What is dabbing and should you do it?

Published Jan 29, 2019 02:20 p.m. ET

 Dabbing has been around since the 70’s but has increased in popularity due to the commercial development of medical marijuana and the legalization of pot.  It appears to have created a whole new niche for the industry.

Dabbing also known as butane hash oil (BHO) or other names such as budder, honeycomb, earwax or shatter.  All are more potent than conventional forms of cannabis due to the much higher concentration of the psychoactive chemical THC. Often upwards of 80%. Dabs are produced by pouring butane over marijuana; this promotes the extraction of the THC into the butane. It’s then filtered and poured into dish or tray.  The extracted gummy solid result is what is dabbed or smoked in bongs or rigs.  

Although dabbing allows the user to get high much faster than smoking, it may come with some severe health risks according to new research.  The effects of dabbing come with a slew of negative side effects including, but, not exclusive to rapid heartbeat, blackouts, feeling like things are crawling under your skin, loss of consciousness and psychotic symptoms including paranoia and hallucinations.

In an international journal, named, Annals of Emergency Medicine a case was reported in the article  “A Little Dab Will Do Ya”: An Emergency Department Case Series Related to a New Form of “High-Potency” Marijuana Known as “Wax.” In which a 24-year-old male jumped out of the car he was driving at freeway speeds because he felt “the devil was squeezing his chest.” He slid along the pavement into the median and was brought in by paramedics with road rash and multiple contusions. He had no prior psychiatric history or documented SI, and the event occurred 60 minutes after “dabbing” at a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles. His psychosis and paranoia rapidly resolved over 4 hours, his trauma evaluation including pan-scan was negative, and he was discharged into family care.

Annals of Emergency Medicine Website

There are some reports that dabbing builds tolerance, after which the user can’t feel the effects of milder forms of intake, such as smoking from the flower. Some have chosen to go back to smoking the flower because of that.  It is a personal choice, and everyone has their tolerance level depending on many factors including how long you have been an active cannabis consumer and the purpose for your consumption.

How to Dab:

• turn on your torch and aim flame directly at the nail; most people will heat the nail until it begins turning red hot
• apply dab directly on the nail then inhale slowly
• exhale and enjoy very cautiously


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