Are Dabs Good Or Bad? Find Out Here

Posted 7 years ago by Ian Shutts

In the expanding world of cannabis concentrates, the health risks of dabbing have come into question – and rightfully so. That’s not to say that dabbing is bad for you, but with the range of products on the market one ought to be careful. In terms of solventless extracts, you’re basically safe from residual solvent. But taking BHO as an example; if the solvent hasn’t all evaporated before the product hit the market, then the user might be looking at some health risks of they use long term.

For the purpose of this article, I must differentiate between cannabis extracts that have been made properly and those that are amateurly put together. There are dangers associated with anything that is made carelessly – even your bread is bad for you if you don’t care to check it for mould. So you see where I’m going with this. Let’s not confuse the danger of using extracts with the real danger – which is using bad extracts.

Dabbing has become a culture of its own within the cannabis community. In fact, most of my friends prefer to dab than to smoke the traditional herb (which will always remain my favorite). It kind of is the “crack” of the marijuana world, but not because it’s bad for you. Just because it’s really, really good. If you want to get more knowledgeable about the dangers or risks of dabbing, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling some information for you to consider.

Not all cannabis extracts were created equal

The media loves to put blanket labels over everything. But just like any other product that human beings can buy and consume, a person should take the time to know what they are actually taking. Some tomatoes are totally GMO, while others grew organically and of their own accord in your backyard. If you had the choice, I would bet my pants which one you would choose. It’s exactly the same with cannabis concentrates. Some people have put a lot of time and effort into refining the process so that you get the highest quality extract. On the other hand, other products are questionable.

Let’s take BHO for example (again). If it is made correctly, it is made in a closed loop system and isn’t made by a teenager in his kitchen. The closed system takes out the potential for disaster in the extraction process and makes it safer. Secondly, if the blasting is conducted correctly, there should be no trace of butane in the final product. All of it should have evaporated. In other circumstances, people do a half assed job. What you end up with is a slightly contaminated product that contains butane. And let’s be honest – butane ain’t exactly good for the lungs.

Now let’s consider bubble hash. It’s a solventless extract, using just water. So in this case, where’s the danger? There’s no contaminating solvent that can be found in the final product, nor does it require a blowtorch to use. The point is pretty clear that different extracts come with different dangers. As a user, it’s important to trust the source you’re getting your extracts from and to make your own informed decision about whether it’s good or bad for you.

Don’t confuse extracts with smoking

Image Source

So the next question is “is dabbing bad for my lungs?” It’s a valid question, and it completely has two sides. If you take the chemical extraction on its own, which contains flavinoids, terpenoids and cannabinoids, then there’s nothing bad about it. There has been no evidence that ingesting cannabinoids and the other components of marijuana is actually bad for you or carries any long term detrimental health effects.

Having said that (and herb smokers are going to hate me for this one!), there is a risk with inhaling super hot vapor or smoke. It has nothing to do with what you are smoking, but the fact that you are ingesting really hot vapor. After long term use, there can be some damage to lungs or throat because of the constant heat that is being applied. When you think about it, the lungs probably weren’t designed for inhaling something that hot. It is why a lot of dabbers cough so much. It doesn’t have anything to do with the extract, but the temperature at which they are dabbing. I won’t even get into whether inhaling hydrocarbons is bad for you – it’s all up for debate. But we know that there is a certain temperature that the lungs can tolerate, and another that can do some damage over long time use.

But smoking isn’t the only way to use marijuana or marijuana extracts. They can be used in edibles or can be put into a vaporizer that creates vapor at a lower temperature. Dabbing rigs make it hard to control the temperature, because the bowl is usually blow torched. Most people will wait for the bowl to cool down a little before throwing their extract inside, which is probably a clever thing to do. Your lungs will let you know if you’ve made it all too hot.

So let’s not confuse the act of smoking with the dab itself. Inside the dab, there is only goodness. It is how the human uses something that makes it bad sometimes – bad human! Dabbing, just like anything else, is not bad for you if you use it responsibly. The real answer to the question “are dabs good or bad?” lies in the responsibility and accountability of the user.