Many people have used marijuana here and there, and some adults still have a joint once in a while to take the edge off. If you’re like many people I know, you might even be tired of the war on drugs, are wondering if we aren’t making an awfully big deal out of nothing. If that’s the case, my question is, have you heard of dabbing weed? (No, not the thing your kid does with his arms.) Because whether you have or you haven’t, I would be willing to bet your children, if they’re middle school age or older, probably have.

Dabbing is a relatively new way of consuming marijuana, which causes a much more intense high, and also comes along with toxins and a dangerous production method. It’s done by inhaling vapor from concentrated marijuana; the end result is to weed as moonshine is to wine, and it’s gaining popularity by the day.

Just do a YouTube search on dabbing and take a few minutes down the rabbit hole. I’d imagine you will be just as concerned as I am. Like the Tide Pod Challenge, there are teens that are taking this to every extreme that they can, and using such intense concentrations of dabbed marijuana that the result is staring at a wall in a zombified state for hours at a time, only to regain semi-normal mental status and do it again.

Reports indicate that even recreational use of smoked weed and edibles has short and long-term impact on the teenage brain, and dabbing, because it is so much stronger, is likely worse, but because it’s a new delivery method, there’s little research about it. 

Ironically, if you go to Google all of this, the first hits that come up will be articles on sites like “Leafly” and “Marijuana.com” as your search results, which attempt to debunk the studies about the negative effects of marijuana and dabbing. If you know anything about how Google works, you will understand that websites can pay to have their content “search optimized”, in other words, they want you to get to their site first, so much so that they’re paying Google to make sure it happens. Those same sites serve as online dispensaries for marijuana complete with tutorials on its use.

As a concerned parent, there’s plenty you can do. The first thing is to inform yourself. Since search engines will bring you to marijuana promoting websites, I would recommend using the non-profit site for Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which has information and resources for anyone who wants to understand the good, the bad and the ugly about marijuana. 

Once you have the facts start talking to your kids, chances are they have already heard a lot, and will be relieved to have you broach the subject. The one thing that is proven to impact a child’s behavior regarding drugs is an involved, informed parent that talks to them and that they can turn to with any questions, or even mistakes. If you are nervous need more guidance, search the web or click here.

Alethea Mshar

Alethea Mshar is a mother of four children; an adult child who passed away of a drug overdose, one typical daughter and two sons who have Down syndrome, one of whom has autism spectrum disorder and complex medical needs. She has written "What Can I Do To Help", a guide to stepping into the gap when someone you know has a child diagnosed with cancer, which is available on Amazon, and is publishing a memoir titled, "Hope Deferred". She can be found on Twitter as leemshar, and blogs for The Mighty HuffPost as Alethea Mshar, as well as her own blog, Ben's Writing Running Mom on https://benswritingrunningmom.wordpress.com/. She is also on Facebook as Alethea Mshar, The Writing, Running Mom.