Butane stands apart from other popular extraction solvents such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and ethanol in its efficacy at separating cannabis and hemp's full chemical profile of therapeutic cannabinoids and terpenes.
Through butane extraction methods, manufacturers create butane hash oil (BHO), a popular type of cannabis extract.
What Is BHO?
BHO is a type of cannabis concentrate that is also referred to as butane honey oil due to its color and consistency. BHO comes in many different consumable forms.
What Are the Different Products Made from BHO?
BHO extraction can produce a variety of different BHO extract forms. Forms vary in consistency, texture, color, and cannabinoid and terpene content.
Made from flash-frozen buds after harvest, live resin skips the drying and curing process to preserve terpenes in the final product. Live resin has a runny consistency and a complex flavor profile.
Sauce is a sticky and liquid substance with a grainy appearance. Sauce can be made with fresh or frozen buds and has high terpene content.
BHO diamonds are crystalline extracts of inactive compounds, such as THCA. They can appear in sauce or other terpene-rich concentrates.
BHO shatter is a solid, translucent, glass-like substance that breaks apart in shards. Shatter can have up to 80 percent THC.
Pull and Snap
Pull and snap's name comes from the snapping sound made when you pull the extract apart. Pull and snap can be molded into different shapes and won’t immediately melt in your hand.
BHO wax is one of the most common BHO extract forms. It is a soft and honey-colored concentrate that is easy to break apart and dab.
BHO budder has a soft, butter-like substance and can have 90 percent THC or above. Budder is harder to come by than other BHO extracts.
BHO crumble falls apart easily in your hands, which makes it difficult to handle. Unlike other liquid BHO extract, crumble is dry.
BHO sap can stick to your hands if you try to handle it. Its sticky and liquid consistency is just slightly softer than BHO shatter.
BHO oil is a concentrated liquid containing a range of cannabis compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, among others.
THCA isolate is a crystalline powder with 90 percent or higher THCA that, when heated, converts to THC. When ingested, THCA isolate remains inactive, with little to no psychoactive effect.
How Do You Extract BHO?
Manufacturers use closed-loop systems in laboratory conditions to extract BHO. They begin by packing a tube or cylinder with raw cannabis material, then pass butane over the material and into the tube. Butane separates a full-spectrum of cannabis compounds from the unnecessary plant material and collects it in a separate container. Post-process purging removes any leftover butane to be reused.
Why Is BHO so Strong?
BHO extracts are concentrated forms of cannabinoids and terpenes. While flower may contain at most 30 percent THC, BHO extracts can contain 90 percent THC and above.
Can You Vape BHO?
Desktop and portable vape units can handle most types of liquid BHO extracts. You can also use a glass dab rig or electronic dab rig to heat your BHO extracts.
Can You Consume BHO Edibles?
Yes. Properly purged BHO can be introduced into a variety of edible forms.
Can Full-Spectrum Products Be Made from BHO?
Butane is incredibly efficient at producing full-spectrum extracts with a range of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and more therapeutic compounds.
Can THCA Be Made?
Yes. THCA can be made from BHO extracts. Extractors place BHO extracts under certain pressures and temperatures to separate materials in the extract and form a crystalline solution.
Is BHO Dangerous?
BHO extraction can be dangerous when performed with untrained staff, with unapproved equipment, or in an unlicensed facility. Illegal home extractors typically use "open-blast" systems, which release flammable butane vapor into the atmosphere and create a volatile environment.
Professional, industrial-grade BHO equipment is extremely safe. They are "closed-loop" systems placed in Class 1, Division 1 enclosures that monitor the air for any contaminants. Fire-suppression capabilities and instant-stop functions are present. There are even systems that are fully automated so you don’t have to be in the room with the machine at all during the majority of its run time operation.
Is BHO Bad for You?
When manufacturers perform the correct solvent purging process, BHO extracts won’t contain any significant residual solvent in the final product. They typically see zero parts per million of any residual solvents.
Can BHO Cause Cancer?
BHO in and of itself is not a dangerous product. Heating and inhaling BHO extracts at extreme temperatures can introduce carcinogens such as benzene into the body. Most users employ low-temperatures (under 500º F), which don’t release a significant amount of carcinogens.