What is BHO?
One of the most interesting developments in the weed industry has been the growth of hash oil. This powerful form of marijuana delivers quite a punch, without the unnecessary (and unhealthy) combustion of plant material. BHO wax is more popular now than ever, but what is it?
BHO or ‘Butane Hash Oil’ gets its name due to the process required to concoct it. In simple terms, BHO is a concentrated form of cannabis extract.
The procedure involves the solvent Butane being pushed through a tube or vessel of marijuana. Cannabinoids are stripped from the plant material and the infused butane liquid that drips out is left to evaporate. The end solution should be a highly potent waxy or honey like blend (containing as few harmful substances as possible).
The end result of hash oil can be runny, solid, soft, crumbly, or sticky. Depending on the outcome and texture of product, BHO goes by many names; wax, shatter, errl, honey, glass, oil, comb…the list goes on and on.
Concentrates have existed for some time, but recent years have shown a steep increase in use. Some people like it because it's discreet and easily transportable. Others prefer it for its potency, length of effect and lack of smell. The method is complicated and even dangerous, but when correctly ‘purged’ BHO can be purer than raw weed smoked by most.
How Is BHO Made?
*WARNING: This process CAN be dangerous – DO NOT try this yourself*
BHO can be made in a variety of ways. Depending on equipment, state laws and personal experience. We do not encourage any attempts to make BHO at home.
Extracting The Concentrates:
An extraction tube is tightly packed with dry weed to avoid any air pockets. A screen or coffee filter is secured to the bottom of the tube opening. You can use actual buds or trimmings. You will often see wax referred to as "nug run" or "trim run." Nug run wax is that which is made out of actual buds. Trim run wax is that which is made from trim.
Liquid Butane is pumped into the tube and pushes through the weed, soaking it. The Butane strips the marijuana of its psychoactive compounds and carries them through the tube, towards the filter.
A dish is placed under the tube filter and after several minutes, the marijuana/butane solution will begin to pour out onto the dish.
Once the mixture has been extracted, the next step is to evaporate it. Evaporation is needed to remove any harmful butane or other substances from the wax [inhaling butane at any time is a health concern and should be avoided].
One method to do this is by floating the dish containing the incomplete wax on top of a larger dish of hot water. The ‘water bath’ causes the Butane to steam and evaporate off the top dish (out of the concentrate) within about twenty minutes.
While waiting for fumes to burn off, the mixture is stirred to get any bubbles out. There must be plenty of ventilation during this part of the method as it is HIGHLY FLAMMABLE (see dangers). This must be done outside.
Purging is the step that completes the removal of butane and any other hazardous solvents from the oil. Experts use a professional purging system for the final step of this method. Others (never recommended!) use an electric heating surface to continue the evaporation process at a higher heat.
Unless using a vacuum chamber or oven, the dish of oil is placed on top of the heating element. The mixture is whipped and the remaining Butane bubbles away until only a clear thick substance remains. A cloudy mixture or one containing bubbles can mean residual butane.
When the wax/honey/oil is clear and solvent-free, it's transferred into an air-tight container. BHO lasts for months if stored properly in cool, dry area.
The techniques needed to create BHO, do unfortunately bear an unnerving likeness to those used to make harder drugs. With dangerous methods and extreme strength, dabbing culture is most vulnerable to exploitation of negative propaganda. If you support this movement, don’t add to the rumors.
See our second post and continuing profile on BHO here.