Experts are warning about the use and production of a potentially explosive and highly potent form of marijuana they say is on the rise in Houston after a group of teens were arrested with it this month, reports the Houston Chronicle. Hash oil is extracted from marijuana plants using highly flammable butane. Several people have been injured in explosions across the U.S. as they tried to produce it. “We first began to see patients … with a history of hash oil use in July 2013. Since that time, approximately 20 percent of the adolescents who have reported a history of marijuana use have also used THC concentrates or hash oil,” said Vaughan Gilmore of Houston’s Menninger Clinic.
Doctors at the clinic are concerned about hash oil’s high potency, which is about 60 to 90 percent more than regular marijuana. It means users are at much greater risk of dependency and mental health problems, especially the young. The clinic reports some teens admitting they use marijuana to control anxiety. Experts say thrir openness could be the result of pot’s legalization in other states. Last Thursday in Commerce, Ca., east of Los Angeles, two people were hurt and a family home almost totally destroyed in an explosion. The Los Angeles Times said arson investigators determined the men had allegedly been operating a “butane honey oil extraction laboratory,” in which marijuana is turned into “hash oil” or “honey oil.”