Some quick updates of interest to treatment professionals…

Commercializing Concentrates

This comes from the emerging field of cannabis concentrates. You know them as ‘dabbing’:

Wanna get really high? Take a dab in the world of concentrates

“The point is to get as high as possible. And it works,” maintains the author. I bet it does.

If you’re not acquainted with the process, the cannabis is chemically treated to remove plant material, leaving a waxy or “cakey” residue unusually high in psychoactive THC. Reminds me of hashish, but extra potent. THC content could be two or three times the strongest available in other forms. Intense heat is then applied, and the vapor inhaled. Blastoff.

You can watch a demonstration on YouTube. I did.

With the trend towards legalization, entrepreneurs are investigating the commercial possibilities of dabbing. I don’t think there are any health benefits; this is purely about getting high. From the link: at cannabis industry parties, there’s often a “dab bar”…” staffed by attendants. I’m picturing attractive young people like those waiting tables in a trendy lounge. Very hip.

Suboxone for Sale

You may have read about diversion of addiction meds from clinic or pharmacy, first to the street and then into our correctional institutions. Here’s one report:

Inmates charged in Santa Fe jail smuggling scheme

As schemes go, this is pretty basic. Still, discovery was mainly by sheer luck. A piece of tape came loose at the wrong time, and for once, somebody noticed. Sure doesn’t sound that hard to smuggle contraband into a jail.

The most interesting part was the motive: Suboxone strips purchased outside on the street for a few bucks apiece could be resold inside the jail for as $200. Allegedly, at least. The seizure involved a packet of 117 strips, with an estimated max resale value of $23,400. If that’s anywhere close to reality, I can picture this catching on at correctional institutions across the country. At the rate the US locks people up, there’s quite a market.

What confuses me is why Suboxone in particular has such value. I know some people use it get high, but if that’s the goal, why not use one of the affordable alternatives? Most inmates are well past the acute detox stage, where need is most intense. Could it be that Suboxone is valued for solely for its ability to suppress drug hunger?

Maybe it’s all the above. Clearly, something’s afoot. If somebody has the inside story, please fill the rest of us in.

Anyway, both these seems to me like cottage industries bound for growth. Watch out, Wall Street.


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