Extracts are a common way to experience cannabis’s strongest psychoactive effects and experience its most intense flavors. Compared to smoking or vaporizing flowers, they give more than a concentrated dose of cannabinoids, making them of great interest to medicinal and recreational consumers in need of potency. There is a wide variety of extracts, all of which use different approaches to achieve a successful end state: cannabis derivatives that are highly potent. One popular form of such extract is Butane Hash Oil, also called by its initials BHO.
What is BHO?
BHO is a strong type of concentrated cannabis that results in different products, including budder, smash, wax, and more. The term derives from the fact that the solvent used for extracting the oils from cannabis is butane. BHO offers a clear and safe high when it is manufactured correctly and with plant material of high quality.
It is not a complicated process to make BHO, but it implies more risks than benefits, which is why it is not worth trying at home. As stated before, this cannabis extract uses butane, a flammable fluid that poses a threat of fire and explosion unless precaution is taken. To extract cannabinoids and terpenes for BHO, there are multiple techniques employed.
The process of making BHO is better suited for professionals with the proper materials and equipment to ensure your safety. During the extraction process, there are a number of mistakes that can be made, leading to possibly contaminating the extract, even though the flower used was pure. For this reason, you need to make sure your butane hash oil comes from a reputable source if you are interested in consuming it.
When it comes to concentrates, consider that the consistency of the finished product will be determined by the source material. A balance between the flower used and the final product’s purity is what determines the quality of concentrates.
How to use BHO
Thankfully, this is a versatile extract that can be consumed with multiple devices or techniques. The following are the most popular ways to take advantage of BHO to the fullest.
- Dabbing: This is an incredibly common form of consuming BHO. This technique requires a small water pipe called a rig, which has a flat bowl called a nail. This nail is built especially to withstand intense temperatures when using a blow torch. Whatever form of BHO you are using, place it on the hot nail and then vapor/smoke is inhaled. To catch the vapor, place a cap over the nail and inhale it using the mouthpiece at the opposite end of the rig.
- Vaporizers: These are extremely easy to use tools to enjoy BHO. Simply pick a good concentrate that is vape-friendly and load the pen up with any form of BHO.
- Blunts: As you may know, mixing flower and concentrates creates a whole new different high. To add some serious elegance and power, BHO can also be used as a layer around the outside of rolling papers.
- Twaxing: This method refers to shatter that can be manipulated to form a string or any shape so it can be wrapped around a blunt or joint for extra strength. You can find many ideas on the internet to learn twaxing and make beautiful forms with your BHO.
Other forms of BHO such as crumble can be consumed in other ways besides the dab rig. When you pack your bowl, sprinkle some crumble as a potent topping or even roll it into a joint or blunt.
How to Refine BHO wax
The process of winterization, or “dewaxing,” occurs after purging the butane from the oil, resulting in a finer concentrate. This is done to produce a pure substance that is better for your lungs and safer for your health. In this sense, you can refine BHO wax to create some delicious and reliable products if executed properly.
Based on four main steps, experts extract unnecessary waxes, fats, lipids, and chlorophyll. First, prepare denatured ethanol. Approximately 1-2 oz of ethanol per gram of oil is what is commonly used. If you plan to speed up the emulsifying process, heat up the ethanol in a jar to around 85-90°F so no terpenes are lost due to the temperature.
Then, pour the BHO product inside the jar as the ethanol reaches the desired temperature. Place the container in a freezer for 24 – 48 hours after you have combined the ethanol and BHO into a single clear solution. Under lower temps, the freezing process will occur more quickly to allow the unfavorable compounds to fall out of the solution.
A filter that catches the waste products is then used with the solution. You can do this with a funnel or something similar to an unbleached coffee filter by pouring the frozen ethanol BHO and lipid mix into another container, obtaining the clean product. Experts make sure they do the filtering process all the time in lower temperatures inside the freezer until it is finished.
This filtered liquid is now settled in special trays. To prevent airborne particles from contaminating the liquid as it is evaporating, cover the tray with breathable material, letting it rest in an area with a temperate environment. After a while, the mix will begin to evaporate and diminish to oil.
It will look more like goo when the substance is no longer in a liquid state, and here is when it is ready to begin scraping it out of the tray. Finally, to extract the ethanol, the wax-free oil is distilled with a vacuum purge.
How to Make BHO Sugar Wax
By its sparkly crystalline appearance, sugar wax is described to be the most flavorful form of concentrate. This is possible to create when there are large quantities of terpenes in particular strains that provide a very suitable condition for BHO to crystallize once extracted.
The crystallization process is called nucleation and produces a wet sugar looking concentrate. The natural separation process generates diamond-like formations in products like the flavorful and potent sugar wax only under regulated temperature changes, time, and humidity.
In addition, whipping of this concentrate allows nucleation to begin, resulting in a concentrate that is soft and sparkly like sugar. You can render sugar wax by using a vacuum purge after whipping.
This is a small step by step guide to making BHO sugar wax:
- Pile the oil into a ball in the center of a parchment paper in the vacuum, starting with no heat.
- Now, put the vacuum at room temperature. You will see how it inflates like a muffin. Slowly increase vacuum until you reach full, and it is still inflating. Don’t let it touch oven walls or another rack as it will grow a lot. That’s why you need to control the valves as well.
- Once it is unreactive, raise temp slowly to 120F-130F for a couple of hours, depending on what consistency you desire.