Cannabis sativa plant is a mixture of dried flowers. Marijuana is becoming legal in many states but a few have not. There is no federally approved use for marijuana as medicine. Concentrated forms are controversial, including those with high levels of THC. One of those is called ‘Dabs,’ the name given to potent THC extractions, though they may go by additional designations like shatter or butane hash oil. Find out why dabbing is controversial and whether it may be dangerous. 

What is Dabbing

Compared with marijuana plant materials being smoked, dabbing involves inhalation of vapors of marijuana concentrate. Dabbers use an ‘oil rig’ to consume it, which consists of a glass water pipe and a hollow metal rod. Once hot, the dab is placed on the metal rod and vapors are inhaled through the pipe. People dab of the concentrate and use a vape or e-cigarette to heat and produce vapors. 

Effects of Dabbing

Health consequences of dabbing have not been fully determined, but due to high levels of THC, people may struggle more than they realize without knowing why they have health issues. Dependence and withdrawal are more likely with dabbers, though there is not enough research out yet on this. With concentrated extractions, there can be myriad risks people have to be aware of, including:

  • Difficulty solving problems
  • Memory impairment
  • Delusions
  • Altered senses
  • Psychosis (some cases)

For concentrates with higher levels of THC than other products, it seems reasonable dabbers may experience intense drug effects. Vaporized cannabis produces stronger effects and results in higher concentrations of THC in the blood compared to smoked cannabis. High doses of THC may produce more effects and impairments than other types. Long-term use can lead to respiratory problems, chronic cough, lung infections, paranoia, hallucinations, and potential for other substance use disorders and mental health issues later. 

Additional Risk

There are many risks associated with dabbing, including ‘blasting,’ or the process of creating dabs at home. Butane is flammable and the risk of fire or explosion is huge. Severe burns have been reported for people. Even beyond this, amateur ‘blasting’ is associated with using a blowtorch to heat up dabs, getting intoxicated, and inhaling oxidized metal created by heating it up. Treatment is key to finding help for cannabis use disorder. While some may use it medicinally no problem, there are others who develop problematic substance use disorder. Participation in social support groups is helpful, along with support from family and loved ones. Interventions can help a person figure out what they need to do to heal and move forward in recovery, but they have to be ready to seek treatment for addiction. Dabbing is dangerous and can be lethal, so it is worthwhile to seek recovery and find hope in the midst of the challenges of addiction. 

A Step in the Right Direction provides quality care for clients seeking support for addiction recovery. We teach people how to live a sober life through programs, therapeutic support, and evidence-based therapies. Our recovery program is staffed by people who understand the power of addiction. For more information on sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702