With marijuana legal in 18 states and D.C., dispensaries are popping up all over the country. Along with bud and edibles, there’s also a new trend that’s taking the cannabis world by storm: dabbing. But the uptick in new forms of marijuana consumption is leaving many to ask, “are dab pens safe?” Let’s take a look at dabs and pens.
What is Dabbing?
Dabs are concentrated doses of cannabis made by extracting THC from marijuana flowers using solvents. Chemicals like butane (yes, that stuff in your lighter), propane or carbon dioxide are used to extract the THC and concentrate it into a wax-like form. The resulting wax is then heated and inhaled. If you’ve ever heard anyone describe shatter, wax, butane hash oil (BHO), this is what they’re referring to. Dab can be smoked in a pipe, and unique bongs called dab rigs, a nail and blow torch (yeah, don’t try that one), or by using dab pens (vaporizers). All of these products contain extremely high concentrations and sometimes up to 90% THC.
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Common Names for Butane Hash Oil
- Weed Wax
- Butane Honey oil
- Liquid THC
- 710 (Oil upside down)
Is Dabbing Safe?
Dabs do contain far less plant matter and, therefore, fewer carcinogens (cancer-causing compounds) than smoking the bud or flower, but they do carry risks. First, the level of THC found in dabs is remarkably higher than that found in old-fashioned weed. A lot of people don’t quite know what they’re in for. I sure didn’t and can recall the first time I did a dab. I’d had a couple of beers, nothing crazy, and was a frequent pot smoker back then. I was so high that I was uncomfortable, And mind you, I was smoking a lot of chronic in those days. The dab mixed with a couple of beers was a bad idea. The amplified effects left me feeling like I’d consumed a handle of vodka and smoked three blunts solo. It was not a fun time.
Another problem associate with dabs is that professionals don’t always make them. I know you think your buddy is a weed-pro, but leave it to the companies that grow and manufacture ganja products. As you read above, the chemicals used to create the concentrate are nothing to fool around with. Butane and propane are highly combustible, and any mistake and lead to an exposition. Also, and the solvents left in the wax will be inhaled. This “dirty oil” can have very harmful effects if inhaled. It’s doubtful your buddy has the Walter White chemistry background and knowhow to make safe, nontoxic shatter without blowing his hand or eyebrows off. Dabs also present an increased risk of addiction.
Are Dabs Addictive?
Because the TCH levels are substantially higher than flower or edibles, dabs can be more addictive. Marijuana, like any drug, carries a risk of dependence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10% of people who use cannabis will develop an addiction. If you start using the drug before the age of 18, you have a one in six chance of developing an addiction.
Addiction is a compulsive need to urge to use a mood-altering substance. One of the first signs of addiction involves compulsive drug-seeking. If you’re consumed with obtaining and smoking, you may be addicted to dabs.
The second sign of being addicted to dabbing is experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Common dabbing withdrawal symptoms are:
- Mood changes
- Lack of focus
- Hot and cold sweats
- Stomach problems
- Inability to focus
If you suspect you may be addicted to dabs, there is help. AspenRidge Recovery can help you break the habit. Our Outpatient programs can help you lead a fulfilling life. You can see our various options for treatment by clicking here.
But what really shows that a problem has developed is that dabs or marijuana abuse continue despite adverse consequences. If getting high is making it difficult to succeed at work or school, maintain relationships, or causing health problems and someone continues to do it anyway, the problem is likely serious.
Are Dab Pens Safe?
Generally speaking, a vape pen is safer than using a torch and a nail and a blowtorch—for obvious reasons. However, not all devices are created equal. Cheap, disposable vapes have exploded and injured users. The Food and Drug Administration released tips to help avoid vape battery explosions. The takeaways:
- Consider using vape devices with safety features: look for firing locks and protection against overcharging
- Keep loose batteries in a case to prevent contact with metal objects: don’t let batteries come in contact with coins, keys or other metal in your pocket
- Never charge your vape with a phone or tablet charger: always use the charger that comes with the product
- Don’t charge your vape overnight
- Release batteries if they become damaged or wet
- Never pack a vape with batteries in your carry-on luggage: they can explode and bring down the aircraft
Are Dab Pens Safe or Not?
The bottom line is that using any drug carries risks. The most obvious risk of dabbing is getting burned. Smoking involves using a blowtorch-like device to heat the instrument to a necessary trematurid.
The high is also exceedingly strong. The high concentrations are THC make the experience difficult to predict. New users with no marijuana tolerance may be unprepared for the intense effects.
Dabs also increase your tolerance to marijuana. You’ll need to smoke dabs more often, and larger quarantines carry the risk of developing substance use disorder.
The process of extracting the THC through a chemical process may leave some in the wax. There are potent and toxic, and no levels of ingestion are considered safe.
Addicted to Dabbing?
Substance use Disorder for marijuana addiction can be treated. We have multiple levels of care to help you quit. Our individualized outpatient programs will fit your situation and provide the flexibility needed to keep work or attend school. Call us now at 855-281-5588 to talk to an admission specialist for a free quick, and easy assessment.