Remember when marijuana fell in the same category as cocaine and heroin? The general public understood the dangers associated with the drug and it was perceived as a safety threat. We knew that it posed many risk factors, including cognitive impairment, car accidents, and even life threatening diseases with prolonged use, such as cancer.
Fast forward to 2016. Marijuana is legal in an upwards of 25 states and most likely will continue to be legalized in several others. 54% of registered voters are in favor of marijuana legalization. While many assume that marijuana is safer compared to other drugs, such as heroin, cocaine and crystal meth, we wonder what they would think of a more potent form of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Tetrahydrocannabinol is the main psychoactive constitute in marijuana. Most recently, a more dangerous THC extract has been gaining recognition and growing in popularity among young marijuana smokers.
Dabs, also known as butane hash oil (BHO), budder (or butter), crumble, honey oil and wax, is a highly extracted form of THC which carries very dangerous side effects to a smoker’s physical and mental well-being. Additionally, consumption or ingestion methods as well as manufacturing hold their own set of hazards. While an average joint has anywhere between 11-21% of THC, a dab can have a THC level of 80% or more. It’s easily comparable to the difference between beer and Scotch or Tylenol and OxyContin.
Some of the adverse effects can include, blackouts, paranoia, hallucinations and psychosis. Also, because increased tolerance is likely to occur, dabs has the potential to be highly abused. While it is highly dangerous to abuse marijuana or dabs and it carries its own set of negative effects, the abuse of dabs can and usually does lead to the use and abuse of other drugs. Advocates of marijuana would have us believe that it is not a gateway drug, but would they say the same for dabs? Since dabs can lead to the use of more illicit substances, and its main addictive quality, THC, is the same as marijuana, it is safe to say marijuana is a gateway drug as well.
Dab abusers usually consume the drug with a glass water pipe and a metal rod that involves inhaling vapors. Inhaling off-gasses from the water pipe along with the drug itself, is highly dangerous to the human body. Then there’s the risks associated with manufacturing dabs. The process includes the use of butane gas to extract THC. Accidentally igniting butane vapors can and have led to fires and explosions that have destroyed homes. Additionally, as you would suspect, users also run the risk of burning and/or injuring themselves, especially their face, hands, and arms. These incidents and accidents are quite reminiscent of those that are associated with meth labs and their proven potential danger.
As the attitude continues to change and many states are getting on board to legalize marijuana, users and abusers are pushing the envelope more often. As their tolerance and dependence builds, pot smokers feel more inclined to experiment with drugs such as dabs. Furthermore, as dependence increases, marijuana smokers raise their potential for craving more illicit substances, such as heroin or cocaine, and fall further into the cycle of addiction. It truly becomes a rabbit hole in which they cannot find their way out of.
Understanding the risks and health factors associated with dabbing is of most important today, especially since we find ourselves in a drug and alcohol addiction crisis. Yes, it may not be prescription opioids or heroin, but it is dangerous to those who use it all the same. In short, the side effects basically mirror those of Spice (synthetic marijuana), the potency can be compared to drinking 100 proof liquor and the risk of manufacturing dabs is similar to that of crystal meth.
So the question remains, is marijuana really as safe as many would like to believe?
For over 40 years, Clearbrook has treated those afflicted with alcoholism and addiction.
By utilizing the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, in conjunction with customized treatment programming and detox protocols, we have been able to show our patients it is possible to live a life free of all mood-mind altering chemicals.
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If you or a loved one is struggling with marijuana addiction, or any kind of addiction, please do not wait any longer. Make today the day that you change your life. Contact our Admissions Specialists today and get on the road to recovery. Hope is real and it lives here.