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INTRODUCTION:

“Dabbing” involves heating extremely concentrated forms of marijuana to high temperatures and inhaling the resulting vapor. We studied themes describing the consequences of using highly concentrated marijuana by examining the dabbing-related content on Twitter.

METHODS:

Tweets containing dabbing-related keywords were collected from 1/1-1/31/2015 (n=206,854). A random sample of 5000 tweets was coded for content according to pre-determined categories about dabbing-related behaviors and effects experienced using a crowdsourcing service. An examination of tweets from the full sample about respiratory effects and passing out was then conducted by selecting tweets with relevant keywords.

RESULTS:

Among the 5000 randomly sampled tweets, 3540 (71%) were related to dabbing marijuana concentrates. The most common themes included mentioning current use of concentrates (n=849; 24%), the intense high and/or extreme effects from dabbing (n=763; 22%) and excessive/heavy dabbing (n=517; 15%). Extreme effects included both physiological (n=124/333; 37%) and psychological effects (n=55/333; 17%). The most common physiologic effects, passing out (n=46/333; 14%) and respiratory effects (n=30/333; 9%), were then further studied in the full sample of tweets. Coughing was the most common respiratory effect mentioned (n=807/1179; 68%), and tweeters commonly expressed dabbing with intentions to pass out (416/915; 45%).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study adds to the limited understanding of marijuana concentrates and highlights self-reported physical and psychological effects from this type of marijuana use. Future research should further examine these effects and the potential severity of health consequences associated with concentrates.

Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.