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What Are Dabs Drugs?

Dabs drugs are usually made from stems, leftover shakes, and other leftover materials from the cannabis plant. A concentrate is extracted from the marijuana dry herb. Butane hash oil (BHO) is the primary extract used in dab weed. The creation of this concentrated form of marijuana involves the use of butane, which is a very flammable chemical. If you’re wondering if it is the same gas found in butane gas cylinders usually used on camping trips, then you’re right. This process can cause explosions and thus is dangerous.

During the extraction process, the butane is used to extract the terpenes, cannabinoids, and other essential elements. The butane is then removed through evaporation, which leaves a resinous, sticky oil that is usually amber in color. There are, however, different types of extracts depending on the method of extraction and the process used.

Dabs Drug
The high from dabs drugs can cause temporary psychosis, memory loss, increased heart rate, anxiety, and even hallucinations.

The most common dabs drugs varieties are the following:

Honey Oil – This has a thick liquid consistency with a dark golden or amber color. It is also known as honeycomb, oil, and 710.

Shatter – This dab drug variety comes as a semi-transparent thin sheet of concentrate, almost resembling an amber glass. This type of dab drug can easily break below room temperature.

Butter – This type of dab drug has a doughy consistency. It is malleable and resembles peanut butter.

Wax – This variety of dabs drugs often resembles brown sugar as it is coarse and crumbly. It can sometimes resemble earwax in terms of consistency and color.

Live Resin – Unlike other dabs drugs varieties extracted from dry herbs, this dab drug variety is not made from dry herbs. Instead, it is made from fresh plants that did not undergo the normal drying process. It is one of the hard-to-find dabs drugs.

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How Dabbing Drugs Works

Although marijuana is commonly consumed by smoking joints and sometimes through vape pens, dabs drugs are heated to an extremely high temperature and then inhaled. A specifically-designed glass bong commonly called an “oil rig” is used [1].

The dab is placed on an attached “nail” and a blow torch is used to heat the wax, which produces a vapor that can be inhaled. This type of ingestion means the effects of dabbing are felt immediately.

People can also dab by placing hash oil in vaping devices. This method is especially common among teens because it allows them to use hash oil with a very low chance of being caught because there is no smoke or distinct smell. Consequently, they may dab in public places, including at school.

Although the process of dabbing is not new, it is growing in popularity in the United States. Researchers attribute this growth to the commercial production of medical marijuana and its legalization of it in numerous states. Both of these factors have led to an increase in instructional videos online as well as a greater social media presence. Consequently, it is becoming more and more popular.

Dabs Drug
It is a danger to use dabbing equipment while also experiencing impairment due to the high potency levels of the oil.

Can You Overdose on Dabs Drug?

With dabbing, the possibility exists involving overdosing. Because this form of marijuana is extremely potent, the consumer may have too much when dabbing. Symptoms of an overdose include paranoia, panic attack, vomiting, passing out, heart rate acceleration, or confusion. If an overdose occurs during dabbing, you could be at risk of accidental injury.

The process of dabbing has been found to lead to psychosis. A case study on the subject found that two people consumed dabs and were subject to psychosis that was marijuana-induced. Both the users had to spend time in the hospital and psychiatric medication was used to wean the body back to normal.

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Dabbing Drugs Is Not the Same as Smoking

The main difference between dabbing and smoking weed is in the potency and onset of effects. While smoking weed hits you quite quickly, the effects of wax and shatter are felt near-instantaneously. With up to 90% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, dabbing also delivers a much more powerful high. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis and one of at least 113 total cannabinoids identified on the plant [2].

The downside of the rapid delivery of this powerful, THC-laden substance is an overwhelming sense of paranoia triggered even in habitual smokers. Dabbing also calls for more specialized equipment than smoking marijuana. The final core difference between marijuana and shatter is the price. Concentrates are much more expensive. Prices are higher still on the black market.

Harmful Side Effects of Dabbing Drugs

Dabbing is linked with a number of dangerous side effects like a rapid heartbeat, blackouts, crawling sensations on the skin, loss of consciousness, and psychotic symptoms such as paranoia and hallucinations.

Meanwhile, a study conducted by researchers at Portland State University found that dabbing also may expose people to elevated levels of toxins including carcinogenic compounds. What the scientists found is that the higher the temperature the substance is exposed to, the more carcinogens, toxins, and potential irritants that are produced.

The temperatures required for dabbing put people at a greater risk than other methods. As a result, people who dab are being exposed to harmful chemicals including methacrolein and benzene. Likewise, another study found that more than 80% of marijuana extracts are contaminated with poisonous solvents and pesticides.

The Dangers of Dabbing Drugs

Because dabbing involves using marijuana with a much higher THC concentration, its physical and psychological effects may be more severe. Additionally, in creating the vapor to be smoked, the paraphernalia on which the dab is placed is often heated to temperatures greater than 400 degrees Celsius.

Besides the obvious dangers of burns and starting a fire, this can also lead to the individual inhaling benzene, rust, and/or off-gassing solder, which are associated with long-term health dangers. Furthermore, another study found that over 80% of the cannabis concentrates evaluated were contaminated with pesticides and/or residual solvent.

As mentioned before, because the process of creating BHO involves the flammable chemical butane, it can cause dangerous explosions. Some say that the dangers of making BHO are similar to those of making methamphetamine.

Unfortunately, the potential risks of dabbing are not fully understood because there isn’t enough research into it yet. It is speculated that dabbing may be linked to a higher risk of falls, accidents, and losing consciousness than regular marijuana use. However, further study is needed.

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Withdrawal Symptoms from Dabbing Drugs

One study found that individuals reported higher tolerance and withdrawal from dabbing, which indicates that dabbing may increase the likelihood of addiction or dependence. Marijuana withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Insomnia and fatigue
  • Changes in appetite
  • Sweating, fever, and/or chills
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Shaking

People who have existing mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, can make these conditions worse when they smoke traditional marijuana. Wax increases the negative symptoms associated with these mental disorders worse, more frequent, and more disruptive.

Dabs Drug Addiction

Signs that an individual may have a cannabis use disorder include the following:

  • Continuing to use marijuana despite relationship problems and other social issues
  • Neglect of other activities due to marijuana use
  • Failing to fulfill important responsibilities at home, school, or work due to frequent marijuana use
  • Using marijuana in dangerous or inappropriate situations
  • Continuing to use marijuana despite the incurrence of adverse consequences
  • Using marijuana more often or in higher amounts than originally intended
  • Failing to decrease or stop marijuana use despite attempts to do so
  • Spending a significant amount of time obtaining, using, or recovering from marijuana use
  • Drug cravings
  • Experiencing tolerance or withdrawal

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Drugs like marijuana can alter the dopamine reward system, so being able to stop using dabs if the habit is problematic is just one part of the recovery process. You also need to reprogram deeply entrenched thought patterns to form new positive behaviors.

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When you attempt to break behaviors, some challenges may arise, including losing friends, needing to fill your time, and experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Stopping cannabis use has also been known to cause withdrawal, making it difficult to quit completely.

The first step in treatment is detoxification. It will help you navigate the complicated withdrawal process, but it doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to drug abuse. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can provide necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.

Psychotherapy

Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of depression, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves making changes in both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression. 
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
  • Person-Centered Therapy – is a strategy that allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, supportive environment.
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Substance abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in a mental health disorder and substance abuse. Dual diagnosis programs in New Jersey treat both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. In this strategy, both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder are treated simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend largely on the treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.

Medication-Assisted Treatments

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use disorders and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

If you or someone you know dabs, or is addicted to dabs drug, it is important to recognize the danger of use. From ingesting toxins to injury, dabbing can be extremely harmful. If you need help with a marijuana addiction, seek help from trained professionals. Contact one of our helpful treatment specialists today. We Level Up rehab center in New Jersey can provide information on dual diagnosis and detox programs that may fit your specific needs.

dab drugs
The role of a good medically monitored detox program is to make sure the client is safe while going through withdrawal.

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Sources:

[1] NIDA – https://archives.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/dabbing-dangerous

[2] DEA – https://www.justthinktwice.gov/facts-about-marijuana-concentrates