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Be Careful With BHO

 

Butane Hash Oil, also known as BHO, is a concentrated cannabis extract that results in various consistencies like wax, shatter, and budder, among others. Cannabis can be extracted in multiple ways such as BHO, CO2, alcohol or solvent-free extracted concentrates. BHO, unfortunately, has developed a bad reputation; especially because many people do the process of BHO extracting wrong, which ends up in a tainted, unhealthy end product. Butane is a very common gaseous fuel derived from petroleum that has properties that could harm your health.


WHAT IS IT?

Butane is created by the separation crude oils (fossil fuels) which are derived from naturally decaying organic matter. When blended with propane, butane becomes liquefied petroleum gas. It is a highly flammable, odorless, colorless hydrocarbon that burns in the presence of oxygen. Burning butane gas produces nitrogen dioxide, a highly toxic gas. In layman’s terms, butane is a harmful gas. But did you know that butane fuel is what is inside of your lighter. It’s used for everyday things such as outdoor cooking and aerosol sprays (propellant).

Doesn’t that sound healthy!?


HOW IS BHO EXTRACTION DONE?

BHO extraction is probably the most popular form of extraction. This method requires minimal equipment and low running costs. However, red flags were being raised when a lot of amateur extractors were becoming involved in dangerous explosions caused by improper extracting. The antiquated method of “open blasting” has become an technique of the past for commercial extract producers, but is the cause for many at-home explosions. “Open blasting” consists of passing gas through a glass, stainless steel or PVC tube, which is filled with cannabis plant matter on the closed end and open on the other. Butane passes over the flower, is collected at the other end and crystallizes the flower resins - leaving behind BHO. This method leaves room for explosions because there is no way to contain the butane, allowing the flammable gas to ignite anything it comes in contact with.

The more safe method of extraction is called closed-loop extraction. This technique is ideal because there are no openings for flammable gas to leak out of and the solvents can be stored and reused. In this process, the solvents are put into a pressurized tank which is connected to an extraction tube.


BUTANE HASH OIL

Photo via Weed Maps

Photo via Weed Maps

The end result of the extraction process will leave you with butane hash oil. BHO has different consistencies depending on the heat, humidity and the way it’s whipped. Shatter is the hardest form of BHO, resembling glass with around 80 percent THC. Crumble is made by purging butane at a low temperature for a decent amount of time (10-15 hours). Budder is the most pure, rare and expensive, usually having around 90 percent THC. Wax is similar to budder, but requires less purging and whipping and is less expensive. Oil is the closest consistency to liquid and is usually found pre-packaged in cartridges for vape pens (and sold almost everywhere!)



HEALTH RISKS


Inhaling butane is hazardous to your health. It is advised that you take low temperature dabs not only to taste the terpenes (flavors) in your BHO, but to prevent an abundant inhale of butane along with your concentrates. As said before, burning butane creates nitrogen dioxide. If it is released into a confined area, butane can cause asphyxiation, the deprivation of oxygen. Inhaling butane can cause asphyxia, narcosis, drowsiness and cardiac arrhythmia and high concentrations of butane lead to nervous system depression. If it comes in contact with your skin, butane can cause frostbite and if liquid butane gets in your eyes, it can cause serious or permanent eye damage.

 



 
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