Dabbing is a form of marijuana use that involves the inhalation of vapor from butane hash oil or “BHO” – a more concentrated form of cannabis. The BHO (street names: dab, budder, honeycomb, and earwax) has more concentrated THC, marijuana’s active ingredient, and is therefore more potent. Dabbing, as it has come to be called, is especially popular among young people.
The BHO can be smoked through modified bongs or rolled up and “vaped” using e-cigarettes. In reference to the dabbing phenomenon that has occurred over the past three years, one criminology expert said the practice is “exploding onto the drug-use scene.”
Although dabbing has been around for more than 40 years, it didn’t become very popular until recently. Why the recent shift from obscurity to popularity? Some experts believe this is due at least in part to pot legalization and commercial cannabis cultivation.
Whether out of novelty or the need for a better high, marijuana users of all types have been drawn to dabbing. However, with a potency almost four times that of a regular joint, dabbing may be putting people at risk. Manufacturing the dabs at home is also dangerous. Some say just about as dangerous as manufacturing meth, resulting in fires, explosions, and burn injuries.
Since dabbing has only recently risen in popularity, there are not many studies on the health effects of inhaling such high concentrations of THC, but users should be cautious. According to a survey of regular marijuana users, many of those surveyed said they believed that dabbing was more dangerous than regular marijuana use because the strength of the drug could result in a higher tolerance, stronger withdrawal symptoms, and therefore a much higher chance of becoming addicted.