What Is a Wax Pen Vaping Device?
Everyone has heard of a vape or a vaporizer. But, more and more often, you’ll get terms like “wax pen” or “wax vape”. Wax pens are similar to vaporizers but are designed for vaporizing different substances, usually at higher temperatures.
Otherwise, wax pens are portable vaporizers designed to vaporize cannabis products. They’re also virtually useless for anything but cannabis dabs (crystals) or other crystalized drugs because they’re too hot for any non-processed product. However, they’re fully portable and convenient products for using concentrated drug products without the hassle of a traditional multi-part rig.
If you or a loved one is using or considering one, here’s what you need to know.
What is a Wax Pen?
A wax pen is a handheld vaporizing device consisting of a cartridge, a battery, and a mouthpiece. The system is extremely similar to a standard vaporizer in that the wax pen uses the battery to heat the cartridge, sending the vapor to the mouthpiece, where it can be inhaled.
Most have a small form size, which can be fit into a hand or a pocket. They’re usually a bit bulkier than traditional vapes though. Why? They’re actually a lot warmer. Most vaporizers cap out at about 450 degrees, or about the same maximum heat as a kitchen oven. Fresh cannabis mostly benefits from lower heat.
Wax pens on the other hand typically cap out at about 850F, or about the maximum heat of a soldering iron used to melt metal. That’s because wax pens are used to melt highly processed and crystalized substances.
Are Wax Pens Dangerous?
Is it dangerous to carry something that heats to 850F in your pocket? It can be. However, it doesn’t have to be. Wax pens can be manufactured to high standards of safety, which means having thermal overload, automatic shutdown, and significant insulation. You wouldn’t want to leave one on in your pocket. However, providing you buy one from a licensed manufacturer, most should have a safety switch to prevent this from happening.
Wax pens are also a lot safer than dab rigs. Here, you typically superheat a dab in a glass container or pipe and then inhale it. Glass can overheat and can even explode. In fact, burns, cuts, and burns around the mouth and the lungs are not uncommon with dab rigs. Therefore, in most cases, the wax pen is considered significantly safer than the dab rig or bong.
Of course, bongs can be perfectly safe to use as well. However, they are accident prone and may be dangerous to use.
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What are Dab Pens Used For?
Wax and dab pens are normally used to consume “Dabs”. Dabs are highly concentrated doses of THC which are extracted from a plant, much like hash is. In fact, dabs are made up of THC and butane hash oil. In most cases, growers use the trim (leaves, buds that are too small to sell) from the plant. They then cover it with butane (yes, the same butane used in cigarette lighters). This process is done in a lab with masks, gloves, and protection from the butane and should not be tried at home. The THC dissolves into the butane, producing a sticky, wax-like substance.
That “Dab” can contain 70-90% THC. That’s about triple the potency of the highest possible TCH contents of smoking straight cannabis.
Dab pens can also be used to vaporize other chemically processed drugs. For example, it’s rare to see drugs like meth used in vape pens. However, it’s increasingly common in dab pens, because the higher temperatures make it more effective. Again, this is safer than using a pipe for the same process.
Are Dabs Dangerous?
Dabs can be dangerous for a few reasons. The first is that the amount of THC is extremely high. This means you increase risks of dependence and addiction. You’ll also see increased impacts to mental health in terms of increased anxiety and even psychosis risks from smoking dabs over marijuana. And, because it’s so strong, it’s extremely difficult to keep your usage light or to control your dose at all. In fact, many people smoke too much, get paranoid and anxious, smoke more to calm that down, and exacerbate the cycle.
It’s also true that butane is highly flammable. Vaporizing it theoretically removes all of the harmful vapors meaning you shouldn’t be causing any extreme health risks to yourself by inhaling it. However, it’s dangerous to light and to have around heat – because it could technically ignite. As a result, wax pens can result in fires.
It also goes without saying that many of the other substances you can use a dab pen for are extremely dangerous. Meth, crack cocaine, and other free base versions of drugs are potent, addictive, and often extremely dangerous to uses. That’s unrelated to using a wax pen, and the wax pen will actually make using them safer than using a traditional glass pipe.
What Should You Know?
If you or a loved one is using a wax pen for dabs or for anything else, there are pros and cons. On the one hand, if you have to use something at the potency of dabs, it’s probably a bad sign for your mental health and your drug use. You might want to consider cutting back and trying to ensure your use falls within healthy parameters. If you can’t, it may be important to look into getting professional help to do so. Substance use disorders are a normal result of exposure to drugs. In fact, cannabis use disorder occurs in about 30% of “heavy” users. You also can’t use dabs without qualifying as a heavy user, which means you’re more at risk.
On the other hand, wax pens are a lot safer than glass bongs and pipes. If you’re using anyway, a wax pen produced by a licensed manufacturer may decrease risks of fires, burns, and glass cuts. So, if you’re going to keep using, a wax pen is a great way to minimize the physical safety risks of doing so. However, it’s important to ensure that you understand the safety precautions for the wax pen, to use the safety off, and to use the pen in a responsible manner. Unfortunately, using drugs decreases your ability to do so, which means your wax pen will likely never be completely safe. However, it’s still better than superheating glass.
If you’re using hard drugs or high concentration drugs and extracts, you might want to look into getting help. Drugs impact your mental health, decrease mental stability, increase risks of anxiety and paranoia, and increase risks of psychosis. That’s true for regular cannabis without looking at high-purity drugs like dabs. This means that dabbing or using a wax pen for dab or shatter greatly increases your risks. If you’re having trouble or even aren’t sure, talk to your doctor to get advice and to figure out how you’re doing. If you need help, it is there.
If you or your loved-one struggles from alcoholism or other substance abuse please contact us today and speak with one of our experienced and professional intake advisors about our alcohol rehab, detox, partial hospitalization, and residential treatment programs. 10 Acre Ranch also has specialty tracks like our pet friendly drug rehab and couples substance abuse treatment programs. We’re here to help you recover.