The DANGERS of Making Your Own BHO Wax
There is a lot of misleading information on making BHO wax floating around online. The advice “just don’t smoke while you do it” does not cut it here. This is enormously dangerous and irresponsible guidance.
The process of creating wax or oil is complicated. In a largely unregulated marketplace, quality of production and the product itself can be difficult to guarantee. The practice of marijuana extraction is still in early stages, there’s a long way to go.
People have been burnt in accidents and some have died while attempting to make this at home. Danger arises when marijuana users take production into their own hands, under-educated and unprepared to do so.
Butane is highly flammable. Executing these methods indoors can lead to burns, explosions, house fires and death. Safety gear such as eye protection and gloves are a must.
There have been multiple cases of people blowing themselves or their homes up while attempting to make BHO wax. Unless using professional equipment, making BHO wax MUST be done outside.
Know your state laws. In California for example, it’s illegal to possess, sell, OR make solvent extracts.
“Except as otherwise provided by law, every person who manufactures, compounds, converts, produces, derives, processes, or prepares, either directly or indirectly by chemical extraction or independently by means of chemical synthesis, any controlled substance specified in Section 11054, 11055, 11056, 11057, or 11058 shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for three, five, or seven years and by a fine not exceeding fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).”
Whilst prohibited, it’s almost impossible to guarantee purity of any BHO wax. The product isn’t necessarily made in a lab with the correct safety protocols. Find out how BHO wax is made here.
We’ve finally reached a year in which the majority of citizens accept marijuana use. Sadly, there’s now a fear that inexperienced stoners blowing up their bedrooms, may send the legalization movement back 50 years. As butane extracts continue to grow a bad reputation, it’s best if this method is left to the specialists. Continuing this pattern will only hurt the chance for coast to coast legalization and other progression in medical or recreational marijuana.
Ingesting harmful contaminants is a risk when inhaling any substance. However, when it comes to weed, contaminants (i.e. pesticides, herbicides) on plant material are a real danger. When marijuana is turned into wax, these contaminants could be infused into the concentrate. When evaporating solvents, concentrating harmful toxins is a scary possibility.
Plastic is a potential problem when incorrectly preparing waxes at home. Butane can extract chemicals and you don’t want PVC in your BHO wax, or your lungs. Food-grade products need to be used to avoid any contamination.
Choose your butane wisely. Some butane brands add additional chemicals to their ingredients so leaks can be detected. These chemicals are typically Mercaptans or Sulfur Dioxide and will taint the purity and taste of your extract. Common impurities come from “dirty” butane and can be harmful if ingested.
Laboratory grade n-butane is known by experts as the purest and most efficient solvent for extracting concentrates. According to High Times, ‘Puretane’ is designed with BHO wax makers in mind;
“Puretane is made with maximum purity in mind, specifically for extracting oils out of marijuana. They utilize fractional distillation — an organic process that uses heat to separate chemical compounds and filter out impurities. The end product is 99.9998% pure, containing only one ten- thousandth of a percent of sulfur — which they consider medical grade (as evidenced by the green cross on the can).”
Is My BHO Good?
Unfortunately, the only real way to know if your wax is clean and ready to dab is by getting a quality concentrate test done. This however isn’t something the average stoner can easily do.
As there isn’t much to go by to measure quality, most people attempt to judge their concentrates on visual appearance. Common myths about concentrates include purity being measured by color, texture, or clarity.
Just because your wax is transparent or light in color, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. According to Leafly;
“[Steep Hill Labs] has done over 10,000 tests, and when we test these concentrates, it’s more likely that clear shatter is going to have higher parts-per-million residual solvents,”
Taste and smell go a long way when assessing your product. It’s no sure-fire way to determine any real quality, but it will at least alert you to any nasty impurities within your wax. If you get a ‘taney’ mouthful, assume it’s not the best.
Use of concentrates continue to grow within the marijuana industry and laws on cannabis use is unpredictable at best. Until we achieve a standard across the board, it’s up to individual consumers to educate themselves and their friends about what they’re inhaling.