The popularity of cannabis wax has grown significantly in just the past year for one reason: it is the strongest form of marijuana available anywhere.
Let’s start with the basics:
- This concentrate is informally called “ear wax” or just “wax” as well as “shatter.”
- The process of ingesting it—typically smoked in a bong or vaporizer—is called “taking a dab of shatter”, “taking a hit of dab” or “dabbing.”
- Cannabis wax is also called BHO, which stands for “butane honey/hash oil.” (Butane is used to extract the THC).
- The procedure used to make wax or BHO is known as “blasting,” while the person(s) producing the drug
are called “blaster(s).”
A quick Google search will lead to several You Tube videos and internet websites that explain the process of making BHO. Basically, marijuana is placed in an extraction tube with a butane canister attached at one end. The butane drips through the tube, extracting the THC. The resulting solvent is then mixed with hot water and set out to evaporate.
Butane, or lighter fluid, is extremely flammable, and attempts to make BHO have caused multiple explosions across the country that have killed and severely burned people; these explosions have also blown out windows and caused serious structural damage. When using butane to make wax the vapors can fill a room and ignite with just a tiny spark, making the process extremely dangerous.
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Effects of “Dabbing”
The average potency of marijuana sold on the street is 15% THC, while wax normally contains around 80% THC. Some medical marijuana dispensaries carry cannabis wax for patients who need the higher potency. But this high potency means that wax can be dangerously hallucinogenic for some. The Los Angeles Daily News reported that in 2014 one 18-year-old user hospitalized due to a psychotic episode said he “felt like he was going to die.”
In addition to causing potentially harmful psychoactive effects, butane itself is damaging to the body. Scott Durrah is the Master Chef at Simply Pure edibles in Denver, Colorado. He says that commercial butane has been clearly linked to heart muscle sensitization: it can make the heart “super sensitive to adrenaline and can lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death, even if you have previously used it without adverse effects.” Although Colorado uses butane to extract THC, it is illegal in California.
Whenever you’re looking to enjoy the benefits of marijuana, it’s important to consider what type is best for you. Wax can be overwhelming for a lot of users, so if you’re new, or just looking for a mellower high, consider using other forms of cannabis. That said, dabbing may be something to try for the more adventurous or experienced user.
Do you have experiences using wax? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!
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