South Bend police have a warning about something that looks like earwax or honeycomb but is actually marijuana. Drug experts say the waxy substance, known as marijuana wax, is much more potent than a typical joint. According to investigators, it's already surfacing in the South Bend area.
Marijuana wax is one of the purest forms of THC - the active ingredient in pot.
"There is basically no more potent form you can get it in," said South Bend Police Capt. Phil Trent, who says the new drug is 'like the 200 proof version of alcohol.'
"It's not going to be like coming home and having a glass of wine after work," Trent explained. "It's going to be like coming home and drinking a 12 ounce glass of vodka. That's basically the effect you're going to have."
Some of the street names for marijuana wax are earwax hash, dabs, honey oil and butter. Even though it's against the law to grow, use or sell any type of marijuana in Indiana, cops think it's coming from other states where pot is legal.
"Back in the 70s people would go to Colorado and buy Coors beer and bring it back here for their pleasure," Trent added. "They had something no one else did. Well people are going to Colorado, browsing the shelves, buying THC-laced candy, buying any number of products that are obtainable in that state and driving home with it."
The problem? Drug experts say the high from marijuana wax comes harder and faster. And first responders don't always know what they're dealing with.
"I haven't heard of that," said Andy Myer, South Bend Fire Departent's assistant chief of emergency medical services.
Myer oversees all EMS for South Bend fire. He said they train constantly to keep up with different types of synthetic marijuana like Mr. Smiley and K2, but they haven't done training on this type of pure THC.
"The frustrating thing for the responders is the fact that synthetic marijuana is constantly changing, the chemical makeup's constantly changing," Myer added.
That makes it tough to try to help someone who is having a bad reaction to it.
Police most recently found marijuana wax on a person they took in for a psychiatric evaluation, Trent said.
Two agents from Indiana's Drug Enforcement Agency told WSBT they've never heard of the drug, but pointed out that's not uncommon since they usually deal with bigger issues such as the Mexican drug cartel.
Simply using marijuana wax is not the only part about the drug that's dangerous. Making it can also be extremely volatile because one of the ingredients in the manufacturing process is butane. People in other states have been seriously hurt in explosions while making the drug.
Police say one of the best things you can do to protect your kids and learn more about marijuana wax is Google it.