Dabbing marijuana: The facts and the risks

Dabbing marijuana is a method of taking concentrated cannabis. This is done by extracting THC and other cannabinoids from the well-known cannabis plant. Dabbing has become a popular way of taking marijuana, especially in countries where the drug is legal. However, dabbing can be dangerous and users need to be made aware of the risks before they take it.

What is a dab?

A dab is a small amount of cannabis extract often referred to as butane hash oil (BHO). Butane hash oil is the main extract used to create a dab. To create a dab, butane or carbon dioxide is used to extract THC and other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, resulting in a sticky extract. This is then heated on a hot surface and inhaled through a dab rig.

Other names for a dab include Honey Oil, Shatter, 710, Earwax, Budder, Honeycomb, Black Glass, and Errl. The dab extract normally includes 50-80% THC, making it an extremely powerful psychoactive. Regular marijuana when smoked only has 12-13% THC. This also means that less dabbing is needed to get the same side effects as smoking.

Dabbing marijuana has been around for years, but the creation of other extraction methods has led to cannabis concentrates becoming largely popular. It can be smoked through a water or oil pipe or a glass bong. Dabbing can also be done through vapes as they provide an odourless way to consume marijuana.


There are many risks that need to be taken into consideration with regard to dabbing, which we will list here.

The high is stronger

Dabbing involves using cannabis with a higher level of THC, meaning the physical and psychological effects can be more severe. These side effects can often lead to powerful episodes of paranoia, psychosis, anxiety, and hallucinations. It is advised not to dab if you have not experienced marijuana before as you will not be aware of how your body will react.

Extraction process

One of the main reasons that dabbing is dangerous is the extraction process. The steps can be tricky, and as mentioned above, it involves using flammable chemicals. These chemicals can often lead to explosions and fires. Butane is highly dangerous as it is volatile and unpredictable. It is very easy to sustain burns when creating a dab as the butane will heat up the metal used very quickly and to a high temperature. Luckily, there are many online videos and guides showing how to make dabs, but even with these available, it is advised that you seek help from an expert to work with the chemicals.

Increased tolerance

Many doctors and specialists believe that the potency of dabs will increase users’ tolerance to cannabis. Because there are such high levels of THC in dabs, if a user inhales them for a long time then attempts to consume ordinary cannabis with a lower level of THC, they will not feel the effects. This can not only be dangerous for the body but it may also mean that a user will spend more money on more potent strains of cannabis.

Dab abuse

Using dabs from a young age can affect brain development and is linked to a higher risk of psychosis. People who use dabs have reported a higher tolerance to dabbing, which has then resulted in withdrawal issues. Withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, irritability, restlessness, depression, and insomnia.


Dabbing marijuana when not done properly can lead to several injuries and withdrawal issues. But if used in small amounts and created by someone with experience, it can be enjoyed for its high level of THC and its ability to produce side effects quickly.

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