Study: California Dab Concentrate Purity
Updated: Feb 9
This ad-free article is brought to you by the C3 Podcast, a new weekly roundtable of veterans from the cannabis industry.
A 2015 peer-reviewed research study entitled "Understanding Dabs: Contamination Concerns of Cannabis Concentrates & Cannabinoid Transfer During the Act of Dabbing" that was published in The Journal of Toxicological Sciences investigated the biochemical efficacy of the increasingly popular form of cannabis consumption called dabbing.
"Cannabis concentrates are gaining rapid popularity in the California medical cannabis market," observed the study's authors. They reported that these concentrates, also sometimes called extracts, "are increasingly being consumed via a new inhalation method called 'dabbing.'"
The study explained that "the act of consuming one dose is colloquially referred to as 'doing a dab.'" It proclaimed its purpose being to explore "cannabinoid transfer efficiency, chemical composition, and contamination of concentrated cannabis extracts used for dabbing."
The scientists analyzed the concentrate samples for "cannabinoid content and the presence of residual solvents or pesticides."
The research analyzed 57 commercial cannabis concentrate products commonly used for dabbing and available at the time in the "California medical cannabis market." The scientists analyzed the concentrate samples for "cannabinoid content and the presence of residual solvents or pesticides."
Unfortunately for medical cannabis patients in the California market, the results of the study were not encouraging and found significant contamination of the products analyzed. "Considerable residual solvent and pesticide contamination were found in these concentrates," noted the researchers.
The study noted the following results of its concentrate product analysis and data summarization.
80+ percent of concentrate samples "were contaminated in some form."
THC maximum concentration ranged from 24 percent to 76 percent ("with the exception of one outlier containing three percent THC and 48 percent CBD").
Up to 40 percent of the theoretically available THC can be captured in the vapor stream of a dab.
The study noted that the appeal of dabbing goes beyond recreational (adult-use) and lifestyle consumers and is a serious option for patients suffering pain, anxiety, and other symptoms that may benefit from a more potent dose of medicine.
"The appeal of dabbing goes beyond recreational (adult-use) and lifestyle consumers and is a serious option for patients suffering pain, anxiety, and other symptoms."
"Dabbing offers immediate physiological relief to patients in need, but may also be more prone to abuse by recreational users seeking a more rapid and intense physiological effect," concluded the study.
🎧 Like what you just read? Listen and learn with our highly educational weekly Cannabis Commerce + Chemistry Podcast. At under 30 minutes per episode, it helps industry professionals stay current on trending topics.