EXCLUSIVE: New and more potent way to get high
Use of Butane Honey Oil (BHO) is heating up in Hawaii, which is also heating up concerns about this highly concentrated way to get high.
Marijuana users say BHO is much more potent than pot.
"BHOs is a one-hitter quitter. That's all you would need is one or two hits for the rest of the day," said Oahu resident Renn.
The danger comes not just from using this powerful drug but also making it.
"This can be just as dangerous as a meth lab," said Keith Kamita with the State Narcotics Enforcement Division.
BHO uses butane to extract THC, which is the psychoactive component in marijuana.
The BHO mixture is sometimes heated to remove the butane, which can have explosive results.
"We've had this happen in the islands, young adults being severely burned. One man on Kauai ended up with bad burns on his arms and legs when the butane went up in a flash," said Kamita.
Despite the dangers, the THC concentrate has sparked a lot of interest because of its potency.
"It is way more potent than anything natural," said Renn.
High grade marijuana may contain 20 percent THC, while BHO can get close to 100 percent THC.
Right now it is perfectly legal for smoke shops to sell BHO extraction kits. But is the BHO concentrate of THC legal for medical marijuana users?
Hawaii's medical marijuana users are allowed to have marijuana concentrate, but Kamita said this is not the same thing, "If it is straight THC, my feeling is no".
Butane Honey Oil is not just being inhaled but also consumed.
"People are extracting BHO and making it into other products. Chocolates, candies, those have already shown up in Hawaii already," said Kamita.
BHO can be colorless and odorless, which means people could also be puffing away right under the noses of law enforcement.
"If they are using it in their e-cigs it is very undetectable. All you see is the vapor, unlike marijuana cigarettes you don't smell BHO," said Kamita.
Kamita added that he will push for clearer laws this legislative session to make sure the THC concentrate is illegal.
In the meantime, he is educating law enforcement and even medical personnel about the dangers of BHO.
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