Exploring Butane Hash Oil Use: A Research Note

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Journal of Psychoactive Drugs




The practice of “dabbing” has seen an apparent upswing in popularity in recent months within American drug subcultures. “Dabbing” refers to the use of butane-extracted marijuana products that offer users much higher tetrahydrocannabinol content than flower cannabis through a single dosage process. Though considerably more potent than most marijuana strains in their traditional form, these butane hash oil products and the practice of dabbing are underexplored in the empirical literature, especially in prohibition states. A mixed-methods evaluation of a federally funded treatment program for drug-involved offenders identified a small sample (n = 6) of butane hash oil users and generated focus group interview data on the nature of butane hash oil, the practice of dabbing, and its effects. Findings inform discussion of additional research needed on butane hash oil and its implications for the ongoing marijuana legalization debate, including the diversity of users, routes of administration, and differences between retail/medical and prohibition states.