We live in a world that loves dabs. Extract companies abound, and many patients smoke this way exclusively. But is dabbing bad for our health? A new study released September 20th suggests dabbing butane hash oil (BHO) comes with potential health risks. It also concluded that added terpenes to e-cigarettes and cannabis extracts have potentially harmful effects as well.
The Portland State University study found that when heated above 750 degrees BHO releases potentially cancer-causing chemicals such as methacrolein. When heated above 932 degrees, the chemical benzene, known to cause cancer, is present. The amounts of each were far lower than with cigarette smokers but higher than non-smokers.
For those who don’t know, a dab is done by heating a small amount of cannabis extract onto a titanium, ceramic, or quartz nail. Most people heat their nail to about 700 degrees, but some go higher to achieve thicker smoke or waste less product. However, it seems lower temperatures are going to be the safest way to enjoy BHO.
The low-temp dab has been thought to be better by connoisseurs for a few years anyway. As it turns out they were right! Not only does a low-temp dab (around 400 degrees) taste better and smell better, but it’s better for your health. Since terpenes and THC respond the same way to heat, both are ideally smoked at lower temperatures.
If you’re worried about your dabs being too hot there are plenty of available solutions. An e-nail is one of the best ways to go. You can regulate the temperature directly and keep it consistent. If you enjoy vaporizing there are now many vapes on the market that allow you to choose exactly how hot your pen gets. So don’t fret! None of this means you can’t keep on dabbing. Just keep it cool and keep it clean.