Hash oil extraction a danger to neighbourhoods, police warn

Electronic or e-cigarettes are making it possible for people to smoke hash oil instead of marijuana. But police warn that the process used to extract oil from marijuana plants is extremely dangerous

Police warn hash oil extraction in home labs can cause deadly explosions

The explosion of a hash oil extraction lab destroyed this home in Evansburg, Alta. last May. One man died and another was seriously injured. (ALERT )

The growing popularity of hash oil, which is easily smoked using electronic or e-cigarettes, is increasing the number of home labs that extract the substance from marijuana leaves, which police warn is a dangerous process. 

That's because the leaves are coated in isopropyl alcohol or butane gas which can cause massive explosions if they catch fire, putting both firefighters and neighbours at risk. 

“It's just a matter of time where something’s going to go wrong," said Sgt. Dwayne Karpo of ALERT’s Green Team North and Edmonton Police

And things have gone wrong. Last year, one man was killed and another seriously injured when a home lab exploded in Evansburg, Alta. The house was completely destroyed.

The popularity of hash oil has been growing because the substance gives people a more intense high and gives off very little odour or smoke when inhaled through an e-cigarette.

“Kids are using it in school, you name it,” Karpos said. “So they're loading up their cartridges for their e-cigarettes and you think it's an electronic cigarette and here they're smoking weed oil."

Police are urging people to report marijuana grow-ops and hash labs. They say anyone who sees or smells something suspicious to call Crime Stoppers.