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Cannabis experts discuss dangers of home extractions

A house explosion in Kirkwood was caused by someone extracting THC from marijuana using butane. Cannabis experts say it's dangerous without the right equipment.

KIRKWOOD, Mo. — Police have confirmed a blast at a home in Kirkwood was caused by someone extracting THC from marijuana, using butane.

The incident happened over the weekend on Greenleaf Drive in Kirkwood.

"I think leave it to the professionals. There's a reason that we have these licenses," Proper Cannabis Co-Founder Matt Labrier said.

Labrier honors the business name by growing, harvesting, and extracting cannabis the right way.

"We also have a full kitchen here. Really like a professional grade kitchen that you would go see in a major manufacturing facility. Out of that kitchen, we make mints, we make chocolates, we make gumdrops," he said.

They also make vape pens to distribute for medicinal retail. It's made possible by extracting THC from marijuana using the highly flammable gas, butane.

"It's like you're juicing the plant for the most valuable material and not just valuable from a financial standpoint but valuable in terms of what it does for a patient," Labrier said.

Their lab in St. Louis has high-grade steel equipment to handle the extraction process safely.

"We do that in a space that is not like your garage or your basement. It's a highly ventilated space. It is explosion-proof. It's got a ton of sensors to monitor chemical levels throughout the space," Labrier said.

People who try to do this at home risk explosions when using butane in a non-fire-proofed area.

"If you're doing that in a space that isn't equipped to do it and you're doing with equipment that isn't equipped to do it, it's extremely dangerous," Labrier said.

As cannabis use becomes more mainstream across the country, people do home extractions to profit off selling products on the black market. Labrier warns of the potential safety and legal risks.

"It's super illegal to do any sort of hydrocarbon extraction at home, so I think it's a bad idea and as you can see it can be really dangerous if it's not done well," he said.

READ: Kirkwood home explosion was caused by THC extraction process, police say

Labrier urges people to be weary of where their cannabis comes from. 

The extraction process at a manufacturing facility like Proper Cannabis will be tested and safer to consume than many of the products sold on the black market from home extractions.

Visit the Proper Cannabis website for more information.

RELATED: A look into St. Louis’ quickly growing cannabis cultivation and manufacturing industry