Last updated: September 25, 2023
If you ask parents if they know what dabbing is, they are likely to demonstrate a popular dance move. Do you know the one they’re thinking of? You throw an arm out to the side while tucking your head and placing your other arm in front of your eyes and pointing it in the same direction as the first. It’s awesome to be down with trendy dance moves, for sure, but that’s not where we’re going here…
Most parents have no idea that dabbing refers to using highly concentrated marijuana products also known as “super weed.” Moreover, the statistics regarding people who have heard about “dabbing” diminish the older you get.
Here’s the percentage breakdown of the age groups:
- 59% of 18-24-year-olds
- 48% of 25-34-year-olds
- 33% of 35-44-year-olds
- 24% of 45-54-year-olds
- 21% of 55-64-year-olds
- 12% of those 65 and over
Looking at those numbers, it’s easy to determine that the majority of parents have no clue about the latest marijuana craze.
That’s not good.
A little dab will do ya’
For those who still thought that “dabbing” is just striking a specific pose while dancing, here’s a breakdown.
A dab is a piece of orange or brown-sugar-colored wax that is, in fact, a highly concentrated form of THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical in marijuana that produces the high. Dabbing is trending among teens because it gets you “super high super fast.”
It’s consumed by using a special pen that can be purchased for anywhere between $20 to $200, depending on the style and brand. The pen is an electronic device that emits less of a pot scent than smoking. In other words, it’s designed to allow users to consume their drug of choice discreetly.
Teens who use drugs, especially those who are being kept closer to home since the pandemic hit, are all about keeping their drug use on the down-low. We’ll never say never because there are families who allow teen alcohol and drug use, but by and large, teens keep their parents in the dark about their substance abuse as long as possible.
Let’s compare a “dab” to a joint—or marijuana cigarette by another name. A joint contains about 25% THC. A dab can be up to 90% THC. That’s quite a level difference. In fact, some experts liken the difference to that between hard liquor and beer.
Does high potency pot present problems?
When asked if using highly concentrated marijuana products is more dangerous than smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, 42% of the survey participants say cigarettes are the most harmful of the three. Of this percentage, young people in the 18-24-year-olds bracket made up a whopping 56% of those who believe cigarettes pose the highest health risk though.
But, seriously, what do they know? I mean, you remember when you were that age, right?
We have to let kids know that they may not know as much as they think they do—but do it in a way that doesn’t have them turn away in denial.
Used responsibly, a large portion of the population believes that marijuana is a relatively “harmless” drug and even has some useful benefits for the medical community. That includes using edibles, vaping, smoking, and, now, dabbing.
The problem arises when teens hit the dab pen too frequently unaware of the effects that the highly concentrated wax can have on them. Some teens report feeling wobbly, having slurred speech, or even passing out after dabbing.
Additionally, some researchers are pointing to individual medical reports of “seizure-like activity” among teens who dab. Hypertension may be linked to dabbing as well.
The long and short of it
Marijuana legalization continues to spread across the country. Those who manufacture products in that industry continue to look for new ways to distribute them to the population.
Dabbing appeals to teens and young adults because the highly concentrated product gets them really buzzed really fast, however, it remains to be seen if the higher levels of THC pose increased health risks.
It’s important that we continue to educate our children and teens about the dangers of all drug use. Studies on the effects of THC on the body—both long and short-term—need to continue. Information and persistence can eventually turn the tide.