Displays of dabbing marijuana extracts on YouTube

Melissa J. Krauss, Shaina J. Sowles, Shalinee Mylvaganam, Kidist Zewdie, Laura J. Bierut, Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Background: Dabbing involves heating marijuana extracts to a high temperature and inhaling the vapor. Little is known about this new method of using marijuana. YouTube, the most popular platform for sharing online videos, may be a go-to resource for individuals interested in learning about dabbing. Our objective was to explore the content of dabbing-related videos on YouTube. Methods: We searched for dabbing-related videos on YouTube using the search terms "dabbing" and "dabs" on January 22, 2015. For each term, videos were sorted by relevance and view count. A sample of 116 dabbing videos were viewed and coded for content. Results: The 116 videos (published by 75 unique channels) had a total of 9,545,482 views. Most (76%) of the channels had a specific focus on marijuana and 23% were located in California. Eighty-nine percent of the videos showed at least one person dabbing, and 61% of these showed someone dabbing repeatedly. Most dabbers were male (67%) and many appeared to be >25 years old (42%). Approximately 34% of the videos contained a product review, 28% provided instructions on dabbing or other educational information, and 21% contained at least a brief cautionary message. Over half (54%) of the videos referenced medical marijuana, and only 20% of the videos had an age-restriction. Conclusions: Dabbing-related videos are easily found and can be readily viewed on YouTube. As marijuana use becomes more accepted by the general population, the popularity of dabbing-related videos could increase, potentially normalizing this potent form of marijuana use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5716
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [grant numbers R01 DA039455 , R01 DA032843 ].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


  • Cannabis
  • Cannabis extract
  • Dab
  • Dabbing
  • Marijuana smoking
  • Social media


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