A structure fire Friday afternoon in rural Great Bend was caused by a butane explosion in what law enforcement officers are calling a clandestine lab manufacturing “marijuana wax,” also called BHO or DAB.
Sheriff Brian Bellendir said the Barton County Sheriff’s Office and Great Bend Fire Department were dispatched to the 70 block of SE 20 Road at 5:11 p.m. on Friday for a possible structure fire and during the subsequent investigation it became apparent there had been a butane explosion.
According to a press release issued Monday, the resident had fled from the area. He later returned to the scene with severe burns but refused medical treatment. Bellendir declined to name the resident and said no arrests have been reported at this time.
“The incident is still under investigation and arrests are expected in the near future,” Bellendir state.
Deputies who responded to the initial call contacted Sheriff’s Office detectives, who obtained a search warrant and discovered the clandestine lab, Bellendir said.
“This (marijuana wax) is a fairly recent phenomenon in the drug culture,” Bellendir said. “In this type of operation the active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, is extracted from the plant in a highly concentrated form. The process uses butane and other flammable substances. This is the first lab of this kind the Sheriff’s Office has located in Barton County.
“Sheriff’s deputies seized a substantial quantity of marijuana, finished BHO, drug paraphernalia and processing equipment at the scene. Over 100 10-ounce bottles of butane were also seized,” Bellendir said.
About marijuana wax
According to Campus Safety Magazine, the most popular method of making BHO involves placing a large amount of marijuana in a tube or pipe and running butane through it. The butane extracts the THC from the plants and produces sticky oils commonly referred to as wax.
Once the marijuana oil or wax has been created, it can be smoked in bongs or vape pens, or consumed in edibles such as brownies. The highs are much more intense than from smoking the plant.
The Los Angeles Times has reported several injuries and deaths across the nation from butane explosions involving marijuana wax or oil.