Is BHO Bad?
Butane Hash Oil has a bad wrap, but why? There are a couple good reasons that BHO has a bad reputation, backyard explosions and residual solvents. With the unregulated nature of production in the black market, there are a lot of mistakes made in the extraction process. Butane is a popular solvent for aspiring processors because it is easy to purchase and a strong solvent for Cannabinoids, which means a higher yield and potency. This is where things go wrong.
The first problem is that Butane is a highly explosive gas.
To minimize risks, a commercial processor uses metal jackets to run Cannabis. These vessels are rated for pressure and are usually closed loop systems. This means that after the butane is used, it is recaptured so hardly any gas escapes from the reaction. In addition, BHO rooms in Washington have the air cleaned with a HVAC system, Evergreen Herbal recycles the air in the room every 15 seconds.
Black market processors are “blasting” BHO using cheap materials. A backyard setup can be made with $40 of PVC pipe – this leads to a risk of explosion, and butane being off gassed into the air. One flick of a bic for a cigarette, a refrigerator compressor clicking on, or a pilot light can ignite that butane in an explosion show.
The second problem is residual solvents. Once you process BHO, you must remove Butane from the equation through a purging process.
Experienced extractors use vacuum ovens. They raise the raw processed BHO to a temperature that is a trade secret usually between 90 and 120 degrees to preserve the best terpene profile while retaining the highest level of THC possible. The heat and vacuum pressure change the solvent, Butane from a liquid state into a gaseous state. This results in bubbles forming in the oil, which is the BHO mixture off gassing the butane.
In addition, all high quality extractors will test their products for residual solvents. If your BHO is not tested, don’t smoke it.
Backyard extractors often do not have the correct equipment or experience for the proper purging of residual solvents. Some do not purge at all! If it isn’t tested, don’t trust it.
The third problem. Smoking butane isn’t good for you. Do some research, smoking a lot of butane has neurotoxic effects.
Our recommendation, when consuming BHO, make sure to support the connoisseurs and skilled extractors in the industry. Only consume tested products. If you want to play it on the safe side with concentrates – explore Co2 extracts. Worried about residual solvents in Co2? We breathe Co2 every day, it’s no problem.