Dab Drug Use: What You Should Know

Dab Drug Use: The Dangers and Side Effects of Dabbing

The term “dabbing” has become a popular word among teens. It is used to describe a particular stance that a person takes: when the head drops into their bent elbow with both of their arms raised upwards to the same side. However, this isn’t the only thing that dabbing or dab refers to. More recently, dabbing has taken on another more dangerous meaning: dab drug use.

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What is Dab Drug?

So, what is dab drug and why is it a cause for concern? Marijuana usually has a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of between 5 and 15 percent. THC is the substance that is responsible for the “high” that people experience when they use marijuana. However, the THC oil used in dabbing can reach upwards of 75.9 percent concentration – far higher than any marijuana plant could ever be.

Dab drug use is when a person uses butane hash oil (BHO) to essentially get a very powerful hit of marijuana. It is often vaporized in the new-age vaping products, which can increase the amount of THC that is affectively absorbed, when compared to smoking a normal marijuana flower.

Other ways that people smoke the wax-like BHO is to put it onto a “nail” which is then attached to a bong or other smoking device. It is then heated, usually with a blowtorch, and inhaled. Both methods of inhaling the substance results in an intense and instant high as the cannabinoids reach the brain. Just one tic-tac sized hash oil droplet can be the equivalent to roughly three average-rolled marijuana “joints”.

The Dangers of Dab Drug Use

One of the challenges to preventing dab drug use is that most people believe that marijuana is safe and non-addictive. However, various studies have revealed that the drug has its dangers, chief among them being that it is addictive. As with any addiction, the situation often reaches a point where the person’s life starts to fall apart with many important areas of their life being neglected. Such an addiction can be debilitating, especially when the person is in denial about the problem.

The following looks at some of the real dangers that dab drug use has, including dab drug side effects and factors that can allow dab drug use to become a problem, especially in the youth.

Dab Drug Side Effects and Risks

Since teens often don’t have access to large amounts of funds, and hash oil often comes with a hefty price tag, many teens have resorted to finding other solutions. The youth today have access to streaming platforms that have countless how-to guides on how to make hash oil, most of which include the use of butane. The manufacturing of BHO was the cause of 49 unexpected explosions across the country in 2014 due to the highly-flammable butane that is used, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The manufacturers, who are often in the teens, have caused houses to burn down and personally suffered broken bones, severe burns, and even death in some cases.

Apart from the dangers of making BHO, other risks and dabbing effects on brain include the following:

Buying hash oil also has its own set of risks. In a study, all of the 57 samples that were tested contained the residual presence of pesticides and other solvents that are harmful when ingested or smoked.

Dabbing Effects on Brain

While marijuana effects on the brain may be limited compared to some other drugs, it has still been linked to psychosis. The dabbing effects on brain are exponentially increased due to the abnormally high concentrations of THC – users often fall to the ground due to the tremendous effect that such concentrated amounts of THC have.

Furthermore, teens are even more at risk to the dabbing effects on brain. This is because they are going through important developmental changes in their brain chemistry that the presence of THC can negatively affect – especially the high amounts found in dab drug abuse.

Use of BHO is a concern in teens for another reason; the earlier use of drugs starts, the more likely a person is to get addicted in their later life. For years, marijuana was seen as the gateway drug and still is to an extent for the following reason: by experimenting with what seems like a safe substance, it opens the user up to more experimentation with harder drugs, and the changes that occur in the developing brain can further make the teen more susceptible to addiction.


One of the biggest causes for concern is that hash oil and the marijuana flower is becoming more accessible. Legalization of the drug in many states now means that not only is the perceived dangers of using the drug lowered, but adolescents have more access to it than ever before. This fact alarms some officials as early experimentation can lead to riskier behavior, such as trying to other drugs.

Treatment for Substance Use Disorder

Marijuana is addictive. While its addictive properties may lie mostly in the domain of mental addictiveness, the end result is often the same as with other physically additive substance: the user’s life starts to fall apart due to their inability to stop drug abuse, leading to poor school or work performance, and responsibilities falling by the wayside. Addiction may be a destructive force, but it doesn’t have to be.

If you or a loved one is struggling with dab drug abuse, then you can find help at the many rehab centers across the country, such as the ones listed on Better Addiction Care. In general, the treatment process includes the following:

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.