A new, more potent form of marijuana is sweeping the nation and Minnesota is not immune. In fact, law enforcement officials in the northwest suburbs of Hennepin County report that they have already seized approximately 12 pounds of the drug so far this year- an amount that would have a street value of more than $300,000. With only about a quarter of a pound seized by the same agencies in all of 2015, the increase is quite disturbing. Across the state, an estimated 27 pounds of the substance was seized in 2015. So what is this new fascination that is leaving many Minnesota residents up in smoke?
Marijuana wax, also commonly referred to as budder, shatter, honey oil, skittlez and 710, is a new marijuana concentrate that authorities say is extremely potent and dangerous for users. A standard hit of marijuana in its traditional form contains approximately 14 percent TCH, while the new concoctions can contain as much as 30 percent to 90 percent. It most commonly comes in the form of a sticky substance that resembles peanut brittle or honeycomb, but is also seen in powder or oil form. The “wax” is created by using butane to extract the THC from the plant in concentrated form, and it is very flammable, making it as dangerous to manufacture as it is to ingest. In fact, an elderly woman was killed in 2015 when a plate that her grandson and another teenager was using to create “wax” ignited in her basement. Both teens pled guilty to murder.
Minnesota Residents Should Be Aware of the Dangerous Effects of Marijuana Wax
According to Minnesota law enforcement officials, sellers and manufacturers are primarily targeting teenagers and young adults. Therefore, authorities are urging parents to educate themselves about the concentrates.
- It is possible to overdose on the concentrated forms of marijuana. In fact, there have been reports of at least two overdoses in Duluth alone.
- Some of the symptoms of overdose include vomiting, difficulty breathing, and extreme hallucinations.
- The long term effects of marijuana wax use are not yet known.
- Such high levels of THC can result in intense physical and psychological effects that are unlike the effects experienced when using regular marijuana.
- Butane, which is commonly used to manufacture the concentrations, is highly flammable and has been known to cause fires and explosions that have resulted in severe injuries and even death.