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Butane Hash Oil (BHO)

?byo?o?t?n haSH oil (b? ?CH ?) | Noun

 Definition: A cannabis extract that uses butane as the primary solvent during the extraction process. Butane Hash Oil is most commonly referred by its initials BHO, and encompasses a myriad of textures and consistencies. Butane Hash Oil extraction can render Badder, Crumble, Sauce, and Shatter, depending on starting material, apparatus used, and techniques applied.

More about Butane Hash Oil What is BHO? Butane Hash Oil, or BHO, is an extract, which is a type of cannabis concentrate that’s produced using solvents. A label that reads “BHO” only tells part of a concentrate’s story. Consumers can’t judge a concentrate by appearance or aroma alone. When it comes to any concentrate, remember that the starting material will dictate the quality of the finished product. Starting material refers to the cannabis used to create the concentrate. A combination of the flower used and purity of the final product is what separates high-quality concentrates from the product that users avoid. BHO’s consistency is primarily dependent on the techniques applied during the extraction and the post-extraction purge stage, but there are some cannabis strains that tend to produce a particular texture. Though methods vary, the goal is largely the same: Deliver the desired characteristics of the cannabis plant sans the tar and ash-producing matter. This is accomplished through a steady series of separation and purification.Butane is a highly flammable substance and hash oil production is extremely dangerous if done by inexperienced technicians with improper equipment and ill-equipped facilities.

What is Butane? Butane is a simple hydrocarbon, part of a family of organic molecules including ethane, methane, and propane. Butane is pumped from natural gas wells and then purified and compressed into a liquid for storage and use. Butane is easy to capture and relatively affordable to produce. Extractors typically only use highly refined, lab-grade butane that is 99.5 percent to 99.9 percent pure. Butane canisters found in stores should never be used as they contain toxic mercaptan that is used to propel the solvent out of the bottle. Mercaptan is an additive to give a rancid odor to natural gas, which is naturally colorless and odorless and couldn’t otherwise be detected if it leaked.Butane is used primarily for its efficiency and low boiling point. This allows extractors to remove the solvent from the extracts without altering any of the cannabinoids or terpenes that were removed from the plant material, and ensure that no residual butane is left in the finished product.

How to store BHO When stored improperly, BHO can begin to break down and lose its initial consistency, flavor or potency. To prevent this degradation, extracts should always be stored in an airtight and light-proof container in a cool environment. To ensure that the BHO keeps for as long as possible, protect it from High temperatures, Moisture, Oxygen and ultraviolet and direct sunlight.Remember, heat is the enemy. It causes the cannabinoids and terpenes to activate, and that should only happen upon consumption — not while it’s resting in a container. Dispensaries, smoke shops, and many online stores offer concentrate storage accessories, such as silicone containers, to store BHO. 

What is a Crude. Crude refers to unrefined cannabis extract, or the oil produced from the initial extraction, the first pass through. From there, the oil is either winterized for further refinement or decaboxylated and infused into products such as edibles, creams and tinctures. Winterization, The winterization, or “de-waxing,” process happens after the butane is purged from the oil, creating a purer concentrate. Technicians remove the undesirable waxes, fats, lipids, and chlorophyll in three main steps. First, the oil is mixed with ethanol and the mixture is frozen to allow the undesirable compounds to fall out of solution. The solution is then passed through a filter that retains the waste products. Finally, the wax-free oil is distilled to remove the ethanol. The winterization process helps prolong the shelf life of Shatter by ensuring that it will not auto-budder. Auto-buddering is when the color and consistency of shatter starts to turn darker and take on a crumbly or waxy consistency.

The history of BHO The ’70s usher in a new era of hash making

Butane Hash Oil is hardly the first concentrate. Civilizations throughout the globe have been separating the resinous tricomes from the cannabis plant for thousands of years. By 900 AD, hashish had spread throughout Arabia. Introducing the cannabis to a solvent was an innovation documented in 1971 D. Gold’s “Cannabis Alchemy: The Art of Modern Hashmaking,” the first to outline the procedure for this type of extraction to the general public. Gold’s book supplied a how-to for homemade solvent-based extracts, as well as their mass production. Gold was inspired to write “Cannabis Alchemy” after an explosive lab accident left him severely burned and hospitalized for several weeks. The text also unveils an untold history of extraction experiments through letters sent to the manufacturer of Gold’s extraction machine. From the earliest extraction origins, extractors were competitive about their hash making, regaling stories of their spoils from “Texas Super Hash” to experiments with psilocybin, or “magic mushrooms.” These concentrates are worlds apart from what we see today. In some letters,  extractors describe substances that look like black tar — now known as crude extracts — or extracts purged by laying slabs in the sun on top of roofs. Appearance aside, the largest difference is that none of these extractors used butane as their extraction solvent, which started to take root in the early 1990’s. 


How to consume BHO. Like other cannabis products, there are a variety of ways to consume BHO. Referred to as “dabbing,” this method involves a small water pipe called a “rig” with a flat bowl, called a “nail,” that’s designed to tolerate high temperatures. To take a dab, preheat the nail with a small gas-powered torch until it reaches the optimum temperature. Using the flat end of a dabber, drop a small piece of BHO onto the nail. When the shatter comes in contact with the hot nail, it will vaporize instantly. Place a cap over the nail to capture the vapor and inhale through an opening on the opposite end of the rig. Similar to devices utilized to smoke nicotine-based products, handheld apparatus can be used to enjoy BHO. With these devices, a small amount of shatter is put into a heating chamber. The device is activated  usually by pressing a button. The chamber is heated by a battery and the BHO is vaporized. At the same time, you inhale through the designated mouthpiece and breathe in the vapor. Twaxing refers to when Shatter is rolled into a string, then wrapped around a blunt or joint of flowers for extra potency. Crumble isn’t limited to just dabbing either. It can be used as a potent “topping” for a bowl of flowers or even inside a joint or blunt.

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