JONESBOROUGH, TENN. - A hair straightener and a small can of butane can be found in most department stores and are pretty common household items. Now, some are using the two to make an illegal drug in our area stronger.
"It is actually a product made from marijuana and they just extract the THC from the marijuana," Washington County, Tennessee Sheriff Ed Graybeal says.
Police say THC wax may be the most dangerous secret in the Tri-Cities.
"It's becoming more popular," Sheriff Graybeal says. "It is moving into the area like all drugs do."
Wax goes by a handful of other street names such as dabs, butter, honey, amber and oil. Making it using butane is dangerous because of the potential for explosions.
"One can of butane can fill a 1,400 square foot room," Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley says.
The end result is a more concentrated form of marijuana.
"It enhances the level anywhere from 80 to 90 percent more than its natural level," Sheriff Hensley says.
The stronger oils are going into everyday items.
"They put it in food, they put it in cookies, they put it in candy," Sheriff Graybeal says.
Police say that makes the drug more addictive.
"When it is 60 to 80 percent more potent than pot and you can put it into vapor cigarettes, you can rub it on your skin, you can put it on food," Sheriff Graybeal says. "Yeah, it's more addictive."
Sheriff Graybeal says if you see any changes in your child and think there's even a slight chance they're using the drug, it's important to talk to them right away and find out exactly what's going on.
A regional Drug Task Force member says he saw two wax labs last year and didn't realize what he was dealing with. That's why the task force is looking to train local officers on how to spot wax labs in the future.