WASHINGTON: If you think you’re hearing more and more about hash oil explosions, it’s not your imagination.
Explosions typically happen when amateurs try to make hash oil — a concentrated form of marijuana that can be inhaled or used in edibles — by using a highly flammable solvent such as butane or propane gas or liquid. Without proper ventilation, gases can build up that require only a spark to explode. Some explosions have been so powerful they’ve lifted buildings off their foundations.
Although hash oil explosions have become common enough in the United States that FEMA has issued warnings about its dangers in apartments and hotel rooms, they’ve spiked in Washington and Colorado, where marijuana is now more easily obtained because it’s legal for recreational use.
In Colorado, there were 32 butane explosions involving hash oil in 2014 — three times the number reported in 2013, before marijuana was legalized.