Dabbing Comes with Great Risk: Why People Do it and How to Find Help

When the legalization of marijuana hit the states, it began as a small wave of people wanting it for medicinal purposes. Now, it seems, legalization across the board is on the horizon as a socially acceptable practice. Something called ‘dabbing’ is a method of creating more potent substances from marijuana concentrates. It is powerful, and potentially toxic, for people who are doing this. Find out what it is and why people do it, as well as how to support a loved one who needs help quitting the practice of dabbing.


Marijuana concentrates are used to create a high for people who use it that is more intense than using regular marijuana. It causes a ‘high feeling,’ and can be melted down. THC, the active chemical in marijuana that creates a high feeling, maybe melted down. Marijuana concentrates can contain THC levels at 4 times the amount of regular marijuana. Concentrates are called wax, budder, or shatter when sold on the street.

Making Dabs

Several ways exist for making dabs. Chemicals are often used, including butane, to extract THC from the cannabis plant. Gasses are burned off in the process, leaving behind a waxy, brown substance. Other methods are used to make dabs, involving heat and pressing marijuana between sheets of parchment paper that leave behind concentrated resin. People use them in e-cigarette devices and inhale the vapor. It is tasteless and odorless. This means use of the drug goes virtually undetected. Inhaling the vapor in this way provides an immediate, intense high.

Side Effects

Concentrated THC is reported to create significant side effects. Some of the cannabis is present with effects attributed to potent levels of THC. Some side effects can include:

  • A heartbeat that is rapid
  • Psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
Dabbing Risks and Dangers

Dabs are considered akin to crack cocaine, except in cannabis form. The way it is processed is what increases the risk and danger to people who use it. Pressing butane through glass pipes to extract the oil has been known to cause explosions. The lack of research around the physical effects of inhaling concentrated THC have caused some issues, as well. With so little known, people are not as aware of the risks as they should be. It is believed the impact may be more addictive than using marijuana more traditionally. Prolonged use of dabs may result in cannabis withdrawal syndrome for people who try to stop. The brain receptors, CB1, and CB2 process THC, which increases the production of dopamine and other chemicals in the brain. Without the use of the drug, this does not happen, so the body rebels and goes into withdrawal. Anxiety, lack of sleep, and irritability are signs of withdrawal. More potent sources of the drug may cause more risk for withdrawal symptoms, depending on the person and their use history. Trying to stop dabbing is hard. It creates addiction, which leads to withdrawal, and can have other negative side effects. When people who use marijuana attempt to quit, it may be difficult to manage the roller coaster of emotions. Seeking help from a person with marijuana addiction training and specializes in this can offer great support and comfort to families of loved ones. Rehab can offer help for existing mental health issues, as well. Rehab is often the best course to begin a successful drug-free life that offers hope in recovery.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. We feel that nature-based experiences can offer help for people with addiction, but also spending the time concentrating on just the hard work of recovery is key to healing. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Contact us to learn more.