Hash oil is a derivative from marijuana that has a much higher concentration of THC. It is often produced using butane, which is an extremely flammable substance. The process of creating butane hash oil (BHO) is highly dangerous and can cause serious explosions.
State and Federal officials are concerned with the growing number of explosions from the attempts to extract the oil. This has become much more of a problem in areas where the recreational use of marijuana has been allowed. Not only is this a dangerous and potentially dangerous endeavor for those that are attempting to collect the substance, but also to neighbors and anyone around the vicinity of the operation are placed at risk.
“People trying to make hash oil aren’t aware of the risks. They might have watched a YouTube video and said, ‘I can do that’. And then things go bad,” commented Captain Chris Woodford of Forest Grove Fire & Rescue in Portland, OR.
These hash oil explosions remind some people of the home meth lab explosions that were much more prevalent over a decade ago. In both cases highly combustible ingredients are used in the process, and both represent a high risk for serious injury and even death.
In Colorado, the first state to legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana for recreational use, law enforcement responded to 12 hash oil blasts in 2013. That number nearly tripled to 32 incidents in 2014. Those responsible for hash oil explosions can be charged with illegally manufacturing marijuana, which is a felony. In order to dissuade people from continuing to attempt to extract hash oil from marijuana, authorities are hoping that publicizing current explosion cases and reiterating the fact that this a felony and will be treated as such.