The khandhas , nama and rupa , are also called dhammas
The Dhamma Theory Philosophical Cornerstone of the ABHIDHAMMA
The Wheel Publication No. 412/413 (Buddhist Publication society)
"Because pannattis are without corresponding objective reality, the commentaries call them asabhava-dhammas -- things without a real nature -- to distinguish them from the real elements of existence.Since sabhava, the intrinsic nature of a dhamma, is itself the dhamma, from the point of view of this definition what is qualified as asabhava amounts to an abhava, a non-existent in the final sense. It is in recognition of this fact that the three salient characteristics of empirical reality -- origination (uppada), subsistence (thiti), and dissolution (bhanga) -- are not applied to them. For these three characteristics can be predicated only of those things which answer to the Abhidhammic definition of empirical reality.
Again, unlike the real existents, pannattis are not brought about by conditions (paccayatthitika). For this same reason, they are also defined as "not positively produced" (aparinipphanna). Positive production (parinipphannata) is true only of those things which have their own individual nature (avenika-sabhava). Only a dhamma that has an own- nature, with a beginning and an end in time, produced by conditions, and marked by the three salient characteristics of conditioned existence, is positively produced.
Further, pannattis differ from dhammas in that only the latter are delimited by rise and fall; only of the dhammas and not of the pannattis can it be said, "They come into being having not been (ahutva sambhonti); and, after having been, they cease (hutva pativenti)." Pannattis have no own-nature to be manifested in the three instants of arising, presence, and dissolution. Since they have no existence marked by these three phases, such temporal distinctions as past, present, and future do not apply to them. Consequently they have no reference to time (kalavimutta). For this self-same reason, they have no place in the traditional analysis of empirical existence into the five khandhas, for what is included in the khandhas should have the characteristics of empirical reality and be subject to temporal divisions.121 Another noteworthy characteristic of pannattis is that they cannot be described either as conditioned (sankhata) or as unconditioned (asankhata), for they do not possess their own-nature (sabhava) to be so described. Since the two categories of the conditioned and the unconditioned comprise all realities, the description of pannattis as exempt from these two categories is another way of underscoring their unreality."