Helping Parents Prevent Youth Substance Abuse

Marijuana Wax/Oils

This drug has a THC level of 60%-80% and is growing in popularity. Additionally, its method of production has led to explosions, which have caused injuries and deaths.

House explosion

Butane hash oil lab

By Jermaine Galloway · January 26, 2015 ·

There is a new drug trend that is currently sweeping the country and is overwhelming college campus law enforcement, safety officials and administrators.  The term for it is “dabbing,” but at a street level it is referred to as marijuana wax, oil or concentrates. 

As many would expect when they hear the word marijuana, what comes to mind is a green leafy substance that is smoked through a glass marijuana pipe or a bong.  The first thing that you need to do is get that image, knowledge of standard paraphernalia and terms out of your mind. This “new” marijuana is completely different than anything we have dealt with in the past.

What Are Marijuana Concentrates?
Marijuana concentrates are the extracted resins from green leafy marijuana, which can raise the THC content from the standard street level 15% THC to 60-80% THC.  Also, concentrates are not green or leafy. They look like wax, butter, oil or amber colored glass shards, called “shatter.”

Concentrates are commonly extracted using butane (when run through the dry herbal marijuana buds, it extracts the THC). The watery/waxy THC is then heated to bubble off the butane. The use of butane is not the only method to create concentrates, but it is the most popular. 

Once packaged, this product can simply look like a small portion of wax. Concentrates can also be laced with other drugs or put into various food products. Obviously, this changes the delivery method and makes identification more discrete.

Using butane, a common fuel, for extraction, has its problems. The use of butane has caused multiple explosions all over the country, including one in a university housing complex near the University of Montana, in October of 2014. These explosions have killed and severely burned people nationwide. The explosions are also causing serious structural damage to their property and neighboring properties. .

Users Needs Advanced Paraphernalia
After creating the marijuana concentrate, the subject uses a more specific bong or pipe, which is called an “Oil Rig,” to smoke the wax. They can also purchase adapters for a standard bong to make it usable for dabs. A popular trend is to use a device that looks like a standard e-cigarette, specific to concentrates and oils, for use of various marijuana-based products instead of nicotine. These devices have electric heating sources and are made for smoking wax, oil, dry herbal marijuana or shatter. These e-cigarettes are very discrete, “stealthy” and can be hard to identify as drug paraphernalia while putting off very little odor. 

The “dabbing” movement is extremely popular, evolving quickly, and there are many different types of paraphernalia, terms, logos and concentrate types coming into our communities. As this trend’s popularity continues to skyrocket with individuals of all ages, we need to continue to educate ourselves on the dangers and use of “dabbing”. 

Along with the incredibly high THC, marijuana concentrates have some non-traditional symptoms. Some users report hallucinations, passing out, extreme highs (even from small portions) and high levels of impairment.

Dabbing Has Many Street Names
This drug goes by the monikers “dabs,” “butter,” “budder,” “amber,” “honey,” “oil” or “BHO,” which stands for “Butane Honey Oil” or “Butane Hash Oil.” You will also see clothing or fliers with the term “710.”  This term is similar to the street level term of 420, which is the universal time and date to get high. In this case, 710 is the word “OIL” turned upside down, making a popular drug reference.


Jermaine Galloway is a police officer in Idaho and is also known as “The Tall Cop.”  For more specific information on drug concentrates, paraphernalia, BHO explosions and this trend, contact him at


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