What to Know Before Buying Your First Dab Pen?

Many first-time cannabis users think that the only way to consume the substance is by smoking it. But what if you learned there’s a simpler, cleaner method to getting a good high? 

The dab pen, also called the wax pen, is the ideal device for cannabidiol (CBD) beginners or anyone who prefers a smoother hit. It’s portable, easy to use, and more discreet than puffing clouds of smoke in the air.

However, you need to know a few things before you grab your first dab pen. It’s always better to have some knowledge of a product than none at all. Keep reading, and let this article guide you.

1. Where To Find Dab Pens

Where To Find Dab Pens
Photo Credit: Stock.adobe.com

You can typically find dab pens wherever you can find other cannabis products. But not all cannabis stores have them available, so browsing shops that specialize in selling dab pens should be where you go first. Online shops are a good choice, especially if you want to read customer reviews and view a product catalog.

Since you’re still new to dab pens, visiting a physical store is better. Try asking other cannabis consumers you know and trust or search online for shops in your area. As a heads-up, there are 10 new RISE Express stores open in Florida, ready to serve your needs. Feel free to pay one of them a visit and ask the staff for assistance with beginner-friendly dab pens.

2. Types Of Concentrates

Dab pens won’t work without a concentrate, which is the condensed form of a dry herb commonly used in dry herb pens. Concentrates are distilled and don’t contain plant matter but still keep the active ingredients you’re looking for in cannabis, thanks to butane. It’s a chemical solvent that flushes out the cannabinoids and flavonoids from the plant. It also makes the process more meticulous and requires special equipment.

The most common concentrates come in these forms:

  • Oil: This is the most familiar and affordable form. However, it also has the weakest potency. It appears golden yellow, almost like honey. All dab rigs, some dry herb pens, and concentrate vapes can use it. 
  • Wax: This type is the second most common form, though only the third strongest. It’s sticky and crumbly in texture, as its name suggests. Dab rigs, vaporizers, and some dry herb pens can use it, depending on the consistency. 
  • Crumble: This concentrate is dry and crumbles easily, hence the name. Despite its appearance, it’s the second most potent of the different types. It’s also one of the easiest to handle and crumbles into chunks for vaping by itself. 
  • Shatter: Shatter is the most potent and purest form. It appears like a brittle candy but is sticky like the wax type. Thus, you can only use shatter in dab rigs, concentrate vapes, and other non-stick devices.

Aside from the four common types, you also have budder, batter, badder, and honeycomb as other options. Remember that some kinds of concentration work on most dabbing devices. However, it’s not always the same the other way around. In fact, wax and crumble are the most used forms with dab pens.

Nonetheless, not all dab pens work the same way. When using a dab pen, you must use the proper concentrate designed for it or you wear it faster.

3. Parts Of A Dab Pen

Whether you take CBD every day for medical or recreational reasons, you should understand the parts of your device and how each works. Most dab pens have three main components: the atomizer, battery, and mouthpiece. Your first dab pen should have these parts, or else it won’t work correctly.

Nowadays, manufacturers create dab pen atomizers with ceramic rods because this material has exceptionally high heat resistance. A drawback to using ceramic is that it’s challenging to clean if you leave it dirty for a long time. If you prefer another material, dab pens also have silica wicks, quartz rods, or coilless ceramic pads.

Batteries have different charging times and lives, depending on the manufacturer. Your dab pen should have a decent battery and temperature flexibility to control the concentrate’s flavor and cloud size. Low temperatures create thin clouds with intense flavors, while high temperatures make thick clouds with weaker flavors. 

The last crucial piece of a dab pen is the mouthpiece, made of ceramic, metal, glass, or plastic. Plastic, in particular, looks and feels cheap but is heat-resistant and sturdy. Meanwhile, glass and ceramic offer better flavors than plastic or metal. 

4. Dab Pen Lifespan

Dab pen cartridges usually last for 18 months with proper care. If you store your dab pen in a dry place without sunlight, humidity, or additional tampering, it stays with you for a long time. However, checking with the manufacturer first is ideal to confirm the device’s shelf life.

5. Safety Hazards

As with any substance, concentrates might still have side effects. Since they contain little to no plant matter, it carries fewer cancer-causing compounds than smoking a dry herb. But if produced at home by amateurs, you could risk inhaling dirty oils left behind by the solvents. Therefore, only buy dab pens and concentrates from reputable manufacturers whom other CBD users trust. 


Dab pens are great devices for consuming cannabis cleanly and smoothly. Some come wholly assembled while others aren’t, but they’re still a viable option for beginners. If you need more guidance, ask the store staff or close friends who know their stuff. They only want you to have the best experience possible.

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