what is dabbing

What is Dabbing and is It Addictive?

You may have heard of friends giving up on their green for the new craze. While 22.2 million Americans have used marijuana in the past month, they decided they needed something stronger.

That’s right. Dabbing is making its way into the mainstream for the pot industry, but what is dabbing? Is it safe? Is it addictive?

Let’s talk about dabbing, the risks involved, and what you can do about it.

What Is Dabbing?

Dabs, hash oil, wax, glue, or whatever you want to call it, has been around since the mid-’90s.

As you may know, dabs are a wax comprised of concentrated THC, the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana.

The process of extracting THC wax can be as simple as using a hair straightener and some wax paper to remove some of the THC from the cannabis plant.

The term for actual “dabs” refers to butane hash oil (BHO). Yes, the butane used in blow torches is used in the extraction process.

Some people have used more effective and different ways of extracting the THC, but no matter how it is done, the potency can be high.

Marijuana can be as high as 20% THC depending on the strain and how it is grown. However, dabs can range between 70-90% THC, making them a lot stronger.

Methods of Use

Dabs can be used in a number of different ways.

Some people who use them will bake them into food or candies and eat them. Edible dabs are fairly popular, as the effects last much longer and they are easier to cook with than marijuana.

Others use dab pens, vaporizers that are made specifically for wax. These will have either an exposed coil that you put the wax on, or it will be a regular vape pen with thinner dab liquid.

The most popular form of dabbing involves a torch and some glass. This can be damaging for your lungs, as the method of doing this involves heating up a “nail” made of glass or quartz with a blowtorch until it is glowing red from heat. Once it is heated up, a piece of the was is placed onto the nail and inhaled.

Types of Addiction

Addiction does not come in one simple form. It can look different for every different user with every different substance. However, we can break the types of addiction down into two different umbrellas.

Physical Addiction

Physical addiction develops after your body adapts to a new substance. People who smoke cigarettes become physically addicted to nicotine because their brain cannot produce the same compound itself, and it grows a dependence for it.

People who are physically addicted to a substance will suffer withdrawal symptoms if they stop using the substance.

Psychological Addiction

Contrary to what you may believe, psychological addictions are the stronger of the two. If you are physically addicted to something and you choose to stop, you have that ability.

However, if you are psychologically addicted to a substance, you need to change your entire mindset about it to stop.

Psychological addictions also make it more difficult to believe that there is no need to quit. Think about it. If you do not feel any withdrawals after stopping for a couple of days, it’s easier to justify to yourself that you aren’t addicted.

On the flip side, if you believe yourself to be addicted and accept it, that can be a hard sell to fix.

People can struggle with both types of addictions simultaneously, or one without the other. However, it is certain that a combination of the two is the most difficult to overcome.

Find out more about the difference between these types of addictions to better understand them.

Is Dabbing Addictive?

In short, yes. People can become psychologically dependent on it with regular use. It can get to the point of believing that you can’t function normally without it.

This can be dangerous for their health, especially if they are using the torch method, but it is dangerous in other ways as well. Regular and consistent dabbing can be destructive financially, socially, or professionally.

For very frequent users, people can actually become physically addicted to dabbing as well. While physical addiction from THC may not be as strong as some other substances, withdrawal symptoms can occur once the user has stopped using the drug for a while.

Withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, depression, loss of appetite and trouble with sleep.

Many people use marijuana as a sleep aid and they become dependent on it, making insomnia one of the most common symptoms of withdrawal.

What Should You Do?

If somebody is using marijuana or hash oil in a way that is negatively affecting their life, or the lives around them, then it should be treated as an addiction.

If you feel as if you cannot function without the drug, it may be time to quit. Those feelings will not go away with more use of the drug, and physical withdrawal symptoms will only become worse with longer, sustained use.

Even though the popular belief is that marijuana is not addictive, it can be for some. If it is hurting them or their loved ones, then it is just as serious of a problem as it would be with any other substance.

If it is time to address the issue, find out how to do an intervention the right way.

What Else?

Ignore anybody who says that marijuana or dabbing is not dangerous, and find out if you or a loved one are addicted to it.

If you feel as if somebody you love is addicted to dabbing, talk to them about it and intervene if necessary.

Now that we’ve answered the question “What is dabbing?”, determine if treatment is necessary and check out our services.

References:

intldrugsmap

International Drug Abuse Trends Examined

intldrugsmapThe United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has published information showing how drugs and drug abuse is affecting different countries throughout the world. The information shows a world that is flooded with drug use, but more importantly, what drugs are the biggest threats in which countries. This information can allow researchers and law enforcement to best prevent further drug use and understand what problems are facing different governments around the world.

The drug of choice for the United States of late is opioids. Opioids consist of prescription painkillers and heroin. Addicts in the U.S. have struggled with heroin for decades, however, prescription painkillers have been a relatively new problem over the past 20 years or so. In the nineties, pharmaceutical companies began developing and marketing medications to combat chronic pain. Up until then, people who struggled with back pain or pain from surgeries or accidents oftentimes had to learn how to live with the pain were limited in the number of prescriptions available to them.

When prescription painkillers began to flood the market and promote their “benefits” heavily, doctors began prescribing the pills to patients in record numbers. Unfortunately, the level of addiction associated with prescription painkillers was severely underestimated and millions of people began to develop addictions to the pills. Since then, prescription painkillers have taken the country by storm, moving beyond chronic pain patients and into schools and neighborhoods.

The United States is not the only country to continue to struggle with opioids. Almost all of the heaviest addiction problems in Europe are to opioids. This information shows researchers that the problem is definitely more global in nature, rather than being isolated among a few countries. The focus on eliminating prescription drug abuse and heroin abuse may be more effective if done on a grander worldwide scale.

Drug use throughout the rest of the world seems to vary. The most common drug Canadians, Australians and Mexicans abuse is marijuana. Those living in Scotland are more likely to abuse cocaine, while those living in New Zealand are more likely to abuse Ecstasy. Although the report from the United Nations does not hypothesize why people in different countries tend to abuse different kinds of drugs, further research into this question may help to bring about a solution to the growing, worldwide drug problem.

Link Between Marijuana and Prediabetes

diabeticjournalResearchers have found that there is a link between marijuana use and prediabetes. Prediabetes occurs when a person’s blood sugar is chronically high but has not reached levels where type 2 diabetes is caused. People with prediabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if this condition goes unchecked.

One of the biggest problems with the legalization of marijuana is that there is not enough information about how long-term drug use affects users. This is one study that indicates that marijuana’s medical properties may not be as beneficial as previously assumed.

In the past, physicians theorized that an increase of diabetes cases among marijuana users could be due to the tendency to eat more after consuming marijuana, with the extra calories leading to elevated blood sugar levels. However, researchers are beginning to think that there is a component within the actual drug that may be putting users at risk for prediabetes. In order to determine what the causes are, researchers agree that more studies need to be performed.

Coming to the conclusion that prolonged marijuana use can cause prediabetes required a significant amount of work. Researchers gathered information from an ongoing study called CARDIA, or Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults. This study gathers medical information from participants in four cities throughout the country over a period of 25 years. The initial data was taken when most of the participants were around the age of 30. After answering a questionnaire, the researchers were able to determine that 625 of the participants had never smoked marijuana, while 1014 participants were considered heavy marijuana smokers, using the drug at least 100 times in their life. Generally, those who abused marijuana in this age bracket were healthy and even more fit than those that were not abusing the drug.

Next, researchers looked at the smoking and physical habits of the participants 18 years later. Interestingly, even though previous examinations showed that the heavy marijuana users were healthy, by the time they reached the age of 50 they were 40% more likely to have prediabetes.

More research needs to be done as to why this occurs, however, it is clear that medical complications from long-term use of marijuana are serious problems that more people are likely to encounter.

Another Lesser Known Effect of Casual Drug Use

Most experts would agree that the best way to reverse the pattern of addiction in our nation is to do a better job of drug education and prevention. While there are some great programs available for people of all ages, many of them leave out the extended reach of the consequences caused by illegal drug use.

Many casual users, especially young adults like college students, are completely unaware of what they’re promoting when they occasionally use marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs. Socially conscious and aware people understand that the drug trade fuels violence, both in our country and others, especially Mexico. However, few make the link that their joint or bump is funding cartels that are committing murder daily on both sides of the border.

About 90 percent of the cocaine abused in the United States reportedly traveled through Mexico before it was packaged and sold to people around the country. In order to get the cocaine from Mexico and into the U.S., cartels employ many different methods, but one outcome has always been the destruction they leave in their wake.

Despite what many believe, many Mexicans and residents in other South American countries that are affected by the cartels and drug routes, do not want anything to do with illegal drugs. Unfortunately, they often have little choice but to get involved, or they will become subjected to the violence. The drug cartels often force people to smuggle drugs into the U.S. by kidnapping them, threatening their families or by charging such extreme tolls on common routes into the U.S. that people have no choice but to agree to smuggle in drugs.

The violence that is associated with cartels is nothing new, but it continues to be terrifying and used as a method to frighten and manipulate. Those that speak out against the cartels or refuse to join or will not help smuggle drugs into the U.S. are in real danger of physical retaliation and likely death. Families of those that resist the cartels are also in danger – many are killed when a loved one will not comply with the cartels. These drug lords have also targeted local media and frightened them into staying away from reporting their activities.

The only reason why this violence and torture is allowed to exist is because the demand for drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine are so strong in the United States. Our country consumes a large portion of the illegal drugs in the world, despite having a relatively small population in comparison to other major nations.

While some say the answer is to simply legalize the drugs, they’re also being naive and irresponsible, as a nation full of drug users means increased violence, crime, accidents and injuries here as well. The answer, then, really does seem to come around to more effective drug education and prevention practices to reduce the demand, but it goes well beyond that. We must work to solve societal problems that generate the desire in individuals to seek out relief through these chemicals.

Study Shows Memory Problems Linked to Marijuana Use

weedmemoryIn another effort to understand how marijuana affects the developing brain, a study conducted in Chicago explored the drug’s impact on memory. The results were not favorable for teenagers and young adults who used the drug.

One possibly surprising aspect of the study was that many of the youth who were tested had quit using marijuana, yet still exhibited problems with after their last use of the drug. The study was conducted by researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and published in the journal Hippocampus. What was found will hopefully go a long way in educating adults and children more about the dangers of marijuana abuse on the brain.

The hippocampus is a section of the brain that is responsible for allowing a person to remember daily things. For instance, a conversation that a person may be having can be recalled by using the hippocampus later on in the day. This region of the brain is also essential for remembering things that were discussed at school or on the job. Researchers noticed that the hippocampus seems to be directly affected by marijuana usage.

During an interview, Matthew Smith, PhD. pointed out an image of a hippocampus. He indicated that this particular image showed red colors, which meant that the region was inflamed. He also pointed out blue and purple clouds of color on the hippocampus which indicated that the hippocampus was shrinking. This was an image taken of teenagers that stopped abusing marijuana two years prior to the MRI scan of their brain.

“So what the findings suggest is there may be a sustained effect of marijuana on the brain. I think one of the main implications; if you introduce a drug into the brains of adolescents the adolescent brain is maturing and doing a lot of things to prepare for adulthood. That can alter the development of the adolescent brain,” explained Smith.

This is one of the first studies that examined the physical effects of marijuana after two years of abstinence. There is a misconception by some people in society that marijuana is relatively harmless, however, studies like the one performed at Northwestern Medicine, illustrate just some of the crippling side effects of heavy marijuana use.

Colorado Ad Campaign Aims to Deter Teen Marijuana Use

dontbealabratssColorado is conducting a powerful campaign aiming to prevent teen marijuana abuse. The state has garnered a lot of recent press due to the fact that they have allowed recreational marijuana use and some people are concerned the new amendment would lead to an acceptance of drug use among teens. To help prevent this from happening, the state of Colorado hired Mike Sukle of Sukle Advertising & Design to put together a campaign that would speak to teenagers about the dangers of marijuana abuse.

Sukle explains that the campaign was tricky because of the widespread acceptance of marijuana in the state. He points out that you have to be careful about how you warn children against using marijuana. Oftentimes children are told things about drugs that are heavily exaggerated or simply aren’t true. When children see that they have been lied to, it is even harder to dissuade them from abusing the drug themselves.

Studies are showing that using marijuana at a young age can lead to schizophrenia, stunted brain growth and a lowered IQ. Armed with this information Sukle created a campaign that would reach out to teens and point out the inevitable. In a few years scientists would be studying their generation to determine the effects of early marijuana use. The campaign is called Don’t Be A Lab Rat and it shows giant rat cages with signs explaining the potential fallout from early marijuana use.

The signs say things such as: “What do the effects of lead paint, mercury, and weed on teenagers’ brains all have in common? We’re about to find out.” or “Congratulations. You’re the first teenage generation living in a state with legalized marijuana. Scientists can’t wait to see the negative effects it will have on your brain.”

The intention is not to scare or lie to teenagers, but to engage their curiosity and get them to realize that they are still developing. Ingesting drugs during such a crucial time in a person’s development can have long-lasting negative effects.