Experts warn parents of new drug '10 times' more potent than marijuana



PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh-area drug and rehabilitation experts say a new drug is beginning to spread around the area and it’s made out of common household items.

It’s called butane honey oil, BHO or dab.

"It's like 10 times more potent than your average marijuana for many people," said Dr. Neil Capretto, medical director at Gateway Rehab.

Capretto said he has seen more cases at Gateway in the past few months.

Using common household items, users extract THC, the most potent part of the marijuana plant.

"To put it into perspective, the potency of it, the marijuana of the 70s and Woodstock era was around 1 percent, maybe 2 percent THC. In the 80s 3 percent.  Now [it’s] at 10 percent," Capretto said.  

"I didn't know how dangerous it was,” said one patient being treated for dab addiction at Gateway.

It’s dangerous and explosive because of the way it’s made. Highly flammable butane is used to extract TGH, leaving behind a goo that looks like honey.

The butane turns into a gas and a spark could cause an explosion.

The side effects can be just as dangerous.  Using butane honey oil just one time can lead to extreme paranoia.

Capretto said one teen he treated was hospitalized in Western Psych for nearly a month.

That didn’t happen to the patient Channel 11 spoke to, but she said she learned her lesson.

"Well knowing now that one, people can blow up, and that they can have psychotic breaks I do not recommend it," she said

Capretto warns that BHO is easier to conceal because of its concentrated form, so police and parents really need to be on alert.

Since it can be made with household items, one organization suggests parents look for things like butane containers, glass or metal tubes, baking dishes and even coffee filters.