Altria Invests in Vaping Giant, Juul, a Week After Doing the Same in Cronos, a Marijuana Cultivator
(Alexandria, VA) – It’s official. Big Tobacco is continuing its efforts to monopolize the marijuana industry. Today, Altria, one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of tobacco products, announced it is investing $12.8 billion in vaping giant, Juul, a company that controls 68% of the e-cigarette market.
Fires and explosions from butane hash oil (BHO) production sent 17 people to a Portland burn unit in a 16-month span, according the Oregonian in a series of reports in May. The BHO-explosions caused numerous injuries, extensive property damage and at least one death in Oregon. A few of those in the burn unit had come from the state of Washington.
Let’s not repeat the chaos that Washington and Colorado have had since legalization. Because of the expense of buying marijuana concentrate at a dispensary or pot shop, potheads are using homemade recipes off the Internet to manufacture hash oil at home (remember meth labs?), to be used for dabbing and vaping. Law enforcement tried in vain to get marijuana concentrates banned in California.
Once marijuana advocates get what they want, it will be very difficult to stop marijuana in any form, including the “bomb”, BHO.
Marijuana possession has been allowed since December 5, 2012. The most horrific case involving BHO hash oil, was a year ago, in Bellevue, Washington near Seattle. All ten units of an apartment building were destroyed and residents jumped from 2nd and 3rd story windows, sustaining many broken bones. The explosion and fire caused $1.5 million in damage and the loss of $500,000 in belongings. A total of 7 people were hospitalized, and a former town mayor, who lived in the building, died from her injuries. The young man who started the fire wasn’t even on the lease, he was staying with friends.
Colorado legalized marijuana as of January 1 of this year. By May, 31 home explosions occurred in Colorado. The incidents were triggered by those attempting to make homemade Butane Hash Oil, a marijuana concentrate. Butane is a highly volatile solvent and a flammable gas at room temperature. Without proper ventilation it can easily go off like a bomb with ball of fire, blowing out windows, and doing damage to a house, condo or apartment and putting innocent neighbors at risk. This is particularly of concern to multilevel housing units like motels, condos and apartment buildings. A child was trapped in an apartment above one of these explosions in Colorado.
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.
“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.
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.