Marijuana Extracts: THC Concentrates

Shatter, wax, honeycomb, oil, crumble, sap, budder, and pull-and-snap are some of the nicknames for cannabis extracts.  According to the 2019 Street Drugs Identification Guide, an anonymous undercover DEA informant told a news outlet, “There is no weed out there that possesses the punching power that wax does.  It’s like smoking 20 joints of the best grade of weed that you have into one hit of the wax.”

cannabis-concentrates-oilsA marijuana concentrate is also a highly potent THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) concentrated mass that is most similar in appearance to either honey or butter, which is why it is referred to or known on the street as “honey oil” or “budder.”

Marijuana concentrates contain extraordinarily high THC levels that could range from 40 to 80%.  This form of marijuana can be up to four times stronger in THC content than high grade or top-shelf marijuana, which normally measures around 20% THC levels.

One form of abuse occurs orally by infusing marijuana concentrates in various food or drink products, although smoking remains the most popular form of ingestion by use of water or oil pipes.

A disturbing aspect of this emerging threat is the ingestion of concentrates via electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or vaporizers.  Many who abuse marijuana concentrates prefer the e-cigarette/vaporizer because it’s smokeless, odorless, and easy to hide or conceal.  The user takes a small amount of marijuana concentrate, referred to as “dab”, then heats the substance using the e-cigarette/vaporizer.  This produces vapors that ensure an instant “high” effect upon the user.  Using an e-cigarette/vaporizer to ingest marijuana concentrates is commonly known as “dabbing” or “vaping.”

Due to this highly concentrated form of marijuana, the effects upon the user may be more psychologically and physically intense than plant marijuana use.  To date, long-term effects of marijuana concentrate use are not yet fully known.  However, the effects of plant marijuana use include paranoia, anxiety, panic attacks, hallucinations, and increase in heart rate and blood pressure.  Plant marijuana users may also experience withdrawal and addiction problems.

A recent Operation Parent Webinar entitled “Marijuana: Parenting for Prevention in 2020” addressed the above issue with a PowerPoint presentation, including visuals of the various forms of marijuana listed above.  Contact Operation Parent for more information and other valuable resources.

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