Extreme Marijuana–Dabbing and Vaping Dangers

Part 2 of 2

Parents beware, the marijuana culture is promoting extreme highs that can get your kids hurt. Vaping and dabbing are new ways to get high that are extremely sudden, dangerous and eliminate the telltale odor, making marijuana use harder to detect.

Drugs like marijuana are addictive and once a teen gets swept up into the drug subculture, over-use and abuse of drugs is likely. The search for the next big ‘high’ and the impaired judgment caused by drug use is leading some teens to go too far.

Check out this TV News Story about this issue.

Marijuana Becomes Extreme ‘Sport’

Several “weed blogs” and numerous online videos promote the popularity of dabbing.

Dabbing is inhaling the potent vapors from concentrated marijuana oil which is up to 80% THC, the psychoactive element in marijuana. In comparison, a pot cigarette contains up to 18% THC. The intense high from concentrated pot oil can literally knock you unconscious. According to an account of a NORML event in California, one person nearly cracked their skull on the sidewalk and another experienced marijuana smoker broke her two front teeth when she passed out cold after ‘dabbing’.

Honey Oil, photo from the Humboldt Sentinel
Honey Oil, photo from the Humboldt Sentinel

Another grave danger lies in the process of making homemade concentrated ‘hash’ oil. Concentrated marijuana oil is also known as Butane Hash Oil (BHO). It is made by firing up the marijuana plant material with butane, a highly flammable and toxic solvent. This intense burn releases the THC and other compounds out of the plant and concentrates them. The butane then needs to be removed by further heating the concentrate. Adding heat to a highly flammable substance is dangerous business. Any remaining butane becomes a gas at room temperature and easily ignites, even with a small spark of static electricity.

Home Chemistry is Explosive

There have been 31 butane hash oil home explosions in Colorado just during the first 9 months of 2014. California has had an even higher number; numerous have happened on Oregon and Washington, too.  Amateur oil makers are now burn victims and properties were destroyed and neighbors put at risk of harm. See PopPot’s recent article, Hash Oil Explosions Rise this Year.

This more potent form of marijuana, BHO, can be added to food.  Or it is smoked in a variety of ways.  Hash oil bong (called an oil rig) or e-cigarette vaporizer (a technique called vaping) are among the two most popular devices used to smoke BHO.

In dabbing a tiny piece of potent hash oil is put into a small compartment of pipe, vaporizer of pen. Photo: Oregonlive
In dabbing a tiny piece of potent hash oil is put into a small compartment of pipe, vaporizer of pen. Photo: Oregonlive

  The Hidden High

Unlike smoking marijuana, which gives off a noticeable, pungent odor, vaping hash oil is odorless and discrete and can go unnoticed. This means that like an e-cigarette smoker, a marijuana smoker can ‘vape’ in public places, work or even school without fear of consequences or reprisal. This makes vaping marijuana concentrate very appealing to addicts. It means those most likely to abuse the drug and become dependent on it can become more reckless about the use of the drug, thereby risking an overdose, and posing a danger to others.

Even pot culture observers are warning about the risks of vaping and dabbing.  Vaping is growing in popularity, because it allows legal marijuana to be smoked in illegal places, such as ball games, malls, theatres, schools. There is also the risk of not getting all the butane out of the finished product. According to Mother Jones magazine, “When BHO is improperly made, it can be tainted with toxins.”

A hash oil lab that was raided by police in Glendale, CA. Photo: Glendale Police.
A hash oil lab that was raided by police in Glendale, CA. Photo: Glendale Police.

The two main arguments in favor of legalizing marijuana are: 1) that it is not harmful and 2) that it is impossible to overdose.  With dabbing and vaping, we know differently.

For more on this topic read the San Francisco Weekly article, Thanks to “Dabbing,” It Is Possible to Overdose on Marijuana.

See Part 1 What is Dabbing, and Why Should Parents Worry

Downloadable Fact Sheet

Get the Parents Opposed to Pot Hash Oil Facts! Download our new flyer, which describes the hash oil explosions in states which have permissive marijuana laws: POPPOT-Hash Oil Statistics.

39 thoughts on “Extreme Marijuana–Dabbing and Vaping Dangers”

  1. My personal opinion…..I realize that parents are concerned with what their kids are doing and always should do nothing more then care and want the best for your kid. I get that….Talking to your kids, and being a good parent would really help. Dabs – a concentrate made from one method such as butane extraction. Now first of all …it is against the law to run butane extractions with out a license and how you get that license? Being INSPECTED by the state. The state ensures that where you are conducting your production of concentrates is safe, no gas leaks, tightly fitted hoses, the actual air in the Lavatory. People make it in their house because of their bad decisions and probably do not want to pay as much (joke), it does not have nothing to do with “promoting” something. Its bad decisions just as if you wanted to make crystal meth or crack. People who do care pay a lot of money and follow procedure because they appreciate the opportunity to be bless with this. Not only does the market create HUNDREDS of jobs in the industry it also pays for schools and roads to be built for our children and future generations. Dabbing is just very potent and usually when your a teen smoking a bowl of weed (not enough)a day a dab will hit you wayyyy harder. Why because it contains alot higher THC content in it. When you dab and vape as it burns on the hot nail, most of those impurities burn away. Shatter.. different then wax is actually purged even longer so more of the impurities are taken out however you lose some terpin properties because its a longer to create then wax which is vacuum heated. Just to clarify when you smoke weed you also smoke the plant matter itself and whatever was put in to the plant as it was grown. Its not a problem if you knew how it was grown but if your buying it from anonymous dealer he/she might not have the best grow going on(BUGS/MOLD). When you smoke a joint in public and not in your best environment it can take 40 minutes on a bluntastic roll however i do not have time like that to waste because i do like to get things done so I will take a dab verses smoking for a entire joint and be more medicated. Nobody is encouraging kids to dab or even smoke marijuana. What you have to understand is there is a lot of influences in this world regardless of what is right and wrong, you have to form that decision for your well being. Only you as a individual knows what makes you happy and what doesn’t. Its your choice to do what is “right” in your eyes, nobody else. People have different happiness in life. I see a lot of bashing because yes….its new and more potent but still its medically …marijuana. I dont think its the dab, I think its everyone who feels that they are right. Life is what you make with or with out weed. Please do not blame somebody else for the negative occurrences of your situation. Learn from it and become smarter just because I don’t find flying kites useful doesn’t mean it will not be useful for someone else in the future. How do we get things in this world…become optimistic and look for something that will help the world(OPPORTUNITY),not start a bitch fest. How can we make marijuana beneficial verses just talking uselessness about it because it didn’t work out for you? That’s the real question. If you concerned with marijuana please look up human trafficking, prostitution, unnecessary war in the middle east, porn. That is much severe of a problem and could use as much attention as this blog. Feel me? (Hitting a fat dab to that) God bless america cause we need it.

    1. This has to be one of the most hilariously bad articles I’ve ever read. I’d like to know what science background “editor” has and how they do their research… if you could even call this random spewing of nonsense research at all.

      I’m a licensed indoor producer/CO2 processor in the state of Washington, but somehow this article doesn’t even cover the myriad of ways to make concentrates (such as CO2 extraction). It doesn’t cover anything about the medical and safe recreational uses, the fact that concentrates go into every type of secondary product (as after proper processing in our laboratory it is edible, topical, and smokeable), the fact that dabbing is better for you than smoking, the fact that ecigarettes are safer for you than smoking, or that it has had massive health benefits for many people. There is no personal accountability in this article- alcohol is far more toxic and dangerous, and if your kids get a hold of it, it is your parenting that needs work and not the industry to blame. I wonder if “editor” has any type of alcohol in their house. That wine cabinet? Far more dangerous than cannabis concentrates.

      It is people like “editor” who muddy the waters of truth for everyone, and it’s truly a shame- empowerment comes from knowledge, and this article lacks any kind of real knowledge at all.

  2. This concentrate is a relatively new trend. There is not enough long term scientific evidence to evaluate what this concentrate does to the brain. If such a concentrate is causing extreme side effects of blackouts, it is also having a noticeable affect on the brain. This is something that should concern both teens and parents.

  3. You people are so full of shit, Its is very obvious that no actual research has been done on the part of the author.

    1. Dont believe the hype kids, I am a software developer and my wife is a librarian with two Masters Degrees, weve been stoned the whole time and definitely not missing out on any of the highs that life itself have to offer.

        1. Pardon me “editor”, but I am a clinical mental health counselor with two Master’s degrees (emphasized in case there is an assumption that I’m a stereotypical burnout). EVERYONE has a crutch, even you. There are things that you, and everyone else reading this, engage in to make yourselves feel better that may not always be the best choices. Stop judging. Scientific facts are only facts when they are backed up my empirically validated, peer-reviewed research. Look up what it means to have strong scientific research that is valid, reliable, and has been replicated many many many times over by other researchers. The crap you are using as scientific fact is bunk research…I looked them all up, read them, and went over the statistical data – bunk. There are some people who shouldn’t drink alcohol and there are many who can drink and have no issues, the same is true with marijuana usage. If someone chugged 3 beers and almost cracked their skull open on the pavement, we would say that they were drunk or foolish, not overdosing on alcohol…an overdose means there is so much of a substance in the body that there is a chance that the substance ALONE could kill the individual, not too much substance causing someone to faint on the sidewalk. The article referenced does not properly define an overdose, it defines someone who smoked too much, got lightheaded, and took a stumble. Your time may be better spent worrying about things that are actually killing people: cocaine, heroin, crack, etc. and most folks who use marijuana NEVER touch those drugs. Facts are necessary.

      1. Before I say anything I have been dabbing for about 3 years now everyday . You sound like an idiot this article though it needs facts check, was made for parents to warn then because concenrats dont smell pnugent when vapped and because when started at a young age dabbing will be a life long habbit and for me did lead to harder drugs. You adresses your comment at kids and were in favor of drug use way to make the 710 community look like a bunch of retared drug pushing dabbed out monkeys.

  4. BHO is concentrated !!! It is more potent than cannabis flowers. That is the point. Your leaving the less desirable properties of cannabis out of your body.
    I would hope you teach your children that whiskey is more potent than beer, just as I would advise anyone a dab is much more potent than a bit of a joint. Cannabis in any form is safer than beer or whiskey.

      1. Mr Editor, your the editor of a Marijuana blog lol Mr are you serious? You seem to know little about the real world and even less on Marijuana…

      2. Editor, I am one of the original hash oil makers in Washington State and my company is THE original Co2 hash oil company in Washington State. My companies work has been presented on CNN, Seattle local news stations, and many respectable NON-cannabis related magazines and publications. In my professional opinion, based on the poorly researched article and subsequent video presentation I believe it you who has wishful thinking. There are so many types of cannabis concentrates yet your presentation throws a blanket over them all that just isn’t accurate. There are numerous types of cannabis concentrates that are made with solvents and ones made without solvents and your presentation does not even attempt to discusses any of these. Did the “journalist” even try to contact any legal, professional, licensed cannabis extract companies? It’s obvious they didn’t….why not? Isn’t that a basic journalistic requirement? If one is going to attempt to provide education and information about cannabis please try to not present 20th century “flat earth” information. It’s the 21st century now, please try to keep up with what is really going on in the cannabis industry by interviewing actual professionals in the industry. If you would like some relevant information that isn’t outdated, inaccurate or is not just straight out disinformation please feel free to contact me or any other licensed cannabis professional. My information is noted. Please feel free to ask here also.

        1. If you are defending the different ways of making hash oil and keeping it safe, it still would not be something allowed for those under age 21. Our purpose
          is to inform parents of this new way children and teens are getting high. It’s not legal for children — even in Washington.
          Our concern is to prevent children and teens from using marijuana — as well as hash oil, wax, shatter, or the related extracts. The children who use with these extremely
          strong concentrates are probably the ones who are ending up having psychotic breaks at Providence St. Peter’s Hospital in Olympia. (A story last week said
          there are 1-2 emergency admissions each day. (The article said “dabbing” was the usual cause.) Our purpose was to inform parents they must be aware of
          this new danger.

          1. Editor, my purpose is not to “defend” anything. My purpose, similar to that of yours is education. In this instance, I am trying to provide enlightenment about a subject that I am an expert in that is woefully presented on this/your website. Additionally, I helped write the state law here in Washington State so I am well aware of the legal age requirement to legally purchase and consume cannabis products and any inference on your part that I or any other legally licensed cannabis professional believe or promote otherwise is neither accurate nor appreciated. Further, your concern that children and teens do not consume cannabis is also an attitude that is prevalent throughout the cannabis profession; however, our industry tries to provide educational information in the proper context. While this has not always successful, it has been my experience that the information provided by my industry to legislatures, council members, communities and the like has been brought with a sense of providing factual information with the intent of finding a successful middle ground for all sides that are concerned with this issue. I commend you for trying to provide information to parents but the information you provide must be thorough and accurately presented. I asked you 3 basic questions about how the information you are providing was collected yet you chose to not even answer a single question in your response. I even offered my expertise to you to educate you and you asked to me nothing. As such, in my opinion, that shows you are not interested in finding out the entire truth about this issue and you only appear interested in information that suits your narrative. This ultra conservative, military family, baptized a Mormon, cannabis entrepreneur finds such mindlessness very frustrating and I have come to define such a mindset as the new 21st century flat earthers.

  5. All of the arguments in this sad excuse of an informative article can be debunked by one point: If I want to do something to my own body, harmful or not harmful, what right does anyone have to incriminate me for doing so? You talk about dabs and marijuana in general as some dangerous drug that can ruin your life, yet you would have me jailed for using it? Would going to jail not also ruin someones life?

    1. Based on your comments and the fact that Parents Opposed to Pot a website for parents, then do we assume you support marijuana use for children and teens? Is that the point that you are trying to make? Are you trying to say parents have know right to know if their kids are using marijuana?

      The marijuana legalization groups like NORML and MPP say they do not support marijuana use for those under 21 to use marijuana, yet dabbing and vaping is pushed for the younger set and they are told it’s good way to hide it from your parents.
      NO ONE GOES TO JAIL FOR MARIJUANA ALONE, not teens, not adults. Someone who ends in jail has to be a dealer or be giving it to minors. Giving it minors may wind you in jail in the states that have legalized. So again we not sure what you point is when we are trying to keep marijuana from children and teens.

      1. You sir, are an idiot on so many levels.
        First off, I know plenty people who have gone to jail for having a supply of their own PERSONAL marijuana. If someone gets caught growing, they will go to jail even if they aren’t selling it. Sure you can go out and buy a bag of weed from a drug dealers but why should somebody have to go through the black market to get something that should be legal anyway?

        As for people under 21 smoking dabs/weed, my answer is simple: Be a better parent. You can’t keep kids from doing something by making it illegal. Alcohol is plent legal but teens still find a way to drink it. All keeping weed illegal really does is make them into criminals for using it and expose them to the black market and harder drugs.
        The reason weed is a gateway drug is BECAUSE it’s illegal.

        Also, Dabs/hash oil is probably the single most healthy way to consume THC. You are very misinformed and are spreading misinformation, so please stop.

    2. This is one of the dumbest comments I have seen. BHO fires are real & the inconsiderate idiots who are trying to make “honey oil” at home using butane are causing explosive fires & recklessly endangering themselves as well as their neighbors. Almost lost my 6 month old son to this type of fire last week. If you are doing this at home in an unsafe manner, you may burn or murder your Mom, Dad, Son, Daughter, Neighbors etc. Why are you even on this site?!

  6. This is the most ignorant article on thc and marijuana I’ve ever seen. It literally makes me laugh. Don’t believe the stuff you’re seeing kids. Vaporizing thc is the cleanest, healthiest, safest, and probably most enjoyable, form of getting thc in your body.
    This is just the system hard at work to keep you from being truly free.

    1. Why do children need chemicals to get “high?” What ever happened to getting high on life and enjoying each day without drugs?

      1. Well as with the legacy of inherent chemical use and the predisposition of tolerance to such chemicals it simply takes more of that substance to get the person high. Yes, I was once very high on life. One thing lead to another, and it was taking a lot more life to get me high. But just remember that not every one is the same and the same results should not be expected in each case. Also for legal reasons I should say these results should not be considered to be typical.

    2. My 16 yr old daughter threw up, her eyes looked like she was in a trance. She could not talk. She was dabbing.
      This is what you want to be free to do John Smith?

      1. We really sympathize with you, and hope she was able to get emergency help…..The fact that the pro-pot people are pushing this trend and they are telling people it is safe, etc., is very devious.

      2. Seems to me like your daughter wasn’t very experienced. I’m an 18 year old active man, and I “dab” every day. Along with lifting weights and other normal activities.

    3. ACTUALLY, I’M A KID (almost 12) AND ALL THAT YOU JUST SAID IS SOOO NOT TRUE! THEY WANT TO KEEP US ALIVE AND HEALTHY! I DARE YOU TO SEARCH -non smoker lungs vs smoker lungs- SEE WHAT YOU GET (non smoker lungs white well pinkish but, the smoker lungs ugh they make me wanna die!)
      SO NOW YOU TELL ME, ARE WE IN GOOD HANDS?! YES!! BECAUSE IT DOES NOT MATTER FREE COUNTR-NO! IT MATTERS FOR OUR HEALTH! Even yours!!! hope you realize before its to late for you even if this post is like half a year later!

    4. AGREED. this article and news story is very poorly misinformed. It makes me so sad to see hoe the media can make something look so horrible without doing proper research. BHO production to make Cannabis extracts is VERY dangerous BUT there is also an ice water extraction method as well… over all production should be left up to businesses to safely produce and give to adults and medical patients. Wax and Shatter are two different types of concentrates. They form depending on the process of extraction and how the molecules in the trichomes of the plant are disturbed. This is a medication for patients with severe cases. It can be use for recreation for adults, but is not recommend unles you are a frequent user. Cannabis is a safe, useful, helpful and life changing medication. It should be used properly and responsibly.

    5. Before I say anything I have been dabbing for about 3 years now everyday. You sir sound like an idiot this article though it needs facts check, was made for parents to warn then because concenrats dont smell pnugent when vapped and because when started at a young age dabbing will be a life long habbit. You adresses your comment at kids and were in favor of drug use way to make the 710 community look like a bunch of retared drug pushing dabbed out monkeys

    6. This is one of the dumbest comments I have seen. BHO fires are real & the inconsiderate idiots who are trying to make “honey oil” at home using butane are causing explosive fires & recklessly endangering themselves as well as their neighbors. Almost lost my 6 month old son to this type of fire last week. What is ignorant about this article?

  7. Butane may be highly flammable, but it can in no way be characterized as “Toxic”, other than a simple asphyxiant.

    1. Makers put in boiling water to removed the butane. Note that many of the explosions occur when makers try to cool the butane.

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