My Daughter or Son Is Dabbing: What Should I Do?

March 21, 2024

Discover what to do if your child is dabbing. Learn how to address concerns, seek professional help, and provide support in this informative guide.

Understanding Dabbing

To effectively address the issue of dabbing, it's important for parents to have a clear understanding of what dabbing is, why people engage in it, and how to recognize signs that their child may be dabbing.

What is Dabbing?

Dabbing refers to a method of consuming concentrated cannabis extracts, commonly known as dabs. These extracts are made by extracting THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, resulting in a highly potent substance. Dabs are typically in the form of a sticky oil or wax.

The process of dabbing involves heating a dab of the extract on a hot surface, usually a nail or a dab rig, and inhaling the vapor produced. This method allows for the rapid and intense delivery of THC, leading to a more potent and immediate high compared to traditional forms of cannabis consumption.

Why Do People Dab?

There are various reasons why individuals may choose to dab. Some people may be drawn to the strong and immediate effects of dabbing, seeking a more intense high. Others may perceive dabbing as a more discreet method of consuming cannabis, as the vapor produced is often less pungent than traditional smoking methods.

Additionally, dabbing enthusiasts may appreciate the wide range of flavors and aromas that can be experienced with different concentrates. For some, dabbing may also be influenced by social factors, such as peer pressure or the desire to fit in with a particular group.

Signs Your Child May be Dabbing

Recognizing the signs that your child may be dabbing is crucial in addressing the issue. While it's important to approach the situation with an open mind and avoid jumping to conclusions, there are some potential indicators to be aware of:

  • Presence of dabbing paraphernalia: Look for items such as dab rigs, nails, torch lighters, or containers with sticky oil or wax.
  • Unusual smell: Dabbing can produce a distinct smell, often described as sweet or fruity. If you notice a strong odor that is unfamiliar, it may be worth investigating further.
  • Changes in behavior and appearance: Keep an eye out for sudden shifts in your child's behavior, such as increased secrecy, social withdrawal, or changes in their appearance, particularly if they start wearing hats or hoodies more frequently.
  • Decline in academic or extracurricular performance: Dabbing can impact motivation and focus, potentially leading to a decline in school performance or participation in activities they once enjoyed.
  • Physical signs: Look for red eyes, impaired coordination, or unexplained coughing fits, which could be indicative of dabbing.

Remember that these signs are not definitive proof that your child is dabbing, but rather potential indicators that warrant further investigation. It's important to approach the situation with understanding, empathy, and the goal of open communication.

By understanding what dabbing is, why individuals may engage in it, and what signs to look for, parents can better equip themselves to address the issue and support their child effectively.

The Risks and Concerns

When it comes to dabbing, there are various risks and concerns that parents should be aware of. Understanding the potential health risks, legal and social consequences, and addressing these concerns are crucial in effectively dealing with the situation.

Health Risks of Dabbing

Dabbing involves the inhalation of concentrated marijuana extracts, which can pose significant health risks. The high potency of these extracts means that users are exposed to higher levels of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. Some of the potential health risks associated with dabbing include:

Health Risks

Respiratory Issues

Lung Damage

Cognitive Impairment

Increased Heart Rate

Addiction Potential

It's important to note that the long-term effects of dabbing are still being studied, but the immediate health risks are a cause for concern.

Legal and Social Consequences

Dabbing also carries legal and social consequences, particularly in areas where marijuana is not legal for recreational use. Possession and use of marijuana concentrates may be illegal, leading to potential legal issues for individuals, including minors, caught dabbing.

Legal and Social Consequences

Legal Penalties

Academic and Professional Consequences

Strained Relationships


Parents should be aware of the legal implications and the impact on their child's future opportunities, as well as the potential strain on relationships with family and peers.

Addressing the Concerns

When faced with the knowledge that your child is dabbing, addressing the concerns is essential. It's important to approach the situation with empathy, understanding, and a focus on finding the best solution for your child's well-being. Some key steps to address the concerns include:

  1. Open Dialogue: Initiate an open and non-judgmental conversation with your child. Listen to their perspective, concerns, and reasons behind their dabbing behavior.
  2. Education and Information: Provide accurate and evidence-based information about the risks and consequences of dabbing. Help your child understand the potential harm it can cause to their health, future prospects, and relationships.
  3. Seek Professional Guidance: If necessary, seek professional help from a healthcare provider, therapist, or substance abuse counselor who specializes in working with adolescents. They can provide guidance, support, and help develop an appropriate plan of action.
  4. Establish Boundaries: Set clear expectations and boundaries regarding substance use. Reinforce the importance of making healthy choices and the consequences of engaging in risky behaviors.

By addressing the concerns associated with dabbing, parents can take proactive steps to guide their child towards healthier choices and provide the necessary support to navigate through this challenging situation.

How to Approach the Situation

Discovering that your child is dabbing can be a concerning and challenging situation. It's important to approach it with care and take the necessary steps to address the issue. Here are some recommended ways to handle the situation:

Stay Calm and Gather Information

When you first become aware of your child dabbing, it's crucial to remain calm and composed. Take a moment to gather information and educate yourself about dabbing. Understanding the process, risks, and potential consequences will help you approach the situation more effectively. Look for reliable sources of information such as medical professionals, substance abuse experts, or reputable organizations that provide guidance on substance abuse.

Open Communication and Active Listening

Engaging in open and honest communication with your child is essential. Create a safe and non-judgmental space where they feel comfortable discussing their experiences and reasons behind dabbing. Encourage them to share their thoughts and emotions without fear of punishment or harsh criticism. Actively listen to their perspective and try to understand their motivations for engaging in this behavior. This will help you gain insight into their mindset and enable you to provide appropriate support.

Seeking Professional Help

If you suspect that your child's dabbing habit is becoming problematic or if you feel unequipped to handle the situation on your own, seeking professional help is a wise step. Reach out to a healthcare professional, substance abuse counselor, or therapist who specializes in adolescent substance abuse. They can provide guidance, assess the severity of your child's dabbing, and suggest appropriate interventions or treatment options.

Remember, addressing the situation promptly and seeking professional help when needed is crucial for your child's well-being. Approach the issue with empathy, understanding, and a commitment to supporting your child through this challenging time.

Prevention and Education

When it comes to addressing the issue of dabbing, prevention and education play vital roles in helping parents navigate this challenging situation. By equipping themselves with knowledge and open communication, parents can effectively guide their children away from substance abuse. Here are three key strategies to consider:

Talking to Your Child about Substance Abuse

Initiating a conversation about substance abuse can be difficult, but it is essential in helping your child understand the risks and consequences associated with dabbing. Approach the conversation with empathy and create a safe space for open dialogue.

During the discussion, focus on providing accurate information about the dangers of dabbing, including the potential health risks and legal consequences. Use age-appropriate language and avoid judgment or accusations. Encourage your child to ask questions and express their thoughts and concerns.

Setting Clear Expectations and Boundaries

Establishing clear expectations and boundaries is crucial in preventing dabbing and other forms of substance abuse. Clearly communicate your family's rules and values regarding drug use. Emphasize the importance of making healthy choices and the consequences that may follow if those boundaries are crossed.

Consider creating a family agreement that outlines the expectations, rules, and consequences related to substance abuse. Ensure that your child understands and agrees to the terms laid out in the agreement. This agreement serves as a reference point for both parties and can be revisited periodically to address any changes or concerns.

Providing Alternative Activities and Support

One effective approach to prevent dabbing is to provide alternative activities and support for your child. Engage your child in positive hobbies, sports, or other activities that promote personal growth and development. Encourage them to explore their interests and talents, which can serve as healthy outlets for stress and emotions.

Additionally, it is crucial to create a supportive environment at home. Foster open lines of communication, where your child feels comfortable discussing their concerns and experiences. Be attentive and offer emotional support. If necessary, seek guidance from a professional counselor or therapist who specializes in substance abuse.

By implementing these preventive strategies, parents can actively address the issue of dabbing and help guide their children towards a healthier and safer path. Building trust, providing education, and offering support are key in effectively navigating this challenging situation.

Support and Resources

Discovering that your child is dabbing can be a concerning and overwhelming experience. As a parent, it's important to remember that you are not alone in this situation. There are various support and resources available to help you navigate through this challenging time.

Seeking Professional Help

When faced with the issue of your child dabbing, seeking professional help can provide valuable guidance and support. Consider reaching out to a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, therapist, or counselor specializing in substance abuse. These professionals can offer expert advice, assess the situation, and provide appropriate interventions tailored to your child's needs.

Connecting with Support Groups

Support groups can be a valuable source of comfort and guidance for parents navigating through their child's dabbing behavior. These groups provide a safe and non-judgmental space where you can connect with other parents facing similar challenges. Sharing experiences, hearing different perspectives, and learning coping strategies can help you feel supported and empowered.

Educating Yourself and Staying Informed

Educating yourself about dabbing and substance abuse is crucial in understanding the challenges your child is facing. Stay informed about the latest research, trends, and treatment options available. This knowledge will empower you to make informed decisions and provide the best support for your child.

Remember, seeking support and resources is a positive step towards addressing your child's dabbing behavior. By connecting with professionals, support groups, and educating yourself, you can gain valuable insights and strategies to help your child navigate through this challenging period.


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