MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Hash oil has gained a lot more popularity here in the Permian Basin. Not only are people smoking it but many are now trying to make it.
"Dabs", "honey oil", and "shatter" are just a few names that are used to refer to butane hash oil or "BHO". The highly concentrated drug has people YouTubing how to make the oil on their own, a process that can cause a major explosion.
Sheriff Gary Painter, of the Midland County Sheriff's Office, said, "Hash has been around for many many years. I've been dealing with it for 40 years. What they have come up with now is is oil which is a highly concentrated form of the hashish, which is a concentrated form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from marijuana."
Local law enforcement says they have seen an increase in the use of hash oil in the Permian Basin, especially among teens.
"We're starting to see more of it just because of the e-cig or what they call a vape. You inhale it and the hashish will give them an extreme high," said Painter.
Not only is hash oil illegal, but it is potentially very dangerous and has caused flames and explosions in Midland and other cities in the U.S.
Kim Henderson, Prevention Director with the Palmer Drug Abuse Program (PDAP), said, "What they do is they take the buds of marijuana and they use butane to extract the oils in the marijuana buds and this is very concentrated and also very dangerous."
Sheriff Painter says that those who use or sell BHO can be looking at a more hefty penalty.
"It's highly illegal. Hash oil is a layer above marijuana as far as the penalty phase they can get anywhere from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony and they're looking at up to 20 years in the state penitentiary," said Painter.