What Is Dabbing? What Are Dabs Wax? Is Smoking Dabs Weed Dangerous?
Dabs are marijuana or THC concentrates. Dabs have revolutionized marijuana use by modernizing ancient techniques to extract a more concentrated product from the cannabis plant. As cannabis use increases with legalization, dabs are becoming common in legal marijuana dispensaries.
They are also being found more often on street corners where dabs are decriminalized, such as in Washington D.C. A dealer may sell the user a high priced empty bag, and then drop the cannabis-infused dab gummies, dab oil, or dab wax into the bag. They even have sour patch dab wax.
You may have heard of hash, hashish oil or honey oil, which is a brown or yellowish brown resin or oil that can be smoked. Hashish is a THC concentrate cannabis extract that is also known as a dab, or a dab wax.
What are dabs, and what do dab users use for smoking dabs?
As you can imagine, the THC level in cannabis oil or marijuana wax is very high. In addition to wax, cannabis dabs are also referred to as rosin dabs, amber dabs, honeycomb dabs, budder dabs, and shatter dabs.
Shatter vs wax? What is the difference between dab shatter and dab wax? Often, the difference between these types of dab is subjective and related to the translucency of the product.
So, what does all of this mean? Why would someone want a concentrated marijuana extract in the form of an oil or wax dab for cannabis ingestion?
As you can imagine, one reason is to have a more potent product in order to get high with less smoking or ingestion. Smoking weed can only get a person so high, but smoking concentrated cannabis, such as dab wax or pot oil, is known to induce a much more intense high.
While marijuana is generally not considered to be a very addictive drug, marijuana addiction does occur. Addiction to cannabinoids is more likely when a concentrated dose is used, such as with a concentrated dab which may be smoked in a water pipe, inhaled as vapor with a vape pen, or eaten.
What is a dab made from? Do dabs smell?
There are different ways to extract various dab products. Some dab methods and products are safer, and some are potentially toxic, involving poisonous solvents.
To obtain the high THC concentration and terpenes from the kief of the marijuana flower, one ancient method used is simply rubbing the cannabis buds against skin to form a tar-like substance. Then, the dark-colored substance is left to dry.
The terpenes give dabs their characteristic cannabis or CBD smell. The smell of a dab is part of its appeal to users.
Dabbing resin dabs and dabbing kief are more common in other parts of the world. When it comes to weed vs hash, many traditional cannabis-using groups prefer these older resin dabs.
This hand-rubbed dab is also known as Charas, and has a long history of many centuries of being smoked in a water pipe as part of various rituals. Dry sift hash is another, similar product.
What types of dabs are sold in dispensaries and on street corners today?
In modern times, the dab-creation process has evolved to using dangerous solvents, such as butane gas, alcohol, propane, and others. A newer, safer method uses a solvent consisting of carbon dioxide.
Butane hash oil may be produced with a butane torch using butane oil in an extraction process which is dangerous and can leave behind toxic residual solvent. A modern, legal marijuana plant does not use this method, though smaller, home operations may still sell this dangerous cannabis concentrate to be used in a dab rig or dab straw by marijuana users seeking a more intense high than they can obtain from regular marijuana or traditional medical marijuana.
While newer, safer techniques to produce marijuana concentrate are not quite as potent as those using dangerous solvents, they are becoming widely used. Cannabis consumption in the form of marijuana edibles, especially gummies, is very popular in regions where these products are either legal or decriminalized.
Do you know how to smoke dabs?
Smoking dabs is not recommended, because the dab high can be intense and very different from a regular cannabis high. Smoking concentrates of any drug is a recipe for trouble.
Many people have no idea how intense the experience of eating a couple of gummy dabs can be. They may look like candy, but these dabs can cause an intense high.
Of course, the intoxication from smoking dabs often leads to dabbing addiction. Hiding out, spending hours and days figuring out the best way to smoke shatter with a shatter rig is not a pleasant way to live.
Imagine an addiction to marijuana vape oil in a region where recreational cannabis use is legal? With access to pure oil cartridges and the best oil rigs, and a low dabs price, addictive dabs use may continue for months or years before a person finds a reason to try to quit.
Dabbing without a rig: how to dab without a torch.
In addition to gummies, dispensaries sell all kinds of edibles. Using a flame and a fancy dabbing rig or dab vape setup is not at all necessary.
There are even sublingual oils that users can drop under their tongue to absorb. Additionally, there are brownies and candies as well.
For someone addicted to dabbing, the options are endless when visiting the local dispensary or dealer. With legalization, the sophistication of dabbing has made the “dab on the go” lifestyle commonplace in many areas.
Dab addiction is serious.
While the names of cannabis products can sound appealing and dabbing does not sound like it would be dangerous, the dangers of dab addiction are real. A dab addict may have great difficulty giving up the dab habit.
Rehabs are aware of the dab addiction issue and have developed programs to help. They are seeing people addicted to cannabis dabs and oil, as well as kratom dabs. Kratom extract and kratom oil are, of course, more intoxicating than raw kratom leaves.
While addiction to these plant products in their raw, natural form is rare, addiction to dabs is more common, because people get high faster, and they reach a much more intense high. The reward centers of the brain respond, and the user becomes addicted.
When a cocaine user moves to crack cocaine, it becomes difficult to justify addictive use. The crack user knows that they must eventually quit their dangerously destructive and illegal habit.
Harm reduction is the first step in keeping dabbers safe.
On the other hand, the dab addict can continually justify dabbing, because it may be legal or decriminalized in their region, and they justify that it is simply a concentrated plant product. Yet, the nature of dabs, being highly concentrated, is what leads to self-harming addictive use.
How does someone quit dabbing or reduce dabbing danger?
Harm reduction is an important first step in mitigating dab-related risks. During the early period of a dabber realizing that they have a problem, they may still not be ready to quit.
It is important to help point the dabber in the right direction to help them make safer choices. Fortunately, with the legalization of cannabis products, the supply tends to be safe and nontoxic.
A family member, loved one, or counselor might recommend use of safer, less addictive dab products. For example, moving from dab vape and dab smoking to edibles can make a difference.
With gentle guidance and therapy, the dabber can start to move in the direction of less use, with the goal of abstinence. Learning that there is more to life than dabbing is an important step in recovery and overcoming dabbing.
Are there dabbing withdrawal symptoms and long-term effects of dabs?
Quitting dabbing cold turkey can lead to some withdrawal symptoms, which are not as dangerous as alcohol withdrawal or as unpleasant as opioid withdrawal. The long-term effects of dabbing can be ominous.
Though dabbing is thought to be relatively safe, like other forms of cannabis use, it can lead to permanent short-term memory problems and reduced motivation. A person who dabs for many years will not live the same full life that they might have lived otherwise.
While people who enjoy marijuana like to spread the word that cannabis is a safe drug, not causing deaths or physical harm, this is not completely true. They say marijuana is not a gateway drug, but any drug that is intoxicating, affecting judgement, can be a gateway drug.
Dabbing deaths due to the effects of dab intoxication are probably very rare, but what about accidents caused by driving while dabbing? Dabbing while using heavy machinery can lead to serious consequences.
Is there a Dabbers Anonymous 12-step group to help dabbers to recover?
Searching for terms such as “dabbers anonymous” leads to groups and businesses promoting the sale and use of various dabs. There does not seem to be a recovery group, based on the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 steps, that helps dabbers to quit dabbing.
However, people who are serious about giving up their dabs, and all other mind and mood altering drugs, may enjoy Narcotics Anonymous meetings. NA is a program originally based on Alcoholics Anonymous, but it is a completely separate, distinct program.
NA meetings can help by introducing the 12 steps of NA, as well as making it possible for a person who dabs to find support in the group and to find a sponsor. Dabbers may also hear their story repeated by a recovering dabber who happens to be a speaker at an NA meeting.
Additionally, there are other recovery groups, such as SMART Recovery and Celebrate Recovery, that are open to people with a variety of addiction issues. Where the typical NA member is likely recovering from hard drugs, such as crack, meth, heroin, or fentanyl, these newer groups may tend to cater more to people with other forms of addiction.
How can a dabber die from a Juul overdose?
In the age of fentanyl, dabbing deaths will likely become more common. The problem is that, while there are now many legal dab sources, many people still buy dabs on the streets.
All street drugs today are at risk of being adulterated and contaminated with deadly fentanyl analogs. Unfortunately, this includes marijuana, and concentrated dabs.
In fact, a drug in the form of a wax or oil is more likely to include fentanyl compared to a natural plant product. While it is possible that marijuana buds may have been dipped in a fentanyl solution, dabs are probably at higher risk for fentanyl contamination.
Still, any drug user who buys any kind of drug on the streets, from pills, to plants, to oils and waxes, should be aware that all street drugs may contain fentanyl. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that can lead to overdose due to respiratory depression.
Is there a dabbing addiction podcast to help people to learn about how to overcome dabbing?
While there may not yet be a podcast dedicated to helping people to overcome dabbing addiction, we do offer one of the best addiction recovery podcasts online. We try to cover all aspects of drug and alcohol addiction, providing many options for recovery, including medical treatment when available.
At this time, I am not aware of a specific medication assisted treatment for dabbing addiction, but it is likely that one will be developed in the future. Dab MAT will have to be safe, effective, and readily available to help as many people as possible to overcome addictive dabbing.
For now, harm reduction is most important, as well as education to teach people about dab marijuana, and how it can be addictive and harmful. When young people ask, “what is dabbing weed?”, or “What is dab drug use all about?”, we must be prepared to provide honest and complete answers about the risks of dabbing and the dangers of the dab high.