Hash oil is quickly becoming as popular, if not more popular than dry marijuana, in places where it is legal to use cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes. This thick, waxy oil resin is produced from dry marijuana leaves and is often called honey oil due to its texture and color. Usually vaporized with a wax pen or smoked, hash oil is also called shatter, earwax, and dab by users, and now, some public health officials and law enforcement officers are labeling it as something else--dangerous.
Potential Risks of Using Hash Oil
Part of the appeal of hash oil among users is that its benefits are fast acting. This is due to the fact that hash oil resin can contain as much as 40 percent more of the psychoactive chemical THC than dry herbs. As a result, one hit from a wax pen vaporizer can be the equivalent of 20 hits with a dry herb pen.
While the intensity of hash oil may be beneficial for giving users the results they desire quickly while using less, public health officials are concerned that the oil may prove dangerous. There are fears that inexperienced users may inhale too much vapor from wax and end up experiencing serious THC side effects. In addition, some experts speculate that hash oil may be more addictive than herbal cannabis.
Dangers of Making Your Own Hash Oil
Hash oil is also causing headaches for public safety officials, as in some parts of the country it has led to dangerous explosions. These disasters have happened when people were attempting to make their own hash oil. Typically, this is done by using butane as a solvent with dry herbs. The butane gives off highly flammable fumes that can ignite from just a spark produced when a refrigerator turns on. Even in places where it is completely legal to use hash oil, causing a fire or an explosion by making your own shatter can lead to criminal charges. Because of both the health risks and the recent rash of explosions in California, Colorado, and other parts of the country, some people are beginning to call for a ban on the use of hash oil. California may become the first place to prohibit the use of wax, as lawmakers are currently discussing whether or not to restrict the substance.
What if You Want to Dab?
If you have a prescription for medicinal marijuana or live in a place where cannabis is legal to use and you're permitted to use hash oil under the laws in place, it's important that you use caution to protect your health. Instead of trying to make your own hash oil, buy a commercially prepared product from a dispensary. Only load a small amount at a time into your wax vaporizer pen, and enjoy your session slowly. When you feel the desired effects, stop to avoid overdoing it. It's also a good idea to talk to your doctor about using hash oil before you try it in place of dry herbs to address medical conditions.