Hiding in Plain Sight, Installment 2
“Sometimes the best hiding place is the one that’s in plain sight.”
Hiding in Plain Sight will be an occasional series of posts about signs of the drug culture that are all around us and yet we do not recognize. We will also include “vaping culture” in this series because, while of most of our students are too young to smoke legally, vaping has transformed from a smoking “alternative” to a new vehicle to consume drugs.
With the unfortunate decisions of many states and cities to decriminalize/legalize the personal use of marijuana, the open sale of marijuana paraphernalia and drug culture clothing and accessories has dramatically expanded. The Northern Virginia area is close to the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland, both jurisdictions that have relaxed their laws concerning marijuana. Police in the NOVA/DC/MD area are seeing an increase in drug-related crime. As parents, we need to be more aware than ever that this drug culture is pervasive and right under our noses. The following may help you spot it.
Before the introduction of personal electronic devices, long car trips often included games to help pass the time—“I Spy,” “Punch Buggy,” “The Name Game,” or even “20 Questions.” Another game was “What do these have in common?”
Question: What do “Honey Oil,” “710,” and “Budder” have in common?
Answer: They are all popular names for marijuana concentrates.
WHAT ARE MARIJUANA CONCENTRATES?
A marijuana concentrate is a highly potent THC- (tetrahydrocannabinol) concentrated mass. THC concentrates come in various shapes, sizes, and forms, including tinctures, wax, and others.
HOW POTENT IS THIS FORM OF MARIJUANA?
Marijuana concentrates contain extraordinarily high THC levels, ranging from 40 to 80 percent. This form of marijuana can be up to four times stronger in THC content than higher-quality marijuana, which normally measures around 20 percent THC levels.
HOW IS IT ABUSED?
It can be consumed orally by infusing marijuana concentrates in various food or drink products. Smoking remains the most popular form of ingestion by use of water or oil pipes. Many abusers of marijuana concentrate prefer using an e-cigarette/vaporizer because it is smokeless, odorless, and easy to hide. The user takes a “dab” of the concentrate, then heats the substance using the e-cigarette/vaporizer, producing vapors that ensure an instant high. (This method is commonly referred to as “dabbing” or “vaping.”)
MARIJUANA CONCENTRATE IS ALSO KNOWN AS:
THE FOLLOWING ARE COMMON FORMS OF MARIJUANA CONCENTRATES:
BUTANE HASH OIL, or BHO
BHO is one of the most common forms of concentrated THC oil. BHO is known for both high terpene and cannabinoid contents. Depending on the extraction techniques used, BHO comes in many different forms, including oil, wax, crystalline, or something else. BHO often looks like honey or butter.
Cannabis tinctures are concentrated THC oil that provides one of the easiest ways to consume cannabis, usually in one of two primary methods. The first is to drop it directly into the mouth and swallow. Although this method does not take effect as quickly as smoking, it is easier to consume than smoking or vaporizing. Secondly, the sublingual method involves dropping the tincture directly onto the underside of the tongue, which provides more rapid effects.
Kief is the common name for the powdery material found at the bottom of marijuana grinders. Pure kief should be purely trichome heads. It is unlikely that the material at the bottom of a grinder would be considered pure kief. Kief is added to other regular marijuana to increase the effects.
Applying heat and pressure to kief will turn it into hash. Since hash is compressed, it will be easier to consume more THC at once with hash than with kief.
APPAREL ADVERTISING MARIJUANA CONCENTRATES
There is a thriving market for t-shirts that overtly and covertly advertise drug use. Parents would do well to scan your children’s rooms occasionally for items they should not have, but also to take a look at the clothing they or their friends wear when they are going out.
About the Author
David Clenance is the Director of Safety and Security at TCS. A proud parent of three Trinity graduates and law enforcement officer for 28 years, David enjoys an occasional brush with his degrees in Latin, Greek and Museum Studies. (Yes, Museum Studies – it’s a real degree!)