Cooking cannabis oil can have explosive consequences

Cooking cannabis oil can have explosive consequences

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Liquid marijuana may not be a new concept, but it is a little known one.

Weed oil, also known by its nickname, "honey," is a method of converting marijuana into an oil or gel form. The high is said to be stronger than simply smoking it--a drop or two can be just as potent as smoking an entire joint--and the consequences can be lethal.

Dan Linn is the Executive Director of the Illinois Chapter of an organization to reform marijuana laws. He feels if marijuana was legal, people wouldn't be placing themselves into harm's way trying to hide the extraction process.

"It is stronger in the oil method or the extraction method," Linn explains. "Just like we saw with alcohol during prohibition and people trying to make gin in their bathtubs or distilling spirits in the mountains. You're seeing people trying to make this hash oil in apartment buildings or close to open flames, when it can be a very dangerous process."

Weed oil can be made a number of ways; many of them are depicted on YouTube.

Combining several ingredients, including butane and liquor, can lead to harmful consequences.

"One of the problems with creating this weed oil concentration out of the marrow leaf is you're using gasoline and you're using fire," Dr. Mona Khanna says. "So when you put those two together, it often can get out of control and burst into flames and that's what we've seen in a few instances."

That was the case in an Austin, Texas neighborhood. Two people were burned when they tried to cook weed oil inside their apartment. Windows, doors and even a wall was blown out by the force of the explosion.

"We know that sometimes people are going to do things even if it's legal or not," Dr. Mona says. "It might be more enticing because it's illegal right now, but I really don't think legalizing marijuana is going to get rid of these extreme behaviors that are being done that make the marijuana plant and it's compounds more dangerous."

Although weed oil is sometimes recommended for cancer patients, doctors say it's something that if not properly ventilated can explode--similar to the explosion of a meth lab.

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