COLORADO: For marijuana enthusiasts in Colorado, 420, a common nickname for pot, is old news. The new code number is 710. Flip the digits upside down and you get “oil,” a reference to oil-based cannabis concentrates. This wildly potent wax-like substance is one of the fastest growing segments of the marijuana industry.
The psychoactive component in pot is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. The THC content of pot has been steadily rising for decades, from around 3.5 percent in 1985 to 13 percent today. But these new concentrates can reach a staggering 90 percent THC. The high from smoking them or “dabbing” is so intense, High Times magazine called it a “quantum leap forward” in getting stoned. Concentrates are worth more per gram than gold.
That dizzying concentration also means a higher risk of addiction. Cannabis isn’t usually associated with physical dependency. But Denver’s only burn unit is seeing a rising number of patients burned in dabbing-related explosions, and many of them appear to be in the throes of withdrawal.