Dabbing is a dangerous type of marijuana use that has become more common in recent years. While the use of marijuana by teens has been a common drug issue for years, the new trend has taken marijuana use to another level. Dabbing involves using cannabis extracts with higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana that creates a high.
Because of the increased popularity of dabbing with teens, it is important to understand some of the slang terms for marijuana concentrates. By understanding or recognizing these terms, you can have a better understanding of what they mean and whether or not they indicate that teens are dabbing.
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What is Dabbing?
Dabbing is using dabs or marijuana concentrates. Dabbing creates a stronger high because the active ingredient of marijuana is much more concentrated than it would be in a typical joint. The strongest marijuana joint that is smoked the traditional way is about 20% THC, while dabs may contain an 80% or even higher concentration of THC. Dabbing also delivers the THC to the body much more suddenly than smoking a joint would, making it even more potent.
There are different types of dabs that have differing appearances, depending upon how they are made. The most common dab is butane hash oil, or BHO, and is made by using butane to extract the THC from marijuana leaves and then concentrate it. The THC may also be extracted mechanically or by using other chemicals.
Common Dabbing Terms
Teen drug slang includes several dab slang terms that most people may be unfamiliar with. These terms relate to the substances used while dabbing, the devices used to dab, or methods by which dab is made:
- 710: This number spells OIL when held upside down and refers to marijuana concentrates that may appear as an oil.
- Alcohol extraction: A method of extracting THC using alcohol.
- Banger hanger: A popular type of device used for dabbing.
- Butter, budder, badder: Marijuana concentrates can look like butter and have the same consistency as butter, leading to butter and similar words being used to describe it.
- Blasting: Slang term for extracting marijuana concentrates using butane, likely originating from the risk of explosion associated with this method.
- Butane extraction: A method of concentrating THC using butane.
- Butane hash oil: Also called BHO, butane hash oil is a name for concentrated marijuana.
- Butane torch: Used to vaporize dab so that it can be inhaled.
- Carb cap: Part of dabbing devices used to contain the vaporized marijuana concentrates within the device.
- Crumble: A slang term for concentrated marijuana, derived from the crumbly appearance of certain types of concentrates.
- CO2 extraction: A method of concentrating THC using carbon dioxide.
- Concentrate: Concentrated marijuana.
- Concentrate pipe: A pipe used to inhale marijuana concentrates.
- Dabber: A slang name that refers to devices used to dab.
- Dab nail: The part of most dabbing devices that the marijuana concentrates are applied to. Also just called a nail.
- Dab oil: Also called dab or dabs; a slang term for concentrated marijuana, derived from the small amount of substance used while using marijuana concentrates.
- Dab pen: An e-cigarette used to dab. Also called a wax pen.
- Dab rig: The most common name for the glassware used to dab.
- Dome: A section of the glassware used while dabbing.
- Ear wax: A slang term for concentrated marijuana, derived from the appearance of certain types of concentrates.
- Errl: A slang term for marijuana concentrates.
- Glass: Slang term for the glassware used to dab.
- Glycerin extraction: A method of concentrating THC using glycerin.
- Ice hash: A type of marijuana concentrate made by using ice water.
- Hash: Also called hashish; resin of the marijuana plant, used to create marijuana concentrates.
- Hash oil: Hash that has been purified and concentrated into an oil.
- Honey: Also called honeycomb or honey oil; a slang term for concentrated marijuana, likely originated because certain types of marijuana concentrates appear like honey.
- Ice wax: Also called water hash; a slang term for concentrated marijuana that is made using ice water.
- ISO oil: A slang term for concentrated marijuana that is made using isopropyl alcohol.
- Kief: Part of the marijuana plant that produces a resin that is high in THC.
- Knife hits: An older way to use dabs that involved heating two knives and using them to vaporize and direct the marijuana concentrates.
- Liquid gold: A slang term for concentrated marijuana, derived from the golden appearance of many concentrates.
- Live resin: Marijuana concentrates that are made from plants that have not been dried or cured.
- Nug: A term for the flower of the marijuana plant which has a high concentration of THC.
- Nug run: Marijuana concentrates that are made from using only the flower of the marijuana plant.
- Oil rig: Slang term for a dab rig, likely originated because dab is sometimes referred to as oil.
- Pressed hash: A slang term for concentrated marijuana that is extracted mechanically.
- Reclaim: Residue that is left over after dabbing, that is then reused.
- Resin: Also called sap; refers to the resin of a marijuana plant, a part of the plant that is higher in THC.
- Seasoning a nail: Refers to applying marijuana concentrates to a “nail,” part of the device used to dab.
- Shatter: A common slang term for concentrated marijuana.
- Quick wash ISO: Also called QWISO, this is a method of concentrating THC using isopropyl alcohol.
- Vape oil: A slang term for concentrated marijuana that is used to vape.
- Vapor rig: Slang term for a dab rig; a device used to inhale marijuana concentrates.
- Vapor straw: Simple, one-piece glassware used to inhale marijuana concentrates.
- Wax: A slang term for concentrated marijuana, derived from the waxy appearance certain types of concentrates have.
Dangers of Marijuana Dabs
Because of how concentrated the THC in marijuana dabs is, it creates risks that might not normally be encountered when smoking a typical joint of marijuana. Specifically, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) warns that a teen overdose may occur and that those who overdose on dabs may experience paranoia, anxiety, panic attacks and hallucinations. Additionally, marijuana concentrates may cause increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, withdrawal, and problems related to addiction.
The dangers of dabbing also include dangers introduced from the process of how dabs are made. One of the more popular methods of making marijuana concentrates involves using butane, which creates an explosive gas. The risk of explosion while making dabs using butane is comparable to that of making methamphetamine. Many of the processes used also leave behind chemicals and byproducts that can be harmful.
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Nierenberg, Cari. “Marijuana ‘Dabbing’ Is ‘Exploding onto the Drug-Use Scene’.” Live Science, June 15, 2015. Accessed October 6, 2019.
Alina Bradford. “What is THC?” Live Science, May 18, 2017. Accessed October 6, 2019.
Abad-Santos, Alexander. “The Amateur’s Guide to Dabs.” The Atlantic, May 15, 2013. Accessed October 6, 2019.
US Drug Enforcement Administration. “The Facts About Marijuana Concentrates.” 2019. Accessed October 6, 2019.