Hash oil is a viscous and resinous cannabinoid extract also known as shatter, honey oil, sativa BHO (butane hash oil) and crumble. It is very high in THC and the most potent of all cannabis extracts. It’s comprised of highly psychedelic essential oils and other intoxicating compounds.
The most common method of production is a form of solvent extraction using butane. Butane is a highly volatile solvent with a boiling point of −1 °C. Cannabis matter is placed in a tube and butane is passed through it. In the best case scenario, the butane passes through the tube and the psychoactive crystals and resins are dissolved into the butane which is carried into a glass container. Most of the butane boils off in the process, but a small amount of butane is left in the resin and must be purged. Butane is very toxic when smoked. The quality of the purge will affect the hash oil characteristics, making it crumbly or waxy. It is imperative that the solvent used is extremely pure, as any additives could make the hash oil toxic.
So, as we said, the best case scenario is potent psychedelic hash oil from high grade marijuana. The worst case scenario is that you blow up your house. Remember, we are talking about amateurs doing chemistry experiments in their basements with a little weed and some highly volatile materials. As the butane fuel is pumped through the marijuana containing tube, butane vapors can fill the room. Those butane vapors can easily ignite, engulfing entire homes in rolling balls of flame, injuring many. Home hash oil extraction has illegal in California and other states might soon follow suit. Most explosion incidents have taken place in states where marijuana is legal, calling on lawmakers to address hash oil extraction specifically.
Even though it is dangerous, making home hash oil production illegal is in violation of certain legalization laws. A constitutional amendment made in 2012 which makes cannabis legal to grow and process actually protects Colorado residents rights to make butane hash oil. As more and more people are sent to the hospital, lawmakers are looking for creative solutions to the problem. It should be noted that there are safer ways to produce hash oil, and some Colorado residents are insisting on their right to safe production.
The year 2013 saw 12 butane explosions in Colorado, and in 2014 the number of explosions increased to 32. In short, something must be done to ensure that hash oil is being produced in the safest way possible.
By Suzanna Mountain