A new method of cannabis ingestion: the dangers of dabs?

Addict Behav. 2014 Oct;39(10):1430-3. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.05.013. Epub 2014 May 28.


A new method for administering cannabinoids, called butane hash oil ("dabs"), is gaining popularity among marijuana users. Despite press reports that suggest that "dabbing" is riskier than smoking flower cannabis, no data address whether dabs users experience more problems from use than those who prefer flower cannabis.

Objective: The present study aimed to gather preliminary information on dabs users and test whether dabs use is associated with more problems than using flower cannabis.

Method: Participants (n=357) reported on their history of cannabis use, their experience with hash oil and the process of "dabbing," reasons for choosing "dabs" over other methods, and any problems related to both flower cannabis and butane hash oil.

Results: Analyses revealed that using "dabs" created no more problems or accidents than using flower cannabis. Participants did report that "dabs" led to higher tolerance and withdrawal (as defined by the participants), suggesting that the practice might be more likely to lead to symptoms of addiction or dependence.

Conclusions: The use of butane hash oil has spread outside of the medical marijuana community, and users view it as significantly more dangerous than other forms of cannabis use.

Keywords: BHO; Butane hash oil; Cannabis; Concentrates; Dabs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Butanes
  • Cannabis*
  • Dronabinol / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse*
  • Middle Aged
  • Oils
  • Psychotropic Drugs / administration & dosage*
  • Young Adult


  • Butanes
  • Oils
  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • butane
  • Dronabinol