Vaping vs Dabbing: Finding Your Perfect Cannabis Experience

In the world of cannabis consumption, vaping and dabbing offer distinct experiences for users seeking their ideal method. Vaping, which involves heating cannabis oil to produce vapor, is celebrated for its ease of use, portability, and controlled dosage. Dabbing, on the other hand, involves flash-vaporizing cannabis concentrates on a heated surface, delivering a more potent and immediate effect.

by: Joe C. | 06/19/24 1:30PM


In recent years, the cannabis landscape has evolved dramatically, offering enthusiasts a variety of consumption methods beyond the traditional joint or edible. Among these, vaping and dabbing have emerged as popular choices, each with its unique appeal and set of benefits.

This article discusses the two methods, comparing their effects, convenience, health considerations, and overall user experience.

Understanding Vaping and Dabbing

The world of CBD offers diverse products, from oils and edibles to topicals and vapes. This variety brings with it different ways of using CBD. These include traditional smoking, vaping with portable devices, and more intense methods like dabbing. This variety allows users to select the best method to incorporate CBD into their lifestyles, whether for relaxation, pain relief, or overall wellness.


Additionally, the increasing variety of products is driving innovation in processing methods. For instance, automatic options for processing have revolutionized the cannabis harvesting process, enhancing efficiency and consistency and reducing labor intensity in preparing high-quality cannabis products.

Today, we want to focus on the methods of consuming CBD products by discussing two popular methods: vaping and dabbing. Let us first define them.


Vaping involves heating cannabis concentrates or flowers to a temperature that allows the release of the active compounds (cannabinoids and terpenes) as a vapor without burning the plant material. Thus, you inhale the vapor without the harmful byproducts of combustion, such as tar and carcinogens.

There are several types of vaporizers, each catering to different preferences and needs. For instance, vape pens are compact, portable, and user-friendly. On the other hand, portable vaporizers are slightly larger but offer more flexibility, handling both cannabis flowers and concentrates. Desktop vaporizers are larger and stationary.



To dab, a user applies a small amount of cannabis concentrate (often referred to as a dab) to a heated surface on a specialized apparatus called a dab rig. This surface (called a nail or banger) is heated to a high temperature using a torch or an electronic heating element. Once the nail is sufficiently hot, the concentrate is placed onto it, causing it to vaporize instantly. The user then inhales the vapor through the mouthpiece of the rig.

Cannabis concentrates used for dabbing can contain upwards of 70-90% THC, compared to the 10-25% typically found in cannabis flowers. This high concentration means that the effects of dabbing are felt almost immediately and can be significantly more pronounced.

A Detailed Comparison Between Vaping and Dabbing

Now, here are the differences between the two methods:

Effectiveness and Potency

Vaping and dabbing differ significantly in terms of effectiveness and potency. Vaping involves heating cannabis flowers or concentrates at lower temperatures, which typically range between 315 and 440°F (157-227°C). This process preserves more terpenes and cannabinoids, providing a smoother, more controlled high.

Dabbing, on the other hand, uses highly concentrated cannabis extracts, often containing 70-90% THC. The concentrates vaporize at higher temperatures, usually between 500 and 700°F (260-371°C). This results in a rapid onset of intense effects that are often felt almost immediately.

The potency of dabbing is considerably higher due to the concentration of THC and other cannabinoids, making it more effective for those seeking strong and immediate relief or a powerful recreational experience.

Health Considerations

Many see vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking cannabis because the lower temperatures involved reduce the production of harmful byproducts such as tar and carcinogens. Vaping also allows for better control over the temperature, which can help preserve the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes without combustion.

In contrast, the high temperatures used in dabbing can produce potentially harmful compounds, such as benzene. Additionally, the potency of dabs can increase the risk of overconsumption, leading to extreme intoxication, anxiety, or paranoia, particularly for those with lower tolerance levels. There are additional risks to a user because of the complex dabbing process. For instance, using a blowtorch to heat the nail also introduces a risk of burns and is a fire hazard.

Convenience and Usability

Vaping stands out for its ease of use and portability. Vape pens and portable vaporizers are compact, discreet, and easy to carry, making them ideal for on-the-go use. Many devices also offer adjustable temperature settings, allowing users to customize their experience.

In addition, maintenance is straightforward, often requiring only occasional cleaning and cartridge replacements.

Generally, dabbing is less convenient and more complex. The setup involves a dab rig, a nail or banger, a dab tool, and a blowtorch or electronic nail (e-nail). It's not discreet and may take a longer time before a user can set up and enjoy CBD. Using a blowtorch to heat the nail can also be intimidating for beginners, and caution is required to avoid burns or accidents. On top of that, dabbing requires precise temperature control to ensure the concentrate is vaporized correctly without burning.

Cost Analysis

Vaping offers flexibility in pricing, accommodating both budget-conscious users and those willing to invest in premium devices. For instance, basic vape pens can be relatively inexpensive. Further, pre-filled cartridges can last several days to a week, depending on usage. For those who prefer vaping dry herb or concentrate, the cost of the raw material varies but can be more economical in the long run. The only maintenance costs are the occasional replacement of coils or cartridges.

Dabbing, on the other hand, tends to involve higher initial costs. A dab rig attracts additional costs for accessories like a torch or an electronic nail (e-nail). Cannabis concentrates are also more expensive than dry herbs. However, because concentrates are much more potent, users may need less product to achieve the desired effects, potentially balancing the higher per-gram cost over time.

Final Thoughts

Vaping and dabbing offer distinct cannabis experiences, each catering to different needs and preferences. Vaping is ideal for those seeking a portable, discreet, and user-friendly option, especially for beginners or those who prioritize convenience. It provides a controlled, gradual high with adjustable temperature settings.

Dabbing, in contrast, is suited for experienced users looking for a more intense, potent effect. It involves a more complex setup and delivers immediate, powerful effects. Ultimately, choosing between vaping and dabbing depends on your lifestyle, experience level, health considerations, and desired cannabis effects.