While marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, all but six states have fully legalized it or have approved it for medicinal purposes and decriminalized its use. The result has been a steady increase in the use of marijuana, especially in the younger population. With this increased use has come a surge in the popularity of dabs.
Dabs are bits of butane hash oil (BHO) containing highly concentrated THC levels, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Consuming these high doses of THC contributes to increased tolerance and risk for dependency and addiction. Addiction treatment programs like those offered at Westwind Recovery® can help you or a loved one overcome marijuana addiction.
The Dangers of Dabs
Dabs, also referred to as wax, budder, shatter, amber, and honeycomb, are made through a chemical process that uses butane to extract THC oils from marijuana. In a nutshell, butane is forced through a container of marijuana where it acts as a solvent, separating the oils from the plant. The resulting product is called butane hash oil (BHO). The butane is then allowed to evaporate, leaving behind the highly-concentrated oil that, when dry, becomes the dab. Butane is highly flammable, even when evaporated, so the production of dabs is hazardous and is comparable to the dangers of making meth.
The THC content of marijuana today is significantly more potent than it used to be, which is already a contributing factor to increases in dependency and addiction. Regular marijuana averages about 12-15 percent THC, with the most potent strains being around 25 percent. Comparatively, the THC content of dabs averages 80 percent. Proponents of dabbing argue that it is better than regular marijuana use because you can use much less to achieve the desired effects. In actuality, the concentrated doses of THC result in higher tolerance, dependency, and risk for addiction.
Dabs need to be heated to extreme temperatures to produce the vapor inhaled to get high, leading to the risk of severe burns. Other dangers of dabbing include:
- Inhalation of toxic compounds
- Rapid heartbeat
- Loss of consciousness
- Paranoia or hallucinations
- Withdrawal symptoms
While dabs are mainly smoked, they also can be added to food or beverages. When consumed as edibles, they become even more potent. Overall, it is dangerous to assume that dabbing carries no more risk than regular marijuana use.
Substance Abuse Treatment for Cannabis Use Disorder
The common belief that marijuana is not addictive is false. While marijuana dependency or addiction does not carry the risk for overdoses like alcohol or other drugs, it is not without consequences. Signs that you might have a cannabis use disorder can include:
- Continuing to use marijuana despite negative consequences
- Inability to fulfill responsibilities because of marijuana use
- Inability to cut down or stop using
- Consistently using more than you planned
- Avoiding activities because of marijuana use
- Increased tolerance
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using
Many people contend that smoking pot does not have adverse effects, but research indicates otherwise. Some of the negative short-term effects of marijuana use include impaired short-term memory and motor coordination, altered judgment, respiratory issues, and increased heart rate. Heavy marijuana use, as with regular dabbing, can have long-term effects, such as:
- Altered brain functioning
- Verbal memory loss
- Anxiety or depression
- Poor quality of life
- Low motivation
- Dependency or addiction
Marijuana is frequently used in conjunction with alcohol and other drugs. If you dab while drinking or using other drugs, you significantly increase the risk for adverse reactions. If you suspect you have a marijuana dependency or addiction, substance abuse treatment is available at Westwind Recovery®.
Westwind Recovery® Provides Quality Substance Abuse Treatment
If you are ready to seek treatment for your drug or alcohol use, look no further than Westwind Recovery® in Los Angeles. Well-known for our innovative programs, we offer a wide range of holistic and evidence-based therapies aimed at treating the body, mind, spirit, and soul. At Westwind Recovery®, we help clients rediscover who they truly are and provide them the tools to live a healthy, fulfilling life in recovery. Call us today at 855.340.8832 to learn more.