Marijuana Dabbing Use Signs and Symptoms – What Are They?

Signs of Dabbing Weed

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The simplest explanation of dabs includes various forms of quality hash, which go through a unique preparation process involving butane gas. Dabbing refers to a method of marijuana consumption where highly concentrated cannabis is heated. It leads to vaporization of oil which users then inhale to get a “high.” Dab is not a chemically modified plant; the only difference between typical marijuana and Dab is the concentration of THC.

THC is a chemical which induces the majority of marijuana-related effects. While an average cannabis joint contains about 15% of THC, the THC amount during Dabbing reaches 70-95% per dab, according to marijuana statistics. Such a high amount of this hallucinogenic substance causes immediate and overwhelming effects.

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How Dabbing Affects Your Body

Marijuana dabbing has become very popular in recent years. Some of its effects are not entirely understood, and doctors have just begun to compare the effects of typical marijuana to marijuana dabbing. The only fact most experts agree on is that marijuana by definition has adverse effects on a developing brain. This data is especially alarming since marijuana is widely spread among teenagers and young adults.

How to Tell That Someone is Dabbing

“Dabbing is to marijuana, as crack is to cocaine.” This sentence is used for explaining the dangers of dabbing and the importance of intervention as soon as you suspect someone you love has a problem. Unfortunately, users have developed some new ways of dabbing, like vape pens, which make it hard to see or smell. Pay attention and try to spot the following:

Marijuana Dabbing

  • If you find unfamiliar e-cigarettes among your beloved one’s stuff, be aware of the possibility they are using it for vaporizing marijuana. These e-cigarettes may be altered vape pens primarily meant for tobacco, so it is hard to detect marijuana use.
  • Glass water pipe or marijuana blunt.
  • Hollow metal rod called a “nail” (the nail is heated, and the dab is placed on the hot surface)
  • Changes in behavior consistent with typical marijuana users, but intensified throughout the whole day (disorientation, sleepiness, unusual talkativeness, bloodshot eyes).
  • Increased use of perfumes or cologne to hide the marijuana smell.
  • Increased use of chewing gums, breath mints, and eye drops.
  • Increased interest in cannabis and different names for marijuana, talking about it and collecting stoner movies (with marijuana smoking characters).
  • Marijuana inspired clothing.

Signs and Symptoms of Marijuana Dabbing Use

Someone who practices marijuana dabbing may show the following signs and symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Poor decision making
  • Red, bloodshot eyes
  • Lack of coordination
  • Forgetfulness
  • Hallucinations
  • Bad mood
  • Nervousness
  • Sleeping problems
  • Increased heart rate
  • Failing to complete daily responsibilities
  • Social withdrawal

Long-Term Effects of Marijuana Dabbing Use?

Marijuana dabbing can have grave consequences on one’s body and mind. Some of the long-term dabbing marijuana side effects include:

  • Depression and isolation
  • Permanent paranoia and anxiety
  • Cardiac problems – irregular heartbeat
  • Blackouts
  • Psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Brain damage which and decreased intellectual properties

Although the connection between marijuana and cancer is still to be researched, it is clear that dabs contain larger amount of carcinogens and toxins than the regular joint.

Dangers Associated with Marijuana Dabbing

  • Marijuana extracts may be precarious to make since highly flammable butane gas is used during the preparation process. (Home chemistry is dangerous!) Numerous cases reported that entire houses have blown up, or someone got hurt.
  • Marijuana dabbing may lead to cases of overdose which include nausea, vomiting, and blackouts.
  • Marijuana dabbing can cause tolerance and develop an addiction.
  • Marijuana dabbing withdrawal symptoms are very severe.

What’s Next?

Emergency rooms have seen a great increase in marijuana dabbing related problems. This type of marijuana use has become a dire predicament.

If you know or suspect someone you know is using marijuana, be sure to stage an intervention for drug addiction treatment and help him/her face the problem and the possible adverse outcomes. Choose the rehab for substance abuse to prevent the dire consequences of dabbing.

Since marijuana dabbing may cause addiction, medical treatment is advised. After detox, group therapies and support groups can help a former addict lead a healthy, drug-free life.
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View Sources
  1. Saeed K Alzghari, Victor Fung, Shannon S Rickner, Liza Chacko, Steven W Fleming. To Dab or Not to Dab: Rising Concerns Regarding the Toxicity of Cannabis Concentrates. Cureus. 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5679763/
  2. Raber JC, Elzinga S, Kaplan C. Understanding dabs: contamination concerns of cannabis concentrates and cannabinoid transfer during the act of dabbing. J Toxicol Sci. 2015;40:797–803. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26558460

Marijuana Dabbing Use Signs and Symptoms – What Are They?

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  • desiree j jefferson
    I have discovered that my son is dabbing. I believe intervention is necessary. I have no idea where to begin. Please help me with the next step. He has been using marijuana since he was 12 I believe from what he has told us, we have been trying to manage through punishment and restrictions of freedom, in addition to constant contact with other parents of his friends. His behavior has become withdrawn, moody, no emotion, does not care to have a relationship with his family, sleeps a lot etc.
    • Deborah McPeek
      Have you found any help? I suspect my son, who is now 24, has been doing it for several years. I want to help him, but I don’t know how. He becomes angry when I try to talk about getting help. I need help too…..please
      • Kristie ingland
        I am a mother of an addict he is 20. As a recovering alcoholic myself, 4 yrs, there isn’t alot we can do with out kids. I have loved my son, punished my son. Kicked my son out, bought him everything nothing helped. The key is for you to get to Al-Anon. And take care of you, for your sanity. I finally had to for me. God will take care of the rest I pray you find some peace. This is soooo hard.
    • Shane
      I’m just curious if anyone ever responded to your request for help?
    • Robert Perez
      It is very bad for you to punish your son for something like marijuana. The best thing to do is talk with him. Marijuana is not a dangerous drug but, indeed can be addictive. If your son is cart dabbing you should inform him that there is a chance that his cart is not marijuana (people can’t get an overdose from marijuana smoking), many carts (if in an illegal state) are fake and dangerous do to some being laced with other chemicals like Barbiturate which is very bad chemical (even though it is a medicine.) You should try and understand your son Every person deals with things differently, Marijuana helps people with depression unlike what this site states. Also you should talk to him about his responsibilities, you need to make him understand the responsibility that comes with smoking marijuana. If he decides to continue his use of Marijuana you should accept (as long as marijuana isn’t affecting his life dramatically like making him irresponsible.) your sons use of the drug. Now you obviously need to set rules like you can’t do it during school, or like not at in the house do it outside in the yard. You need to try and understand your son and why he uses the drug. Usually teens start using marijuana in order to deal with problems or stress.
  • Daniel
    I am 17 years old and I quit using dab pens and weed for a almost a month now. How do I get my brain working again? Please help
    • Insane Jane
      Vitamin C and potassium. Basically, eating a banana and an orange or apple every day for a week and you’ll be back to normal.
  • John Smith
    Alright, I’m 16 and my friends have dab pens. I don’t care to buy a pen because knowing myself I would develop an addiction. I don’t get high with them if we’re just hanging out for a typical afternoon. However, I do get high with them for when we have sleepovers (hahahahaha! We still have sleep overs at 16 what a bunch of losers) which typically occur every 1 month. So if I get high only 12 times a year or so will that affect my brain and health in the future? If so I’m definitely stopping I’m very health conscious.
    • Dante
      You’ll be ok
  • Ralph
    This is complete horse**it. It’s a plant that grows out the ground. Sounds like you are getting this mixed up with the ‘legal’ and ‘accepted’ drugs that society and pharmaceutical companies have led you believe are ok.In conclusion, marijuana, even the dreaded dabbing, are not going to kill you with use, ever. The same can’t be said from OxyContin, percect, adderal, suboxen, Xanax etc. Please stop spreading fear.
    • Consuelo
      I AGREE with you!
    • Jayreal
      Lies lies lies . Marijuana is still a drug. If you have big dreams of being a CEO, president of a company, or anything above. Please quit . If you wanna have an average life and be an employee keep medicating. I don’t blame you. I smoked for 15 years and I have the power to be honest with myself and new consumers. Hope this helps someone in this new world.
    • 4 sons mom
      My 15 yr old son almost died last night due to hitting a maxed out dab pen offered to him by a group of 18 yr olds. 99% thc and he overdosed He became instantly sick, blacked out and collapsed, rush to er in ambulance, lost all consciousness for over 10 hours, lost all color…scariest thing i have ever experienced as a mother. Er confirmed there were no opiods, and they believe this was purely thc overdose, and they have had several other similar instances where it took hours even days for kids to regain consciousness. these dab pens are way more dangerous than weed, and kids need to be warned of the dangers.
  • Tiny Tony
    Dabbing can be habit forming, but so can brushing your teeth for f**k’s sake. If you don’t have enough willpower to come back from weed “addiction” then you were already braindead to begin with. I have been smoking weed for 6 years and dabbing for 3 years and I am 21, I’ve quit and restarted a few different times for varying lengths of time, and I have had almost no adverse effects from it whatsoever (the occasional bout of anxiety can come up from doing way too much all at once or mixing the wrong kind of strains, but just like with anything else time heals all wounds). Saying that “dabbing is to marijuana, as crack is to cocaine” is a terrible comparison (plus they’re not just inherently called “dabs”, they’re concentrates, dabbing is the form in which you use them, you don’t call marijuana “smokes”), and this post is terribly inaccurate in its descriptions… concentrates that you dab are just that, concentrates. Would you say that a shot of vodka is way worse for you then a glass of beer? No, because there is the same amount of alcohol, it’s just that you take the more concentrated one in faster so you feel the more potent effects more quickly. Also, there have been plenty of studies of the relation of marijuana to cancer, most if not all of which point in the direction of it slowing the growth of cancer cells, which is exactly why it has been used medicinally to treat cancer since the ’90s. Adversely, there have been some studies that show that some forms of concentrates (such as butane hash oil, or BHO) can actually produce some harmful carcinogens that may be linked to cancer, so if you’re a nervous Nelly like me avoiding those varieties isn’t a bad idea. As with any form of medication marijuana has its ups and downs, but unlike most medications that are pushed upon us today (for massive amounts of money), marijuana is completely natural (if you don’t count the fact that people have been breeding and interbreeding different varieties for hundreds of years, but if you were really worried about that then don’t eat produce). There’s also the issue of smoking marijuana, because burning anything produces lots of different compounds that could be harmful in the long run, so to be even better on that front you should vaporize (using either the dry leaf without burning it or using concentrates and doing “low-tempt dabs”) or use edibles instead. All in all what I’m trying to say is to research your stuff a little bit better before you make a post trying to describe to people who don’t know anything about it, otherwise you both are worse off for the wear.
  • BraveEagle
    Right on Ralph. Truth is they, meaning the government want to place fearr in you about a plant that actually provides many miraculous uses dabbing or not.
  • Ty G
    My boyfriend and I have been together for three years. We also have a child. Every since I met my boyfriend he has been waxing. He seems to have no control or will power to quit. In the first year of us dating, I had to get on him numerous of times about doing it around our infant at the time while I was in class and he was babysitting our son. He becomes highly irritable if he doesn’t have it. His parents never took the wheel to get him help in his early stages of being on it. Every time I try to talk to him about it, he becomes angry and tries to convince me how “safe” it is among other drugs. He’s a loving person and that’s why I’m still with him but I see how it affects him everyday. His neglectfulness to other’s including my feelings when he hasn’t had it or is using it. It’s hard because his “best friend” is the guy who sells him the wax. I want to be a family with him and marry him but his addiction really is taking a tole on our relationship and himself and it’s like he doesn’t even see it. I don’t know what to do. I know it’ll be a hard process because he’s been dabbing for YEARS but I want to help him.
  • Gwen
    My son is on suboxone after years of pills and then on to heroin. He is now dabbing and I’m so disappointed and scared as to what’s next. I’m also worried about his two small children and will he be around to watch them grow up.
    • raj baj
      dabbin is an improvement to heroin. meaning if he has stop using heroin and only dabbing, then you shouldnt be as worried, however with both then yes. i would start with the cause of the addiction. every person has one. hench the additional need for closure by drugs. once you can determine the s cause then you can address it appropriately. it is easier to find the cause of the addiction rather then question the addiction
  • rajiv k bajpai
    the approach here is wrong, do not categorize your kids into the same category as heavy drug addicts. this is how they become one. the key is to see if your kid preforms better or not using cannibus. in some cases where depression and anxiety is heavy, marijuana helps. in cases where your child does not have these symptoms is where focus should be. as a user myself the tipping point is knowing how addictive your habbits are. i grew up with sevre depressing and anxiety from an abusive and addictive house hold. how ever i did overuse marijuana to a point where intervention is needed. also was able to funtcion and run a corporation while consuming marijuana for depression and sleepless nights. they prespective is how you look at it and label it.if your child needs meds for depression anxiety then marijuana is a medicine(wayyyy better xanax) you would rather be dealing with marijuana withdrawals( none) compared to opiod based withdrawals. dont panic, marijuana is a drug. but it all depends on the user whether the drug is helping or hurting,wether its helping them or hurting others is the question to ask.
  • J
    My son was pressured into dabbing and he is only 14. He got sick twice and has vertigo going on over 24 hours now. Not sure what I can do for him?