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What You Need to Know About Marijuana Wax

This isn’t Burt’s Bees. A new marijuana product looks and feels like lip balm, but a single application is the equivalent of smoking 15 to 20 joints of pot.

The marijuana wax goes by several names including Honeycomb, Wax and Butter. It’s made from oils found in pot plants and has a higher concentration of THC than most marijuana products. Users can either eat or smoke it using a bong or electronic cigarette and the drug can also be molded into tiny, round balls. It can also be applied to the lips or gums.

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart reported last April that more people across the country were abusing Wax and chalked it up to the above-average levels of THC content in the product. “In 2013, the THC content of leaf marijuana averaged 14 percent, while the THC content of marijuana concentrates averaged 54 percent,” she told the House Appropriations Committee. “Some samples reported as high as 90 percent.”

It’s easy to hide because it comes in a lip balm jar and doesn’t look like a drug, which means it’s become wildly popular with high school students across the country. Parents in the Atlanta suburb of Roswell have already complained to the school district about Wax being sold and used on school grounds. A recent home drug bust by Roswell police turned up 80 grams of the drug.

Wax poses the same health risks and side effects as marijuana, but it also carries an additional danger in the form of people trying to make it at home. “You’re getting a lot of home cooks, a lot of teenagers and others that are trying to make it,” said Roswell Police Officer Zachary Frommer. Leonhart also noted that “highly flammable butane gas is used to extract the THC from the marijuana leaf, and has resulted in home explosions, injuries, and deaths.”

Of course, edible marijuana products are hardly a new phenomenon. Colorado “ganga-preneurs” have been taking full advantage of legal recreational marijuana use by selling products with THC in them ranging from chocolate to soda. A NYC-based van company called Weed World Candies has also been selling marijuana lollipops downtown, with flavors that include White Widow and Blueberry Dream. But because the products only contain trace amounts of THC and won’t necessarily get a user high, they have been able to skirt around any potential legal consequences.

Teenagers have even been finding a way to use Burt’s Bees lip balm to get high. A trend called “Beezin’” involves putting a layer of the lip balm underneath the eyelids. The peppermint oil in the product reportedly creates a tingling sensation that enhances the experience of being drunk or high.

Related: Will Human Size Rat Cages Stop Teen Marijuana Abuse?