Butane honey oil is something parents need to be aware of. Parents who want to keep up with their children’s drug-using habit may follow their noses. A quick whiff of a child’s breath could help a perceptive parent detect the presence of all sorts of substances. This includes alcohol, cough syrup, solvents, and marijuana. Unfortunately, a new drug could keep sniffing parents guessing.
Butane Honey Oil Abuse
There is no noxious smoke when teens take butane honey oil. A sniff of their breath may not reveal anything. Butane honey oil is a form of marijuana, and just because the drug doesn’t produce an odor doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. In fact, butane honey oil can be deadly for both the people who produce it, as well as the people who use it.
Demand Drives Innovation
According to industry experts quoted by the East Bay Express, butane honey oil was first developed in 2000. Although it’s taken quite some time to catch on across the country, it is popular.
The average marijuana plant can grow several feet tall, but only a small amount of that plant can be harvested and sold. Dealers who sell bags of marijuana filled with stems and seeds can’t command high prices. The leafy part of the plant produces the desired smoke that users inhale. Therefore, dealers often throw most of their plants away. The remaining materials contain active hallucinogenic ingredients.
Resourceful dealers learned they could use butane as a solvent. It strips the active ingredients away from portions of the plant they’d throw away. They then burn off the butane and leave only active substances behind.
These leftovers purified by butane fetch $25 to $100 per gram, according to Rolling Stone. This helps dealers increase profit margins.
While butane makes an effective solvent, it’s also flammable. Dealers often make their products outside, in areas in which active sparks and closed ventilation are unlikely to take place. Some use public spaces for this activity, meaning they can just abandon their materials if things get dangerous. For example, in April of 2013, according to ABC 30 in Fresno, a man spotted a suspicious device in Fresno County that he thought was a pipe bomb. Experts later determined it was a butane honey oil lab. It’s possible that dealers chose this spot because it was well ventilated and slightly hidden, but it was in an area frequented by children. The contamination to the environment could have been severe. Children could have been exposed to marijuana, or an explosion.
Some users attempt to make their own honey oil. To evade detection, they might try to make their products indoors. This could cause serious explosions as a result, which is what happened in San Diego. Drug users attempted to make butane honey oil in a hotel room. They caused an explosion that sent one to the hospital, and injured two staying in a neighboring room. Therefore, Butane is highly flammable and dangerous.
Unknown Health Risks
There are some concerns about remnants of butane existing within the product these users are ingesting. It’s not an issue that’s been extensively studied at this point, but it is something most should be concerned about.
Additionally, the vapor these users inhale is incredibly potent, according to an analysis done by The Atlantic Wire. A traditional premium-grade marijuana product has a potency level of about 25 percent. Butane honey oil is associated with potency levels of 70 to 90 percent. It’s hard to know just how dangerous this might be to young people who take this drug. Most studies done on the dangers of marijuana in young people have been conducted on those who have smoked marijuana of average potency. Perhaps smoking butane honey oil is even more dangerous, as the potency level is just so much more persistent.
Any form of marijuana can be deadly to young people who take the drug on a regular basis.
In fact, marijuana use has been associated with all sorts of serious health problems, including:
- Heart attack
- Memory deficits
- Learning difficulties
Marijuana can cause damage to the cells of the brain.
For example, in a study in the journal Biological Psychiatry, researchers assessed 19 regular users of marijuana and compared them to 19 people who didn’t use the drug. Marijuana users had lower levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine available. Therefore, they were less likely to feel compelled to do the things that once brought them joy. Young people who use butane honey oil may find it unrewarding to go to school, participate in sports, spend time with friends or otherwise behave as happy teens. Their brain chemistry levels have changed, and life just feels less rewarding.
The risk of addiction to butane honey oil might be of most concern to parents. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, among young users of marijuana, one in six become addicted. This risk might rise among those who use butane honey oil, since the drug is so potent. Extreme changes in perception are associated with higher rates of addiction. Drugs that have immediate effect are usually linked with a more rapid onset of addiction. Those who use butane honey oil may be taking intense risks with their health and happiness. As a result, the risk could be even higher than those they would take if they were using standard marijuana.
The risk of addiction might also be higher among those who abuse butane honey oil simply because the drug is easily hidden.
Each time the user takes the drug, more damage is done, and open use like this could allow people to take drugs almost all the time. They could move from use to abuse to compulsion in no time at all, and their addictions might remain completely hidden. As a result, when they do get help, they may have years or even decades of damage and poor habits to overcome.
How We Help
Even though a sniff test can’t help parents to detect butane honey oil abuse, there are some environmental signs parents can watch for. Some parents have stumbled upon caches of butane, along with bundles of stems and leaves that smell like marijuana. Others have come across a sticky, tangled substance that looks a little like honey. Or they’ve found that material stored alongside customized pipes or nails and lighters. Some never find anything associated with butane honey oil, but they have noticed that their children seem intoxicated one moment, with anxiety and depression following. These same parents may hear their children using slang terms for butane honey oil, including the words “ear wax,” “BHO,” or “dabs.” These could be the dangerous words that lead parents to ask questions about drug use, and get the help for their children that’s so needed.
If you need to get help for your child, please call us at Newport Academy. We provide top-of-the-line care. With this kind of robust care, your child’s future can be both secure and bright.