The Seattle Times calls on raising the age to buy tobacco products from 18 to age 21, but it’s more urgent that “medical” marijuana be added to the substances with age limits. Teen admissions to substance abuse treatment have skyrocketed, and marijuana is the most common substance for which they are seeking treatment. The advent of e-cigarettes and vape pens has made this consideration very urgent.
Parents beware, the marijuana culture is promoting extreme highs that can get your kids hurt. Vaping and dabbing are new ways to get high that are extremely sudden, dangerous and eliminate the telltale odor, making marijuana use harder to detect.
Drugs like marijuana are addictive and once a teen gets swept up into the drug subculture, over-use and abuse of drugs is likely. The search for the next big ‘high’ and the impaired judgment caused by drug use is leading some teens to go too far.
Check out this TV News Story about this issue.
Marijuana Becomes Extreme ‘Sport’
Several “weed blogs” and numerous online videos promote the popularity of dabbing.
Dabbing is inhaling the potent vapors from concentrated marijuana oil which is up to 80% THC, the psychoactive element in marijuana. In comparison, a pot cigarette contains up to 18% THC. The intense high from concentrated pot oil can literally knock you unconscious. According to an account of a NORML event in California, one person nearly cracked their skull on the sidewalk and another experienced marijuana smoker broke her two front teeth when she passed out cold after ‘dabbing’.
Another grave danger lies in the process of making homemade concentrated ‘hash’ oil. Concentrated marijuana oil is also known as Butane Hash Oil (BHO). It is made by firing up the marijuana plant material with butane, a highly flammable and toxic solvent. This intense burn releases the THC and other compounds out of the plant and concentrates them. The butane then needs to be removed by further heating the concentrate. Adding heat to a highly flammable substance is dangerous business. Any remaining butane becomes a gas at room temperature and easily ignites, even with a small spark of static electricity.
Home Chemistry is Explosive
There have been 31 butane hash oil home explosions in Colorado just during the first 9 months of 2014. California has had an even higher number; numerous have happened on Oregon and Washington, too. Amateur oil makers are now burn victims and properties were destroyed and neighbors put at risk of harm. See PopPot’s recent article, Hash Oil Explosions Rise this Year.
This more potent form of marijuana, BHO, can be added to food. Or it is smoked in a variety of ways. Hash oil bong (called an oil rig) or e-cigarette vaporizer (a technique called vaping) are among the two most popular devices used to smoke BHO.
The Hidden High
Unlike smoking marijuana, which gives off a noticeable, pungent odor, vaping hash oil is odorless and discrete and can go unnoticed. This means that like an e-cigarette smoker, a marijuana smoker can ‘vape’ in public places, work or even school without fear of consequences or reprisal. This makes vaping marijuana concentrate very appealing to addicts. It means those most likely to abuse the drug and become dependent on it can become more reckless about the use of the drug, thereby risking an overdose, and posing a danger to others.
Even pot culture observers are warning about the risks of vaping and dabbing. Vaping is growing in popularity, because it allows legal marijuana to be smoked in illegal places, such as ball games, malls, theatres, schools. There is also the risk of not getting all the butane out of the finished product. According to Mother Jones magazine, “When BHO is improperly made, it can be tainted with toxins.”
The two main arguments in favor of legalizing marijuana are: 1) that it is not harmful and 2) that it is impossible to overdose. With dabbing and vaping, we know differently.