Smoking Dabs: “Earwax” is the New Grass

4420604477 2d02aa0c30 z 300x199Marijuana. Weed. Hash. Regardless of what it is called, the mental associations created are the same: the telltale smell, its color and shape. What the mental images don’t produce are odorless drops, the color and shape of earwax, made of butane hash oil (BHO) – otherwise known as “dabs”. Thanks to their 80% THC content – over four times the 18% THC of regular marijuana – smoking dabs is quickly becoming a new fad among teens.

Dab-bling in Danger

One of the most frightening aspects of smoking dabs, is the fact that, although it produces extreme results very quickly – the analogy being that dabs are the equivalent of crack to marijuana – it does not leave many signs. Where pot makes the smoker’s clothes and body reek, dabs have almost no trace. Also, surprisingly, it is quickly becoming cheaper and more accessible than marijuana. While common sense would dictate that smoking dabs would be the pastime of long-time users, in reality, dabs are now the drug of choice for high-school teens.

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As a parent, it becomes extremely important to pay attention to secondary signs of marijuana use. Changes in your teen’s eating or sleeping patterns, as well as changes in your teen’s mood, behavior, school performance, and friend group (especially shifts toward the “pothead” crowd) could be results of your teen smoking dabs. Many teens also show a fascination with drug culture – although not a sign in itself, it could be a warning bell in conjunction with the other symptoms.

Educating Your Child

The best thing a parent can do with a child that partakes in smoking dabs, is to educate them on their danger. Marijuana – especially in such concentrated doses – is not safe. Don’t judge your child; instead, communicating openly and honestly about your concerns will let them know that you are worried about their well-being. Remember to stay positive throughout – while kicking a marijuana habit isn’t easy, a strong system of support will encourage your child to try.
If your teen keeps smoking dabs, it might be time to consider professional help.

Trails Carolina can help

If your teen is struggling with substance use, it’s not too late to get them help. Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program for teens ages 10-17, can help your teen get the personalized care they need.
For more information about Trails Carolina, please call 800-975-7303 today!

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Jeremy Whitworth

As Executive Director at Trails Carolina, a leading wilderness therapy program for youth and teens, I oversee operations and collaborate with our leadership team. Since 2022, I've also hosted the Common Ground Podcast for parents: With a background in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, I've managed adventure-based therapeutic programs across the US and Canada. My experiences in competitive athletics and adventure sports have honed my leadership, risk assessment, and decision-making skills, which I apply to running a successful business like Trails Carolina.

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022


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