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BHO or Butane Hash Oil offers enthusiasts a concentrated and potent cannabis experience. Concentrates produced through BHO extraction often boast THC levels reaching upwards of 80% or more, dwarfing the average THC content found in traditional cannabis flowers. 

Let’s explore the extraction process, the specialized equipment involved, and the diverse applications that have made it beloved in the cannabis world.

Understanding BHO Cannabis

Butane Hash Oil (BHO) is a specialized extraction method that uses the potency of cannabis trichomes to create a concentrated product. BHO extraction involves dissolving trichomes using butane, a hydrocarbon solvent known for efficiently extracting these desired compounds. 

The end product contains a significantly higher level of THC, a psychoactive compound responsible for the ‘high’ associated with cannabis consumption. Compared to other cannabis extracts, which rely on CO2 (carbon dioxide) extraction or ethanol to extract quality yields, BHO can deliver higher concentrated doses of terpenes and cannabinoids in a single product.

Three stainless steel tanks sitting next to each other

BHO Extraction Equipment

The BHO extraction process requires specialized equipment to ensure safety, efficiency, and the creation of high-quality products. The three BHO extraction equipment include;

1. Closed-Loop System

It’s a sealed vessel containing cannabis material and the butane solvent. This system safeguards against explosions and fires due to butane’s flammable nature, leaks, and exposure to potentially harmful gasses. Also, it prevents the release of butane into the environment, minimizing any impact on air quality.

A closed-loop system consists of an extraction vessel, a recovery tank, and a collection chamber. The extraction vessel holds the cannabis material, while the recovery tank collects the butane after it has passed through the plant material. The collection chamber holds the final BHO concentrate.

2. Extraction Tubes

These tubes are made from stainless steel or glass and serve as conduits through which the butane solvent passes over the cannabis material. Extraction tubes facilitate the interaction between the solvent and the plant material.

Proper sizing and factors, such as the packing of the plant material, influence the extraction’s efficiency and the final product’s potency.

3. Vacuum Purging Equipment

After the initial extraction process, the BHO concentrate contains residual butane that needs safe extraction to create a pure and safe product. Vacuum purging equipment, such as vacuum ovens, is used at this stage.

These ovens apply heat and vacuum pressure to the BHO concentrate, causing the residual solvent to evaporate at lower temperatures. The vacuum minimizes the need for high heat, preserving the delicate terpenes and cannabinoids contributing to the concentrate’s flavor and effects.

However, during BHO extraction, be guided by safety measures and proper ventilation to protect operators and the environment from potential hazards.

BHO Extraction Process

There are five steps in crafting BHO from the cannabis flower into a concentrated and potent form.

  • Step 1: Material preparation – Carefully select high-quality cannabis plant material. Ideally, a plant material rich in trichomes for optimal results. 
  • Step 2: Loading the extraction tube – Once you’ve selected the material, load it in the extraction tube to facilitate the interaction between the plant material and the butane solvent. 
  • Step 3: Butane injection and extraction – With the extraction tube prepared, introduce the butane solvent. As the butane passes through the extraction tube, it extracts cannabinoids, terpenes, and other valuable constituents, creating a solution rich in these compounds.
  • Step 4: Collection chamber and solvent evaporation – The solution collected is directed to a collection chamber, and the mixture of butane and dissolved compounds settles. Then, evaporate the butane solvent through controlled heat and vacuum pressure, preventing the degradation of delicate terpenes and cannabinoids. 
  • Step 5: Purging and refinement – After solvent evaporation, the BHO concentrate is placed in a vacuum oven. This chamber subjects the concentrate to a gentle heat and vacuum pressure, facilitating the removal of any residual butane and volatile compounds. 

Quality cannabis material rich in trichomes yields a concentrate with superior potency and flavor. In addition, maintaining the appropriate temperature during solvent evaporation and purging helps create a BHO concentrate that reflects the characteristics of the original cannabis strain.

BHO Cannabis Products

BHO extracts and oils can be further processed into various consistencies, each offering a unique experience.

  • Shatter – It’s known for its high potency and purity, making it a preferred choice for experienced users seeking intense effects.
  • Budder –  It’s popular for its ease of use and versatility in consumption methods, including dabbing and vaporizing.
  • Wax: Its malleability makes it simple to manipulate, making it a favorite among users who enjoy customizing their dabbing experiences.
  • Crumble – It balances Shatter’s potency and Budder’s ease of use, providing a satisfying middle ground for dabbing enthusiasts.

Potency varies across BHO products, with THC levels often exceeding 80%. This high potency makes BHO products suitable for experienced users looking for robust effects.

BHO in Cannabis Distillate Production

Cannabis distillate is renowned for its purity and potency due to its high cannabinoid content and minimal impurities. Cannabis producers and enthusiasts can use BHO as a starting material for cannabis distillate production.

Converting BHO to cannabis distillate involves a specialized technique known as distillation, which capitalizes on the varying boiling points of cannabinoids and terpenes. Here are the key steps of the distillation process.

  • Decarboxylation – A process that involves heating BHO to activate the cannabinoids by removing a carboxyl group. This conversion is essential to make the cannabinoids bioavailable and psychoactive.
  • Distillation – Then, the decarboxylated BHO is introduced to a distillation apparatus. The extract is heated and subjected to precise temperature controls. As the temperature rises, specific cannabinoids and terpenes vaporize, separate, and are collected in separate receiving vessels.
  • Fractional distillation: Fractional distillation, a more refined form, further separates different compounds based on their boiling points. This process results in the collection of isolated cannabinoids with an exceptional level of purity.

Distillation enhances purity, isolates specific cannabinoids, terpenes, and compounds, and makes it ideal for precise dosing catering to recreational and medical users. 

Calculating Serving Size for BHO

The first step in calculating a serving size is understanding the potency of the BHO product. Potency is expressed as a percentage of the active cannabinoids, especially THC. To calculate your cannabis tolerance serving size, follow these steps:

  • Start by checking the label to determine the potency of the BHO product. For example, it’s labeled as 80% THC.
  • Convert the percentage to milligrams. For instance, if the product contains 1 gram (1000 milligrams) and 80% THC, the amount of THC in the entire gram would be 800 milligrams (1000 mg × 0.80).
  • Decide on your desired dosage in milligrams of THC. A standard starting dose for a novice might be around 2.5 to 5 milligrams, while experienced users might prefer 10 milligrams or more.
  • Divide your desired dosage by the THC content per gram to find the serving size. For example, if you desire a 5-milligram dose and the BHO is 80% THC, the formula would be 5 mg / 0.80 = 6.25 milligrams. You would need to consume approximately 6.25 milligrams of BHO to achieve your desired effects.

If you’re new to BHO products, start with a low dose and gradually increase it as you become more familiar with its effects on your body. Consider factors such as your previous cannabis experience, body weight, metabolism, and overall sensitivity to THC.

Close up of a spoon with an cannabis wax on it

Planet 13 Las Vegas: Your Local Cannabis Dispensary

Planet 13 Las Vegas has the best selection of cannabis flowers, cannabis vapes, concentrates, cannabis pre-rolls, and edibles. At our dispensary, you can find over 120 of the best Indica, Sativa, and hybrid strains that will elevate your cannabis experience. Contact us today to access the best Las Vegas cannabis deals.