Tag Archives: vape pens

Raise the Age of Medical Marijuana to Save Brains

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.

In Colorado, 18-20-year olds easily obtain doctors’ recommendations to use pot and give or sell this “medical” marijuana to even younger children.  Clearing the Haze, a 4-part, 18-article series in The Gazette, a Colorado Springs newspaper, gives insight how medical marijuana card holders end up selling to children.  As much as 75% of the “medical” marijuana in Oregon is sold on the black market. California and Washington also have big problems of marijuana diversion to children.    Continue reading Raise the Age of Medical Marijuana to Save Brains

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Hash Oil Explosions Continue in California

At least five hash oil explosions have erupted in California over the past month while residents were using butane to extract “honey” oil from marijuana.  The worst fire occurred in Walnut Creek on Halloween, when a 4-unit apartment building went up in flames.  The entire street was affected, and a total of 12 apartment units were uninhabitable after the fire was put out.

On Tuesday, two men and one woman were arrested in Arroyo Grande, after detectives served a search warrant for a home with a butane honey oil conversion lab.  A 10-month old baby was found sleeping on a mattress surrounded by marijuana, pipes and broken glass.   There was also a 12-year old and a 15-year old in the home.

The most recent hash oil fire happened Wednesday night in Muscoy, San Bernardino County, east of Los Angeles.  One man died and another man and a woman are in critical condition. It was the 6th event involving a marijuana lab in that county this year.   The LA Times reported 20 hash oil explosions happened in San Diego County within one 14-month period of 2013-2014.

In truth, hash oil labs have replaced meth labs as the most dangerous drug manufacturing process in the US during this decade.  The worst hash oil explosion occurred a year ago in Bellevue, WA.

Making BHO is becoming increasingly popular because VAPE PENs are now available.  Tiny, potent “dabs” are put in the vape pens and go undetected because they don’t leave a smell or emit smoke.   While marijuana today typical has 10-18% THC, the psychoactive element to bring the high, hash oil has up to 50-80% potency for a quicker, more lasting high.

“Honey,” “wax”, “dabs,” “budder,” “BHO,” “710,” “earwax,” and “shatter” are common terms for this trendy way to use marijuana.   Makers follow online instructions, some shown on videos.   Butane is the most popular way to make it, but not the only flammable product used.

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Firefighters attempt to put out an fire caused by butane hash oil at a Walnut Creek, CA, home on October 31, 2014. Photo by Jodi Hernandez, from NBC Bay area News. Photo above, an NBC image also is by James Bogulawski.

Two men burned in Ukiah from a hash oil explosion on November 4. They had to be flown by helicopter to the hospital.  The butane ignited when one of the men lit a cigarette, in the shed behind the house. Another hash oil explosion caused an estimated $100,000 to a home in Visalia, near Fresno, a week earlier.

Those who keep advocating for marijuana legalization need to consider the cost of public services for the explosions which mainly occur in California,  Washington, Oregon and Colorado.

If we have legalization, we need to think about protecting the children, and if parents who endanger their children with drug usage should lose custody and visitation rights in divorce proceedings.  If marijuana is legalized, explosions wouldn’t stop, as the pot promoters like to tell us.

Hash oil explosions happen less frequently on the east coast, and in other parts of the country.  However, a hash oil blast in Missoula, Montana, happened in a university housing complex, where a student’s boyfriend was making BHO and endangering her toddler.  The man, woman and child had to be treated for injuries. Also in October, a 20-year old boy started a fire in his parents’ house in Jackson, Michigan.  He was a medical marijuana cardholder.

We need to ask why many “medical marijuana patients” are so addicted that they ask for these quick highs.  Could it be that medical marijuana providers are encouraging addiction to keep them permanently incapacitated?  The man in Missoula had been burned previously, yet he continued to make hash oil, illegally.  We need to recognize how addictive this marijuana extract is!

Get the Parents Opposed to Pot Hash Oil Facts! Download our new flyer, which describes the hash oil explosions in states which have permissive marijuana laws: POPPOT-Hash Oil Statistics.

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Extreme Marijuana–Dabbing and Vaping Dangers

Part 2 of 2

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’.

Honey Oil, photo from the Humboldt Sentinel
Honey Oil, photo from the Humboldt Sentinel

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.

In dabbing a tiny piece of potent hash oil is put into a small compartment of pipe, vaporizer of pen. Photo: Oregonlive
In dabbing a tiny piece of potent hash oil is put into a small compartment of pipe, vaporizer of pen. Photo: Oregonlive

  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.”

A hash oil lab that was raided by police in Glendale, CA. Photo: Glendale Police.
A hash oil lab that was raided by police in Glendale, CA. Photo: Glendale Police.

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.

For more on this topic read the San Francisco Weekly article, Thanks to “Dabbing,” It Is Possible to Overdose on Marijuana.

See Part 1 What is Dabbing, and Why Should Parents Worry

Downloadable Fact Sheet

Get the Parents Opposed to Pot Hash Oil Facts! Download our new flyer, which describes the hash oil explosions in states which have permissive marijuana laws: POPPOT-Hash Oil Statistics.

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What is “Dabbing” and Why Parents Need to Worry

Part 1 of 2 (Part 2: Extreme Marijuana–Dabbing and Vaping)

“Dabbing” is a way to get the quickest, long-lasting high with a single inhale.  In fact, a single puff from a pipe or vaping pen can give the effect of smoking many joints.  Unfortunately for parents, the new vaping pens make it extremely difficult to see, smell or detect.

“Dabbing is to marijuana, as crack is to cocaine,” is a way it’s been explained.   No one should ever try it, because the psychosis can be immediate, and, as a habit, it is nearly impossible to get unhooked.

Why, should parents worry?  Because the pens go undetected and, secondly, because children are getting into pot at younger ages. Wheat Ridge, Colorado,  is the site of Three Kings Dab Supply, a club where users bring their own dabs and party.  According to a mom in Wheat Ridge,  “Since legalization, marijuana has become a problem in the middle schools and has shown up in the elementary schools twice.”

Marijuana users suggest that kids use dabs, precisely because it can go undetected.  Dabbing is actually more popular with the young users than with middle-aged adults, who often find it too strong.

How Dabs are Made

Dabbers take a tiny bit of butane hash oil, BHO  — hardened or buttery, and quickly light it up in a small compartment.  BHO is to marijuana, as crack is to cocaine.

Users have extracted the THC (the component in the marijuana plant that causes a high) from the plant to get maximum strength, usually using butane gas in some type of glass tube.    When it first comes out it is an oil, but the oil becomes waxy or buttery before hardening into the bits.  Hardened, it can be broken into tiny bits and give a high that last all day.

Butane has oil, a highly potent distillation of marijuana, is so potent that a single hit can last more than a day. (Photo: ABC News)
Butane has oil, a highly potent distillation of marijuana, is so potent that a single hit can last more than a day. (Photo: ABC News)  Photo above: Humboldt Sentinel

There are many nicknames for butane hash oil: “Wax,” “Honey oil,” “earwax,” “dabs” “shatter” and more.   It could be smoked, vaped or infused into the edibles.   Vaping is a concern, since the vape pens,  meant for tobacco, are adapted to be used with concentrates or dabs of marijuana.  It is  a way that teens may be using marijuana without detection.

Dabbing is Growing in Popularity Especially Among Teens

In short, hash oil offers a quick and lasting high for users.   A single hit can last more than a day.   By making it, it costs a user about 50% less than it would by buying it from a licensed dispensary or maker.

One may think that experienced, middle-aged users would be most likely to dab.  On the contrary, it is often the teens who go for the quick high, as well as the ease of use.

Dabbing packs such a wallop, it has been known to cause blackouts. Even  insiders warn that injury and death are possible.

Police in California would like to see marijuana concentrates banned.

See part 2 of this article, Extreme Marijuana-Dangers of Dabbing and Vaping.

 

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