Wax. Honey. Dabs. The many names of marijuana extracts and concentrates do not sound so harmful, but U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) agents in California are not convinced.
Despite “wax” increasingly, alarmingly, and legally being embraced by users in Colorado, according to ABC News, the DEA in California is cracking down on the popular new marijuana drug for a number of reasons, including its unparalleled THC potency and the dangerous methods used to produce it.
Wax is the new “ultimate distillation of marijuana” and so potent that one “hit” can keep users high for more than 24 hours. Wax and other distillations of marijuana are reported to contain 70-to-90-percent THC, and one undercover DEA agent told ABC News’ “Nightline” that one hit of wax is “like smoking 20 joints of the best grade of weed” you can get.
The drug is made by stripping THC out of marijuana using butane, the highly flammable chemical known to cause explosions. Production techniques, therefore, are similar to those used to make such “hard” drugs as methamphetamine, cocaine, and crack.
Aside from the dangers of production, the Assistant Special-Agent-in-Charge at the DEA’s San Diego office, Gary Hill, explained that there are fears that the high levels of THC in wax can cause psychosis and brain damage in users.
Nonetheless, in Colorado, where “recreational” marijuana is legal, persons over 21 can simply walk into a marijuana dispensary and buy it off the shelf. Many are.