Do Dab Pens and Vape Carts Smell?

by Jun 7, 2023Dab Pens0 comments

One of the biggest benefits of using vape carts or a dab pen is that it’s much more discreet than smoking your favorite herb. Everyone knows that cannabis emits an extremely potent smell when it’s smoked. It’s so potent, in fact, that people can smell it in the extremely low parts per million. In some situations, the distinctive odor of cannabis can really add to the experience – but that’s not always what you want.

There are plenty of other situations in which you might want to use cannabis without drawing attention to yourself. For example, many multi-resident dwellings forbid all forms of smoking – and that makes vaping a potentially attractive alternative. So, does vaping smell, and is it possible to use dabs or weed carts without attracting unwanted attention?

As you’re about to learn, weed carts and dab pens definitely don’t smell to the same extent that smoked cannabis does – and there are several good reasons for that. That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that they don’t smell at all. In this article, we’ll explain the fundamental differences between vaping and smoking from a smell standpoint. We’ll also describe the things that you can do to make vaping as discreet as it can possibly be.

Do Carts and Dab Pens Smell?

Since they’re made from cannabis, vape pens and dab pens do have a mild cannabis scent. It’s not nearly as strong as the smell that’s generated when you smoke cannabis, though, and that’s due to several reasons.

  • Oil and wax concentrates aren’t the same as whole cannabis flowers; they’re more comparable to essential oils. Although they do contain some of the scent components of cannabis – such as the terpenes – they lack some other scent components because the plant material is left behind in the extraction process.
  • Vaping isn’t smoking. When you smoke cannabis, a large portion of the smell is created by the burning plant material.
  • When you use a vape cartridge or dab pen, you don’t have smoke rising from your device when you aren’t using it as you would with a joint or a pipe. Essentially, that means the device stops producing any smell when you aren’t inhaling from it.
  • When you exhale the vapor, it dissipates extremely quickly. It behaves very differently from smoke, which tends to hover in the air for several seconds after you’ve exhaled it. In fact, if you hold it in your lungs for several seconds, the exhaled vapor won’t be visible at all.
  • Vaping sessions are typically much shorter than smoking sessions because oil- and wax-based concentrates are much more potent than dry herbs. You can achieve the desired effect in just a few puffs, and then the session is over.
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Do Dab Pens and Vape Carts Smell? 1

How to Minimize the Smell of Vape Carts and Dab Pens

Although the smell is significantly milder than the strong odor of smoking, using a vape pen or dab pen does have a bit of a scent that you may want to minimize if vaping discreetly is of the utmost importance. Thankfully, since the scent is so mild and dissipates so quickly, controlling the smell of vaping is very easy compared to smoking. Here are a few things that you can do to ensure that you can vape in maximum privacy.

  • As we mentioned above, you can hold the vapor in your lungs for several seconds before exhaling it. If you do that, you won’t exhale a visible cloud.
  • You can use a personal air filter. An air filter is essentially a small plastic canister filled with activated charcoal. When you exhale through the filter, the charcoal absorbs virtually all of the odor. Although nothing can do the job quite as well as activated charcoal, you can achieve a similar effect by exhaling through a paper towel tube stuffed with fabric softener sheets.
  • You can also keep a candle or a bottle of air freshener spray nearby when you vape. A lit candle or a spritz of air freshener should be more than sufficient to control any smell that your vape pen generates.

Does Vaping Leave a Smell That Lingers?

Reading this article, you’ve learned why you generally don’t have to worry about bothering others with a strong smell when you use a vape cart or a dab pen. You’ve also learned how to control the very faint odor that is produced – but that’s not the end of the story. Does vaping leave a smell on your clothes, in your home or in your car?

In general, the answer to all of those questions is “no.” As long as you keep your environment clean and vape in a well-ventilated area, you shouldn’t have to worry about any lingering odors when you use a vape pen or dab pen. You probably wouldn’t want to spend an extended amount of time vaping in a room without windows or in a car with the windows rolled up. Otherwise, you should have nothing to worry about.

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Do Vape Cartridges and Wax Concentrates Smell when You Aren’t Using Them?

Much of the distinctive smell of cannabis comes from the terpenes that occur naturally in the plant. Terpenes are the same substances that give things like air fresheners and perfumes their scents, and the reason why terpenes are used for those things is because they have such strong scents.

Oil- and wax-based concentrates do retain the natural terpenes from cannabis. In fact, the terpenes may be even more potent than they are in the original plant since they’re distilled down to a more concentrated form. The reason why the smell doesn’t really become an issue when you vape is because the concentrates are so potent – you’re only using a little at a time. Thankfully, it’s very easy to control the smell of your dabs and vape cartridges because they take up very little storage space. It’s much easier, in fact, than controlling the smell of whole flower. Try these tricks for storing your vape cartridges and waxy concentrates.

  • The best way to control the smell of a vape cartridge is by leaving it in its original package until you’re ready to use it. A vape cart is usually wrapped in plastic and may also have a silicone cap covering the mouthpiece. Those things are more than sufficient for controlling the smell. If you want to go even further, you can store your vape carts in a smell-proof bag. This type of bag is specifically designed for controlling the smell of cannabis, and it has several layers of material selected for their ability to keep smells locked in.
  • The best way to control the smell of a wax-based concentrate is by storing it in an airtight jar. You should be doing that anyway because it helps to preserve the potency of the material. Silicone is the most common material for storing wax concentrates because it’s a non-stick material that’s naturally airtight.


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