A little “dab” will do ya’ in: a case report of neuro-and cardiotoxicity following use of cannabis concentrates

Shannon S. Rickner, Dazhe Cao, Kurt Kleinschmidt, Steven Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Context: The use of marijuana and cannabis concentrates is increasing, especially following decriminalization in several states. Psychosis and cardiotoxicity have been reported following cannabis use; however, myocardial injury from “dabbing” has not yet been reported. We report a case of hyperthermia, tachycardia, hypertension, severe agitation, neuro-, and cardiotoxicity following the use of “dabs” where there is concomitant confirmatory biological and sample testing. Case details: A 17-year-old athletic man developed agitation requiring sedation and intubation for safety, with peak systolic blood pressures in the 190s and hyperthermia (to 102 °F). He developed elevated serum troponins with persistent tachycardia despite sedation and no clear non-intoxicant etiology. It was discovered that the patient had recently been “dabbing”; an exhaustive search of his home found a sample of the “dabs” which was analyzed along with a comprehensive urine drug screen by tandem liquid mass spectroscopy (t-LCMS) for confirmation. Discussion: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been increasingly associated with agitation and cardiotoxicity, while cannabidiol (CBD) has been associated with neuroprotective, inhibitory states. We propose that increasing concentrations of THC as well as THC:CBD ratios seen in cannabis concentrates such as “dabs” may cause agitation and end-organ damage through sympathomimetic and serotonergic pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Toxicology
StateAccepted/In press - Jun 20 2017


  • adolescent
  • Adverse health effects of marijuana use
  • cannabis concentrates
  • dabs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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