Clinical Concerns: Cannabis Hash Oil

Hash oil is a produced by extracting the THC from marijuana using a solvent. Often, the solvent is a flammable hydrocarbon such as butane. With marijuana legalization, consumption of hash oil is increasing- and so are botched attempts to produce it at home. In 2014, there were at least 32 house explosions caused by failed attempts in Colorado alone. Severe burns requiring hospitalization has increased as well. There have also been rare cases of respiratory failure and pneumonitis.

So who uses hash oil? One recent study found that, amongst users of marijuana, those who used hash oil were significantly more likely to report a history of depression or anxiety. They also reported a more extensive use of other illicit drugs.

It is also likely the increased THC potency of hash oil increases its ability to exacerbate underlying psychotic disorders, as well as trigger drug induced psychosis in otherwise healthy individuals.