Study reveals dabbing is more psychoactive than other methods of ingesting cannabis

Published Feb 16, 2019 10:32 p.m. ET

It’s time to get serious as we discuss the differences in cannabis concentrates and how they affect an individual based on the chosen method of ingestion. One of the newest most popular ways that stoners have been using cannabis is through dabbing. Dabbing research is very limited but what is available does seem to show some information that solidifies what many already believed, that dabbing may come with many benefits, but it also displays higher than average potential for causing adverse effects in users.

The Study

One study conducted by the Institute of Forensic Medicine and the Department of Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry at the University of Bern in Switzerland focused on cannabis concentrate. Mainly BHO aka butane hash oil and various methods that are commonly used to smoke it. They chose this concentrate in particular because of its growing popularity in the region at the time. They investigated two methods including both smoking a joint and dabbing to compare the results.

The Plan of Action

Swiss researchers decided to compare the results of the burned amount of THC and CBD through both methods heating. There were no test subjects used in this study. Instead, researchers themselves tested the concentrates using an artificial smoking lung and a regular dabbing setup that consisted of one glass dab rig, one titanium nail, and one torch. As each substance was burned, the results were tested for what they refer to as the recovery total, which is the amount of THC or CBD that would be burned at any one time.

Part Two - Lung Availability

The second portion of the study did require participants as the Swiss researchers wanted to measure the average lung availability, which is the amount that is generally inhaled. They found that the average person's lung availability was around 12% with mixed cannabis products (herb and or cannabis concentrate) and that when they used just dry bud, it was closer to 27% regardless of which method was used.

Part Three - Total Recovery

Researchers also found that the total recovery of dabbing was much higher than it was with smoking. The average person would have a 10% or higher increase in lung available when dabbing vs smoking. The same experiment was also conducted using CBD, and it showed the same results. The total recovery of THC when cannabis concentrate was dabbed averaged 75.5%, and no other method of ingestion could come close to comparing to such a significant amount of the compound.

The Results

Using dabbing as a method of consuming cannabis concentrates allows the user to ingest anywhere from 10% to 30% more THC at one time. Since concentrates are highly concentrated already, usually around 75%-90%, this method would always deliver a much more potent dose of THC and CBD.

What Does it Mean?

Dabbing is an amazingly efficient way to ingest marijuana or cannabis concentrate regardless of which element you are trying to retrieve from it. However, the higher than average THC levels are what is responsible for the large amounts of reported adverse effects. Both THC and CBD are known and used for their ability to soothe, relax, and induce a happy state of mind. Unfortunately, not all of those who try cannabis, particularly for the first time, have such a positive experience. For those who are occasional users, have a low tolerance, or are first-time users, dabbing can have some pretty serious negative effects. Those who react negatively to such a massive introduction of THC can experience panic, paranoia, and even hallucinations. Dabbing can be a clean way to ingest marijuana or cannabis concentrates, but it is not one that is recommended for beginners or anyone who has already experienced adverse sensations from using in the recent past.

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