Newly Popular THC Product Hitting The Market

September 1, 2014

As we’ve seen more and more often lately, those looking to stay ahead of drug enforcement are coming up with novel ways to deliver commonly abused drugs. A newly popular phenomenon revolves around a concentrated delivery of THC (the psychoactive compound found in cannabis and marijuana). Discovered years ago, but only now gaining in popularity, wax, a coagulated form of cannabis oil, looks and feels like lip balm. It is created by concentrating hash oil using butane, which turns it into a paste. Users can hide it in a variety of forms, such as lip balm, making it very hard to detect and quite easy to distribute. Wax can be eaten or smoked using a water pipe, or bong.

As with virtually every illicit drug, wax is extremely dangerous. This form is particularly concerning because of its concentration of THC. It can deliver exponentially more THC into a person’s body than a traditionally smoked marijuana cigarette. This exceptionally high amount of the drug can cause serious side effects and we do not yet know the full scope of a possible overdose. The dangers do not end there however. There are already reports of people harming themselves as they “cook” wax. Since the components used are flammable, there is a serious risk of physical injury as well.

Those of us in the clinical setting must be aware of this new form of THC delivery because it can be easily smuggled into the treatment setting and passed around between those in recovery. In any recovery program, the infiltration of substances of abuse can quickly disrupt the course of treatment, making sobriety that much harder to achieve or maintain. While we must ensure that all clients retain some of their independence, even during treatment, we must be aware of the possibility that a drug such as wax can easily be smuggled into treatment. It’s an unfortunate reality, but now all forms of waxy substances can be considered suspicious.

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