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Dangerous marijuana product looks like lip balm, high THC concentration

Amarillo, TX - A new form of marijuana is becoming more readily available for users and allowing them to become high at a faster rate.

Use of the drug, known as Wax, a product of butane hash oil, is beginning to rise with the legalization of marijuana in some states.

According to LaViza Matthews, project director of Impact Futures, the new marijuana product looks and has the consistency of lip balm. She says parents need to know the substance is easily made at home with butane gas.

"I guess because butane is readily available and it's a solvent that you can purchase over the counter," Matthews said. "Once it forms up, its called Wax, and then once it dries out, it's called shatter and it's more amber looking, the wax is more yellow, they call it honey oil or hashish oil."

Matthews said this version of marijuana packs a large punch. She says one dose of wax is equivalent to 15 to 20 joints.

"The key point is that the THC content is so much higher, and that's what you have to watch out for," Matthews said. "So a kiddo who has maybe smoked one joint and was like 'that was great, oh you got hash oil let me try that' and tries it the first time can actually overdose on hashish oil. So all the people that say no one has ever died from overdosing on marijuana, well you can on hash oil being 80 percent content, that's pretty bad."

Matthews also said regular marijuana has a THC concentration of 15 percent on average. She adds butane hash oil lacks odor and is small in size making it easier to conceal, carry and ship. She said people are even using it in e-cigarettes.

As for the production of this substance, she said the process can be dangerous. "Butane is flammable, and so when you're spraying that butane solvent, the fumes are coming out," Matthews said. "If you have someone that comes in and lights up, you can explode everything...and there have been people who have exploded the butane stuff right in their faces and been burned really badly."

Matthews said police have discovered one drug bust of hash oil in the area, and are working to make sure it is not incorporated in any edibles being sold by stores.
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