Butane Hash Oil Raises Concerns - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Butane Hash Oil Raises Concerns

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WORCESTER CO., Md. - Wax. Dabs. Amber. They're all different names for the same drug-- butane hash oil.

Hash oil, or liquid cannabis, isn't new to the drug scene. The part that's new – and the part that's raising new concerns – is the use of butane to manufacture it.

An undercover drug agent in Worcester County tells WMDT they've seen an uptick of the drug's prevalence in the past six to nine months.

The detective says it's typically made by passing butane gas through a pipe that's packed with marijuana. The butane breaks down the THC -- the psychoactive compound -- and leaves behind a dark brown, gooey substance that is extremely potent.

The butane is then burned off – a potentially explosive process. In fact, there have been several reports of hash oil-related explosions in the past several months, in the Seattle area alone.

It's not only the flammability at issue. After burning off the butane, the leftover substance could also contain harmful neurotoxins, with reports of some users even passing out after taking a hit.  Because the oil is not combusted, but only heated, it delivers the THC to the user in the form of vapor. Compared to weed smoke, the vapor has a relatively undetectable aroma, providing a stealth aspect, attractive to users who want to stay inconspicuous. The wax's ease of concealment, along with its sheer potency,

With so many health hazards -- it's clear that this is not your parents' pot. And despite polls that suggest changing views on legalizing cannabis -- butane hash oil raises entirely new, and separate, questions about safety.


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