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 myriad textures and consistencies. Butane Hash Oil extraction can render badder, crumble, sauce, or shatter, depending on starting material, apparatus used, and techniques applied.
What is BHO?
Butane hash oil (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 a product that users avoid.
BHO’s consistency is primarily dependent on the techniques applied during the extraction and the post-extraction purge stages, 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, which 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.
Different Consistencies Of BHO
There are over a dozen different kinds of cannabis concentrates. Even if you use butane every time, the consistency of the material will vary. This is due to the material and techniques utilized during the extraction process. Many look like wax while others have a glassier appearance.
Oil is what we call the loosest consistency of butane hash oil. It’s sticky and only a bit thicker than a liquid. Oils that are slightly thicker than normal are called saps. Oils and saps are difficult to handle compared to other consistencies. As a result, they have become one of the least popular forms of BHO on the market.
Budder is a consistency that can be attained by introducing agitation during the extraction process. The name comes from the fact that it is similar in consistency to butter. It looks a little wet and it can be easily scooped and spread. There’s no real advantage to having a budder over a crumble or shatter. It all depends on preference. Wax pen users might prefer budder, crumble or shatter over a sappier oil.
Crumble is named after the fact that it crumbles like dry cheese when you scoop some. Everytime you scoop from a wad of crumble, tons of tiny bits that are harder to scoop up break off. Crumble easier to handle than oils but less desirable than budder and shatter.
Shatter is pretty much the only form of cannabis concentrate that can be handled without the assistance of a tool. The name comes from the fact that it shatters like glass. In fact, the real glassy stuff will end up breaking and flying off with a tool. Shatter can come in a looser “pull ‘n snap” consistency which is easier to handle with a tool.
Live resin concentrates are almost always made with butane. They differ from other extracts because of the material used. Nugs or trim that was just harvested and cryogenically frozen is used in the extraction process. They can take on different consistencies including THCa crystalline, sauce, sugar, shatter and budder.
What Is Butane Honey Oil?
Butane honey oil or butane hash oil (BHO) comes in many forms and consistencies. BHO extracts have ridiculously high delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations of about 80 percent or as high as 90 percent. Closed-loop extraction equipment is capable of removing THC and terpenes from marijuana flower and trim using butane, propane, or a butane/propane blend as a solvent.
BHO extraction and post-processing remove the residual solvent from the resin to produce an amber-hued hash oil ready for consumption. BHO can vary in consistency and color depending on the extraction techniques used. Manipulating heat, humidity, and whipping processes during the extraction can produce a wealth of extract forms with tremendous jar appeal.
Shatter has a glass-like and translucent appearance. Shatter is the hardest out of all other BHO extracts to break apart.
Wax has a candle wax appearance with a slightly grainy consistency. Wax has a more opaque color, unlike shatter’s see-through form.
Budder has a soft, butter-like consistency reminiscent of cake frosting or creamy nut butter. Budder can have some of the highest THC concentrations out of all BHO extracts.
Crumble has a honeycomb appearance that literally crumbles to the touch. Crumble is dry and has a bright yellow hue.
Oil can be added into concentrate cartridges, syringes, tinctures, and many other infused products. BHO in oil form has a slightly darker amber color.
Live Resin is made using frozen marijuana buds to produce a terpene-rich extract that can be dabbed or consumed via a cartridge and vaporizer.
Cannabinoid isolates such as THCA isolates contain well over 90% of the cannabinoid. Isolates can be consumed “raw” and not produce a “high” or can be decarboxylated to convert them to THC, the compound responsible for producing energizing and intoxicating effects.
Terp sauce contains both THCA crystals and the runny terpene “sauce,” which provide the ultimate flavor and aroma in BHO extracts.
What Is Butane Honey Oil Used For?
BHO is used for a variety of medicinal and recreational purposes. BHO can be infused into any food, drinks, and topicals. When ingested, the THC compounds go through the digestive system and are broken down into THC metabolites, which are thought to produce stronger and longer-lasting effects compared to inhalation.
BHO can also be used to create THC tinctures, also known as oils, which can be applied sublingually or added into food and drinks. A dropper allows people to administer the golden and translucent oil under their tongue and wait for at least 20 seconds while it absorbs directly into the bloodstream. Sublingual effects can begin after about 20 minutes compared to the 45-minute wait-time of edibles.
When infused into topicals, medical and recreational users can apply a generous amount of BHO-infused lotion, cream, salve, or balm onto the affected area for localized pain and inflammatory relief. BHO can also be smoked or vaporized for a full-body experience producing fast-acting, relaxing, and stimulating effects on the body and mind.
BHO can also be added onto pre-ground whole flower in a packed bowl or carefully swirled around a “twaxed” joint to give users a boost in potency and flavor. More commonly, BHO is “dabbed,” or inhaled as a vapor by heating it via a dab rig system or a portable vaporizer. ENails and disposable vapes provide superior convenience and temperature precision.
BHO’s THC compounds enter the body through the bloodstream or digestive tract depending on the consumption method and produce euphoric, relaxing, and hallucinogenic effects. BHO’s high potency gives medicinal users with serious conditions high doses of relief from symptoms such as chronic pain, inflammation, and anxiety. For recreational users, BHO extracts provide stress relief and other wellness benefits.