What Is Marijuana Wax and How Dangerous Is It?

The marijuana wax drug, also known as marijuana oil, is highly potent and dangerous.

Wax is a marijuana concentrate that has become increasingly popular on college campuses over the last five years. It has also been found in the possession of students at the high school level, and is referred to as weed wax, dabbing, dabs or butane hash oil (BHO), which explains its 710 slang term (the number 710 spells oil upside down and backwards).

Marijuana wax looks like it sounds: A sticky, syrup-like substance that’s robust enough to hold its form on a flat surface after it’s cooled. It is typically tinted yellow and may be kept on wax paper (right after it’s been made) or in small containers.

With marijuana’s legalization in states across the country, smoking weed has been increasingly normalized in our society. As such, regular users have gotten creative about ways to get high and get away with it in public spaces. This often includes putting the chemical in weed that affects the brain, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in different forms.

But what is the wax drug, how is wax made and what threats does it pose to your campus?

Campus Safety dove into these questions and more to get you all the information you need about marijuana wax oils.

 

What Is the Wax Drug?

Weed wax is a highly concentrated form of marijuana, typically the color of honey with a consistency closer to Jello or butter.

Wax is derived from marijuana plants but can have up to eight times the concentration of THC compared to the buds people typically smoke. As such, people who become accustomed to smoking wax from a dispensary, an illicit website or a friend may be dissatisfied with going back to regular marijuana because their tolerance may dramatically increase. Regular users who have stopped smoking wax have also reported experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Unfortunately, these factors can drive some people to consider making the drug themselves.

The Dangers of Weed Wax

Marijuana and its concentrates are similar to other drugs in that they stimulate dopamine in the brain and can have an impact on brain chemistry. The long term effects of THC exposure to the brain are not definitive, but some studies have shown THC exposure can lead to cognitive decline, especially if it begins when a user’s brain is still developing.

Several studies show teens who report marijuana use go on to try more serious drugs, giving weed the label as a gateway drug. The potency of wax makes it reasonable to assume any adverse effects associated with marijuana are heightened by smoking wax.

Marijuana wax’s potency also means smoking it can cause severe hallucinogenic effects. Many people who smoke wax have lost consciousness, acted erratically, reported feeling paranoid, been hospitalized and even committed suicide.

The process of making wax— and the inexperienced people sometimes doing it— means that unintended hazardous chemicals can also end up in the oil substance, potentially causing harm to users’ brains and respiratory systems.

Burns when smoking or making marijuana oil are also common. That’s because making it typically requires butane, a highly volatile and flammable gas.

In 2015, more than 30 people were injured from butane explosions involving marijuana wax or oil in Colorado alone, reports the Los Angeles Times. Oftentimes the victims of these accidents were not the people making or using the drug, as we’ll see in the next section.

 

Making the Wax Drug

The process of creating the wax drug is referred to by some as blasting. The most popular method involves placing a large amount of weed in a tube or pipe and running butane through it. The butane extracts the THC from the plants and produces the wax substance.

Making marijuana wax is an extremely dangerous process that is actually not explicitly illegal in every state. Last October, a New York fire battalion chief responding to the smell of gas in a Bronx home died in an explosion police say occurred because of combustible materials being used in a makeshift marijuana farm.

When a 19-year-old, who in 2014 was making wax in his Minnesota basement when a fire started that the would eventually lead to a death, was asked by St. Cloud police how he learned to make the drug, he responded: “There’s about 10,000 videos on how to make [wax] on Youtube.”

Unfortunately, the people making these videos are not scientists and may not be demonstrating a safe process to viewers. Further, there is no way to dictate accurately how potent the wax will be, raising the likelihood of adverse side effects.

A video of a gas explosion at a Santa Fe dispensary released by the New Mexico Environmental Department shows how dangerous manufacturing the drug can be:

“Butane fires from the [weed wax] drug have a very fast, instantaneous explosion that can reach about 2,000 degrees,” Minnesota Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Jim Smith told KARE 11.

Many dispensaries around the country sell forms of weed wax (but as you can see, even professionals are vulnerable to the drug’s flammability).

Using the Wax Drug or Dabbing

Once the marijuana oil has been created, it can be smoked in slightly altered bong “rigs”, vaporizers, e-cigarettes and vape pens. Vaping is considered an efficient way to use it because of the higher temperatures required to evaporate the drug. E-cigarettes and vape pens can make it odorless and smokeless, meaning it is exceedingly easy to conceal.

Another popular form of consuming the oil is through food edibles. Edibles like oil brownies, cookies and cake are common and especially dangerous because they risk being consumed by people unaware of their contents. Dispensaries commonly sell weed oil lollipops and other candy.

Predictably, the psychological effects, or highs, are much more intense from wax than from smoking the plant. Accordingly, it is more expensive than the plant, but it may last users much longer because it takes much less of the drug to get high.  

Who is Using The Wax Drug?

Sadly, the New Mexico dispensary explosion is not an isolated incident as more people turn to the internet to get the step-by-step process for making wax. Anyone who’s spent time with students knows they may be more likely to think they’re experts at something after watching a few Youtube videos on a subject.

Multiple people police have found responsible for the explosions are under the age of 25. This means the students on and around your campus could be attempting to make the wax drug. As noted by Officer Jermaine Galloway of Tall Cop Says Stop, a 2014 explosion resulting from people making weed concentrates occurred in a housing complex next to the University of Montana.

Even high school students are at risk. As students in this age range gain independence, they may seek new thrills, succumb to peer pressure or look for ways to cope with insecurities and stressors.

Responding to the Drug Trend

According to Galloway, the best thing campus security professionals can do to address this issue is educate our communities on the dangers of wax and know how to spot the drug on and around campus.

Galloway’s Tall Cop Says Stop organization has trained more than 100,000 people on how to recognize and respond to alcohol and drug use, and his excellent Campus Safety article It’s Just a Vape Pen, Right? is a great start to understanding the many forms that the use of wax and marijuana oils can take.

Everyone knows there are drugs in our communities, and our campuses are a reflection of those communities. We all need to work together to keep them safe!

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42 responses to “What Is Marijuana Wax and How Dangerous Is It?”

  1. lovingc says:

    Fear, ignorance,lies. There is no excuse for ridiculous propaganda in this day and age. Your lies are transparent and will not change minds. The people you are attempting to influence are more aware of the real facts than this person who is attempting to scare people off of this form of cannabis preparation. Your attempts will cause more people to test this for themselves.
    Don’t you understand when you tell people no, it causes more interest in finding out if it is true or not.
    That is why DARE did not work!

  2. LJ. says:

    Another article that is mostly much ado about nothing. Cannabis itself is not the problem. Has not been, will not be. What everyone should know is that alcohol on campus is a much more dangerous problem.

  3. C says:

    Cannabis and cannabis oil/wax is wonderful medicine that poses no danger to anyone. The people with control turn a blind eye to alcohol but shame cannabis because of the culture.

  4. Kevin D. Antony says:

    Your article is informative especially as it includes street / slang terms. Anyone who is in the know does know that butane explosions from making this crap do occur. Secondly just because something like dope is made legal does not mean it is now harmless, something young people and users don’t seem to understand. Alcohol is also a problem, but the topic of the article is dope……One thing I have observed after 35 years of law enforcement is that weed smokers love to smoke and drive, much like drunks…..

    • Joe says:

      Dude your 35 years in law enforcement haven’t taught you much apparently. The slang term dope refers to heroin. This article has been very informative that people like you are still very close minded and ignorant. You and I both know marijuana is not dangerous. During the 35 years enforcing revenue generating prohibitions like the war on marijuana we both know you never experienced someone being hospitalized and near death because they smoked marijuana. We also know you’ve probably seen your fair share of drunks dying and being hospitalized from alcohol but that stuff is ok right. You’re views on law enforcement are a joke and you are part of the problem with this country. You probably spent more time harassing minorities, and shooting black kids, than catching real bad guys. You know the real ones like murderers, rapists, thieves, the people committing real crimes. You know a real crime when someone attempts to do harm to another person. I hope I informed you a little and opened your eyes to the real world and the real problems and I am sorry if I offended you in any way That was not my intention I just hate seeing people especially law enforcement speaking so ignorantly when it is impossible for them to not know the real facts. I don’t smoke marijuana and do not plan to, but it is not your job to care if someone does.

    • Tobi says:

      An explosion can occur from somebody smoking a cigarette while filling their car up with gasoline, I guess we can’t have gas or cars. Not to mention something could go wrong with powerplants, explosions do occur. I guess can’t have electricity any more. And marijuana isn’t even close to being as dangerous as alcohol, which has consequences so much more dire. Guess we have to prohibit alcho- wait, they already tried that.

  5. tr says:

    This article is anti-weed propaganda and trash, instead of discouraging students, and young people with lies and fear mongering towards cannabis concentrates maybe inform them of the effects, science, and proper level of dosage? Easier to scare people though right?

  6. Sarah woodard says:

    Drugs is not a good thing to do in life at all dont do it because drugs can mess up your life

  7. Tobi says:

    Marijuana is not dangerous, it was made illegal in 1937 so it wouldn’t compete with cigarette sales, sheesh learn something about the topic of your article before spreading false information.

  8. Brian Hayes says:

    Wow? I don’t understand why the government doesn’t try to make alcohol illegal due to millions of caused deaths and millions of lives ruined.

  9. Jim Gibson says:

    Let’s also face the fact that cannabis has a lot of health benefits and those are proven. Of course, too much is dangerous. However, cannabis wax is generally safe for me. Thanks for sharing the insight!

  10. Chad Coker says:

    Are you serious? Certainly, you are aware of the murder case the Dupont Corporation used to see that marijuana and hemp production were brought to a standstill so that plastic could make it’s multi-million dollar entrance. The lies didn’t work then. And now that the lies have been exposed, even government entities are realizing the mistake and criminal activity that took place. Your efforts will go unnoticed. Your lies and propoganda will go nowhere. Are you aware, that there are people, companies and bloggers who spend their entire days unraveling these lies and exposing the truth behind them? Your convictions are laughable. Have a nice day. Perhaps the Dupont Corporation can help you with the depression issues you certainly have, due to the lack of activity you hope to see in the favor of your bosses. I suggest Zoloft. Have a nice day.

  11. Dave says:

    Government wil never make alcohol a danger….even though you can’t stand, talk, drive, and become an emotional mess,, for most of our politian leaders are alcoholics….and are old school…
    Drinks are cool….
    Marijuana is a Hippy High….I see nothing wrong with it…
    Get high…munch and mellow out at home…..
    Get drunk (from alcohol), and drive your car into a tree…
    I’d rather be mellow…

  12. All of this info about marijuana wax is very interesting and informative to read on. Thanks for sharing this blog.

  13. Cheryl Rohrer says:

    I’m ALL for medical marajuna.

    HOWEVER, I’ve just become familiar w/dab pens (this wax was in it). I happened to be around the night a high schooler used one. 10-15 min later he walked w/friends up the sidewalk and passed out. Hit the pavement hard. He fractured 5 teeth. It was just horrible…tooth extraction, root canals. Then their relative said their close friend also had a similar outcome at the same college. After vaping a dab pen, college student fell right to the ground and couldn’t feel part of their body, threw up…

    I think there are very REAL DANGERS especially for your younger people who are experimenting and uninformed about what they are vaping and how strong the substance could be.

    I HATE these things!

  14. asdf says:

    Extraordinary how stupid the writer of this article is. This kind of bias is exactly why university students are leaving school more stupid than when they started. Shameful garbage AND irresponsible not to mention dishonest.

  15. adf says:

    “DOPE: Slang form of heroine derived from the high dopamine content which is the basis of heroine. Enjoy the definition! Kees ”

    Just sayin.

    Anyone who thinks marijuana is a dangerous drug is simply ignorant, and those who claim it’s a gateway drug, are even more ignorant.

  16. Bill Tirado says:

    My thoughts are as follows if God didn’t want us to partake in weed then why is it in our soil?
    Plus anything it’s natrual (not man made ) should be legal

  17. Marta Escobar says:

    Weed is natural but dab is not. It is man made thru process of extraction and making the wax more potent. While weed mellows you out, the dab makes you so stupid that you pass out into a sleep while your standing. Makes you dream while you’re awake.

  18. Normally, a hearing is expected when a young student commits a felony, and then the state says that a school DAEP placement is mandatory. Apparently, not in this particular case.

    “Student was spotted sitting down in the floor of the local school. The A.P. approached the student and asked: “Why are you in the floor?” (After all it is already flu season and we have multiple severely ill children sent to school daily.).
    The young man jumped up, bolted down the hallway running away. The AP remarked that he didn’t even have time to react. The first student he met (female on cellphone) was punched in the face resulting in a black eye and a broken facial bone and lots of blood. The second student (female, on cellphone, walking with her friend, the other girl) was punched in the face resulting in a broken nose and blood running down her face. Neither of these two innocent students had any idea what was about to happen before it occurred. They simply had the misfortune to look up as the (dabbing 710) student punched their lights out.
    After striking both students the assailant was eventually apprehended where he immediately began screaming and crying “What did I do!!! over and over as he bawled. It was only after he stopped running that the realization came to him of what he had actually did to the young ladies.
    Now, there won’t be much of a hearing for this young man. Because this is Texas, and the video cameras of the school, along with his testimony will convict him of possession of a controlled substance (narcotic), resisting arrest (fleeing from AP and SRO) and two felony charges for assault causing bodily injury.
    The student was bawling because it took him several hundred yards before he began to ask himself “What am I doing?” Then when it struck him he was horrified, he began crying uncontrollably, and wailing “What did I do.” “What did I do?”
    Student has never in eleven years had a disciplinary referral.
    Never had any issue.
    Never been in a principals office.
    My thoughts: The proponents of this stuff are as full of s*** as a Christmas goose. And, Yeah,,,! That’s some really harmless dope right there.”
    But anyway, feel free to sound off, or even volunteer to pay for the medical bills of these two young ladies with all of your “I’ve been cooler for so much longer than you, Yazz…, forever so long Lovey…way back when don’t cha know dope profits.”
    This ain’t no Cheech and Chong s***.
    Our young student now resides in big boy jail. The state will take a year bringing him to trial. Then his hopes and dreams, but not his life will be effectively over. He will enjoy a young persons dreaded life of car wash worker, fast food laborer, or sometime plumber’s assistant. But, his bonafied college career path has been effectively boned.

    This dope is some vile s***. Maybe he can get a minimum wage job at your dispensary telling folks of it’s wonderful benefits.

  19. Sarah says:

    I know Many (lots) of friends, family and other people who had been on marijuana. All of them transferred to trying or staying (mostly) to other drugs. Every person that got on marijuana had been abused or a terrible past and had maybe PTSD. Only one realized before he died that it was wrong being on marijuana all those years. That person realized he needed to listen more to God and maybe needed us. He was the one of the only two I ever agree with taking it because of what he went through in Vietnam. I saw his flashbacks when I was little and before he passed 3 years ago. I loved my uncle dearly. Yet he realized handling life clean would have been hard but we were there and God always. The only other was my friend who had been through a lot as a child being teased, the raped by another of the same sex and then someone shot his friend in his arms on accident when the guy tried to shoot at the 3 white people at his birthday party. The d.j. we didn’t know but two of our friends were white and I was the only girl that was. That man that died was not because the guy messed up. My friend still smokes, but he tried many other drugs and now he drinks. There are many other people I saw smoke that led to other like meth. Or my one dear friend in heaven who got hooked on another drug. He took then what the government gave him to quit and it killed him. Lastly, the worst is my ex-husband lied to me. He met me and promised to never do it anymore. I have epilepsy and had brain surgery. My nuerogist says for me not to have marijuana around me. It could risk damage to my right hippocampus because my left was removed to help my seizures. Nuerogist at Barrow don’t approve of it for epilepsy but may consider it for two similar problems that are only with kids. They are neurological conditions but not all the same. Well my ex had only visits when our child just turned 4 when our doctor recoqonized some form of abuse then had to do some tests then noticed marijuana in our child’s blood and then hair. I was tested of course no and then my ex. He refused test. He then got a medical license about 2 months after. He lost custody. The judge ordered his hair follicles as well and saw that is how are child was exposed. Think before you act. A child is growing that young. Their brain is growing and much more. After nearly 2 1/2 years this kid is opening up. Opening up on what he/she was also drugged up for that the doctor suspected. Be aware people. Also the person who commented about making alcohol illigal read history. It once was. Read the Bible as well. Also know true adults can break the law with just about anything if not paying attention or being a adult.

  20. JS says:

    So you’re saying that I as an occasional cannabis user don’t realize that there are consequences of over using it…
    This is why I am an engineer while you were just a simple cop.

  21. Antje says:

    I believe logic indicates that abuse (overindulgence) of anything can be very dangerous. Driving a vehicle while under the influence of any mind-altering substance (cannabis, alcohol, etc) is dangerous for the user and anyone else in the user’s sphere of influence. I have no idea whether or not “wax” is totally natural or partially synthetic, as I have no idea how it is produced. However, if it is so much stronger than typical marijuana, it must be approached with additional caution. Overindulgence can sneak up even on an occasional user! What I don’t understand is why we can’t express opposing views without insulting one another. That “simple” cop, most likely, is or was out on the streets every day trying to serve the community…a profession not suited for everyone; and in my opinion requires both a great deal of stamina and courage. And you, Mr. engineer, build or develop that which helps to move us forward. You are both extremely important; and neither more important than the other. So why not continue this dialog and make it lively…but keep it respectful.

  22. Amy says:

    Dangerous 😂😂😂

  23. Lance feelgood says:

    Wow, all this is unbelievable. Many people even small children have benifited from marijuana be it wax, oil, or leaf. Anyone that says other wise are ignorant to medicine or swayed by propaganda. If you have a child that has seizures again and again and marijuana stops the seizures,then dont you think that marijuana is the answer? Anyone that thinks differently is either uneducated or just a straight up idiot. Stop watching faux news and the movie from 1936 “reefer madness” and remove your head from your butt and do some research on the matter. You’ll find that marijuana is safer than any thing out there. Really, no one gets addicted to marijuana but people are addicted to tobacco, alcohol, heroin and many pharmaceuticals. Work on those and leave marijuana alone. I’ve had MS for many years and marijuana has helped me immensely. I know many people who use marijuana recreational and not one goes crazy walks around punching people and falling down. Education is the answer not propaganda

  24. Sebastian says:

    This article is so full of s***.

  25. RON says:

    People have too much idle time on their hands, and liberalism is a mental illness.

  26. Dad says:

    To everyone screaming this is harmless – thank whatever higher power or diety you may believe in that you’ve gotten through unscathed. My teenage son had a recent incident that resulted in big trouble from sharing a dab pen at school. Short version is he’s facing the consequences. The friend he shared with wound up hospitalized. I’m praying for both of them. My son’s future though is effectively over thanks to this garbage. So good luck with staying on the “it never hurt anyone” side of the aisle. My family has seen the dangers and my son- a good kid who stepped in a big pile of s***- could be spending his life trying to get the stink off.

  27. Kevin says:

    Wow, some people in this comment section and the author of this article are extremely ignorant.
    I smoke.
    I go to school full time, attend all my classes and have a GPA of 3.6 and never been violent because of my weed consumption.
    I’m expected to graduate with my bachelor’s next December.
    I work full time, 40 hours, most of the time more than 40 WITH school.
    I am a productive member of society who smokes weed regularly, I break every stereotype of a stoner.
    Come at me.

  28. Carpy says:

    Sad to see the delusional, brainwashed, and weak minded that protect the abusers and try to rashionalize why it’s ok to smoke marijuana. I have seen family and friends from all walks of life decline in responsible function while increasing in mental paranoia, psychosis, and delusion in which has caused divorce, job loss and social distinction.

    Don’t the people like Lovingc above guilt you into NOT fearing for what this Drug can cause you or a loved one.
    Simple truth is marijuana is a drug, just like a majority of drugs come from plant based science. Don’t be fooled that it’s Hippy Cool or an ok thing to partake in.
    Look no further than the Non- functioning part of society like Seattle Washington, Colorado, California, New York, Connecticut or other Liberal societies where the delusional mind allows one to succumb to a pathetic demented lifestyle.
    Be strong, stay focused, and more importantly stay busy……”A mind at rest is the Devils playground”

    If your feeling down, depressed, or have had life deal you a bad card then I highly suggest and recommend that “when in doubt sweat it out!!!!”
    Get back to your core base and eat healthy, excercise until you sweat and In turn you will rehabilitate the mind to think things out that challenge you

    Good Luck and God Bless

  29. We should prioritize campus safety. Use cannabis responsibly and educate the students properly.

  30. Philly bou says:

    It’s medicine that has been used for tens of thousands of years and was only made illegal in the first place to oppress Mexican immagrants.

  31. Right here is the perfect web site for anyone who really wants to
    find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually
    will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a
    topic which has been written about for decades. Excellent stuff, just
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  32. Matthew A Turner says:

    This is ridiculous. As someone who is sober on campus right now, and has enjoyed wax but now only smokes flower, can tell you this is nonsense. FAKE NEWS

  33. Daddy says:

    Dang wow cool

  34. Jay Block says:

    Where and how do these kids find it? My daughter was waxing. She couldn’t explain what it was. This article needs to be easier to find. No one I know as parents or even other children heard of this.

  35. X says:

    Alec, I’ll take “things that never happened” for 500

  36. Hal says:

    I can personally attest that mind altering drugs such as marijuana do have a deleterious, permanent effect on the brain. I started smoking it at 16 y/o in 1968. Stopped 2002. Still suffer from memory loss. It has also severely damaged my relationship with my children as I was so obsessed with getting more pot or smoking it I had little time for them when they were children. The time I spent with them was emotionally absent as I was I was mentally in another state. I too used all the arguments dopers make to justify getting stoned. Most won’t listen until it’s too late.

  37. Lawrence Lee Welling says:

    spoken like a true christian moron.

  38. EK says:

    I also suffer from memory loss due to using marijuana in the 70s and 80s. I also experience “glitches” – where I will forget what year it is or where I live for a few seconds. Marijuana is definitely not harmless. Neither is alcohol – I’ve had two alcoholics in my family and it can be devastating.

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