There is no question that the traditional ‘smoking’ method of using marijuana remains highly popular. Whether you use a joint, blunt, or bowl, combusting the herb is still the ‘go-to’ option for many users. However, BHO wax is now a viable alternative, but only if you are an experienced user.
BHO (Butane Hash Oil) wax is a gooey, sticky, potent substance. It is created by extracting active terpenes and cannabinoids from cannabis with a liquid solvent (i.e., butane/lighter fluid).
This concentrated resin is extremely strong and loaded with THC. It can get you high to the point of hallucination! It could also lead to a host of dangers and complications. The remarkably high THC content means user – beware! There are also inherent risks during the extraction process. While using BHO wax offers a unique and beneficial experience, knowledge is necessary before you begin hitting those dabs.
In this guide, we outline what BHO wax is, along with its associated dangers.One of the most interesting developments in the weed industry has been the growth of hash oil. This powerful form of marijuana delivers quite a punch, without the unnecessary (and unhealthy) combustion of plant material. BHO wax is more popular now than ever, but what is it?
First Things First: What Is BHO Wax?
BHO wax is “weed without the weed.” It involves extracting the terpenes and cannabinoids from marijuana. There are various forms of concentrates, including shatter, budder, and wax. The difference lies in the extraction method used and the consistency of the product.
Wax is one way to get the most from the excess parts of the plant left over after trimming the buds. There isn’t much THC in these parts of the plant, but that’s why you can use them to create wax. You can salvage parts such the stems and the leaves. Unless you plan to make edibles, these elements of your crop usually end up in the compost bin.
You can create BHO wax by grinding up the flower or excess trimmed parts of the plant. Next, you pack them tightly into a tube. One effective method is the use of a proper extractor tube. However, many people use PVC or metal pipes with sealed fittings at the end.
Once all of the material is stuffed securely in the tube, butane (a liquid solvent) is then run through it. The solution extracts all the active compounds in the raw material and leaves you with THC-rich oil/wax.
Professional BHO Wax Creation
Although you are free to use stems and leaves, it is far easier to use premium-grade bud. The process of butane hash oil extraction takes the resin glands from the plant’s trichomes. The plant material is left behind.
In theory, BHO is a grand idea. You run the non-polar solvent through the weed. As it flows through the plant matter, it dissolves the resin glands immediately. Best of all, it doesn’t collect chlorophyll or other plant matter. When you finish the process, you obtain the oil mix in a container. Finally, the solvent completely evaporates into the air. The end product is a beautiful, potent THC goo with no nasty residue.
In practice, it involves expensive equipment and expertise to do it correctly. We will briefly outline the techniques used by professionals. As it is so dangerous, we are not going to provide a DIY option.
How Dangerous Is Marijuana Wax?
Butane, in itself, is not particularly dangerous. The FDA lists it as a food additive. Some organizations use it as an artificial antioxidant, or to keep food fresh. However, there is little research available, which demonstrates how safe it is for inhalation.
If you vape or dab BHO wax that still contains butane residue, you inhale the chemical directly. What’s scarier than the butane, though, are the trace chemicals used to thin the butane out. In its natural liquid form, butane is too viscous for use in pumps. It is usually “thinned out” by harsh chemicals like neopentane and hexane, which are known carcinogens.
Another significant concern of inhaling BHO wax relates to the marijuana plant’s waxy outer layer or cuticle. When burned or combusted normally, the wax layer in weed is burned away and is not an issue.
However, it’s known that vaping does not produce a high enough temperature to get rid of the cuticle. Instead, wax accumulates in the user’s lungs and forms granulomas, which are insoluble lipid fragments. When you dab at least, you generate a high enough temperature to burn away the cuticle fragments in the BHO wax.
Once the mixture has been extracted, the next step is to evaporate it. Evaporation is needed to remove any harmful butane or other substances from the wax [inhaling butane at any time is a health concern and should be avoided].
One method to do this is by floating the dish containing the incomplete wax on top of a larger dish of hot water. The ‘water bath’ causes the Butane to steam and evaporate off the top dish (out of the concentrate) within about twenty minutes.
While waiting for fumes to burn off, the mixture is stirred to get any bubbles out. There must be plenty of ventilation during this part of the method as it is HIGHLY FLAMMABLE (see dangers). This must be done outside.
Purging is the step that completes the removal of butane and any other hazardous solvents from the oil. Experts use a professional purging system for the final step of this method. Others (never recommended!) use an electric heating surface to continue the evaporation process at a higher heat.
Unless using a vacuum chamber or oven, the dish of oil is placed on top of the heating element. The mixture is whipped and the remaining Butane bubbles away until only a clear thick substance remains. A cloudy mixture or one containing bubbles can mean residual butane.
When the wax/honey/oil is clear and solvent-free, it’s transferred into an air-tight container. BHO lasts for months if stored properly in cool, dry area.
The techniques needed to create BHO, do unfortunately bear an unnerving likeness to those used to make harder drugs. With dangerous methods and extreme strength, dabbing culture is most vulnerable to exploitation of negative propaganda. If you support this movement, don’t add to the rumors.