By Mary Stachyra, Todd Richissin, and Jason Koestenblatt
A powerful, concentrated form of marijuana is
quickly gaining popularity along the East Coast — but unlike typical marijuana,
it may carry the risk of overdose.
Butane hash oil — BHO — and the "dabbing" phenomenon that surrounds it, initially gained popularity along the West Coast, where marijuana is legal in many states.
The high can be very high, but there's a dangerous downside: Users have been known to pass out after ingesting it.
While authorities in Virginia and Maryland have reported the drug’s growing trend along the East Coast, New Jersey State Police said it’s not an issue—yet.
“We haven’t seen a large amount of (BHO) use in New Jersey yet,” State Police Sgt. Brian Polite said. “It might be prevalent in the rural areas, but for now, it’s not something we’ve been dealing with on the state level.”
BHO — also known as dabs, honey oil, wax, oil, shatter, or budder — is ingested by heating up a piece of metal, like a titanium nail, possibly with a butane torch, and touching the hash oil to it. They then inhale the smoke created from the heat through a glass-smoking device.
The marijuana community seems split on the drug's use and advance and whether it's the best pot experience in the world or the worst.
Dale Gieringer, with the pro-pot group NORML in California, says the increased use of BHO has led to an increase in hospitalizations for cannabis overdose.
"Things like this never happened until the popularization of hash oil in recent years," he writes in a letter to O'Shaughnessy's, which covers the medical marijuana movement. "The dangers are dire enough to merit a special warning."
Parents concerned about dabbing should look out for a glass-style smoking device, a titanium nail or other kind of nail with a burned substance on the end, and butane torches. They may also wish to speak with their children about the drug.