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What are Dabs?

As more states test the waters with the legalization of marijuana, a dangerous new trend is rearing its head: dabs. Dabs, or hash oil concentrate is a distillation of the essential active ingredients in marijuana resulting in a very powerful concentrate. Often referred to as BHO, butane honey oil, or just hash oil, dabs contains a highly concentrated form of THC and can be dangerous to both make and consume.


Making the concentrate involves a process of butane gas extraction, and attempting to make it at home can be dangerous and lead to an explosion. People across the country have been injured while trying to make their own butane hash oil.

The process involves fusing marijuana with a hydrocarbon, typically butane gas. After being put under intense pressure, the butane strips the THC from the plant and results in a goopy substance that still contains butane. This additional butane has to be cooked out before the final product is made. Cooking down an explosive chemical like butane is dangerous and this step can lead to an explosion.

Additionally, Dabs contains an incredibly concentrated form of THC. In an interview with CNBC, Brian Ruden, owner of Starbuds, a marijuana dispensary in Denver, stated that “while regular marijuana might contain 15 or 18 percent THC, hash oil concentrate gets closer to 80 or even 90 percent.” Experts are concerned that using such a highly concentrated dose of THC will lead to abuse and addiction.

Newest Trend

Randy Simmons, Program Director for I-502 for the Washington State Liquor Control Board, says, “Right now in Washington, if you are in mid twenties and younger, you prefer hash oils and vaporization as opposed to smoking.”

Steve Millette, executive director of CeDAR, the University of Colorado Hospital’s residential rehab is worried about the rising popularity of such a powerful substance. He states, “The younger a person begins to indulge, the more likely he or she will become addicted.” He also added that using a concentrate is like, “going from a glass of beer to a glass of whisky.”

This explosive concentrated form of marijuana, is a dangerous rising trend in drug use. It is powerful and can lead to addiction. Moreover, the process to make it is dangerous and can lead to injuries or even death.

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