The “dabbing” method of cannabis use isn’t new, but it’s spreading quickly, especially among teens. This article offers a summary of the serious risks that come with the practice.
It’s been around since the Vietnam War, but with the increased availability and legality of marijuana in much of the United States, the practice of dabbing is on the rise.
“Dabs” are bits of crystalized THC extracted from marijuana with the aid of a chemical—butane, most often. The dab is super-heated with a blowtorch, and the resulting vapors are inhaled.
The resulting high is often intense. But as this article points out, so are the dangers. These include exposure to poisons (benzene, pesticides, residual butane), burned throat and lungs, and a host of physiological effects, including “rapid heartbeat, blackouts, crawling sensations on the skin, loss of consciousness, and psychotic symptoms such as paranoia and hallucinations.”
This article is not a scare piece—the authors note that dabbing overdoses are unlikely to be fatal—but it does review the dangers in a straightforward manner. If anyone you know may be dabbing, this is information you need.
For further reading, you can also have a look at this article on dabbing aimed at nurses from the National Institutes of Health.