Do Dab Pens Make A Room Smell?

What are Dab Pens?

Dab pens are portable vaping devices designed for users to consume cannabis concentrates, also known as “dabs.” According to Leafwell, “Dab pens are portable vaping devices designed for users to consume dabs easily, with “dabs” defined as an unspecified amount of cannabis concentrates.”

Dab pens typically consist of a battery, heating element (atomizer or coil), and mouthpiece. The user loads a small amount of cannabis concentrate into the atomizer, which is then heated to vaporize the concentrate so it can be inhaled. This allows the user to discreetly consume cannabis concentrates without the telltale smell of smoking.

Unlike vape pens made for cannabis oil, dab pens are designed specifically for solid concentrates like shatter, crumble, wax and distillate. Their compact size and rechargeable batteries make them easy to use on-the-go.

Do Dab Pens Produce Odor?

Although dab pens do not produce nearly the same amount of odor as smoking cannabis flower or using a traditional dab rig, they do still produce some smell when in use. This is because dab pens vaporize concentrated cannabis oil, which contains terpenes that give cannabis its distinctive aroma. However, the odor from a dab pen is much fainter and dissipates more quickly than smoke from combustion.

dab pens produce some odor when in use due to terpenes in cannabis concentrates, but less than smoking.

When you take a hit from a dab pen, a light cannabis scent will be emitted from the vapor you exhale as well as from the heated concentrates in the pen’s chamber. But it does not tend to spread or linger in an entire room like smoke does. The smell is generally confined to the immediate vicinity around the user.

Many factors like the size of the space, ventilation, and number of hits impact how strong and how long the odor persists. But overall, dab pens are a more discreet method of cannabis consumption compared to smoking flower when it comes to smell.

Factors That Impact Dab Pen Odor

There are a few key factors that determine how much odor a dab pen produces:

The type of cannabis concentrate used in the dab pen has a major impact on smell. Concentrates like wax, shatter, budder, and crumble that contain more terpenes tend to produce stronger odors than THC oils and distillates. Live resins and rosins also create more pungent aromas due to having a full cannabinoid and terpene profile extracted from fresh plant material.

Higher temperature settings on variable voltage dab pens create thicker vapor and more odor compounds. Lower temperatures between 2.0-3.2V lessen smell significantly. Proper technique also reduces smell, like inhaling gently, taking smaller puffs, and not overheating the coil.

Additionally, certain devices are designed to minimize smell more than others. For example, pods and disposable pens that fully contain vapor have less odor leakage during inhalation.

Comparing Dab Pen and Smoking Odor

When compared with smoking flower or concentrate, using a dab pen produces significantly less odor. As this source explains, the scent from vaping weed is much more subtle and dissipates faster than smoke. Whereas the smell of smoking can be quite pungent and linger for a long time, the vapor from a dab pen has a lighter, less noticeable scent.

The reason for this difference comes down to the method of inhalation. Smoking involves combusting the material and creating smoke, which has a strong, distinct smell. Vaporization gently heats the concentrate or oil to release vapors, without any burning involved. This results in a less intense and more fleeting aroma.

For those looking to consume discreetly, a dab pen is clearly the better choice over smoking in terms of odor produced. The vapor disperses rapidly and does not cling to clothing or furniture the way smoke does. Overall, dab pens offer a much stealthier and more low-profile option.

Tips to Minimize Dab Pen Odor

There are a few ways to help minimize the odor that comes from using a dab pen:

Take smaller hits and don’t hold in the vapor for a long time. The less vapor you exhale, the less odor there will be. Take short, discrete puffs instead of long drags off the pen.

Keep the temperature on your battery low. The hotter the dab vapor, the more odor it produces. Keep your battery at the lowest effective temperature.

Use a sploof or smoke buddy. Exhale the vapor into a device containing activated carbon, which helps trap odors. This can reduce the smell in the air.

Get an air freshener. Keep an odor eliminating spray on hand that you can use to mask any lingering smells after a dab session. Choose a strong scent you enjoy.

With some small adjustments to your use and tools on hand, you can greatly reduce the odor profile of a dab pen. Be discreet and considerate of those around you.

Using Dab Pens Discreetly

There are several techniques you can use to be more discreet when using your dab pen:

  • Go outside – Using your dab pen outdoors will allow the vapor and odor to dissipate quickly rather than linger inside. Find a private, secluded spot outdoors where you can use your pen discreetly.
  • Use a sploof – A sploof is a homemade device that helps filter exhaled vapor and odor. Make one by stuffing dryer sheets or activated carbon into a paper towel tube. Exhale hits through the sploof to reduce odor.
  • Block the door – Put a towel or blanket at the base of your door to prevent vapor and odor from escaping your room.
  • Turn on a fan – Position a fan near an open window. The fan will help pull vapor and odor out of the room through the window.
  • Use a smoke buddy – Smoke buddies are commercial sploof-like devices with activated carbon filters that trap odor. Exhale hits into the smoke buddy to eliminate odor.

Using techniques like these can allow you to use your dab pen while producing very little smell that might raise suspicions.


Does the Smell Linger?

Though dab pens do produce an odor while in use, the smell tends to dissipate more quickly than smoking. This is because dab pens vaporize concentrates at lower temperatures, which produces less lingering odors compared to smoke. Smaller vape pen devices also minimize the amount of vapor produced at one time.

According to users on Reddit, the odor from a dab pen dissipates within 10-30 minutes after use with adequate airflow/ventilation. This is a shorter time period compared to smoke, which can linger for hours. However, smells may persist longer if heavily used in a confined, unventilated space.

Overall, dab pens produce less ambient odor that lingers in rooms or fabrics over time. Taking preventative measures like cracking a window, using a smoke buddy, and minimizing the number of puffs can help dissipate smells more quickly. Within a reasonable timeframe, any remaining odors are unlikely to be noticed by others entering the room.

Neighbor Considerations

When using a dab pen in an apartment building or neighborhood setting, it is important to be considerate of neighbors. The odor from dab pens, while less than smoking, can still drift and potentially bother those living nearby.

One Reddit user described how a neighbor complained to their landlord about the smell of marijuana coming from their apartment, likely from dab pen use (source). While dab pens do not produce smoke, the vapor and scent is still detectable.

If your neighbor is sensitive to odors or vocal about dab pen use, consider vaping discreetly such as near an open window, using a sploof, or going outside. It is thoughtful to avoid constantly vaping in spaces that share ventilation with neighboring units.

Overall, being courteous and mindful of those around you can prevent complaints and preserve positive relationships in your building or community.

Is the Odor Noticeable?

Dab pens do produce an odor, but it is less noticeable than smoking cannabis flower. The vapor from dab pens contains terpenes and cannabinoids that give off a distinct cannabis aroma, but it dissipates quickly and does not tend to linger or stick to surfaces and fabrics in the same way smoke does.

Many factors impact how noticeable the smell from a dab pen will be, including the size of the space, ventilation, strains used, and intensity/length of use. Using a sploof or air purifier can help mitigate any odors. Ultimately, the smell is present but subtle, especially compared to smoking. With reasonable ventilation and precautions, it likely will not be highly detectable by others (Rokin).


Overall, dab pens do produce some odor when used, but significantly less than smoking cannabis. The odor is generally faint, dissipates quicker than smoke, and is unlikely to spread far or linger too long. With proper ventilation, measures to contain vapor, and reasonable discretion, dab pen use can be relatively discreet. Taking simple steps like exhaling downward, using odor-blocking sprays, and avoiding use in confined spaces with non-users can go a long way in minimizing any odors. While the smell may be noticeable to those in the immediate vicinity, it’s unlikely to travel far or bother neighbors. With responsible and considerate use, dab pens can be an option for those aiming to partake discretely and with minimal odor impact.

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