What’s the Difference Between Smoking and Dabbing?

The world of cannabis culture is a huge and ever expanding one as we learn more about the plant and find new ways to use it. In recent years we have found several new ways to consume cannabis – before it used to be that you simply smoked it or ate it in a pot brownie – and that was that. Now however, we have hundreds of options from different smoking devices to vaping devices from e-liquids to edibles to dabs (concentrates like wax and shatter).
What Are Dabs?
Before we can jump into the difference between smoking and dabbing, you need to understand exactly what “dabs” are. A dab is a concentrated dose of cannabis that is made by extracting THC and other cannabinoids like CBD, CBC and CBN using a solvent, most commonly butane or carbon dioxide – which results in a sticky oil that can be referred to as wax, shatter, budder, or butane hash oil (BHO).
How Do You ‘Dab?’
There are many ways to consume cannabis concentrates – and technically all of them can be considered dabbing. However, there are two very popular ways to consume dabs, which are either inhaled through a dab rig (a large bong like glass pipe) or a vaporizer.
When using a dab rig you inhale smoke after heating the concentrate with a hot surface like a heated nail (e-nails are the safest option, though some still choose to heat a glass rod with a butane torch). Something to keep in mind when using a dab rig, you are still smoking – you’re just smoking a concentrate rather than dry herb.
When using a vape pen, other handheld vapes or a desktop vaporizer you will get a purer buzz and a higher concentration of cannabinoids – especially since you can tailor your buzz to your own personal needs with temperature control on most vapes. Vaping is safer than smoking and most concentrates can be vaped just as easily as they can be smoked through a dab rig.
Which is Better?
If you’re looking for the internet to answer whether smoking bud the old fashion way or dabbing concentrates is better, then you’re in for disappointment. The answer to this truly comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer concentrates like wax, while others would prefer to roll up a joint and save the dabs for a special occasion.