Is Dabbing Dangerous? Learn the Dab Drug Side Effects

Legacy Healing Center Blog

The Dangers of Dabbing and Dab Drugs Side Effects

Medical and recreational use of marijuana seems to have become more broadly accepted, (19 states and Washington D.C. have passed laws making it legal both medically and recreationally; another 18 states have either made it medically legal and/or decriminalized it1.) Marijuana doesn’t have quite the stigma as it once did. However, that does NOT mean it’s necessarily safe. And dabbing, a different way of using marijuana, is significantly more dangerous than smoking a joint or a bong.

In true, “give an inch, take a mile” fashion, many have transitioned from the usual consumption methods of bongs, joints, or edibles to a much more potent and potentially dangerous delivery of THC — the compound in marijuana that delivers the high. That delivery method is known as “dabbing2.”

If you are looking to get free from dabbing, traditional marijuana use, or any other drug, consider drug rehab in Florida. The journey to freedom begins here.

What are Dab Drugs?

What are “dabs” or dab drugs? Simply put, it’s a highly concentrated oil, often made using butane to extract the THC. Sometimes referred to as butane hash oil (BHO), it has a myriad of innocuous-sounding street names, like

  • Shatter
  • Honeycomb
  • Budder
  • Wax
  • Ear wax
  • Dabs

THC is extracted from the marijuana flower using butane, CO2, or another method. Pouring butane over the dried marijuana bud is probably the most common extraction method, though. The resulting product appears brown or gold. And depending on the purity, it may have a translucent glass-like appearance or look like a soft ball of wax or ear wax.

The purpose of extracting and concentrating the THC is to get a much faster high. Dabs are almost pure THC. Most traditional cannabis joints, THC vapes, or buds smoked in bongs contain about 10-25% THC3. Traditional marijuana products also usually contain additional cannabinoids such as CBD, which balance and reduce the effects of THC. Dab drugs, on the other hand, contain an average of 80% THC concentration3, and sometimes up to 95% concentration, often with little-to-no CBD. Needless to say, the effects are enormous.

What is Dabbing: Dab Drug Side Effects

Dabbing can also be referred to as the use of marijuana concentrates. These concentrates can create dab drug side effects up to four times stronger than high grade marijuana meaning that normal levels contain around 20 percent THC and these concentrates contain 40 to 80 percent.

Sometimes dab drug side effects can lead to paranoia, anxiety, panic attacks, and hallucinations and the long-term effects of marijuana concentrates are unknown. CBD gummies are helpful alongside high concentration THC dabs to help with anxiety.

Although smoking marijuana concentrates is the most common form of consumption, there are many other options. These concentrates can come in the form of wax, shatter, resin, hash, rosin, keef, etc.

Some of these options allow the concentrate to be used through an e-cigarette or vaporizers because they are able to heat the substance through the device, ensuring a high with little to no effort.

These methods are odorless, smokeless, and easy to hide. In general the dangers of dabbing are slim and some types of marijuana concentrates even have benefits for certain individuals. Using concentrates can help individuals with chronic pain and nausea find quick relief.

You can also dab CBD which is a concentrate that has no psychoactive substances and is federally legal because it only contains a trace of THC. This method of dabbing can provide CBD benefits such as helping with sleep, anxiety, heart health and more.

Continue reading to learn the dangers of dabbing and what you should not do if you are considering using marijuana concentrates.

Dangers of Dabbing

Traditional cannabis use (joints, bongs, edibles, or sublingual methods) all have some level of delay or building of the effects. Dabbing not only has immediate psychoactive effects but can also have unintended physiological and psychological effects.

Hospitalizations have been reported with dabbing due to seizure-like activity, elevated heart rates and blood pressures, and paranoia5. Other long-term dangers associated with dabbing could include

  • Chronic lung function presenting as pneumonia and acute hypoxemic respiratory failure, which can be extremely dangerous. (not having enough oxygen in your blood)
  • Structural brain change and damage
  • Cognitive dysfunction

When you are ready to stop dabbing, it’s best to go through a trusted drug detox program.

While smoking dabs is undoubtedly dangerous, it’s not the only way dabbing is dangerous. The act of extracting the THC with butane oil, actually manufacturing the dab, is also extremely dangerous and potentially deadly. Butane is a hazardous gas. Explosions may occur if mishandled with fire or heat to extract the THC. It’s not just the side effects of smoking dabs that’s potentially harmful. Even making BHO can be dangerous.

Treatment Options

You may be surprised at the treatment, therapy, and rehab options available for getting off dabs or other drugs or alcohol. Drug and alcohol recovery have come a long way. At Legacy Healing Centers, we know it’s not enough to treat the drug or alcohol use disorder. The use of substances is simply a way to cope, a symptom.

We believe in treating the whole person. We know that you are more than the disease and the behaviors it illicits. We are committed to helping you uncover root causes of issues, find new coping tools, and build new relationships.

When you first arrive at Legacy, you’ll be assessed and recommended a level of treatment care. Based on your needs, you could undergo a partial hospitalization program (PHP), which may include medically supervised detox. This is an in-patient, residential program.

Alternatively, we may recommend you try our intensive outpatient program (IOP). This option is ideal for those who have completed the PHP or another in-patient program but aren’t quite ready to face the struggles of daily life while maintaining sobriety.

Other options include outpatient programs or family programs. Your road to wellness may consist of more than one, gradually stepping down as you heal and are steadily ready to integrate back into daily life. We will give you ongoing support.

Recovery is not something that happens in a moment. Drug use disorders affect more than just the person. We want your family members to be well, healthy, positive, and encouraging in your recovery journey.

With a holistic approach, your customized treatment plan could include medications, individual counseling with a licensed practitioner, group sessions, such as a 12-step recovery program, and even recreational activities. After all, a life without joy is not really embracing living. You’ll meet like-minded people with whom you’ll create a lifelong bond and learn how to live fully without the need for dabs or other drugs or alcohol.

Get Help Today

Ready to break the cycle of drug use disorder and reclaim your life? Contact us at 888-858-0137 and reclaim your legacy at Legacy Healing Center.

We understand the difficulty of breaking free from the bondage of addiction. Here, you’ll find no judgment, only compassionate and understanding Ladies and Gentlemen, helping Ladies and Gentlemen. Your new life free from dabbing and other drugs and alcohol starts here and now.

Don’t fall victim to the dangers of dabbing and reach out to Legacy Healing Center today at 888-597-3547.

At Legacy Healing Center, our approach to recovery is built around a holistic methodology. We look at addiction as a comprehensive issue and offer a complete set of services to heal the physical body, the mind, and the spirit. Combining research-evidenced practices from medicine and psychology, our team of highly trained professionals looks at all aspects of our clients’ lives on an individual basis. Our holistic approach to healing encompasses more than dealing with addiction through primary treatment strategies like therapy and meetings. We offer a full range of services to heal the whole person, body, mind, and spirit.



  1. Map of marijuana legality by State. DISA. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2022, from
  2. Vaping and marijuana concentrates 2020 – (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2022, from
  3. Butane Hash Oil. Butane hash oil – Alcohol and Drug Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2022, from
  4. Mary Frances Mullins is a clinical nurse educator at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto. (n.d.). Cannabis dabbing: An emerging trend : Nursing2022. LWW. Retrieved June 28, 2022, from
  5. Alzghari, S. K., Fung, V., Rickner, S. S., Chacko, L., & Fleming, S. W. (2017, September 11). To DAB or not to DAB: Rising concerns regarding the toxicity of cannabis concentrates. Cureus. Retrieved June 28, 2022, from