Dabs are a form of marijuana that has become increasingly popular in recent years. The method used to extract THC, when smoked as dabs, gives the marijuana an incredibly potent effect.
Dabs is considered an “umbrella” term for this form of marijuana. It may be referred to by other names such as shatter, wax, budder, concentrate, or butane hash oils.
With this form of marijuana being so new to society, not much is known about the negative effects. In this article, we’re going to cover what are dabs, how they are made, whether they are safe, and whether or not they can be addictive to help give you a little bit more insight into this new trend.
Where Do Dabs Come From?
THC is the active chemical within the marijuana plant. This is the component of marijuana, that when smoked, gives users their “high”.
THC falls into a family of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. These types of compounds don’t mix well with water. As a result, other substances are required to extract THC from marijuana.
Individuals within the marijuana world have found that extracting THC is most effective when a hydrocarbon solvent is used. The most popular hydrocarbon solvents used in the process seem to be propane, carbon dioxide, ethanol, and butane. Among these, butane seems to be the most common. When these solvents are used, and THC extraction is completed, a brown, sticky, wax-like oil is the final product. This is what we know as dabs.
Since dabs have grown in popularity, devices made specifically for smoking dabs have become common. Heat can’t be directly applied to dabs, because of the nature of the substance.
These devices used for smoking dabs usually provide an indirect heat source to heat up the wax. One of the most popular devices is known as an “oil rig”. It is made up of a “bong” or water pipe for marijuana that is attached to a metal or glass nail head.
To take a dab, the user will heat up the nail head using a lighter or portable torch. The dab is then placed on the nail head. Once placed on the nail head, the dab wax will immediately start to produce smoke.
Over time, more methods for smoking dabs have been developed. Today, people can use wax pens to smoke dabs. These are portable pens containing a battery-powered vaporizer and dab cartridge. This could potentially be a problem, because it has allowed more widespread use of dabs.
The Dangers of Dabs
While dabs themselves may not be dangerous, the extraction process makes them more harmful. The hydrocarbon solvents used can have harmful effects, especially if residue of these solvents is smoked.
Many times, people who aren’t scientifically-qualified to do this often attempt the process. This can be harmful as well, because dangerous chemicals are used in the formation of dabs. These chemicals are extremely unstable and can come with a high risk of explosion.
The dangers of dabs may also occur during the growing process. Some manufacturers of dab wax use dangerous chemicals and pesticides while growing their marijuana. There have been tests done on several dab manufacturers in the legal marijuana industry. The results of the lab tests showed that these manufacturers were selling large amounts of dabs with harmful chemicals and pesticides in the product.
Extracting THC into dab form creates a more potent product. This form of marijuana can be highly intoxicating, and although marijuana doesn’t have any potential for physical dependence, some believe it can cause physiological dependence.
For this reason, many believe that dab addiction is entirely possible. If someone is a chronic user of dabs, they may become addicted and even experience withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms from marijuana or dabs can vary. Users can experience a wide range of possible symptoms. These can include anxiety, negative mood, loss of appetite, shaking, sweating, restlessness, anxiety, and changes in sleep patterns. These symptoms can last about 14 days before subsiding.
Reputation of Marijuana
It’s hard for most to believe that marijuana can be addictive. The common perception is that it’s virtually harmless. This viewpoint has been strengthened by the legalization of the drug and its use in the medical community.
People can become psychologically addicted to marijuana itself. They may feel that they need marijuana to get through the day. The term “anxiety” is thrown around so often in today’s society regardless of whether or not that anxiety has been clinically diagnosed. As a result, people may feel the need to turn to marijuana to cope with this “anxiety” and function day-to-day. Over time they can become dependent on marijuana to get through their day, and start to ingest more of the drug as they develop a tolerance. This creates a cycle of psychological dependence. This cycle can also occur in people who are prescribed marijuana by a doctor for legitimate cases of anxiety.
Marijuana As A Gateway Drug
While it’s true that the components of marijuana: hemp, CBD, and THC do have some medical benefits, it should still be used with caution. Despite all these benefits, marijuana is still considered a “gateway drug”.
People often use marijuana during their teen years as they become introduced to drugs and alcohol by their peers. While many people can use marijuana casually without it affecting their daily lives, there is still a potential for danger.
Since marijuana is viewed as harmless, and is generally introduced to people during their teen years, it can easily cause more substance abuse later in life.
Individuals will start using marijuana and notice no real change in their lives. They may even see their peers using the drug and still succeeding and functioning. Over time they may see their peers choose to use increasingly dangerous substances such as cocaine or meth. Because someone sees their friends doing it, and they and their friends already use marijuana together, they may begin to rationalize trying these drugs as well.
Ultimately this mentality of “marijuana wasn’t that bad, so these other drugs probably aren’t either” can snowball into the use of highly dangerous drugs.
Although the common thought is that marijuana in its various forms is no big deal, it’s important to make smart choices. No drug is completely harmless and all drugs carry consequences.
If you, or someone you know, appears to be struggling with addiction to marijuana or dabs it’s important to contact a medical professional.
Just Believe Detox Center can show you the resources available and help get you and your family on the road to recovery.