a more potent product.

It’s up to each individual to determine which process they like best. Vaping is more expensive than smoking. But dabbing can be even more costly if you don’t use proper tools because you can waste it. Dabbing requires a rig and other equipment so that it may be too intimidating for someone new to cannabis. Don’t forget, eating weed is another way to experience an impressive buzz.

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Vaping is an excellent place for beginners with fewer additional costs. Remember, dabbing and vaping are similar, but not the same—one heats from a surface and the other from a hot air source. The type of heating element affects the taste, smell, product potency, and cost. The ultimate decision is up to your preference, budget, and what’s available in your local area.