California Fire Departments, the Fire & Burn Foundation and burn prevention organizations in the state, are hoping to publicize the growing danger of so-called, “Honey Oil.”
Honey Oil, (also called BHO/Butane Hash Oil, Weed Oil, and Dab among other names) is a residue created when parts of the marijuana plant are soaked in a solvent, or blasted with butane gas. The result is a substance consumed by smoking, eating, or vaporizing. It produces an extremely potent high but the process of making it is extraordinarily dangerous.
The solvents and gases used to produce Honey Oil are extremely flammable. Clothing becomes saturated with the vapors and can easily ignite, causing severe and fatal burns. Only 300 milliliters of ignited butane vapors can reach 3,500-degrees Fahrenheit. About 10-ounces has enough explosive force to blow up a room. Fumes from the processing can cause a blast capable destroying a 3-bedroom home. Neighboring homes are obviously at risk.
While the health and safety risks of smoking marijuana are debatable, there is NO safe method for producing Honey Oil. Unfortunately, the paraphernalia necessary to create it are legal, and easily obtained.
In Colorado, in 2014, there were 32 explosions from the manufacturing of Honey Oil. The Sacramento Bee reports that Shriners Hospital for Children in Northern California has treated nearly 70 victims for Honey Oil related burns and the average child was burned on nearly 30-percent of their body. Reports tell us in one recent 14-month period, some 20 “cooks” and bystanders were treated at burn centers in Southern California for catastrophic injuries, a toll worse than from meth labs.
You need to be aware of the risks, and be on the lookout for materials that indicate Honey Oil manufacturing. For example, 300 ML cans of refined butane in any quantity. These are marketed for the refilling of cigarette lighters. Look for canisters in bedrooms, and E-cigarette vapor pens which are used to smoke Honey Oil. PVC pipe and glass tubes are used for extraction. A Pyrex-type dish is used to capture the product.
Even if family members are not involved, someone close by could be. Laws have been proposed that would make manufacturing the drug in residential neighborhoods an aggravated felony. Butane is odorless; a requirement to add a smell could tip off residents that it’s being made. Limiting its sale and possession could help stall manufacturing. Unfortunately, legislative efforts have stalled in Sacramento. Public pressure on the Governor’s Office, State Senate and Assembly could help turn that legislation into law.
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