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Expand chart
Data: Online SurveyMonkey poll; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Most parents aren’t familiar with “dabbing,” a potentially dangerous way to inhale a highly concentrated dose of marijuana, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.

By the numbers: Only the youngest adults we surveyed knew about dabbing, even though some health officials have been concerned about it for years.

How it works: Most Americans are clueless about dabbing, so here’s a brief primer:

  • A dab is a highly concentrated form of THC — the chemical in marijuana that gets you high. It looks like a small chunk of orange or brown-sugar-colored wax.
  • A dab pen looks like a vaping pen and costs anywhere from $20 to $200. It is an electronic device that emits less of a pot scent than smoking.
  • A joint is roughly 25% THC, but a dab can be up to 90%, which is why some experts say dabbing is to weed what hard alcohol is to beer.

By the numbers: Half of the 18- to 24-year-olds in our SurveyMonkey poll said they have either used a dab or know someone who has.

  • That number fell to 32% among 25- to 34-year-olds and continued to decline as respondents got older.

Done responsibly, THC concentrate — which also includes edibles and vaping, not just dabbing — can offer a more controlled dosage and fewer toxins than smoking.

But students may hit the dab oblivious to its THC levels.

  • Students have told me they find themselves slurring or wobbly, or even passing out from dabbing.

They say its use is exploding, especially among kids from wealthier areas who can afford the more expensive dabs and pens.

  • Teens like to hit the dab because it gets them super high, super fast.
  • Because there’s little odor or smoke, they can sneak it in bathrooms and at home. It also looks like a vape, so they can confess to just vaping, not dabbing, if they’re caught.

Academic research is mixed. At least one study found that dabbing is no more dangerous than smoking marijuana, but others have pointed to individual medical reports of “seizure-like activity” or hypertension.

  • Only 4% of respondents in our SurveyMonkey poll, and just 8% of 18- to 24-year-olds, said they think dabbing is the most dangerous way to consume marijuana.
  • Pluralities of old and young people alike said all forms of marijuana post equal risks to users' health, followed closely by those who thought vaping presented the greatest risk.

What we're watching: Majorities in every age group in our survey said they support legalizing marijuana for recreational use nationwide.

Methodology: The data is from a SurveyMonkey online poll conducted among adults ages 18 and older in the United States. Respondents were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Data has been weighted for age, race, sex, education and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over, including the 2016 vote.

The survey was conducted Jan. 24–28 among 2,726 adults. The modeled error estimate for this survey is ± 2.5  percentage points. 

Go deeper

Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."

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