There is a new dance that it popular in the teen culture called “The Dab”. You’ve seen it on TV, in music videos, there are tons of Vine videos of people dabbing, and the hit-singer Neyo actually dabbed in the recent remake of “The Wiz Live!” on NBC.
Although this dance can be fun, the origin of the dance contains a secret that is dangerous and could be potentially harmful to one’s health, especially teenagers. The truth is that dabbing did not originate as a cool dance; the initial meaning of dabbing was the inhaling of the most concentrated vapors from marijuana. Dabs are a current drug trend that are derived from an extraction method that uses butane hash oil, making dabbing the strongest form of smoking pot because it contains a much higher concentration THC.
When someone “dabs”, they cough because of the strong and intense marijuana that they are inhaling. Then, when they cough, they might lean over to cough into their elbow, hence the birth of the dance move that is now called “The dab” where one bumps their head to their arm on the beat.
Dabbing (the drug trend) is very dangerous. There are many reasons that smoking marijuana can be dangerous to a teen’s health, but dabbing takes those reasons to another level. Read below to learn 4 scary facts about dabbing and why teens should stay away from it.
- Too much / Too Fast. Dabbing is considered a stronger, faster high. Some studies show that the potency of dabs is such that most dabs are 3 to 10 times as strong as a single marijuana joint. On average, a marijuana joint has about 15% THC, whereas a dab can have a 60-90% THC concentration level. Therefore, teens should be especially cautious with dabbing because, like most drugs, dabbing can cause one to be inhibited, make choices they later regret, have altered senses and moods, get involved in physical altercations, and other negative activities.
- It’s dangerous to make. The process to make dabs involves using butane hash oil and a blowtorch. As some teens are trying to make dabs, there has been a rise in houses and apartments catching on fire, and large explosions due to the teens experimenting with the dangerous process of making this strong drug. These fires and explosions have caused many to have to get skin grafts and reconstructive surgery to fix their burns. Don’t put yourself in physical danger trying to make dabs; it’s not worth risking your life and the life of those around you.
- Dabbing has negative health risks. There is an increasing number of teens who are uploading videos to YouTube documenting their first time dabbing. Some of the videos show teens passing out, others show them pleading to their friends to call for medical help because dabbing can cause someone to have an increased heartbeat, blackout, have hallucinations, feel like something is crawling under their skin, experience extreme paranoia, become unable to move, and/or faint. Many teens have been rushed to the emergency room after dabbing because of the dab’s potency.
- Like Marijuana, Dabbing has side-effects. There are short and long term side-effects from using marijuana. Dabbing is sometimes called “marijuana on crack” and “marijuana on steroids” so one can only assume that these side effects would be increased from the use of dabbing due to the increase of the THC concentration level.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some of the short terms effects from using marijuana are:
- Memory loss
- Impaired body movement
- Loss of judgement
- Changes in mood
- Altered senses
- Difficulty solving problems
Some of the long term effects from marijuana use are:
- Breathing problems
- Heart problems
- Problems with giving birth/problems during pregnancy
- Memory Loss
- Suicidal Ideation
Don’t get caught up in the hype. Don’t try to keep up with new trends. The dance, “the dab”, may seem like a fun dance, but if you chose to do it, leave it at just that, a dance. There are too many health complications and risks involved with smoking dabs, so play it safe and stay away. Practice ways to say “No” in pressure situations, and pick and choose your friends wisely so that you can try to control your surroundings. Your teen brain is still growing; don’t mess it up by exposing it to harmful toxins and chemicals.
By Keisha Howard
Teen Advice Expert