The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is looking to move forward on creating a new controlled substances code number for marijuana extract.
The extract, known as butane hash oil (or BHO) — and also known on the streets as “wax,” or “dabs” — is jacked up with concentrated levels of tetrahydrocannabino (THC), which is the chemical compound in pot that hits brain the hardest.
The code number set by the DEA would allow them to track quantities of extract separately from quantities of marijuana.
According to the United States Federal Register, the DEA defines it as “extracts that have been derived from any plant of the genus cannabis and which contain cannabinols and cannabidiols.”
While BHO gives the user a stronger, more concentrated high, accidents from cooking it up continue to pop up.
To make BHO, cookers need to extract it from the cannabis plant using butane. The butane must be boiled. This is what causes explosions.
Users who don’t know how to cook or handle BHO have caused explosions.
Just last month, a fire at a Seattle apartment that destroyed 10 units and injured seven people was believed to be caused by someone trying to cook up BHO.
A similar accident happened in Oregon.
Back in February, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a warning about an increase of BHO-related explosions in the U.S.
Yet there have been reports that certain marijuana extracts have been helping children with epilepsy in Colorado — a state that has famously led the way in marijuana legalization.
And, with the rise in people wanting marijuana to be legalized — particularly medical marijuana — this news about the DEA may not go over well in some circles.
The idea behind the code seems to be that the DEA wants to classify the extracts as a separate drug from actual marijuana, further complicating the debate and movement to have it legalized.