Autor Tema: The Explosion of Butane Hash Oil  (Leído 2456 veces)

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The Explosion of Butane Hash Oil
« en: 12 Noviembre, 2013, 22:37:35 »
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Posted on 02 August 2013.

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Not Everyone’s Cup of High Tea (VIRAL VIDEO) 
 Skippy Massey
 Humboldt Sentinel  (Sorry, but you are not allowed to access the gallery)
Things that go boom in the night.
In February, FEMA posted a You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login in its emergency services bulletin titled “Hash Oil Explosions Increasing Across US.” 
Alongside warnings of cyber terrorism and industrial vapor clouds, it described an uptick in explosions at apartments and hotel rooms involving “a process using butane to extract and concentrate compounds from marijuana,” destructive incidents that FEMA warned could be mistaken for pipe bomb or meth lab explosions.
Wait, marijuana-based explosions? When did cannabis products start sounding like something out of Breaking Bad?
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A clear, golden brown cannabis derivative also known as honey oil, shatter, wax and disgustingly as “earwax,” butane hash oil (BHO) has some advantages over traditional marijuana:  It has very little smell, is very portable, and can achieve intense effects in small amounts. “BHO has been gaining in popularity in the past three years,” High Times Senior Editor Bobby Black said. “It’s been done for decades, but it was only done by a few people and it was very underground.  Even we didn’t really talk about it or cover it because it was so rare.”
No longer. At a series of Cannabis Cup competitions taking place in states where medical marijuana is legal, Black says the once-marginal hash oil entries have not only increased over the last several years but “pretty much eclipsed traditional hash at this point.”
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But as its popularity grows, so do the number of hash oil enthusiasts eager to attempt their own homebrew BHO, a process that usually involves the highly flammable solvent butane.  The result in a number of cases, as the FEMA bulletin notes, has been “fires and explosions that have blown out windows, walls, and caused numerous burn injuries.” Local media reports often describe hash oil explosions as the result of “cooking hash” or “cooking hash oil,” but that isn’t strictly accurate.  There are no Breaking Bad Bunsen burners or chemistry sets involved, and the process of producing hash oil is a relatively simple one, but one that ill-informed stupid
 stoners can still manage to screw up.
Hash oil is typically produced by filling a cylindrical glass or stainless steel canister with pot, and flooding the canister with a solvent — usually butane — that strips the plant matter of its cannabis-containing oils.  The resulting mixture of psychotropic plant oil and chemicals is then purified to remove traces of the solvent.  One common method of butane removal includes boiling it off in a hot water bath, while another involves the use of a vacuum pump and vacuum chamber to lower butane’s boiling point, pulling butane from the oil.
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What makes it dangerous is not so much the extraction process itself, but rather the problem of improper butane ventilation.  Butane is highly flammable and it tends to sink, meaning that if you use it indoors or don’t ventilate well, you’ll run into serious trouble.  Let some butane puddle in your living room, throw in a thoughtless spark from a cigarette, stove, or lighting a bong hit, and suddenly your apartment is missing a wall.
That’s allegedly what happened in January, when three people were injured after a hash oil extraction gone wrong blew them through the walls of a San Diego hotel. 
A few months earlier, an Oregon man suffered burns in a similar explosion that blew out the windows in his apartment and sent him to the hospital.
Although it’s possible to make hash oil safely, such explosions are the result of a relatively small number of hash oil producers failing to take even the most basic precautions.  The number one precaution according to everyone is never make oil indoors.
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We are as concerned as anyone about the dangers involved in making it,” said Black, who also cited safety issues beyond explosions to the quality of the product itself.  If you’re purchasing hash oil from a source besides a reputable dispensary, for example, you may not know whether it contains high levels of butane, or if it was created using poor materials — like PVC pipe instead of stainless steel — that can leech chemicals into the product.  “It’s really a kind of bathtub gin situation,” says the High Times editor.
It’s not easy to regulate the safety of an industry whose legal status varies from state to state, particularly regarding concentrates like BHO that often land in a regulatory gray area even in places where recreational or medical marijuana is legal.
And as interest grows in both consuming and making hash oil,  so too do the number of YouTube tutorials and forum threads that spread misinformation and fail to emphasize proper safety – an explosive combination that suggests we’ll be seeing more attempts at DIY hash oil that end with a very dangerous bang.
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Yeah, we’re not real fond of Beavis ’n Butthead types blowing themselves up or us to smithereens, either. 
But folks all over Humboldt County are into the dab scene, buying butane in bulk from our local stores and making hash oil from their leftover pot trimmings.  And yes, they blow themselves up or spontaneously combust on occasion.
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