WAX is a marijuana concentrate that has become increasingly popular on college campuses for much of the last decade. It has also been found in high school students and is referred to as weed wax, dab, dab or butane hash oil (BHO), which explains its slang term 710 (the number 710 means oil upside down and backwards).
Marijuana wax, which is one of the most potent and popular methods of using marijuana, looks like it sounds: A sticky, syrup-like substance that’s robust enough to hold its form on a flat surface after it’s cooled. It is typically tinted yellow and may be kept on wax paper (right after it’s been made) or in small containers.
With the legalization of marijuana in states across the country, weed smoking is becoming more and more normal in our society. Thus, ordinary users are getting creative with ways to get high and get away with it in public places. This often involves adding the brain-affecting chemical, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in various forms, to the herb.
What Is the Wax Drug?
Herbal wax is a highly concentrated form of marijuana, usually honey-colored with a consistency similar to jelly or oil. Other slang names include earwax, honeycomb, amber, nectar, black glass, or shards.
The wax comes from the marijuana plant, but it can have up to eight times the concentration of THC compared to the buds people usually smoke. While marijuana leaves average 14% THC, marijuana concentrates or THC average 54%, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Some samples reported 99%.
As such, people who become accustomed to smoking wax from a dispensary, an illicit website or a friend may be dissatisfied with going back to regular marijuana because their tolerance may dramatically increase. Regular users who have stopped smoking wax have also reported experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Unfortunately, these factors can drive some people to consider making the drug themselves.
The Dangers of Weed Wax
Marijuana and its concentrates are similar to other drugs in that they stimulate dopamine in the brain and can have an impact on brain chemistry. The long-term effects of THC exposure to the brain are not definitive, but some studies have shown THC exposure can lead to cognitive decline, especially if it begins when a user’s brain is still developing.
Several studies show that teens who report using marijuana continue to try more serious drugs, calling weed a trial drug. The effectiveness of the wax suggests that any side effects associated with marijuana are exacerbated by smoking the wax. The potential of marijuana wax also means that smoking can cause severe hallucinogenic effects. Many people who smoked wax passed out, behaved erratically, complained of paranoia, were hospitalized and even committed suicide. Emergency department reports include cases of wax-induced psychosis, hyperthermia, tachycardia, hypertension, severe agitation, and neuro- and cardiotoxicity.
The wax-making process, and the fact that it is sometimes made by inexperienced people, means that unintentional hazardous chemicals can also get into the oily substance, potentially harming the brains and respiratory systems of users.
Burns from smoking or preparing marijuana oil are also common. This is because its manufacture usually requires butane, a highly volatile and flammable gas.
In 2015, more than 30 people were injured in butane explosions using marijuana wax or oil in Colorado alone, according to the Los Angeles Times. As we will see in the next section, often the victims of these accidents were not the people who made or used the drugs.
Making the Wax Drug
The process of creating a paraffin drug is called a bang by some, and people who make BHO themselves are called “blasters”. The most popular method is to put a large amount of marijuana into a tube or pipe and pass butane through it. Butane extracts THC from plants and produces a waxy substance.
Making wax from marijuana is an extremely dangerous process that isn’t actually outright illegal in every state. Last October, a New York City fire chief responding to the smell of gas in a Bronx home died in an explosion that police say was caused by the use of combustible materials at a makeshift marijuana farm.
When a 19-year-old who was waxing his basement in Minnesota in 2014 when a fire started that eventually led to his death was asked by St. Cloud police how he learned to make the drug, he replied: “Youtube has about 10,000 videos on how to make [wax].”
Unfortunately, the people making these videos are not scientists and may not be demonstrating the safe process to viewers. In addition, it is impossible to specify exactly how powerful the wax will be, which increases the likelihood of adverse side effects.
Using the Wax Drug or Dabbing
The term “rubbing” is used because in order to feel the effect, a small amount is enough – a smear. Once marijuana oil has been created, it can be smoked in slightly modified bongs, vaporizers, e-cigarettes, and vape pens. Vaping is considered to be an effective way to use it due to the higher temperatures needed to vaporize the drug. Electronic cigarettes and vape pens can make it odorless and smoke free, which means it’s extremely easy to hide.
Another popular form of consuming oil is in food. Edible products such as butter cakes, cookies and cakes are common and especially dangerous because they run the risk of being eaten by people unaware of their contents. Dispensaries usually sell weed butter candies and other candies.
As expected, the psychological effects, or high, of waxing are much more intense than smoking the plant. Accordingly, it is more expensive than a plant, but can last much longer because it takes much less drug to achieve a high.
Who is Using The Wax Drug?
Unfortunately, the New Mexico dispensary explosion is not an isolated incident, as more people are turning to the internet for a step-by-step wax-making process. Anyone who has spent time with students knows that they are more likely to think they are experts at something after watching a few YouTube videos on the subject.
Police determined that several of the people responsible for the bombings were under the age of 25. This means that students in and around your campus may be trying to make wax medicine. As Officer Jermaine Galloway of Tall Cop Says Stop noted, an apartment complex near the University of Montana exploded in 2014 as a result of people making concentrates from the herb.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, in Colorado, while marijuana use among youth in the state has not changed since recreational legalization for people ages 21 and older, the use of extracted marijuana products doubled from 2015 to 2019, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment. year. Most of these foods are consumed in the form of swabs and have been shown to affect brain development in people aged 25 and younger, as the human brain continues to experience large developmental leaps until the age of 25, reports Westword.
“We started seeing a change in 2009 when medical dispensaries started opening up in Colorado,” said Dr. Christian Thurstone, a child psychiatrist and addiction specialist who has worked with Denver Health’s teen treatment program for 18 years. “We have seen the use of foods and smears, the more potent products, start to increase. But in recent years, children’s perception of the harms of cannabis has deteriorated dramatically. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’re seeing the cases we’re seeing now.”
A 2020 study from Monitoring the Future, a publication by the University of Michigan’s Insitute for Social Research, found substance use among college-aged adults is shifting from alcohol to marijuana and hallucinogens, with marijuana hitting a historic high.
According to the survey’s 2020 results, marijuana use has continued to rise among college students over the past five years and has remained at historically high levels among same-aged peers who are not in college. On the contrary, the survey found marijuana and nicotine vaping slightly decreased in 2020 after showing significant increases every year since 2017 for both college students and same-aged participants who are not in college.
Even high school students are at risk. When students of this age become independent, they seek out new experiences, give in to peer pressure, or go out into the square feeling insecure and stressed.
In Colorado, as in many other states, health officials also declared a state of emergency for youth mental health last year, citing marijuana use as one of several contributing factors. Researchers continue to study how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected substance use among young people and what can be done to address the issues.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way young people interact with each other and provides us with an opportunity to explore whether drug-related behaviors have changed due to these changes,” said the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Nora D. Volkov. , MD “Moving forward, it will be important to explore how and when different substances are used among this younger population, and the impact of these shifts over time.”
Even for seasoned marijuana concentrate drinkers, it is important to remember that these products are extremely potent. These products are best avoided by patients who have never used cannabis before. Especially if you are new to concentrates, we advise our clients to “start slow and work it down”. While the effects of too much THC can be unpleasant, it’s important to know that they’re rarely dangerous. In the vast majority of cases, unwanted side effects go away after a couple of hours. Remember: you can always take more cannabis later, but you can’t take less!
While a small amount of wax can be added to a joint or bowl, it is most commonly consumed through a special tube called a “dab nozzle”. Like a bong or a water pipe, this specialized instrument has a metal or quartz “nail” or “flute” instead of the usual bowl. This part has a flat surface designed to retain heat. By the way, you cannot heat a nail or a flute with a match or an ordinary lighter. We recommend using a butane kitchen burner for a powerful, tightly focused flame. As with all such devices, you must take all necessary precautions and be safe. Lastly, you’ll need a wiping tool: a tiny spear-like tool that allows you to pick up the desired amount of wax and then apply it to your hot nail before inhaling it like you would with any other tube. How much to start? We recommend the smallest amount possible: a tiny crumb or splinter.