Are Dabs Bad For You?
An increasing number of people are trying “dabbing” – inhaling the vapors of marijuana extracts. Also known as butane hash oil (BHO), “budder,” “honeycomb,” “shatter,’ “earwax” or “crumble,” the extracts are much stronger than conventional marijuana because they have much higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the drug’s psychoactive chemical.
On average, regular marijuana has a THC content of 10%-30%. The average dabbing extract has a THC content level exceeding 50%, and sometime as high as 80%. Because of this concentration, dabs provide a more euphoric and immediate high.
Some medical researchers feel that the higher THC concentrations also have medical benefits for patients with more serious conditions which require a more potent dose.
Despite some press reports claiming that dabbing is more dangerous than smoking conventional cannabis, there is not yet any scientific evidence proving this true.
That said, because THC and other chemicals are present in greater concentrations in extracts than regular marijuana, the side effects of dabbing – including poor coordination and faulty judgment – are likely to be more pronounced.
One 2014 study also points out that while dabbing wasn’t responsible for users having more accidents than smoking regular, marijuana, the extracts did build up a higher tolerance to THC in people and gave them more withdrawal symptoms.
Dabs are made by pouring butane (the flammable chemical found in lighter fluid) over cannabis, which dissolves THC in the plant material and into the butane. The solution is then pressed through the filter and is placed in a dish or tray.
As a result of this process, it should be noted that marijuana extracts can prove extremely dangerous for amateurs to make. One way to take the concentrated drug from regular cannabis involves forcing butane through a weed-packed pipe. While this may sometimes work, it can also cause fiery explosions, severely burning anyone in the area.
Dabbing isn’t a new phenomenon. It was done by a small number of marijuana users as far back as the 1970s. However, in recent years, the practice has become more mainstream with the commercial development of medical marijuana and the growing legalization of cannabis in North America.Back To FAQ