Pot derivitive appears at Pitt-Johnstown, cops say

Kaitlin R. Greenockle, News Editor

This semester, there was an incident involving dabs, a marijuana concentrate, according to Student Affairs Vice President Shawn Brooks.

Pitt-Johnstown Police Chief Eric Zangaglia said as far as he knows, as of Sept. 16, the student involved is ok.

Zangaglia qualified his expertise, however, “I am not a physician, and I don’t know the future or any long term side effects of use,” said Zangaglia.

According to a CNBC special by Celia Watson Seupel, dabs is marijuana infused with a hydrocarbon (typically butane gas). The butane strips the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) out of the plant, which is then placed under high pressure to create dabs.

The concentrate is then laced with butane, which is explosive, according to Seupel.

Brooks said he wanted to make community members aware of dabs.

According to Seupel, people all over the country have been exploding kitchens and basements to make dabs.

Medical Daily reporter Anthony Rivas wrote that people often mess up the butane evaporation process because the gas leaves vapors in the air that can lead to explosions.

A marijuana dispensary owner in Denver, Colo., Brian Ruden, said to CNBC that regular marijuana might contain 15 to 18 percent of THC, where dabs can contain close to 80 or 90 percent of THC.

According to Columbia University’s Court-Appointed Special Advocate research associate Tiffany John, some negative effects of dabs include rapid heartbeat, loss of consciousness and the feeling of something crawling under your skin.

Blackouts and psychotic symptoms also are common.

Brooks said he saw an article about a 22-year-old man who smoked dabs and is now in a vegetative state.

University of North Carolina-Charlotte criminology assistant professor John Stogner said to Rivas it is dangerous to assume the risks of dabbing are similar to those of smoking marijuana.