BHO: What Is Butane Hash Oil and How is it Made

BHO: What Is Butane Hash Oil and How is it Made

Butane-hash oils (BHO) are made by extracting THC and terpenes from cannabis flowers or trim using butane, pressure and heat.

In this article we’ll go over some of the basics of BHO, such as how is BHO made, how to use BHO, and how to store BHO. We also have lots of useful advice if you plan on trying this type of cannabis extract.

We’ll round up the article by explaining how to make shatter safely, the most popular cannabis extract of the highest purity which has been known to cause explosions in the kitchens of many inexperienced users that tried making it.

What is BHO?

BHO is short for butane-hash oil, which is made by extracting cannabinoids and terpenes from cannabis flowers and trim using butane, heat and pressure.

BHO is sometimes also called butane-honey oil due to its color and consistency—after purging the butane from it, the oil becomes a yellow-gold color similar to honey.

BHO comes in various shapes and forms, as its consistency depends on several factors during the extraction process.

Types of BHO

Depending on who you ask, and where you look for answers, people might tell you that there are several different types of BHO.

The truth is, all types of BHO are extremely similar when it comes to their contents, their purging and extraction process, and the end result after consumption.

Depending on the heat, humidity and whipping, BHO has 7 different forms of consistency.

  1. Shatter
  2. Pull and Snap
  3. Crumble
  4. Budder
  5. Wax
  6. Sap
  7. Oil


Shatter is the hardest form of BHO. It resembles glass because it is transparent and breaks in a similar manner.

Shatter often has around 80% THC and you will need a dabbing rig to smoke it. It is always in solid form, meaning that you won’t just drop your dab and lose it, like you would with certain other extracts.

On the downside, shatter can’t be smoked very easily because of its consistency and you’d have to have a dabbing rig or a vaporizer capable of reaching over 600℉.

Pull and Snap

Pull and Snap got its name because of the familiar sound when pulling it apart. It is great for dabbing because of its consistency, and it is very easy to handle.

If you were to pull on a piece of shatter, it would break in a very glass-like manner, you would have to apply heat to it in order to shape it and dab it.

Pull and Snap is much better suited for molding with your hands, as it won’t break and it won’t melt in your hand. You can easily shape it and place it on your nail or quartz banger, and take huge rips.


Crumble is made by purging the butane at a low temperature for quite some time. During this process, the oil will crumble up and become the consistency that it is named for.

Since it crumbles easily, it is not good for manipulating with your hands and you can easily accidentally shake and spill just about any amount of crumble.


Budder is the purest form of BHO, it usually is around 90% THC and has an average purity of 99%. It gets its name because its consistency is somewhat similar to that of butter.

It‘s extremely hard to find good budder, as the extraction, purging and whipping process can take much longer than other BHO extracts. This is why budder tends to be rather expensive and is rarely available on the market.


Somewhat similar to budder, wax is a fan favorite among dabbers because of its consistency. It doesn’t crumble, but don’t hold it in your hands for too long. Wax is very common among cannabis users, and perhaps the most common type of BHO that you will see today.

Wax is more common than other types of extracts, except maybe shatter, because it is easy to work with. Sure, you’ll need a tool, but wax is not hard to manipulate, when compared to say, sap or shatter.


Sap gets its name after the tree product which it resembles so much. Sap is very sticky and very runny. If you happen to drop a piece of sap, it will stick to everything it touches. Make sure you don’t drop sap on the floor or ground as it is impossible to remove any impurities it once it has been on the floor mingling with hairs and dirt.


BHO comes in oil form as well, although this type of extract is mostly seen already packed in cartridges. It is easy to come by and many licensed producers have their own versions of it.

It is easy to use in cartridge form and you also don’t have to worry about having pieces of the extract sticking to your gear.

What is CO2 oil?

Cannabis oil can also be made with carbon-dioxide, which can serve as the extraction catalyst instead of the butane. When cannabinoids are extracted and subsequently processed with carbon-dioxide, you get CO2 oil.

Scientific research hasn’t yet confirmed which one of these two types of oil is less harmful to the user, however it is known that they can both be somewhat harmful.

CO2 is cheaper than butane, which is one of the main reasons for using it to extract cannabinoids. And butane is much more dangerous to work with because of its explosive nature. CO2 is also less toxic to the user.

The cannabis community isn’t quite sold on either one of these two types of catalysts, so it is possible that if cannabis technology keeps developing at the current pace, we’ll soon see another version of hash oil on the market.

BHO extraction

BHO extraction is a very risky process. If you don’t have a background in chemistry, alchemy, or watching Breaking Bad, then you probably shouldn’t attempt this on your own.

In all seriousness, extracting butane-hash oils can be very, very dangerous.

Many people trying to make butane-hash oil on their own ended up in hospitals, or even worse, dead. BHO extraction is that serious. It is a job that should definitely be left to the professionals.

Why is BHO extraction dangerous?

As its name indicates, BHO extraction uses butane as a catalyst to extract all the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant material.

Since butane is a flammable gas, and since part of the process happens over a stove, the risk increases with larger amounts of oil as there is more butane to evaporate.

The gas takes liquid form in the tube during the extraction process, and then quickly evaporates over a stove when heat is applied to the mixture.

After it evaporates, butane quickly “falls on the floor” which means that due to its chemical attributes it is heavier than oxygen and sinks below. This is why making BHO indoors is dangerous, even with the use of several fans.

So, even if you were to make BHO on your own, I recommend you make small batches at first. This way you also won’t waste much weed if you fail at making it.

Definitely evaporate butane outside, the rest of the process can be done indoors.

If you decide to go through with this, again – we strongly recommend that you don’t, here are some of the basic things you will need to know before starting the whole extraction process.

Here is the gear and ingredients you will need:

  • One 10-oz can of butane per 1-oz of marijuana
  • One glass, or even better, stainless steel extraction tube
  • One large Pyrex pot
  • One medium Pyrex pot
  • One electric cooker which you can take outside
  • One razor blade or a scraper for cannabis extracts
  • One container to hold the extracts
  • A purging system (if you want it and can afford it)

Keep the weed in a fridge for up to a day. This will help with the extraction process as terpenes are easier to extract at lower temperatures.

Place the electric cooker and your pots outside. Evaporation should be done outside, as butane is heavier than air, and will drop to the floor. One spark, one shorted fuse, or anything of that sort is enough to create havoc and blow the roof of your place.

Cover the glass tube with a towel while holding it. The pressure within can make it explode in your hand, and harm you while you are blasting the tube with butane.

Fill the bigger pot with water, and put the smaller one in it. The hot water in the outside pot is what will force the butane in the smaller pot to evaporate.

Drain the tube over the medium pot. Once you start blasting the tube, liquid butane will start dripping out of the tube in a few seconds.

Scrape the dish with a razor. This way you won’t miss any of it, and you can spread it on a piece of baking paper and prepare it for purging.

Purge for as long as you need. Nothing wrong ever came from purging too long, except maybe that it was annoying, loud and power-consuming. If you don’t purge out all the butane you can end up poisoning the users.

Put the end product in a fridge for up to 2 days. This is called winterization, a process which makes the dabs feel smoother, and removes plant waxes and lipids extracted by the butane which coats your lung, and irritates them.

One way to check if you’ve purged your BHO properly is to run a lighter over it. If you see flames appearing, you need to purge more.

Experienced oil-makers say that the trick is in purging for a long time, flipping the slab only once during the purging process, and winterizing the product afterwards.

23 things you need to know about BHO

Before you rush any decisions and shell out hundreds of dollars for a glass rig, a couple nails and some butane-hash oil, you should know the following about BHO:

Why is BHO so strong?

BHO is an extract, also known as a concentrate. Most of the THC molecules and terpenes are in the oil, making it extremely potent.

Which is better—BHO or CO2?

The scientific community is divided on this question, although current research indicates that butane might be more harmful to the user’s health.

Can you vape BHO?

Some types of BHO can be vaped. Others, such as shatter are quite hard to vape.

Can you use BHO for edibles?

Butane is very unhealthy to consume orally, which means that there is a serious risk of poisoning from making edibles from BHO.

Can you eat BHO raw?

No, if the butane hasn’t been completely and properly extracted you may end up poisoned if you eat it.

How tight should I pack BHO?

You don’t have to pack BHO extremely tight, especially when dabbing at higher temperatures. Keeping your nail at a lower temp and lightly spreading the dab around your nail or banger is the best way to pack it.

Why does BHO taste like rubber?

BHO can taste like rubber if you are dabbing at too high of a temperature.

Can BHO cause cancer?

If you dab BHO at very high temperatures, you risk exposure to carcinogens – some of the cannabinoids can release carcinogens such as benzene.

Can BHO cause seizures?

Yes, if it hasn’t been extracted properly. This is a particular risk for people with an existing seizure disorder who try fake BHO or spinoff versions sold in illegal stores.

Can BHO cause lung problems?

Just like inhaling any other combustible substance, smoking and dabbing cannabis extracts can cause lung problems. Winterizing your BHO can reduce coughing and lung issues.

Can BHO make you sick?

You can puke and feel extremely unwell after taking a dab of BHO, however nobody ever died or got seriously sick from it.

How does BHO extraction work?

It works by applying heat and pressure to the plant material. The process involves packing the weed in a glass tube, blasting it with butane, boiling out the solvent and then purging and whipping the remainder of the product.

Why is BHO dangerous?

Because the process of extracting BHO from cannabis can be dangerous if not performed under the right conditions and without proper gear and supervision. Also, there are indications that the butane can cause health issues if not purged completely.

How much butane per oz of weed?

There is no saying how much you will need, as trim and flowers require different amounts of butane. In general, you will want to keep spraying butane in the glass tube until the liquid becomes clear enough that you can see through it.

What is BHO purging?

Purging BHO is the process of extracting remains of BHO from the oil by using a vacuum pump. If your BHO seems cloudy purge it some more. Test the slab on the paper with open flame to see if any butane remains.

When is my BHO done purging?

There is no way to know the exact time when your BHO is done purging. The best you can do is wait to completely remove all butane.

Basically, if its appearance doesn’t change a while and it stays in the form of a crystallized sponge, then you’re done. Purging usually takes hours, sometimes even days.

There is a general formula to how long you should purge, although we haven’t confirmed it. It goes like this: 1 to 1.5 hours per gram of BHO. So, if you plan on making 10 grams, you’ll need to purge for 10 to 15 hours.

How many coffee filters do I need for BHO?

Depending on how much solvent and materials you need to strain, you may need several coffee filters. It is always better to use several filters instead of just one as they will strain the remaining plant parts significantly better.

What is BHO whipping?

Whipping BHO, or mixing it by hand and nail makes it turn from a see-through oil to a more of a wax substance.

What is winterization?

Winterization is the process of separating the BHO from the plant waxes and lipids extracted by the butane by storing the BHO in a fridge. Winterized dabs feel a lot smoother and the cooling process helps with cough reduction.

Why is my BHO gooey?

Some types of BHO are gooey. If you want to change the consistency of your BHO you will need to do additional purging or winterize it for a while.

Why does BHO sugar up?

This is normal, it can happen sometimes depending on the temperature and humidity. To avoid your BHO sugaring up, keep it in a cold area such as a freezer.

Why does BHO turn to wax?

The same reason it sugers up – the humidity level may be playing a part in your oil turning to wax if the room is very arid.

Where should I store BHO?

The best place to store BHO is in your refrigerator, in a glass container. If it’s a slab you can keep it on a piece of unbleached parchment paper or cooking paper.

The post BHO: What Is Butane Hash Oil and How is it Made appeared first on Greencamp.


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