Researchers concerned about mental health risks of dabbing high-potency cannabis products


A group of local researchers are concerned about dabbing, fearing that within five to 10 years, people who use the highly concentrated form of marijuana will see significant negative effects on physical and mental health.

The use of buds has been greenlit for nearly a decade in Washington State. Over these years, we have learned a lot about the health benefits of marijuana use. However, researchers like Beatriz Carlini of the University of Washington Addiction, Drug, Alcohol Institute warn of the mental health damage that using certain marijuana products can have.

TORONTO, ON – APRIL 20 – In the center of the plaza, people could buy dabs for five bucks. A dab is a dose of concentrate, usually oil, that is heated on a hot surface, usually a fingernail, and then inhaled. A week ago, the federal government announced t

“Legalizing cannabis has created jobs, less criminalization of people who behave differently, and brought the lowest taxes to our state,” Carlini said.

Buds, joints, gummies, vapes and extracts are sold everywhere. Recently, Carlini has focused on dabs or the highly concentrated wax extracted from the plant.

“I felt frankly betrayed in my enthusiasm for legalization,” Carlini said. “They don’t look like a plant, they’re just slimy.”

For those who haven’t heard of dabs, it’s a honey-like substance with a 60-90% THC concentrate, which makes up 34% of our market, according to Carlini. Demand for dabs has grown significantly since 2014, when they made up just 7% of products on the market.

DENVER, CO – MARCH 10: Lab manager Sebastian Marquez checks marijuana concentrates at Viola in Denver, Colorado on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

“Why do we have products that can go up to 90% if we don’t even allow that for alcohol,” Carlini said. “For these particularly high-potency products, the concerns are primarily about becoming psychotic or schizophrenic for life,” Carlini said.

The researcher is aware of the relief some people with anxiety, depression and/or panic attacks get from the marijuana flower itself.

Maddy, 30, is one of them and has smoked dabs before.

“It’s quite effective, but I know the research isn’t complete when it comes to the effects of inhaling the oil on your lungs,” Maddy said.

As Carlini tries to douse the torch, saying raising the legal age to buy dab oil to 25, once the brain is fully developed, is an option. Another is to impose a higher tax on its power.

Those who dab, like Matthew Vallejo, say it’s all about personal responsibility.

“Maybe capping it isn’t a good approach, because my tolerance doesn’t speak for someone else, or my mental health and my personal health aren’t the same as someone else’s. other,” Vallejo said.

The 29-year-old has been dabbing since college and says he hasn’t experienced any adverse effects.

“As they say, the poison is in the right dose,” Carlini said.

Carlini and his team will release the results of their study to Washington state lawmakers later this year, giving them their recommendations on what to do to describe the effects of these products.

FOX 13 reached out to the Washington CannaBusiness Association regarding the researchers’ concerns. Vicki Chstophersen, executive director of the organization sent us this statement:

“The Washington CannaBusiness Association’s top priority is a safe, quality-controlled marketplace that strives to keep products out of the reach of children. We are well versed in product and operator-specific safety measures, testing, and verification. of the regulated market. We support transparency and consistent regulation, not prohibition, to help protect public health and safety. A few years ago, a crisis caused by steam-related products highlighted how unregulated illegal products, for which there is no information as to source, content, or potency, should be of concern to regulators and legislators A return to prohibition policies is a threat to an industry open and transparent and inadvertently supports the illicit market that operates in the dark.


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