Dabbing: What You Need to Know

Dabbing is a relatively new way of ingesting cannabis. It’s a highly concentrated form of TCH, which is marijuana’s active ingredient. Dabs, or butane hash oil (DHO) is a hard, wax-like concentrate that uses butane gas as the solvent. They contain up to 70-90% THC, which is significantly more than what’s found in a typical cannabis flower.

How Dabbing Works

Dabs, or the waxy concentrate, are usually smoked using a vaporizer pen or water pipe, also known as a bong.

When using a bong, you use a blowtorch to preheat the heating surface, which is known as a “nail.” The nail is made of glass or titanium. After the nail is heated, the concentrate is “dabbed” on the surface, which creates a vapor that can be inhaled.

The Effect of Dabbing

Dabbing is being marketed as the most efficient way to get high. Just a small amount of the highly concentrated BHO or dab is needed. It’s also referred to as the “crack” of marijuana.

It’s said to provide a much more powerful and different kind of high. It’s often used by individuals who are experienced users of marijuana who have developed somewhat of a tolerance to THC. To an inexperienced user, it can be an overwhelming high and is not recommend to those who smoke or ingest cannabis occasionally.


butane honey oil, budder, shatter, wax

Are There Dangers?

Let’s start with the risks that come from trying to make your own BHO. Butane is highly flammable, and if you are not skilled in using it, the result can be explosions and fires. Also, because dab production is largely unregulated, there is risk of contamination during production .

When it comes to health effects? It’s hard to say, because it’s so new. There haven’t been scientific studies yet. However, the University of Albany did release a paper in 2014 that highlighted several risks of dabbing, including a higher possibility of withdrawal symptoms and even developing marijuana tolerance.

However, more and more stories are popping up nationwide that suggest the practice is quite dangerous. Recently, parents of a young man who committed suicide in Colorado came forward, sharing the diaries written by their son. He wrote, “I found out I was dabbing too much which I already knew and had cut back in February. But apparently, if you overdo it, you can get almost like poison and experience some negative effects.” While there is no way to prove it, his death certificate lists as a contributing factor, “use of concentrated marijuana products.” You can read the entire story here.

According to the article, “…The state legislature is so concerned about the effect of marijuana on public health that it has now authorized millions of dollars for the state health department to begin studying safety and health effects of cannabis on pregnant women and unborn children, use of high potency THC products, and use by minors, just to name a few.”

Things to Remember

  1. It is illegal for anyone under age 21 to consume marijuana.
  2. If you are even just arrested for doing so, it can prevent you from being able to pursue certain professions, like the medical field, law enforcement and aviation. It can also effect your ability to gain entrance into the college, university or trade school you want to attend.
  3. Marijuana studies show that it has a negative effect on brains of those under 25. It especially effects memory, and makes studying and retaining information difficult.