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What is butane hash oil?

What is Butane Hash Oil (BHO)?

In this article, we will explore Butane Hash Oil (BHO), a cannabis extract that contains very high concentrations of THC. BHO, also known as honey oil and cherry oil, has been part of cannabis culture for decades.  Its extremely high concentration of THC makes the BHO experience notably euphoric and verging on psychedelic. 

Chronic Pain

Cannabis users who employ the herb as a treatment for severe chronic pain or other serious health issues can benefit from trying concentrates like BHO. There are two reasons for this. First, the analgesic effect of pure cannabis buds can diminish with heavy use. Serious pain results in heavier dosing. Lastly, the onset of pure cannabis will always be gradual, regardless of the flower’s cannabinoid range. This isn’t always optimal for addressing pressing pain.

The BHO Experience

Compare this to BHO. The first hit of BHO vapor delivers a potent rush. This remains consistent. Heavy users of BHO and concentrates report that this high retains its intensity, no matter how many times you vape BHO. With this rush comes potent, reliable pain-killing effects.

How Is BHO Different From Other Concentrates?

BHO offers certain advantages over other types of extracted concentrates. Closed-loop extraction with butane provides a wide range of possibilities for the final product’s consistency and potency. By comparison, Rosin by YTFC and solvent-free cannabis extracts like it have more fixed parameters. 

BHO For Versatility and Terpenes

Perhaps more important than versatility is the preservation of terpenes, notoriously volatiles compounds. Terpenes give cannabis its aroma and play an active role in the entourage effect. 

Sophisticated lab equipment extracts BHO. It preserves the full terpene profile of a cannabis plant. The result is a rich, full-flavored concentrate. 

Butane Hash Oil History

Hash is a form of cannabis concentrate with a long history as a medicinal substance. D. Gold’s 1971 book titled “Cannabis Alchemy: The Art of Modern Hashmaking” includes a recipe for using solvents to make concentrates. Today, large-scale producers prefer this extraction method for its versatility and scalability. 

BHO became quite popular in the 1990s as information about it spread via the internet. An online database for psychoactive compounds called Erowid published “Hash Honey Oil Technique” in 1991. It described a method called open-blasting, which is extremely dangerous.

Making BHO: Closed-Loop vs Open-Loop Extraction

To this day, legal authorities consider DIY BHO labs dangerous, eliciting the same level of concern as meth labs. Don’t try this at home, kids. 

Rather, fast-forward to modern times, where legalization and labs offer many benefits. First, controlled, modern extraction methods produce safe and high-quality BHO. Second, these methods leave no butane behind, purity guaranteed. In short, when you purchase laboratory-tested BHO, you get a pure product and support a business that perfects what you love! Win-win.

Open Loop Extraction

Popular among BHO hobbyists, open-loop extraction can be very dangerous. This is because butane is extremely flammable. Also, professional equipment is replaced with common household items like turkey basters and coffee filters. Therefore, you should never attempt open-loop extraction outside of a controlled laboratory environment with trained professionals.

Closed-loop extraction

Closed-loop extraction is mainly done using third-party certified equipment at professional facilities with legal permission. All combustible solvents are contained within a piece of commercial-grade equipment. In this way, closed-loop extraction eliminates the likelihood of gas leaks that lead to explosions.

Vacuum Purging

Using low heat and pressure, BHO undergoes a process called vacuum purging. The concentrate is placed into a vacuum, where low heat and pressure off-gas the butane. In lab-controlled environments, the butane is removed entirely, leaving behind nothing but pure cannabis concentrate. 

How To Use BHO

BHO concentrates need to be decarboxylated. This means that BHO, like cannabis flowers, needs to be heated to convert cannabinoid acids into therapeutic compounds. In this way, THC-Acid becomes THC, CBD-Acid becomes CBD, and so on. Do not consume raw BHO. This is dangerous and it won’t get you high. Lose lose.

Dabbing BHO

Like other concentrates, you consume BHO by ‘dabbing’. Dabbing refers to a dabber, a thin needle-like object used to apply the sticky concentrate to whatever rig you are using. A great deal of BHO is sold in syringes that act as the dabber. This delivery method is virtually mess-free and easy to store. We love this method ourselves and chose to offer our proprietary Honey Oil by Sacred Meds and Cherry Oil by Sacred Meds in syringes.

Traditionally, users needed a torch to heat whatever surface was being used to vaporize the concentrate. This was uncontrolled and inaccurate, not allowing for a fine-tuned experienced.

What Is an E-nail?

An electronic nail or e-nail is a highly efficient way of consuming BHO and other cannabis concentrates. E-nails are simple. 

There is usually a controller box. This box contains the coil that delivers heat by connecting directly to the nail without coming into direct content with the concentrate. This is called conduction heating. Conduction heating is used in a wide range of high-quality cannabis vaporizers. 

Containing these mechanisms in a closed, controlled environment delivers precise temperature control. This allows concentrate fans to get the most value and enjoyment out of BHO. 

Vape Pens & Cartridges for BHO

Vape pens, like e-nails, make vaping BHO convenient. A slight disadvantage is that they tend to have less temperature control overall. Also, they tend to get hot quickly and stay that way until they are turned off. This is actually by design and many users love this feature. This is because concentrates like BHO generally need a higher temperature than cannabis flowers to decarboxylate. Overall, they tend to offer bigger clouds of full, thick vapor. Many vape pens offer silicon compartments that allow you to store extra BHO or a different concentrate for a new session.

By contrast, vape cartridges thread into batteries and are basically ready to go. High Voltage, makers of the infamous Cola Bottles by The Budibles, also make a series of cartridges that are compatible with a 510 threaded vape pen battery like 710 Pen Mini. They do not offer any temperature control. Also, you are restricted to cartridges that are compatible with your battery, which limits your selection.

In conclusion, we like e-nails and dab rigs for BHO and other concentrate use. These devices give you a fine-tuned, perfect experience every time, getting the most value out of your BHO.


Al-Zouabi, I., Stogner, J. and Miller, B. (2018) “Butane hash oil and dabbing: insights into use, amateur production techniques, and potential harm mitigation,” PMC US National Library of Medicine, [online] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6220730/ (Accessed 29 March 2021).

Luna Technologies (2021) “BHO 101 — A Guide to Butane Hash Oil Extraction,” Luna Technologies, [online] Available from: https://blog.lunatechequipment.com/bho-101 (Accessed 29 March 2021).

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