The NIDA Blog Team

Smoking marijuana extracts, sometimes called “dabbing,” has become more popular in recent years, and it has some doctors concerned.

Marijuana extracts—concentrated oils from the marijuana plant (sometimes called “hash oil”)—are a lot stronger than dried marijuana. The higher THC levels are what draw some people to try marijuana extracts. On average, regular marijuana has a THC content of 12–13 percent. (Remember, THC is the chemical in pot that makes users feel high.) But the average marijuana extract has a THC content of more than 50 percent, and some extracts are as much as 80 percent THC!

Side effects may include explosions

Because the THC and other chemicals are more concentrated in marijuana extracts than in regular marijuana, the side effects of dabbing—like poor judgment and coordination—are likely to be more powerful than those from smoking weed. Since dabbing is so new, there are not many studies on this yet, unfortunately.

Marijuana extracts can also be very dangerous to make. One method for extracting the concentrated drug from regular marijuana involves forcing butane (a flammable chemical often found in lighter fluid) through a marijuana-packed pipe. Sometimes it works; sometimes it blows the house up, landing the maker in a burn unit (or worse). 

Dab at your own risk

Some scientists have said there should be more public education about the risks of dabbing. In 2014, one study found that, although using dabs didn’t cause more accidents than smoking marijuana buds, the extracts did cause people to build up a higher tolerance to THC and to have more symptoms of withdrawal.

Also, in a 2015 study, over 80 percent of marijuana extracts studied were contaminated with pesticides or poisonous solvents left over from the extraction process.

Marijuana in general is bad for teens’ developing brains. A new way to smoke marijuana doesn’t make it any safer.

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


Kinda helpful
I stuffed a fltered cigarette with a small one hit amount of weed..l haven't had any for over 6 mo will I be clean to ua in 12 hr?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the federal agency that addresses drug testing guidelines. Although your question is not related to workplace testing, you should contact the following:
Drug-Free Workplace Helpline:
800-967-5752 (800-WORKPLACE)

Yes. Weef last for about a month if you are a regular user. Just one time last a day or so in your system.
hahah dab wtf
No swearing
I like mRijuana
what is helpful?
this is very dangerous
Sounds scary! Or am I just old skool?
Gleep glop
It was really helpful because it gave me a lot of interesting facts that i didn't know before.
It was OK?
really helpfly
really helpful for project
Either way, its still bad
ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, your comment seems lit.
ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyeee you seem lit
ayeeeeeeeee we all lit
ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy dab
another uninformed marijuana article. A new way to smoke marijuana doesn’t make it any safer. dabbing isnt smoking thats the whole point!!!
really? you actually think this is promoting marajuana use?
yes it is u get a smoke from from a dab
u smoke the dab
People don't smoke dabs; they vaporize them. And they certainly don't use the kind of lighter shown in the photograph LOLz!
It is really helpful
Speaking from experience, I watched one of our children (once brilliant, even-tempered, athletic, engineering student) fade into an absolute mess -- it all started with smoking weed. Even though our child recognized their life, and academics, was heading 'off a cliff' the tolerance levels grew -- then progressed into 'dabs' of THC. Once an 'honors student' .. finally quit weed and THC dabs. Now dealing with depression and facing the realization that their engineering degree may take a total of 6 years to complete, while the drug-free other siblings are going to graduate (or have graduated) college in 4 years. The withdrawal symptoms are real.
I've watched my son withdrawl twice from dabbing... Very bad for someone who has anxiety issues. Very sad to watch. Lost job. Lost semester in college. More losses too sad to explain here, but dabbing is messed up.
Same here- my son went from smoking pot to dabbing his second semester of college. He switched to dabs because it was odorless and cheaper. By the end of that semester he was experiencing anxiety and panic attacks. Lost a lot of weight as well. But the worst was the psychosis that came the last time he dabbed which was June 11,2016 - then came the withdrawals. Headaches, vomiting and naseua. He should be at school starting his sophomore year but instead he is home going to therapy once a week and taking anxiety medication. Psychosis has finally gone away and he is able to work, but it took over a month before dilusions stopped. We hope he can go back to college for spring semester. I had never heard of dabs until this happened. Smoking a joint now and then is one thing but this stuff is bad news. I think it is the crack of marijuana and until you have lived through the nightmare of watching your child suffer through intense psychosis then you can not fully understand what this stuff does to a person. Maybe not everyone will experience the negative effects of dabs . But because the brain in a person is not fully developed until around 22- 25 years old you might as well put a gun to your head and spin the chamber- meaning you're taking a big risk by doing dabs. Our brains, especially young, developing brains were not meant to handle Such a concentrated form of pot. We need more people talking about the dangers of dabbing, so please speak up about this so the word will get out.
My daughter sophomore in college dropped out after using this dab they call a drug she is going through fits of rage in the mornings to the point that she almost hurts herself... She had a full ride for airionotical engineering .was very popular in high school and loved people she is paranoid in public .. She said she was smoking a gram a day. I was told by doctors that that was a high intake of thc.. Everyone can go ahead and make fun of it .. Maybe karma will throw it at your someday child ! We pray for my daughter but her future is dim whereonce was unlimited.. There should be a life sentence for making this drug if caught this is worse than killing someone ..these kids now have to live rat of their lives on medication for depression /anxiety.. .. I was a twenty year heavy pot smoker vie never had anything bad to say about thc till now! Sad
dabing is a type of dance too lol
straight fire
If u don't know about it don't talk about it. If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all. Any quick search shows that there can be dangerous parts to "dabbing" . but anyone with a brain can deduce that there is nothing wrong with this. 2016 people get a life, your kid has worse problems then smoking weed.
yes i have done dabs myself and never once had a problem and to be honest it is no diffrent that smoking hash but hey at least it not crack
These comments are cringeworthy, you guys have no clue about dabs lol
Dabbin is a way of fashion
I am getting very confused about the "dabbing" I know it is a serious issue but it is just making me confused

Dabbing is a serious issue, and its popularity continues to rise. If you have a specific question, please let us know and we’ll do our best to provide you with an answer. For more information on marijuana and dabbing, please see

This is very helpful and I agree with this article
I agree with this article, its very helpful.
Dabs are dangerous? Come on, It's just getting high. nothin' wrong with that now.


Add new comment

Current state: Approved
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.