High-potency marijuana product shattering lives

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016
New potent form of marijuana
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High potency form of marijuana shattering lives around area.

HOUSTON -- It goes by a lot of different names, like shatter, wax or 710. Turn those numbers upside down and you get oil, a concentrated form of marijuana oil.

"You become very incoherent," said Joshua Campbell, recovering addict. "You can't really function; you're just supremely stoned."

"It just goes straight to your head," said Ricky Meas, also a recovering addict. "It's like the next level of being high."

It all comes down to the levels of THC, which is the compound in marijuana that causes someone to become high.

"If you're looking at something that has three, five, seven, or nine percent THC content, that's a drastic difference to somebody that is consuming something with 80 or 90 percent THC content," said Wendell Campbell, DEA special agent.

This past year has brought an increase in marijuana concentrate seizures by Houston DEA agents. The concentrates are mostly hidden in beauty product containers. Users most often make the drug themselves.

"Butane is filtered through the marijuana plant," said Agent Campbell. "It pulls the THC content out, then goes through a process of cooking."

Because butane is so flammable, it only takes a small spark to cause damage.

"I've had a few of my friends hospitalized for having sparks go off while they're doing a butane extraction," said Joshua Campbell.

If the drug is so devastating on the outside, imagine what it can do on the inside.

"I wound up with a two-year stint in rehab and facing prison time because of what I've done," added Joshua Campbell. "It all started with just getting high."