CannaDarwinism: The Exploding Hash Oil Phenomenon

Butane Hash Oil (BHO) source: wikipedia

You’re seeing it more and more, although it’s been going on for well over a decade:

The words “hash oil explosion” are now becoming a familiar term on news programs, somewhat like “urban youth”, “racial tension”, “gun violence” and other terms used to deliberately distill people’s fears down into a single pat phrase.

But even though medical marijuana patients often benefit from the use of hash oil — which is a subject for a different discussion — we have nothing to feel guilty about. The problem is not weed, but greed. These people who blow themselves up are generally just doing it to make money, often illicitly. Perhaps they heard from a friend that they could “make money fast” by making hash oil, so they blindly follow some directions someone scrawled on a piece of paper and blow themselves up.

They didn’t take the few seconds necessary to think about what happens when you use an explosive, volatile solvent like butane indoors with a heat or spark source present. And they sure as hell didn’t do any research themselves, because every single article I’ve read anywhere about how to make butane hash oil (BHO) always says the same thing quite clearly: Do Not Do This Indoors.

No, I’m pretty sure that most of these people either can’t or don’t choose to read or think. And if we can have the word Cannatourism to describe people visiting a place because it’s known for its nice policies regarding weed, and the word Cannabusiness to describe the business opportunities surrounding the hopefully-soon-to-be-legal cannabis market, then I’d like to describe this phenomenon as CannaDarwinism (a hopefully obvious portmanteau of Cannabis + Darwin Awards).

CannaDarwinism: An instance of astoundingly stupid judgement that’s somehow connected to cannabis.

After all, we might as well poke some fun at people who do stupid things and blame it on cannabis somehow (although their deaths and injuries are not in themselves the least bit amusing). The mainstream media and opponents of cannabis will attempt to use these instances as serious “proof” of something or other anyway.

And while I’m on the subject of danger, let me remind you that nobody in history has ever died from a toxic overdose of cannabis, because in that regards, cannabis is one of the safest substances known to science.

Old Hippie is a father of two boys and thankfully living in California where all this kind of thing is legal. He started smoking marijuana in 1967 in high school, experimented with mind-expanding drugs of all kinds, and then straightened out 15 or so years later to become an airplane pilot. After being diagnosed with depression in 2000, he lost his job and most of the following decade to prescription medications (such as antidepressants) which sapped his energy and will. Finally, a chance conversation with a friend led to a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana (MMJ). This changed his entire life, health, and outlook for the better. is his continuing story. It’s also his way to provide experienced advice on using medical marijuana effectively and responsibly, as well as advocacy, activism, and support for others. Old Hippie teaches about safe use of cannabis edibles, Canna Caps, vaporizers, dosing, and even microdosing.


“Police: Man Severely Burned in Cannabis Oil Explosion … Hash Oil Explosions … Hash Oil Explosions” — no, actually I had not noticed such headlines; thanks for pointing these out. While you are correct to echo these articles’ warnings about the dangers of using butane to extract THC without taking the proper precautions, I consider the most salient point about them is that their headlines deliberately insinuate that “cannabis oil” itself represents some danger of explosion, which is outrageously false. You (and certainly the authors of those headlines) are remiss in not distinguishing between the valid point that butane can be dangerous, and the prohibitionist attempt to tar cannabis extracts themselves with dangers attributable to butane.

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