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    Dabbing is a method of consuming marijuana (cannabis) in a concentrated form. Referred to as “dabs,” these marijuana concentrates usually look like dark brown or yellow-colored wax and can feel very sticky and gummy. Marijuana dabs are used by vaporizing the concentrates on a hot surface and inhaling the resulting fumes. Slang terms for dabs include butane hash oil, honey oil, budder, crumble and shatter.

    Dabs contain very high THC levels (the compound in cannabis that creates a “high” when consumed). THC concentrations in dabs typically range from 60% to 90%. Some very potent concentrates, such as distillates, may even have THC concentrations higher than 90%. However, actual THC levels can vary based on the product and brand.

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    Dabbing has gained popularity among cannabis users for several reasons. Dabbing has become a part of cannabis culture, with a dedicated community of people who appreciate the art and ritual of the dabbing process. This has contributed to its popularity.

    The quick onset of dabbing is also attractive. The effects of dabbing are known to be felt rapidly, providing people with a quick and powerful high. This can be appealing to those looking for immediate relief or a fast-acting experience.

    Additionally, dabbing is considered more efficient than smoking cannabis flower because the concentrated form requires smaller amounts of the substance to achieve the desired high. This can be cost-effective for people who want to stretch their cannabis supply.

    Cannabis concentrates also offer diverse taste and smell profiles that are appealing, and dabbing allows people to experiment with different types of concentrates, including wax, shatter, budder and more. This variety allows for a wider range of experiences, catering to individual preferences in terms of flavor, texture and effects.

    Different from smoking, dabbing involves vaporization rather than combustion (burning). This can potentially reduce the amount of harmful smoke-related byproducts inhaled.

    How does dabbing work?

    The process typically involves a “dab rig,” which includes a water pipe, a nail (usually made of titanium, quartz or ceramic), a dome and a torch. The steps include:

    1. Heat the Nail: The nail is heated with a torch until it’s extremely hot.
    2. Apply the Concentrate: A small amount of cannabis concentrate is placed on the hot nail.
    3. Inhale the Vapor: As the concentrate contacts the hot surface, it vaporizes, and the user inhales the vapor through the water pipe.

    What are the health risks of dabbing?

    Dabbing with high-potency cannabis concentrates comes with certain health risks. Here are some potential concerns:

    1. Increased Tolerance: Regular use of high-potency concentrates can lead to an increased tolerance to THC. As a result, larger and larger amounts of cannabis may be needed to achieve the desired effects, which can lead to taking too much.
    2. Psychological Effects: The intense and rapid onset of effects from dabbing high-potency concentrates can be overwhelming for some individuals, leading to anxiety, paranoia or panic attacks.
    3. Respiratory Health: Heating the nail to extremely high temperatures can produce potentially harmful byproducts in the form of vapors. These can irritate the respiratory system. While it’s generally considered less harmful to the lungs than smoking cannabis flower, frequent and heavy use still carries a risk of causing breathing issues.
    4. Impurities and Contaminants: Poorly produced or contaminated concentrates may contain residual solvents, pesticides or other harmful substances. Choosing high-quality products from reputable sources can help reduce this risk.
    5. Memory and Impaired Thinking Skills: The high levels of THC in concentrates may contribute to short-term memory and thinking problems, especially in individuals with risk factors for mental health disorders.
    6. Dependency and Addiction: Chronic use of high-potency cannabis concentrates can potentially lead to dependency or addiction.

    To minimize these risks, it’s important to use concentrates responsibly. Always try to get these products from reliable sources. Be aware of the potency of the products you’re using and try to use them in moderation. If you have any underlying health concerns or are new to cannabis, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before dabbing or using high-potency concentrates. Additionally, staying informed about the products you’re using and practicing harm reduction strategies can contribute to a safer dabbing experience.