Dangerous marijuana wax hits streets of Houston

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A new, highly potent form of pot is on the streets of Houston.

The drug known as "wax, honey, or butter" should leave every parent on high alert. Users and law enforcement say it is dangerous to make and very easy to conceal in plain sight. It looks as ordinary as lip balm, but it carries enough punch to keep people high all day.

"If you had a cinnamon candle that was brown and you light it, and dripped the wax on the table," said one-time user Ashley. "The little wax right there. That's what it looks like."

The wax is actually a marijuana concentrate. Those seeking it out do so looking for an intense high, and they get it by heating up the marijuana plant. It's a process involving butane, a highly flammable gas, which extracts the THC. THC is the chemical in marijuana which creates a high.

"I would take the hit and find myself coughing for seven minutes straight," said Ashley. "I think I'm done and cough some more."

A quick search online revealed there are plenty of tutorials, but they don't all mention the dangers involved in making wax.

"He ended up burning his arm off, like all his skin was off," said Ashley remembering how her friend set his arm on fire. "He had to go to the hospital and everything ... something went wrong."

Special Agent Wendell Campbell with the Houston division of the Drug Enforcement Agency said the drug is popping up more and more in southeast Texas. Campbell warned about the unknown risks involved with such potent pot.

"This is actually a national issue, but it's hitting Houston hard," said Campbell. "They're getting that THC content up to 50, 60, 80, sometimes 90 percent as opposed to the traditional 13 percent."

Since it's relatively new and surging in popularity online, experts said parents need to educate themselves. Law enforcement sources also warned, many people are putting wax in electronic cigarettes. It comes with no smell, only vapors.
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