While marijuana is a well-known substance, dabs may not be as widely known about. However, they are growing in popularity across the country and becoming a different way to misuse marijuana to get high. Since dabbing has not been around that long, there are many questions to answer, like “How long do dabs stay in your system?”
What Are Dabs?
Dabs are highly-concentrated THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the substance found in cannabis plants that causes euphoric sensations and makes people feel high. Dabs are made by pouring butane or lighter fluid over cannabis plants to extract the THC.
The plants are then placed into a marijuana press and heated. The chemical reaction causes the THC to form into a wax-like substance or dab. As you can imagine, producing dabs is very dangerous, with a high risk of accidental explosions.
How Long Do Dabs Stay in Your System?
Since dabs are concentrated THC, they tend to remain in your system far longer than smoking “regular” marijuana. Additionally, the concentration of THC in dabs can be as much as 80% compared to 10 to 15% in marijuana.
For example, if you smoked a joint, it would take about 15 minutes or so before you started to feel the effects of the THC. Once you begin to feel high, the effects of the THC would last for a few hours before wearing off, unless you continued to smoke more.
If that were the only joint you smoke, the THC would gradually dissipate from the body and no longer be detectable within a week, possibly two.
On the other hand, when inhaling the vapors from dabs, you experience an almost instantaneous high and euphoric state. Depending on how much dab vapor is inhaled, the effects can last anywhere from 2 to 12 hours.
Furthermore, the TCH found in dabs can remain in the body for as long as four weeks if you only dabbed once. How long dabs stay in your system is also dependent upon how often and how much you smoke them.
How Do You Dab?
The most common method to dab is to use an oil rig glass bong and inhale the THC vapors. First, the THC wax is placed on the end of a nail, and then a butane torch is used to heat the wax to an extreme temperature, causing it to melt slowly. As it heats up, it releases THC vapors which are inhaled.
Another very popular method with teenagers and young adults is to use vape pens to dab. However, the THC wax has to be further processed into an oil so it can be vaped.
The Dangers of Dabs
Many people mistakenly assume that dabbing is much safer than smoking marijuana since they are inhaling concentrated THC. However, they do not realize that it only takes a single hit to get high instantly. Plus, the THC concentrations are significantly higher than smoking a joint.
For starters, one can be exposed to more toxins, irritants, and carcinogens with dabbing. This is from the processes used to make dabs. As such, the risks of exposure to dangerous chemicals are much higher. Additionally, pesticides and solvents used to grow the plants are often not removed when making dabs, so those poisonous chemicals are also present.
Next, the side effects dabs can have on someone can be more extreme than the high experienced from smoking marijuana, including:
- Elevated heart rate/blood pressure
- Tingling/itching sensations on the skin
- Passing out
- Panic attacks
Effects on the Brain from Dabbing
While the brain initially responds to the euphoric rush as a positive behavior by releasing higher amounts of dopamine, it eventually becomes tolerant to the THC in dabs. As a result, the instantaneous high requires inhaling more THC vapor and higher amounts of THC.
Based on research about THC, it is known that THC impairs thinking, interferes with learning and retaining new information, and affects our ability to perform complicated tasks. TCH also affects areas in the brain that are responsible for memories, sensory functions, time perception, and pleasure.
Furthermore, THC causes a disruption to areas of the brain that help regulate reaction time, posture, balance and coordination. The long-term effects of dabbing can alter the brain’s neural networks and connectivity. It can also cause impairments to learning, cognitive, memory, and impulse control centers of the brain.
Unfortunately, these effects can be more severe in teenagers and young adults because their brains are still developing. So, long-term dabbing can stunt the brain’s development of different regions.
Can You Get Addicted to Dabbing?
Yes, you can get addicted to dabbing, just like marijuana and other substances. However, part of the problem with dabbing addiction is that the withdrawal symptoms tend to be much more severe than the withdrawal symptoms for marijuana addiction.
Detoxing from Marijuana and Dab Addiction Treatment in Nashville, TN
Dab addiction is a growing problem, especially among teens and young adults. When you are ready to get help for your dab addition, the first step is to undergo supervised detox at Detox Nashville.
We help you safely detox from dab and THC. After detox, we work with you to create a personalized dab addiction treatment plan. To learn more about our detox and dab addiction treatment in Nashville, please feel free to contact us.