What is Butane Hash Oil (BHO)?
Dabs or dabbing are the names for the use of concentrated butane hash oil (or BHO). It is a relatively new method of administering/ingesting cannabis that involves the inhalation of highly concentrated tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active chemical in cannabis. This concentrated form is produced through a chemical process using butane oil. Butane is used to extract the oils from the cannabis.
The use of butane hash oil is not a new practice, but it does appear to be gaining in popularity particularly in the USA. This increase in use is thought to be associated with the liberalisation of cannabis use in the United States and Canada.
Reports suggest that butane hash oil can have a THC concentration of approximately 80% (in comparison with traditional cannabis which is about 10-25%).
Other Names For Butane Hash Oil (BHO)
- Wax butter
How Do I Use Butane Hash Oil (BHO)?
Cannabis is traditionally smoked in joints, bong or vaporised but these methods are not effective ways of consuming butane hash oil as it becomes a runny liquid when heated. A specifically designed smoking device commonly known as an oil rig is commonly used.
There is anecdotal evidence that indicates people believe dabbing is a safer method of cannabis ingestion as opposed to a bong or joint due to the high potency of dabs, which reduces the number of times it needs to be smoked because the high is strong.
What Are The Effects of Butane Hash Oil (BHO)
Butane hash oil affects every individual differently. Even the same person may have a different experience on separate occasions or over the course of their life. Some of the factors that influence these differences appear to be:
- Size, weight and health
- Whether the person is used to smoking it
- Whether other drugs are taken around the same time
- The amount smoked
- The strength of oil
- The environment of the individual
- The individual’s personality
Use of cannabis may produce the following effects:
- Feelings of relaxation and euphoria
- Excitement and restlessness
- Spontaneous laughter
- Increased sociability
- Increased appetite
- Reduced nausea
- Reduced attention rate
- Decreased reaction times
- Pain relief
- Dry mouth
How Do I Make Butane Hash Oil (BHO)
Making butane hash oil (BHO) is very dangerous. Butane is colorless, odorless, flammable, and explosive. Butane is heavier than air and will pool in low areas, such as the ground. Always do extractions outside and away from sparks or open flames. When making BHO you should always wear safety glasses, gloves, and a respirator if you own one. You should also keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
What You Need
- 1 – 10 oz Can of Butane / Ounce of Marijuana
- An Extraction Tube
- Medium Pyrex Dish
- Large Pyrex Dish
- Electric Heating Pad
- Razor Blade Scraper
- Concentrate Container
- Optional – Vacuum Purging System
Choosing The Right Butane
Butane isn’t created equally. The two main types of butane used widely are Isobutane and N-Butane. Other kinds of butane are normally a mix and may contain propane.
Isobutane is cheaper but it is also more toxic and hazardous than N-Butane. For making hash oil N-Butane is what we want, it extracts better and leaves very little to no residues in the oil. Note that it is impossible to find 100% pure N-Butane in retail stores but gas supply companies usually do carry it.
If you find butane that’s not on the list that you want to use you can check it’s quality by using a mirror. Using pliers, spray a good amount of butane on a mirror and wait 5-10 mins. If there is any residue left on the mirror, don’t use it to make BHO.
The weed you use is the most important factor for high quality butane hash oil. Using fresh dried whole buds in your extractor will insure a clearer grade A oil. After your first extraction you can grind up the buds and do a second extraction to make a slightly less clear grade B oil.
Cannabis quality greatly impacts your oil. If you use pungent, good tasting buds you will have some strong-smelling, tasty butane hash oil. But if you use bad quality buds you will get a darker oil and less oil.
Make sure your cannabis is very dry, the drier the better. Fill the extraction tube full with the plant material; avoid making air pockets in the tube. I like to fill the tube a little then pack it down and repeat until the tube is full. Don’t pack it too much and try to make sure the tube is full, if you don’t have enough plant material to fill your tube then try to get a smaller tube. Air pockets let the liquid butane expand to gas and lower the efficiency.
After your tube is full, fasten your screen onto the bottom. If you don’t have a screen you can use a mesh coffee filter instead.
Find a safe, well ventilated place to do the extraction. Hold the tube over the medium Pyrex dish and place the nozzle of the butane can in the hole on top of the tube. Release the entire can of butane into the tube, it will take anywhere from 30 secs to 1 min for the liquid to start dripping from the bottom of the tube into the Pyrex dish. If no liquid comes out of the tube and you have used an entire can then you can use another can. Packing the plant material too tight can cause a build up of pressure and stop the butane from flowing, if this happens do not let the pressure build to high and take your time.
Let the tube drip for another few mins, the liquid in the dish should have a golden color to it. It may be hard to see.
Now that you have extracted all the good stuff out of your cannabis, we need to evaporate the butane out of the oil. Place the medium Pyrex dish in the large Pyrex dish and fill up the large dish with hot water. The evaporation process should only take 15-20 mins. You may have to replace the water to keep it hot during this process. While waiting make sure you have adequate ventilation.
Purging With Heat
After evaporating with hot water you will need to purge your butane hash oil in order to get all the butane out. You can use an electric heating pad or an electric griddle, being careful not to let the butane hash oil get above 125 degrees fahrenheit.
If you find your hash oil gets hazy or cloudy it is usually caused by trapped butane, do another purge to get the last of the butane out. If you touch a flame to to the BHO and it stays lit, there’s still butane in it.
Vacuum Purging BHO
Vacuum purging your butane hash oil is the best way to get all the butane out. Vacuum purging kits are available on Grasscity.com and Amazon.com for $180 to $550 for the heated version. To start, place your BHO in the vacuum chamber and heat it to no more than 125 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a heating pad or electric griddle if you don’t have a heated vacuum chamber. Start the vacuum on the lowest setting, gently increasing the pressure over an hour. Going slow limits volatile reactions and is much safer. After you’ve reached the highest setting, let it sit for another 30 mins before turning off the vacuum.
Using a razor blade scraper, scrape all your new glistening oil out of the dish and place it into a concentrate container. Butane hash oil can be stored for a long time if stored in an airtight, dark, cool place. If not stored properly it will dry out, lose taste, and lose potency.