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A Dab Pen, also referred to as a Wax Pen, Cartridges, Carts or simply The Pen, is a vaporizing device similar to e-cigarettes that vaporize THC (the active ingredient inside marijuana that makes one feel "high"). Dab pens were made available in stores within legalized states in the U.S. starting in late 2011. Since then, they've been referenced in memes across platforms for getting users notably high and being "too convenient." Pictures of dab pens are often used as exploitables in such memes, usually in image macros.
Dab pens appeared in late 2011 and online shortly after, as is evident by a tweet posted by Twitter user Burnz99 on December 14th, 2011 (shown below). Other than this tweet, not much evidence is available online as to when dab pens were first available within dispensaries in the U.S. A Grasscity forum alludes to the company G-Pen releasing its dab pen in July 2012. G-Pen was the first company to make and sell such THC pens.
Mostly on Twitter, internet users started posting memes about dab pens going into the rest of the 2010s. Some early examples include a tweet from Twitter user JeffreyTurnter, posted on April 15th, 2014 (shown below, left). A year later, on February 15th, 2015, Twitter user JulieOllis_ posted a humorous tweet about secretly charging her dab pen (shown below, right). Both tweets received under 20 likes.
On April 24th, 2018, Instagram page sean_speezy posted a meme that captioned an image of Bart Simpson's ghost with, "My dab pen everytime I pick it up." The meme (shown below, left) received roughly 2,400 likes over three years. Another notable dab pen meme was posted in 2018 by Twitter user bassdragon who made a joke about hitting her pen too many times in a Walmart (shown below, right). After being posted on December 1st, 2018, the tweet earned roughly 93,800 likes over the course of three years. It was also reposted to platforms like Facebook, where it received roughly 1,100 reactions, also over three years.
Another notable meme was posted on December 1st, 2018, to the subreddit /r/trees. Although the original post has since been deleted, the meme (shown below) was reposted to platforms like Facebook years later. The text in the image reads, "If you're ever sad, just remember the world is 4.543 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as The Pen."
In 2019, strange dab pen contraptions were posted to Reddit. For instance, on December 16th, 2019, an image of a dab pen lodged inside a Garfield Pez dispenser was uploaded to /r/StonerEngineering, earning roughly 1,500 upvotes over the course of two years (shown below).
Going into 2021 and 2022, more memes referenced dab pens as they became a fixture in popular culture. For instance, on March 26th, 2021, Instagram page lean_in_my_cereal posted a meme that captioned and exploited an image of Borat, receiving roughly 4,900 likes over the course of seven months (shown below, left). On January 12th, 2022, Twitter user Sandernista412 posted a tweet that joked about a "10-Year Challenge," showing THC wax heating up on two butter knives and a clean dab pen, earning roughly 18,900 likes in one day (shown below, right).
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