By Belinda Crosier
It seems there’s never an end to what people will try, in order to take the effects of a mind-altering substance to the next level. Something we’ve been hearing about that is now making news headlines, is “wax”, a highly concentrated form of marijuana, obtained through a dangerous process involving the use of butane or other highly inflammable liquid. The process renders a product resembling a golden brown wax and which is purported to be from 70-90% “pure” THC, (the active ingredient in marijuana), as opposed to the 7-20% potency of regular marijuana. Marijuana found in Oklahoma is reported to have a potency level of approximately 9%, so we’re talking about something 8-10 times stronger. Producing or cooking the wax has produced a number of explosions across the country, causing deaths, serious burns and injuries and property damage.
The wax is referred to as “dab,” (since a little dab’ll do ya in!), “butter,” “shatter” (as it sometimes resembles amber shards of glass), “amber,” “honey,” “butter”, “oil” or “BHO” which stands for Butane Honey Oil or Butane Hash Oil. The process of producing the wax is called “blasting,” and those who produce it are referred to as “blasters.” The number 710 is commonly seen on clothing & devices associated with the use of wax and is simply the word “OIL” turned upside down.
As if the production itself isn’t dangerous enough, the potency of the wax causes problems for its users as well. Effects are highly intensified, including extreme agitation, paranoia, passing out, hallucinations and extreme impairment. There are reports of people becoming uncontrollable, resulting in arrests or emergency detentions. The “dabs” of wax are smoked in a bong, either specifically tailored for the purpose and referred to as an “oil rig,” or a regular bong that has been adapted to accommodate the dabs of wax. A device that looks like an e-cigarette is increasingly being utilized to smoke the wax, making it almost impossible to detect, as there is very little odor emitted. Another device, called an HK pen, heats the wax to over 300 degrees so that it evaporates, rather than being burned, producing a cleaner, more “pure” high with fewer toxins. Being able to smoke marijuana without the telling, distinctive odor is likely to be very attractive to those wishing to escape detection; thus the lure for adolescents – and the danger – increases dramatically.
Young people seem to be recognizing that K2 and various forms of “fake marijuana” are very risky and are beginning to avoid their use. We hope that with education, they will take seriously the dangers of using “wax” and steer clear of this new trend as well. Edmond Family Counseling is deeply committed to educating and serving our parents, teens, and families. If we can be of help to yours, please contact us at 405-341-3554 or visit our website: http://www.edmondfamily.org. Donations are always appreciated and a vital part of the continuation of our mission in the community.