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The Best, Worst Marijuana in the World is Spreading Like Weeds

Dabbing: like "the crack of marijuana."

Dabbing has opened a whole new branch of debate in the marijuana community. (Patch file photo.)
Dabbing has opened a whole new branch of debate in the marijuana community. (Patch file photo.)
By Mary Stachyra and Todd Richissin

A powerful, concentrated form of marijuana is quickly gaining popularity along the East Coast—but unlike typical marijuana, it may carry the risk of overdose. 

Butane hash oil —BHO — and the "dabbing"phenomenon that surrounds it, initially gained popularity along the West Coast, where marijuana is legal in many states.


The high can be very high, but there's a dangerous downside: Users have been known to pass out after ingesting it. Authorities have already seized butane hash oil in Maryland, and narcotics investigators in Virginia care keeping an eye out. 

“It’s what’s described to me by one user, ‘This is the crack of marijuana,’” said Sgt. Mike Conner, who works in the criminal enforcement division with the Maryland State Police. He said authorities in Maryland have seized butane hash oil on state highways and through the mail system.

BHO — also known as dabs, honey oil, wax, oil, shatter, or budder — is ingested by heating up a piece of metal, like a titanium nail, possibly with a butane torch, and touching the hash oil to it. They then inhale the smoke created from the heat through a glass-smoking device. 

The effects have been known to shock even people who have used marijuana regularly, according to the San Francisco Weekly. In Arizona, there are reports of children as young as 11 using the drug. 

“It is dangerous,” Conner said. “People claim you can’t overdose on marijuana. In fact, you can. It’s so strong, they are passing out.”

The marijuana community seems split on the drug's use and advance and whether it's the best pot experience in the world or the worst.

Dale Gieringer, with the pro-pot group NORML in California, says the increased use of BHO has led to an increase in hospitalizations for cannabis overdose. 

"Things like this never happened until the popularization of hash oil in recent years," he writes in a  letter to O'Shaughnessy's, which covers the medical marijuana movement. "The dangers are dire enough to merit a special warning."

In High Times, however, Daniel e Sailles, a partner at Denver dispensary Top Shelf Extracts,  says the drug is like  a miracle remedy. “I’m a 100-percent proponent of BHO, because I’ve seen it make people’s pain just evaporate," he says.

Parents concerned about dabbing should look out for a glass-style smoking device, a titanium nail or other kind of nail with a burned substance on the end, and butane torches. They may also wish to speak with their children about the drug. 
Malcolm Kyle September 26, 2013 at 08:03 AM
A kindly reminder: Like all other past and futile attempts at curbing a person's desire to self-medicate or alter his consciousness, marijuana prohibition is rooted in hate, paranoia, racism, misinformation, half-truths, and outright lies —It's your right to disagree, just please try to remain factual. There is no debate: Marijuana is absolutely safer than alcohol, tobacco, and all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, while Prohibition, a costly nightmare that enriches both criminals and corrupt politicians, is a threat to us all. Legal or not, millions of citizens are already using marijuana. What many sane people are now proposing is to take the criminal aspect out of it, collect revenues from its sale, and instead of spending billions of precious tax dollars on doomed-to-failure enforcement, put it's 'taxable income' to work for the whole community. "Imagine coming out of surgery and the nurse caring for you was drunk. Or having to work harder on your job to make up for a co-worker who shows up drunk on whiskey. It could happen everywhere in the United States. The repeal of the Twenty-first Amendment would do more than simply legalize alcohol. Doing so would hurt America's economy, raise business costs, and make it harder to create jobs. Employees would be allowed to come to work drunk and employers would be unable to punish an employee for being drunk until after a workplace accident. Not only could worker's compensation premiums rise, but businesses will lose millions in federal grants for violating federal law. America's economy is bad enough. Repealing the Twenty-first Amendment will hurt workers and business and cost jobs. Twenty-five national newspapers including the New York Times, United Autoworkers and Senator John Boehner agree: stop the repeal of the Twenty-first Amendment." Sounds crazy when you replace the words "high" with "drunk, "pot" with "alcohol" and "Legalize and Regulate Marijuana" with "the repeal of the Twenty-first Amendment", doesn't it?
Rick Vas September 26, 2013 at 08:27 AM
let them do it and then have a body count in about thirty or sixty days and then we will have visual confirmation weather its deadly or not, end of Controversy. instead of listening to this idle ranting from these hemp" gurus.
James Dulong September 27, 2013 at 02:49 PM
They don't "overdose," they fall asleep. Marijuana has always been known to make people fall asleep when used in large doses. And this isn't a "new drug," it's marijuana in a different form. There's nothing different about it other than that it's concentrated. When you take a shot vs having a beer you don't call it A NEW DRUG =O ...you still call it alcohol. Just gets you to the same place quicker. The only negative effects to be studied here are the effects of super-heated oils entering the lungs. Get off the THC bit, it's not bad for you, we've known it for years and yet people still bitch because they're unbelievably uneducated and biased. They never back up a single thing they say with any legitimate studies, whereas the health benefits are backed by countless studies. The problem isn't marijuana, it's the people who refuse to face the facts because they have ulterior motives rooted in a warped culture for disliking a substance that was never harmful in the first place.

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