There are growing concerns about a particular way of getting high from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana responsible for euphoria. Butane hash oil (BHO), commonly referred to as “dabbing” has been around for a long time, but as states adopt more relaxed marijuana laws there is more exposure to products that were once considered niche. A new report has found that more young people are turning to dabbing to get high, Live Science reports.
“We have been seeing an emergence of dabs over the last three years,” said John Stogner, co-author of the new paper and an assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. “It is really exploding onto the drug-use scene.”
Concerns about dabbing stem from the high THC concentration of dabs and the way in which the product is manufactured. The concentrates can consist of up to 80 percent THC, resulting in a faster acting, more intense high, according to the report.
“At a minimum, dabs are four times as strong as a joint, and the high is administered all at once,” said Stogner. “It’s dangerous to assume the risks of dabbing are akin to [those of] smoking marijuana.”
Earlier research on dabbing, which surveyed about 350 frequent marijuana users, had some startling results regarding the participants’ views of dabbing. The study found that marijuana users perceived dabbing as more dangerous, leading to a higher tolerance and worse withdrawal symptoms, the article reports. The findings suggest a possibility of addiction or dependence.
Amateur home production of dabs has resulted in a rise of explosions and burns. People are watching instructional videos on how to make dabs, a process which involves highly flammable butane. Without proper ventilation, a refrigerator’s compressor clicking on or a thermostat can ignite the butane.
The findings were published in the journal Pediatrics.
If you are struggling with marijuana addiction, please do not hesitate to reach out for help.