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Wondering what the difference between a dab pen and a vape pen is? We get it. The sheer number of cannabis products and technical jargon associated with the cannabis industry can be super confusing.

Both dab pens and vape pens are designed to get you high, but there are some distinct differences between the two. The biggest difference between a dab pen and a vape pen is what you’re actually vaping — but don’t worry, we’ll get into that.

Whatever your smoking style, there’s definitely a pen designed to fit your unique preferences. Here, we’ll look deeper into the dab pen vs vape pen debate to determine which one is best for you. 

What’s the Difference Between a Cannabis Dab Pen and a Vape Pen? 


The modern world of weed is full of new and innovative products that were virtually non-existent only a decade ago.

While flower and hash were the only things people were smoking for years, today’s marijuana market is dominated by various extractions, including cannabis concentrates and extracted oils. 

Depending on your pot product preference, you can use dab pens and vape pens to consume various types of cannabis products. 

What is a Dab Pen?

Designed to vape cannabis concentrates such as wax or shatter, dab pens are basically the portable version of traditional dab rigs. If you’re a concentrate connoisseur, dab pens are definitely for you. 

With a dab pen, you can easily take weed concentrates on the go. Just when you thought dabbing couldn’t get any better, along comes the marijuana dab pen. Both portable and discreet, the dab pen makes dabbing available wherever the day may take you. 

How To Use A Dab Pen

Using a dab pen is pretty simple, although it might take a bit of practice to perfect it. All you need to do is make sure it’s charged before you use it, set it to the desired temperature, and load your favorite concentrate into the chamber with a dab tool.

This is where practice comes in, as concentrates can be a bit of a sticky mess. 

Once your concentrate is loaded up, you’re ready to get your dab on. While different dab pens operate differently, the premise is the same.

With your
temperature set (ideally between 420°F and 550°F) and the cartridge loaded with your favorite concentrate, the next step is to hit your dab pen. 

There are also prefilled carts designed to be used with dab pens. 

What Is In A Cart for A Dab Pen? 

Your favorite concentrate, of course, whether wax, shatter, budder, rosin, or live resin. 

How Do You Get The Best High From A Dab Pen?

The best way to hit your dab pen is by taking slow pulls and starting with smaller hits. Remember that concentrates are extremely potent.

By starting with smaller hits and working your way up, you can ease into a more enjoyable experience and avoid getting uncomfortably high. 

What is a Vape Pen? 

Vape pens are designed to vape cannabis flower or cannabis oil cartridges (aka vape carts). The biggest similarity between a vape pen vs a dab pen is that both devices make it easy to consume cannabis on the go discreetly. 

Using a marijuana vape pen is different depending on whether you’re consuming flower or oil. If you’ve ever asked yourself what are the best vape pens for CBD oil, for example, you’ll want to purchase a vape pen designed specifically for oil. 

When vaping flower, the dry material is loaded directly into the chamber of the vape pen. The ideal temperature for vaping flower in a vape pen is between 320°F and 446°F.

The lower the temperature, the more flavor you’ll experience. Higher temps, on the other hand, typically produce stronger effects. 

When vaping cannabis oil, the cartridge containing the oil is heated with a coil or ceramic atomizer. This transforms the oil into vapor, which is then inhaled through the vape pen mouthpiece.

What is the Best Temperature for Vape Oil?

When using a vape pen for oil, temperatures between 390°F and 485°F are ideal, as oil requires higher heat to vaporize than dry flower. 

How To Use A Vape Pen

Turn on the pen by pressing the power button, set the desired temperature, wait for it to heat up, and vape to your heart’s content. 

Dab Pen vs Vape Pen: What Makes Them Similar? 

We mentioned a few similarities between dab and vape pens above. Some of the most
similar elements between the two include: 

  • Both dab pens and vape pens are designed to vaporize various cannabis products.
  • Vape pens and dab pens allow for vaping cannabis products on the go. 
  • Both devices feature adjustable temperature controls for setting your ideal heat level.
  • Both dab pens and vape pens function by heating cannabis products to produce an inhalable vapor.
  • Another similarity between a vape pen and a dab pen is the ease of use. Vape pens are extremely simple to use, even more so than dab pens. Once you’ve charged your vape pen, simply attach your oil cartridge to pen or load your flower into the chamber.

Dab Pen vs Vape Pen: What Makes Them Different?

There are definitely some similarities between the dab pens and vape pens, but their differences are what make the two unique.

Here’s a table showing the contrast between the two:


Vape Pen

Dab Pen

Substance Compatibility

Cannabis flower and oil

Cannabis concentrates (wax, shatter, budder, rosin, etc.)




Temperature Requirement

Lower temperature

Higher temperature


Less maintenance

More maintenance, easier to clean than dab rigs

Effect Strength

Less powerful effects

More powerful effects

  • Vape pens are suitable for cannabis flower and oil, while dab pens are designed for a variety of cannabis concentrates like wax, shatter, budder, and rosin.
  • Dab pens are generally larger in size compared to vape pens.
  • Dab pens necessitate elevated temperatures for the vaporization of concentrates.
  • Dab pens demand more maintenance due to the residue left by concentrates. However, they are easier to clean compared to dab rigs.
  • When it comes to the potency of effects, dab pens deliver significantly more powerful effects than vape pens.

What Are The Parts Of A Vape Pen Called?

It’s important to note that all vape pens are equipped with the same basic components, whether it’s a vape or dab pen for weed products. 

Vape pen parts commonly include: 

  • Battery: Vape and dab pen batteries are usually lithium-ion and rechargeable.
  • Charger: Most vape pens come with a battery that can be recharged with a small USB charging cord. 
  • Chamber: The chamber holds dry flower when vaping weed or concentrates when vaping dabs. Cannabis oil used for vape pens typically comes in a cartridge, although oil can be filled into certain vape pens separately. 
  • Atomizer: An atomizer refers to the part of the vape pen that produces vapor, and is the part of the device that contains the heating coil and wick. 
  • Mouthpiece: The mouthpiece on a vape pen is what you inhale the vapor from. There are different-sized mouthpieces on different styles of pens, but each is designed to produce a comfortable experience while inhaling. 

What Are The Different Types of Vape Pens?


The biggest difference between a dab pen and a vape pen is what type of product you consume, which is typically where you’ll find the differences in types of vape pens.

Different types of vape pens include: 

  • Dry Flower Vape Pens: The dry herb vape pen became the initial type of marijuana vape pen available on the market. Users can add dry cannabis flower to the designated chamber in the vape pen. These pens, designed for discreet consumption of cannabis on the go, produce less aroma compared to smoking traditional flower, contributing to their popularity.
  • Cartridge Vape Pens: Cartridge vape pens are designed to fit a cartridge that contains extracted cannabis oil. Both THC and CBD cartridges are popular amongst cannabis consumers, and there are several options for cartridges created specifically for vape pens. 
  • Dab Pens: Dab pens are vape pens designed specifically for cannabis concentrates. Dab pens are also referred to as wax pens or dab vape pens. People who prefer the powerful experience of potent concentrates will find dab pens offer an innovative way to enjoy concentrates easily without needing a dab rig or kit. 

Vape Pen vs Dab Pen: Which Is Best For You? 

If you’re interested in purchasing your own vape pen, it’s important to keep in mind the type of product you prefer. Let’s take a look:


Vape Pen

Dab Pen

Suitable For

Flower consumers

Concentrate consumers

Ease of Use

Easy to add more flower or switch cartridges

Handling sticky concentrates can be less convenient

User Experience

Great for new cannabis consumers

Ideal for experienced cannabis consumers who love potency


Simple vaping experience

Simplifies the dabbing process compared to rigs or dab kits

Effect Strength

Less potent hits with weed alone

More powerful hits with weed concentrate

  • Vape pens are best for those who prefer flower, whereas dab pens are ideal for concentrate enthusiasts.
  • Vape pens offer an easier experience with simple loading and cartridge swapping. Dab pens can be less convenient due to the nature of sticky concentrates.
  • New cannabis consumers might find vape pens more approachable, while dab pens are suited for experienced users seeking potent products.
  • Vape pens provide a straightforward vaping experience. Dab pens, although potentially more complex, simplify the dabbing process compared to traditional rigs or dab kits.
  • Vape pens deliver gentler hits when using weed alone, in contrast to dab pens, which provide much more powerful hits with weed concentrates.

Knowing The Difference Between a Dab Pen vs a Vape Pen

At Elevate Holistics, we want your cannabis experience to be the best it can possibly be. Whether you’re a medical marijuana patient or recreational consumer, knowing everything you can about various cannabis products is key to enhancing your experience. 

Whether you’re interested in a dab pen for weed recreationally or want to vape for medical reasons, knowing the difference between a dab pen vs vape pen is central to your experience. 

Still have questions about the difference between a dab pen and a vape pen? We’re here for you! Contact us today with any questions you might have about vaping your favorite cannabis products. 

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About the author

Michael Lawal is a seasoned content writer with specialized expertise in the medical cannabis industry. With a background that blends journalism and health sciences, Michael has a knack for translating complex medical cannabis research into accessible and engaging content. His writing portfolio showcases a range of work from informative articles and research summaries to patient education materials. Committed to raising awareness about the benefits and responsible use of medical cannabis, Michael's work is a valuable resource for both consumers and professionals in the field.
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