Marijuana: BHO & Vaping

, also known as cannabis, pot, grass, weed, herb, mary jane, bud, ganja and other nicknames, derives from Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa plants. It is typically smoked in a cigarette joint or pipe, or in a bong with water.

Other forms of cannabis include the resinous extract hashish and butane hash oil (BHO). All forms of cannabis contain THC and are mind-altering. Marijuana smoke has a distinctive, pungent odor, sometimes described as sweet-and-sour or skunk-like.


Butane hash or “honey” oil is a cannabis concentrate extracted from marijuana plant material in a dangerous, volatile process using butane. Common forms are called Shatter, Budder, Wax and Crumble. The nickname for smoking BHO is “dabbing” and potency tests claim 60-90% THC content compared with 10-22% for marijuana plants. E-cigarette devices can be used to smoke BHO.

Dabbing is similar to vaping. BHO is extracted from the marijuana plant and concentrated into a wax form. First, a piece of a glass pipe or bong is heated with a blowtorch. Once it is hot, the waxy concentrate is placed onto the pipe creating immediate vapor. Hash oil is believed to be more potent and to create a stronger high.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, smoking THC-rich resins extracted from the marijuana plant is on the rise. These extracts can deliver extremely large amounts of THC to users, and their use has sent some people to the emergency room. Another danger is in preparing these extracts, which usually involves butane (lighter fluid). A number of people who have used butane to make extracts at home have caused fires and explosions and have been seriously burned.

What is Vaping?

The term “vaping” refers to using devices that vaporize the active ingredients in marijuana. Many people use vaporizers because they claim to allow the user to inhale marijuana without some of the harmful or irritating health risks most commonly associated with smoking a blunt, joint or bong. Many believe you get “higher” by this method as well. Others may choose to “vape” because vaporizers don’t produce as strong of a marijuana smell as other methods. Vaporizers are typically small and sleek; they often look like a regular writing pen or an e-cigarette.

What are E-Cigarettes?

E-cigarette use among both youth and young adults has increased considerably in recent years. In 2015, more than a quarter of students in grades 6 through 12 and more than a third of young adults had ever tried e-cigarettes. 

The 2016 U.S. Surgeon General's Report on e-cigarette use among youth and young adults is the first report issued by a Federal agency that comprehensively reviews the public health issue of electronic cigarettes and their impact on our nation's young people. Evidence was gathered from studies that included one or more of three age groups: young adolescents (11–14 years of age); adolescents (15–17 years of age); and young adults (18–25 years of age).

E-cigarette products can also be used as a delivery system for marijuana and other illicit drugs.

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