A Guide to Dabbing and Vaping Marijuana

Dabbing is not a new concept; however, dab pens have been gaining popularity over the past few years. These small vape pens, mainly used by teenagers, have raised concern in parents and school administration members throughout the country.

So what is it about dab pens that makes them so popular with teenagers and young people?

What is Dabbing?

You may have heard of the term ‘dabs’ or related slang words such as wax, amber, and budder to refer to a method of smoking marijuana. Dabs are a combination of highly concentrated THC (the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana) and butane hash oil.

The production of dabs requires a chemical process that extracts oils from cannabis. First, butane is poured over the marijuana. The THC then leaves the plant and dissolves into butane. The result is a sticky, gummy-like wax substance.

Dabs vs. Traditional Marijuana

In reality, there is not much of a comparison between dabs and traditional marijuana. There is, in fact, an intense difference. One dab, or hit, is about four times stronger than smoking an entire joint. Dabs also cause an intense high that hits all at once. Dabs have about 80% concentration, whereas cannabis has about 10-15%.

How Do People Do Dabs?

Dabs are typically done with a glass bong called an oil rig. When smoking out of an oil rig, the user should use a blowtorch to heat the wax. They then inhale the vapor and start feeling the effects of the high almost immediately.

While this method used to be one of the only ways to do dabs, a new way to consume hash & THC has taken the world by storm. 

What Are Dab Pens?

This oil can be placed in cartridges, which are attached to vaping devices called dab pens. These small, thin pens were originally filled with nicotine to help cigarette smokers quit. Now, cartridges can be filled with flavored cannabis oils.

Why Do People Use Dab Pens?

Dab pens have become increasingly popular because of their convenience and sleek format. They are also extremely easy to store and hide. There is no smoke, no distinct smell, no ash, and no rolling papers involved — just vapor and a light scent.

Are Dab Pens Safe?

Dab pens can be more dangerous than traditional marijuana, as we mentioned above. These pens, unlike traditional cannabis, may contain dangerous additives and high levels of toxins.

Side effects of smoking dab pens may include blackouts, rapid heartbeat, and paranoia. Smoking them for a prolonged period of time may lead to a higher tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and even lung illnesses.

Dabs & Vape Pens

Overall, dab pens are not recommended. There is not enough scientific research behind them to confirm their level of safety. Additionally, using dabs comes with greater risks to your well-being than other methods of getting high.

If you know or love someone who is using dab pens, talk to them about the risks that come with it. If they do not respond to the conversation, it may be time to consider asking for the help of a doctor or other medical professional. To learn more about the possible dangers of dab pens, contact our substance abuse professionals by calling 267.209.7312 or explore our treatment facilities to find the right level of care for your needs.