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Brooklyn Teens Critically Injured In Weed Experiment

Both are in serious condition after suffering second- and third-degree burns while trying to toke up on butane-soaked pot.

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The scene of the explosion. Photo via

By McCarton Ackerman

12/20/13

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The weed experiment concocted by two Brooklyn teenagers ended tragically as both have been critically injured from explosions related to the project. Anthony Gambale, 19, and Gabriella Katanov, are now in the hospital with second and third-degree burns after they tried to soak their pot in butane, resulting in a massive explosion when one of them lit a cigarette while trying to evaporate off the gas.

Police reports indicate that Gambale and Katanov, who were in a relationship, had filled a 30-gallon tub with weed and covered it with butane to make “ear wax,” a version of the drug that is up 80% stronger. Cops also found marijuana plants when they raided the garage, which was torched from the explosion and required numerous firefighters to put out the blaze.

“Their lungs are good . . . but from the waist up, all burned. Her hands, too,” said Luba Poukhova, Katanov’s mother. “She could be in the hospital for a year. She needs surgery. The doctors said it will get worse every day.” When they are released from the hospital, the couple will face criminal charges including reckless endangerment, criminal use of drug paraphernalia and drug possession.

Ear wax marijuana can include up to 90 percent THC and is highly hallucinogenic, with the intensity of the drug resulting in highs that can last several days. CBS Detroit reported last June that two 36-year-olds were hospitalized after using ear wax and suffering episodes of psychosis. Susan Smolinske, of the Children's Hospital of Michigan Regional Poison Control Center, confirmed that the pair  "needed to be sedated because they were so agitated that they could not be controlled."

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