Is dabbing dangerous? Could high temperatures, concentrates and butane torches combined with being stoned prove to be risky behavior? Well a new study published this week by the Portland State University Department of Chemistry confirms what most seasoned stoners already intuitively know, dabbing BHO at really high temperatures could potentially cause harm.
The study focuses on how heating butane hash oil (BHO) at extremely high temperatures can result in toxic, carcinogenic byproducts which are not seen at lower levels of combustion, such as with a vape pen.
According to Senior study author Robert Strongin, Ph.D., professor of organic chemistry at Portland State University, the potentially cancer causing chemicals are released when the oil is heated above 750 degrees and that benzene, a known carcinogen, is emitted when the heat goes over 932 degrees.
Strongin and his colleagues state that the current study centers on the “chemistry of myrcene and other common terpenes found in cannabis extracts. Methacrolein, benzene, and several other products of concern to human health were formed under the conditions that simulated real-world dabbing. The terpene degradation products observed are consistent with those reported in the atmospheric chemistry literature.”
Many of the terpenes that the researchers discovered in the vaporized hash oil are also used in e-cigarette liquids. Dr. Strongin and his colleagues found similar toxic chemicals in e-cigarette vapor when the devices were used at high-temperature settings.
So, when dabbing and/or vaping make sure to keep those temperatures as low as possible. SSL recommends using a dab rig that doesn’t require a butane torch. Gotta give props out to Dabado and their slick torchless device. Try the lowest temperature and don’t hit device until the nail completes the heating cycle. The terpene flavor and vapor are at their height of excellence at this moment and the temperatures are at their lowest. It won’t be long before our very innovative and industrious community comes up with a safer way to inhale concentrates. Or, just roll a joint and give thanks to the herb in it’s most natural state.