A wax dab next to a marijuana plant

Dabs, also known as budder, shatter, wax, concentrate, or butane hash oils, are a relatively new form of marijuana extract that have gained great popularity over the recent years.

Dabs use a specific method to extract THC and other cannabinoids (the active ingredients responsible for the effects of marijuana) that yield a highly concentrated, strong product.

But are dabs safe? And are dabs addictive? Here we discuss dabs in detail.

How are dabs made?

THC and other cannabinoids are not soluble in water, and thus need certain solvents in orderA picture of a dab in a petri dish to extract them from the raw marijuana plant.

Dabs use hydrocarbon solvents specifically to achieve extracting THC from marijuana plants.

The hydrocarbon solvents used include ethanol, propane, carbon dioxide, and most commonly butane. The result of the extraction is sticky oil that typically appears bronze in color.

How are dabs used?

Marijuana dabs are typically smoked using devices specifically made for their use. Dabs usually are not smoked by putting direct heat on the wax.

One popular device to achieve this is simply known as an “oil rig”, which is a combination of a water pipe (bong) with a metallic or glass nail head attached to it.

First, the user heats up the nail head using a portable torch.  Once hot, the dab is placed on the nailhead and rapidly combusts into smoke.

Users can now also smoke dabs and other concentrates with “wax pens”, which is the combination of a battery powered vaporizer and a pre-manufactured “cartridge” with the concentrated THC wax inside.

Are dabs dangerous?

The extraction process used to make dabs can be particularly dangerous, especially when done by amateur “scientists”.

The process calls for using volatile substances that can provide explosion risks, especially if done in poorly ventilated areas. There is also danger in residual solvents being left behind, which can be highly toxic if smoked.

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Many dab and wax manufacturers have been found to use harsh pesticides and chemical solvents when growing marijuana for dab extraction.

Lab tests have confirmed that several large dab and concentrate manufacturers have been caught selling product laced with harmful pesticides and chemicals.

Are dabs addictive?

The highly concentrated nature of dabs makes them particularly intoxicating. The effects in which very small amounts produce are incredibly strong and come on much more rapidly than other methods of ingestion.

Marijuana, while not physically addictive, can cause severe physiological addiction in chronic users despite popular belief to the contrary. Therefore, dab addiction is a very real thing. Most users will also begin to experience withdrawal syndromes if they cease use, another telltale sign of addiction.

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.