COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Hash oil explosions -- it's a dangerous trend that is popping up throughout Colorado. Butane puts the spark in lighters and powers blowtorches, but if it's misused, it can create a very hazardous situation.
Makers of hash oil use butane from aluminum cans, not torches.
Lt. Mark Comte, with Colorado Springs Vice Narcotic Unit, said it's easy to mash hash oil and very dangerous. "A lot of these guys or women are smoking while they're doing the process so you have a spark, you have the fuel and you're going to have ignition," explained Comte.
The butane strips THC from marijuana plants, leaving it in a highly concentrated form. "It's about 80 percent pure THC, whereas a plant itself may only be 7 to 10 percent," said Comte.
Most manufacturers of hash oil run into a problem when the hash turns to oil. Comte said they tend to forget that the butane is still flammable. When it builds up, any spark or ash - can cause an explosion.
Finally, making hash oil could get you in trouble with the law. "If there is an explosion, it could be considered arson. Especially if there is a fire or explosion and others are endangered by that operation," explained Comte.
While marijuana itself is legal, Comte said the courts continue to debate whether it's legal to manufacture hash oil. He said that it could be ruled as illegal, because people would still be manufacturing a controlled substance.