If you are an avid marijuana user, chances are, you have come across hashish or hash oil in one form or other.
Hashish is a resin derived from cannabis plant matter. Methods of extraction may vary, but cold water distillation and “pressing” are the most common.
The former yielding what is commonly referred to as “bubble hash”, and the latter yielding the malleable solid concentrate known as hashish. Depending on how refined the extraction methods are, the coloration, purity, potency, aroma, and texture of the product can change.
In keeping with current market trends, growers, manufacturers, and distillers continue to push the boundary in terms of methods of extraction, new modes of ingestion, alternative substrates, potency, and concentration of cannabinoids – this is the case for cannabis generally, but more and more for hashish.
So, what is hash oil?
Hash oil, much like its malleable-solid counterpart, is classified as a resin. The difference between the two, as intimated in the preceding paragraph, is the method of extraction or distillation used to make them.
What is Butane Hash Oil (BHO)?
In order to adequately describe and appreciate what butane hash oil is, an understanding of organic solvents and oleoresin is foundational.
An oleoresin is a semi-solid extract which contains a resin in a solution. Unlike traditional hashish, oleoresins such as hash oil, are viscous and obtained through the evaporation of the organic solvents used for their production. In this case, the organic solvent is butane.
An organic solvent is a volatile compound that vaporizes at room temperature. They are typically used for dissolving certain materials or substances.
Typical hashish is made by “pressing” very finely ground kief until it adheres together. The more “pressing” used, the more the texture and density fluctuate. When making hash oil, a ceramic or glass tube (open on both ends) is packed tightly with finely ground marijuana or kief, and pressurized butane is pumped through the tube. The distillate that exits the tube is butane hash oil. The butane evaporates at room temperature so what remains is an oleoresin.
Should You Make or Ingest Butane Hash Oil (BHO)?
Organic solvents, like butane, are highly volatile. They react in sunlight and the atmosphere producing ground-level ozone. Butane is also a carcinogen and highly flammable. The risk of injury when making butane hash oil (BHO) is high and it should not be attempted by anyone other than professionals with proper safety equipment in a lab.
As far as ingesting it is concerned, butane hash oil, certainly poses health risks. If you are an avid marijuana user and are itching to try hashish, there are many variants that have cleaner and safer methods of extraction, with fewer contaminants remaining in the final distillation, that you should consider trying before BHO.
Similar to traditional methods of making hashish, bubble hash is pressed, but beforehand marijuana passes through a series of sieves with hole sizes in the micron range. These sieves are filled with marijuana, and extremely cold water is passed through them to freeze and separate the trichomes from the rest of the plant matter. The separated trichomes subsequently pass through the increasingly small holes in the sieves.
What remains is a highly refined resin that is left to air dry to remove any excess water. This substance is then pressed into a malleable solid, with a much finer and crumble-like texture than traditional hash.
It is incredibly pure, and nearly free of extraneous contaminants.
How to Use Hash oil