Novus Medical Detox Says Marijuana Legalization Leads to Unforeseen Consequences—Hash Oil Explosions Plaguing Colorado, Washington

Share Article

Colorado and Washington, two of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, have experienced a recent uptick in the number of home explosions due to hash oil production—a trend which Novus Medical Detox attributes to marijuana’s increasing availability, prompting the facility to urge public education and improved legislative oversight.

News Image
The growth of hash oil labs can be directly attributed to the legalization that has made cannabis widely available.

Despite proponents of recreational marijuana legalization striking down opponents who deem the drug a threat to public health, recent reports have shown that cannabis legalization has resulted in unintended consequences. In Washington and Colorado, the first two states to legalize marijuana, there has been a wave of home fires and explosions, as cannabis users seek to intensify marijuana’s high in the form of hash oil. Novus Medical Detox, one of the only Florida-based detox centers serving high-dosage drug abuse patients, maintains that hash oil operations, along with the substance’s high levels of THC, evidence the need for caution with regard to widespread legalization.

Hash oil is a waxy, concentrated cannabis extract coveted by pot enthusiasts for its high concentration of THC, the main psychoactive chemical in the marijuana plant. THC stimulates brain cells to release dopamine, which in turn creates feelings of euphoria and hinders the brain’s ability to process information. Hash oil production often requires using butane gas to extract the THC from marijuana, resulting in a potent substance that reportedly produces a more intense high than the plant variety. (1) But the process is highly volatile—so much so that Washington restricts the production of hash oil to only those with state-issued licenses. (2) But hash oil’s precarious manufacturing process has failed to dissuade the general public from producing the substance, leading to home explosions and fires in both Washington and Colorado:

● "In Colorado Springs, firefighters responded to one such explosion at an apartment and found two adults and a three-year-old child trapped inside. No one was injured, but the adults face reckless endangerment charges in addition to child abuse and arson." (3)

● Denver firefighters have "responded to more than 30 hash oil explosions this year already, roughly three times the number from all of last year." (3)

● In Washington, a "20-year-old man was detained by police after hundreds of butane canisters erupted into flames at a house where marijuana was illegally being processed into hash oil." (4)

According to Novus Executive Director Kent Runyon the rise of hash oil explosions is a testament to the dangers marijuana legalization has placed on American society.

“The growth of hash oil labs can be directly attributed to the legalization that has made cannabis widely available,” Runyon stated. “But in addition to the risks presented by the amateur manufacturing of hash oil, there are other potential liabilities: the potency offered by hash oil may draw cannabis users who, up until now, have used street-grade pot that many believe offers a much more moderate high.”

Runyon has previously commented on marijuana’s rising THC levels, which have been found to reach as high as 37 percent in certain varieties of marijuana—but that number pales in comparison to hash oil, which offers a hit of 70 to 90 percent THC. (5) Runyon warns that hash oil’s potency could cause some inexperienced users to accidentally overdose, which recent reports indicate can result in extreme paranoia and anxiety bordering on psychotic behavior. (6)

Runyon maintains that rather than increasing public access to addictive substances such as marijuana, healthcare professionals must conduct responsible research into the medicinal properties of marijuana that could result in the use of non-smoked, non-psychoactive pharmacy-attainable medications. In addition, Runyon suggests the use of public education about the real dangers of marijuana use, rather than incarceration, for people currently struggling with addiction.

Novus advises those who are dependent on any abusive substance(s) to seek out safe, medically-supervised detox programs, and to use those employing integrated medicine that allows the detox process to be as comfortable as possible. Novus opened its doors with the purpose of fixing the detox process in order to ensure that anyone could overcome prescription drug addiction comfortably. The detox center handles the toughest of drug and alcohol cases, many of whom are rejected from other facilities as “too high a risk.”

For more information on Novus Medical Detox’s addiction and detox programs, visit

About Novus Medical Detox Center:

Novus Medical Detox Center offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Fla., Novus is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families as an inpatient medical detox facility. Novus is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient, incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment—putting the dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, television, DVD player and high-speed Internet access. For more information, visit

1.“Hash Oil Explosion Suspect.” CBS Denver. N.p., 1 May 2014. Web. 23 May 2014.

2.“Marijuana Hash Oil Lab Explodes, House Burns.” N.p., 21 May 2014. Web. 23 May 2014.

3.“The Unintended Consequences of Colorado’s Great Pot Experiment.” N.p., 21 May 2014. Web. 23 May 2014.

4.“Police: Puyallup Hash-oil Explosion ‘unbelievable’.” N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2014.

5.Kamin, Sam, and Joel Warner. "How Dabbing—Smoking Potent Hash Oil—Could Ruin Colorado’s Legalization Experiment." Slate Magazine, 5 Feb. 2014. Web. 3 June 2014.

6.Hughes, Trevor. “Marijuana ‘edibles’ Pack a Wallop.” USA Today. Gannett, 8 May 2014. Web. 12 May 2014.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Karla Jo Helms
+1 (888) 202-4614 Ext: 802
Email >
Visit website