Butan Hash Oil – a clean way of getting high?

BHO is around for ages. But it had a huge surge in popularity in the recent decade. Besides, it`s value as a  recreational drug it is also used as medicine. But what exactly is BHO and how is it made? Is it safe to produce your own? Those are the questions tackled in this article.

BHO, also known as Shatter, Wax or Dab, is an extremely highly concentrated extract of Marihuana. This stuff is really intense and can consist out of 80% THX crystals or more. For those of you who never tried it themselves, let me tell you: Even as a hardcore longterm weed smoker this stuff is so strong that it can nail you pretty much instantly and the effect is very intense.





The process of making butane hash oil, or BHO, involves extracting the cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant.

Butane, which is a nonpolar chemical solvent, washes over the plant material and dissolves the plant’s compounds. Other hydrocarbon solvents, like hexane or propane, can also be used.

That solution is then purged of any remaining solvent, and a pure cannabis extract is left behind.

There are basically two different ways to make BHO and one of them is extremely dangerous, while the other is very costly.



Open Loop extraction


This is the way that most home producers of Shatter use. You have a tube of some sort that has a filter on one end and a little whole to fill in Butan gas on the other side. The weed gets`s stuffed into that tube, (liquid) gas goes in on one side and comes out on the other while “washing” out the trichomes and Resin out of the plant. The Liquid gas and THC crystal will be collected in a bowl.

This method is obviously very dangerous and I do not recommend it to you.(especially if you are new to this sort of thing!)

A countless amount of weed enthusiast already reportedly burned their house down like this. It can be a horrific danger to you and all people around you.

There are several more factors that clearly speak against closed loop systems. There are for example contaminants and it’s simply not a clean process in most cases.


“Open systems are like stuffing a tube full of cannabis and spraying a can of lighter fluid through it,” explains Tennant, “and that has absolutely no place in the industry. Nobody really does that anymore, except for guys doing it illegally in their basements.”

Closed Loop Extraction


Closed loop extraction is the way of the Professionals. This is used in most medical marihuana production facilities with a  high standard. It is a very safe way of extracting THC crystals out of the plant. The risk is highly reduced.

A closed system utilizes two vessels on either side of a column of cannabis.

Sealed and pressurized, the solvent travels from one vessel through the cannabis and into the second vessel, before being pushed back into the first vessel. The butane is evaporated from the cannabis solution, which is then vacuum-purged of any remaining solvents.

The massive surge in popularity of shatter

Comes mainly through the internet and has been further pushed by the legalization process that is currently going on in many countries around the world. Hash has been around for literally centuries. And extractions in its modern form exist also for more than a hundred years. So one thing is clear as shatter: This is nothing new. It just became more popular recently.

While it is tremendously popular at the moment some doubt that it will ever reach the popularity of the morer mellow and accessible high of a normal weed joint.

“Dabbing is hard to modulate and it has limited interest for people unless they have severe medical need or want to push the limits of consumption, so I don’t think solvent extracts will ever be as popular as the gentle, sensual high of smoking or vaporizing cannabis flowers.”(Chris Conrad, author of The Newbie’s Guide to Cannabis and the Industry)




To dab, a small amount of the concentrate is heated up on a hot surface, like the nail in a dab rig. The user then inhales as the concentrate burns, or more accurately, vaporizes.

“In its best form [BHO] is consumed by vaporizing incredibly flavorful dabs of oil,” says Daniel “Big D” de Sailles, a partner at Top Shelf Extracts in Denver, Colorado.

“[This] is done with the aid of a custom-blown glass, torches, and other accessories. It is easier to regulate your dosage with BHO, but those who dab frequently build up strong tolerances,” he says.

The extreme potency of extracts (along with images of people lighting up with blowtorches) has earned BHO a reputation as “the fringe of the ‘stoner’ demographic,” says de Sailles.



Homemade Vs. Commercial product

Homemade dab can have impurities while closed loop extracted products are completely save in that regard.

The rise of commercial BHO products over the last decade has provided an ample supply of clean, reliable and safe extracts. It is of course up to you if you want to risk your life and do it yourself. The best way certainly is to get your dab from reliable sources that can offer you lab grade material without any leftovers of the butane, pesticides or other impurities.



Variations of BHO

Oil — A viscous, translucent liquid.


Wax — A product with a moldable, ear-wax consistency that’s easy to use but does not last as long as shatter.


Shatter — A hard and transparent extract that looks like honey-colored glass. It’s more stable than wax and the effects last longer.


Sap — A product similar to shatter, but thick and stretchy.


Crumble — A dry and crumbly type of extract.


Budder — Whipped BHO that lands between wax and crumble in consistency. It’s often described as having a peanut butter-like texture.


Live resin — A product made from whole, live cannabis flowers that are fresh-frozen, giving it better flavor and aroma retention.


Pull-and-Snap — Extracts with a taffy-like quality that can snap if bent.


Honeycomb — Just like it sounds, this extract has the appearance of honeycomb.