Marijuana Concentrates

| October 26, 2016

Information on this page was prepared by PreventionLane intern, Zach Flores, with assistance from the team.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that marijuana extracts have been on the rise recently. Many users know this practice as “dabbing,” because the user dabs the oil onto an apparatus in order to smoke it.

What are Marijuana Concentrates?

Marijuana concentrates, or butane hash oils (BHOs) are solvent-based cannabis extracts. Often appearing as an oil or a solid waxy substance, these masses of concentrates are known to hold extraordinarily high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), ranging anywhere from 40%-90%. The effects of these concentrates are more psychologically and physically intense than traditional marijuana buds.

Common Forms of Extracts

  • Hash oil or honey oil: a gooey liquid
  • Wax or budder: a soft solid with a texture similar to lip balm
  • Shatter: a hard, often amber-colored solid

Street Names

A piece of cannabis oil concentrate, commonly known as "shatter"

Above: a piece of cannabis oil concentrate, commonly known as “shatter”

  • Oil
  • 710
  • Wax
  • Earwax
  • Dabs
  • Budder
  • Shatter
  • Slabs
  • Crumble
  • Amber
  • Honey
  • BHO

Methods of Ingestion

One method of ingestion that has been gaining popularity is electronic cigarettes (e-cigs). The battery in the e-cig or vaporizer is used to heat the wax or oil in a cartridge. This is a concern because e-cigs are smokeless and practically odor free, making them ideal for hiding and concealing.
A more extreme method of ingestion involves a water pipe, more commonly known as a “rig.”  This ingestion method is dangerous because it involves a blowtorch and extremely hot nail that could very easily cause serious harm to the user.

Dangers and Risks Associated with Concentrates

With such substantial amounts of THC, the risk of developing a tolerance or dependence to the substance is much greater. Since the extraction process involves using highly flammable butane, amateur home labs have resulted in explosions causing serious injuries or even death.
Little research has been conducted to show the long-term health effects of marijuana extracts on health.


Information on this page was researched and compiled by PreventionLane intern, Zach Flores, student in the University of Oregon’s Family & Human Services Program.

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Category: Marijuana, Other Drugs

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