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Are Marijuana Dab Hits Safe? First Ever Scientific Review


dabsHave you ever taken a dab hit? If so, then you are not alone. Dab hits are becoming more and more popular everyday. I remember five years ago only the most dedicated marijuana fans on the West Coast and in Colorado were hip to the dab scene. Now I know people on the East Coast and all over the Midwest that can’t get enough dab hits to keep them satisfied.

One of the first questions people ask me when they have never taken a dab hit before is ‘are dab hits safe?’ It’s a question that was previously hard to answer because there wasn’t a solid scientific review out there. However, a recent scientific review was conducted by Mallory Loflin and Dr. Mitch Earleywine. Below is an overview of how they approached the study, and the conclusion:


A new method for administering cannabinoids, called butane hash oil (“dabs”), is gaining popularity among marijuana users. Despite press reports that suggest that “dabbing” is riskier than smoking flower cannabis, no data address whether dabs users experience more problems from use than those who prefer flower cannabis.


The present study aimed to gather preliminary information on dabs users and test whether dabs use is associated with more problems than using flower cannabis.


Participants (n = 357) reported on their history of cannabis use, their experience with hash oil and the process of “dabbing,” reasons for choosing “dabs” over other methods, and any problems related to both flower cannabis and butane hash oil.


Analyses revealed that using “dabs” created no more problems or accidents than using flower cannabis. Participants did report that “dabs” led to higher tolerance and withdrawal (as defined by the participants), suggesting that the practice might be more likely to lead to symptoms of addiction or dependence.


The use of butane hash oil has spread outside of the medical marijuana community and users view it as significantly more dangerous than other forms of cannabis use.


About Author

Johnny Green

Johnny Green is no longer with The Weed Blog because he was caught redhanded stealing money from TWB and using black hat strategies to inflate pageviews to try and lure unsuspecting investors. We hope Johnny has learned from his mistakes and wish his family well.


  1. Terrence, aNY adult with id can purchase flower, concentrate, or edibles in a dispensery in Oregon. Enjoy our state and keep it green.

  2. Terrence Peter Braithwaite-Cla on

    I am considering coming too the USA, can I buy marijuanna products in Oregon? Will be there in say 3 months and thank you, for your advice chaps…

  3. “His opinion and analysis varies from from my own, therefore he must be a troll!”

  4. Smoking a joint like almost like a cigarette and is full of carcinogens. I’ll smoke my cleaner and tastier dabs, with a cleaner high and stronger terpene profile. Meth labs? It only falls under the same laws because you’re processing a drug with a solvent, even though making meth and hash oil are nothing alike. It is amateur science of a basic non-polar lipid extraction, that is done on all sorts of plants in various industries, including food and other herbal medicines. It only has problems because of illegality. Stick to your flowers and stay closed minded noobie.


    As long as the product has been vacuum purged for 96 hours. If your dab is cloudy it still is poisonous (still contains lethal amounts of butane and other toxic chemicals). Should be clear as glass.

  6. yep, oil can be smoked with a crack stem or a speed bubble, but only a brand new one. my peeps have told me that if u try to use a pipe thats already had drugs in it, the impurities will make your oil hit taste NASTY. (kind of like a dab w/ a hair in it) a new bubble will actually give that “flowery” terpene taste with less cough than a stem with a brillo.

  7. Johnny oneye on

    The first wax hit was like a flashback to the first time I smoked weed.
    All down hill after that.
    Dabs are not for me. Too much too quick!
    1 -time I threw up.not cool.
    Eating edibles works for me.
    CA has associated wax with methlabs
    So steering clear of wax is easy
    Plenty of great flowers here in cali.
    Nothing like a tasty old skool joint!

  8. Question: is not flushing (ask a grower if you don’t know what this means) the plant an issue that should be raised first & foremost? If we’re going to talk about what is safe then might as well raise this question before even discussing dabs.

  9. I have never seen anyone dab out of anything resembling a crack pipe. A normal weed pipe works just fine, as long as you put it on top of some flowers.

  10. I understand the choice and reasoning behind not wanting to smoke or dab all day, but why hate on those who choose to do so? They aren’t taking any freedom away from you. It sounds more like you want to take it from them. In any event, the only people taking freedoms away from us are the STATE.

  11. Dabs are much easier on my respiratory system than flowers, probably from the lack of plant material that is being inhaled, and the fact that it’s being vaporized, not combusted. I used butane hash oil almost exclusively over the past year, and quit cold turkey last month. Not a single withdrawal symptom was noted.

  12. Thanks Johnny for the interesting article. I think it was published for the choir (addiction research for addiction therapists), hence the lack of any kind of objective measurement. It does raise the question as to whether a more concentrated form makes a user more likely to seek it out. My guess is that there may be an increase, but not a particularly significant one. There will surely be more such studies to follow in the next few years, provided the DEA relaxes the stranglehold on cannabis.

  13. Dabs aren’t a trend , they’ve been around since the 70’s ,if not sooner…

  14. All dabbing is just using hash oil. Hash oil is the trichome “gel” inside of the flower, where the medicine is. If you smoke flower you dab too, you just inhale a bunch of plant material with it :P

  15. Possibly so. Some of these don’t resemble plant material much. I think people perceive anything that is processed, especially by chemistry, as more likely to be harmful. How about traditional hashish, which is “processed” to some extent, or ice water hash?

  16. Seems dabs and vaps are becoming the trend. O.k it’s cleaner for the body ..a little bit can go a long way… but first, myself would like a clear right or wrong .. the first two solid hits of the day from a pipe loaded with Durban poison should get you where you want to be… the rest of the day you seems to get a bit of a lift , no matter how much you smoke….even with the strongest dope your system builds a tolerance … with any ‘drug’ this is how it works .. the longer you refrain the better the effect. The more you respect yourself the less chance to cause damage to yourself..
    So two good hits and those who don’t get it never will and these ‘can’t get enough’ smokers are like alcoholics. They destroy the very freedom we are allow to enjoy.

  17. If this story quantified “significantly”, then I would understand it. It means nothing without the numbers.
    It seems to make common sense, to me, that raw flowers have more medically beneficial compounds than processed oil. Organic seems like the best rule of thumb for me.
    I believe all use is medical. Please toke responsibly.

  18. Pueblo Potter on

    This is the shortest scientific study I have ever seen! It reminds me of the shortest poem ever written. The poem, called “Fleas”, goes a little like this: “Adam had’em”. By the way, http://www.healersfarm.com is the place for marijuana growers who are licensed within Colorado to produce under an OPC.

  19. Tres Waters on

    Yeah, that’s a good point. When using a torch like that, to most, it would probably induce a negative stigma. I’ve never dabbed but the people that I know who have used “nails” that are metal and slide into a bong which I think would help relieve some of that stigma instead of using it solely in a glass stem/meth or crack pipe.

  20. Was it more dangerous because of the tools involved in doing dabs? First off you’ve got a torch for SEVERE heat. Then the chance that it wasn’t purged correctly and the dabs still has residual flammable contents in the dab. Was it that they PERCEIVE it as more dangerous because it’s visually CLOSE to what we’ve come to know as doing harder drugs such as Heroin or Crystal Meth? A question I’d actually like to know the answer to.

  21. Tres Waters on

    Seeing as “analyses revealed that using “dabs” created no more problems or accidents than using flower cannabis,” were the only concerns of it being more dangerous rooted in tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal? Also, how many participants experienced withdrawal and with what kind of severit? I’ve only heard very few people talk about cannabis withdrawal and didn’t think it was anything more than mild irritability and/or mild depression. Did anyone report any physical withdrawal symptoms? I would read the article but it’s not available without a subscription.

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