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.

U.S. Surgeon General Vice Adm. Jerome M. Adams issued an advisory on December 18, 2018 stressing the importance of protecting children from a lifetime of nicotine addiction and associated health risks by immediately addressing the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use.

E-cigarette use among youth has skyrocketed in the past year at a rate of epidemic proportions. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration’s National Youth Tobacco Survey, the percentage of high school-age children reporting past 30-day use of e-cigarettes rose by more than 75 percent between 2017 and 2018. Use among middle school-age children also increased nearly 50 percent.

Data from National Institutes of Health’s Monitoring the Future survey also shows that America’s teens reported a dramatic increase in their use of e-cigarettes in just a single year, with 37.3 percent of 12th graders reporting use in the past 12 months, compared to 27.8 percent in 2017.

“We need to protect our kids from all tobacco products, including all shapes and sizes of e-cigarettes,” said Adams. “Everyone can play an important role in protecting our nation’s young people from the risks of e-cigarettes.”

Vaping Resources

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