What is BHO extraction?

What is BHO extraction?

Butane hash oil or BHO is a very concentrated version of marijuana. It is created by processing marijuana into a refined oil.

A highly flammable chemical called butane is used to strip the THC (the chemical that creates the marijuana high) from marijuana and create a sticky substance that is then smoked in a pipe, by putting a small chunk, or ‘dab,’ of BHO into a pipe, lighting and then inhaling the fumes.

BHO is called a variety of highly descriptive street names like: hash oil, butane honey oil, dabs, amber, shatter, and earwax.

Why Using BHO is Dangerous

After inhaling BHO, it is common for users to experience a very extreme high, hallucinations or even drop into unconsciousness.

In my opinion, the reason for this is that BHO, compared to marijuana, contains extremely high concentrations of THC. Just a small chunk about the size of a tic tac, would be equivalent to smoking one entire marijuana cigarette in just one breath.

Some negative effects of THC include:

  • Slowed reaction time
  • Increased heart rate
  • Paranoia, anxiety, and depression
  • Memory problems
  • Bleeding
  • Changes in blood pressure

Inhaling these huge quantities of THC open individuals up to a range of mental and physical health problems as well as opening the door to addiction.

Dangers of Butane

Butane is a chemical that most people know as lighter fluid. As butane is used in the creation of BHO, the butane chemical can get trapped within the oil, this means that a user can be smoking dangerously high levels of THC but also trapped butane gas as well!

Inhaling butane can cause problems like:

  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Blackouts
  • Heart attack
  • Sudden sniffing death

If you believe a loved one is suffering from BHO abuse, or you yourself need help, please contact us on

What does Butane Extraction (BHO Extraction) mean?

Butane extraction, sometimes referred to as butane hash oil extraction (BHO extraction), is a popular method of extracting the valuable compounds from the cannabis plant to essentially create a cannabis concentrate. The end result is known as butane hash oil (BHO), which is what is used to make up man other forms of consumable cannabis concentrates, like shatter, wax, honey oil, nug run, and so on.

Butane extraction is a form of hydrocarbon extraction, which is the process of using a hydrocarbon like butane or propane as the solvent to extract cannabis concentrates.

Among the many extraction methods processors are now using, BHO extraction remains popular because of its low-cost and effectiveness. It can be done at home without any fancy machinery.

MaximumYield explains Butane Extraction (BHO Extraction)

To extract cannabis compounds from the plant, a solvent is typically used. In addition to butane extraction methods, other types of cannabis extraction include CO2 extraction, alcohol extraction, and dry sieving extraction. There is also what is known as the ‘rosin’ technique that is becoming popular.

For the butane extraction method, the user first tightly packs a glass cylinder with marijuana. At one end of the glass tube, a screen ensures plant material does not fall out. This screened end is held over another glass receptacle. Next, a butane torch is held or affixed to the opposite end of the glass tube, and butane is blown into the tube. The heated cannabis plant material will eventually release its oils and resins, which are collected in the additional container.

Before consumption, the oils and resins must be cleared (purged) of the butane solvent. To do so, the solution is simply heated in hot water (almost boiling). Butane bubbles form in the oil and eventually pop, releasing gas into the atmosphere. The final result is considered by many to be a clean, solvent-free product safe for consumption. However, some people will argue that any residual solvent left in the concentrate is unacceptable.

It is typically argued that BHO products are harsher on the lungs, even when a vaporizer is used.

BHO extraction: step-by-step guide

  1. First, gather your supplies: at least a quarter ounce of pot, a grinder, at least two canisters of liquid butane, a Pyrex glass dish, a double boiler, razor blades, parchment paper, and a “BHO extractor” (a length of PVC piping, capped at both ends, with a single hole at the top and several holes at the bottom). A paper filter is placed inside the bottom cap.
  2. Grind up the desired amount of weed. Use a fine grind, but don’t turn your pot into powder. If you’ve never done a BHO extraction, you might want to start with a quarter ounce.
  3. Next, put the weed inside your butane extraction tube. Shake the extractor lightly to settle the pot but don’t pack it. You want the butane to saturate every bit of marijuana, so it needs to be fairly loose inside the tube.
  4. Now insert the nozzle of a butane canister into the single hole at the top of the BHO extractor. Spray butane into the canister. A greenish-brown resin will ooze through the filter at the bottom of the extractor. Let this drop into the glass dish.
  5. Fill the bottom of the double boiler with water and bring it to a boil. Then place the Pyrex dish on the top part of the boiler. Leave the water at a boil for at least an hour until all the liquid butane has boiled off. You’ll know this part of the BHO extraction process is done when there are no more bubbles in the remaining resin.
  6. Next, scrape the sticky resin from the dish using razor blades. Transfer the oil to small pieces of parchment paper, then fold those pieces with the oil inside. This is your final product, butane hash oil.
  7. Lastly, let the oil cool and then, when it’s hard, move it to a non-stick storage container.

And there you have it: Those are the steps to THC extraction. Done right, you can produce hash oil that delivers a powerful, long-lasting high. Enjoy, but above all – be safe!

How to maximize BHO yeld

Everyone who uses butane as a solvent is already a leg-up over other solvents, which can produce smaller and lower-quality yields. Butane is one of the highest-yielding solvents, but there are some factors to consider when trying to maximize your yield.

Homemade BHO extracts won’t be nearly as refined as commercially-available products that have been rigorously tested for purity and potency. However, despite the limitations, home-based BHO extraction can produce a decent yield.

The size and quality of your BHO tools (Pyrex glass dish, butane canister, double boiler, PVC piping) will determine how much and how fast you produce your concentrates. Small-batch production, however, is ideal for home projects, as it allows you to reduce the amount of explosive gas used.

While more BHO is certainly better, you want to start off using the best quality cannabis flower or trim, where the majority of the cannabis resin is concentrated. Some extractors tout the benefits of using flowers frozen at their peak ripeness to reap more of its aroma and flavor.

Lastly, experience is crucial in producing dank and sticky extracts. Lab-grade equipment is built with safety in mind. Amateur extraction requires focus and precision to avoid a deadly consequence.

Extractors must be knowledgeable about purging the residual solvent from the BHO extract. Managing temperatures throughout the process can ensure you hold onto as many cannabinoids and terpenes as you can while removing all of the harmful butane.

Butane extraction tips

Tip #1: Grind your weed wisely.

You don’t want your weed too finely ground to the point that you can taste a harsh, bitter and grassy flavor in the end product. Master extractors recommend grinding your weed the same consistency you would grind it for a joint to take the right amount of space in your pipe.

Tip #2: Don’t overpack your bud

Cramming your weed into your column or packing it too loosely can lead to an uneven soak of the product. Instead, pack your pipe until you feel a bit of resistance and the material springs back up at you.

Tip #3: Check for leaks

Leaks are bad. Real bad. An easy way to check for leaks inside your column is by using a solution of water and soap instead of butane. Spray the water directly into your column and check for bubbles where they’re not supposed to be. It could save your life.

Tip #4: Color is everything

Cannabis resin can run through the end filter as a translucent yellow color in the beginning. When the material passing through has a clear hue, it’s time to stop pumping the solvent into the column.

Tip #5: Use cold temperatures to your advantage

Trap the bud’s moisture by freezing it to prevent the water acting as a solvent for water-soluble substances, which can pull out more of the undesirable chlorophyll compounds that can make your extract taste bad.

hy you should vacuum purge your BHO

Extract manufacturers and home concentrate enthusiasts work tirelessly to make the perfect batch of BHO. The BHO method is fraught with flammable materials and hazardous processes, but the single most dangerous part about crafting pure BHO has to be the BHO vacuum purging process.

Once the raw cannabis material has been blasted with butane, extractors do as much as they can to evaporate off the butane gas still trapped in the BHO extract. Excessive butane can ruin a batch’s flavor and potency, not to mention the harm is can cause to your lungs.

What is a vacuum purge?

Ancient and solventless extraction methods of removing trichomes from the cannabis plant don’t require an extensive vacuum purge. Hashish often contained some leftover organic plant matter because trichomes were manually shaken off the plant without the need for chemical solvents.

Modern extraction systems blast chemical solvents through fresh cannabis buds. A vacuum purge removes impurities and solvents from the extract. BHO vacuum purging requires a vacuum purge chamber and a vacuum to heat the extract at less than atmospheric pressure. Under these conditions, butane gas trapped in the product is released into the air.

When atmospheric pressure is lowered, compounds can boil at a lower temperature. Lower temp vacuum purges are crucial when you need to boil off butane without degrading the cannabinoids and terpenes.

What are the benefits of vacuum purging?

We’ve all heard about the dangers of home butane extraction, but one hidden danger that isn’t discussed as sensationally is the impurities left behind by butane solvents. Butane can leave behind olfactory agents like mercaptans or sulfur dioxide used for the detection of gas leaks.

Each BHO manufacturer employs its own process and workflow. Not all extracts undergo proper vacuum purging, however. While it’s nearly impossible to completely remove a solvent from a concentrate, exhaustive vacuum purging can produce a pure and flavorful BHO extract.

What equipment is needed for a vacuum purge?

In order to perform a vacuum purge, some hobbyists purge BHO using a water method that combines the extracted BHO into a dish with hot water. The heat from the water purges the butane and a vacuum pump is used to complete the process.

Depending on the size of your batch and type of extract you’re creating, you’ll need different equipment. The type of equipment you choose will determine how long the vacuum purging process will take and the temperatures needed to purge.

A vacuum purge can be accomplished with a vacuum, a vacuum purge chamber, and a hose attachment. You can make your own vacuum purge set-up if you have the mechanical wherewithal or you can also buy pre-made vacuum purging kits.

Many entry-level vacuum purging chambers can achieve low pressures, around -27inHG, which can be ideal for small batches, but may be a time-intensive process. Vacuum purging pressures should be as close to -29.92inHG as possible to create a complete vacuum.

How to perform a vacuum purge

State-of-the-art vacuum purging technology produces just the right amount of pressure to safely remove butane without damaging the therapeutic compounds in the concentrate. Vacuum purges will need to be performed multiple times until you’re left with a great-looking BHO that has a thick and viscous consistency.

Vacuum purges can be a dangerous affair. It’s important to perform a purge by a window or in an open area to reduce the chance of an explosion. One spark or a wrong piece of clothing can set the operation on fire. Extraction facilities use closed-loop systems, gas detection systems, and ventilation systems to protect its workers and extract BHO efficiently.

Despite the controversy surrounding BHO and the BHO method, the resulting dabs and shatter can make a full-spectrum concentrate full of cannabinoids and terpenes. Vacuum purging is essential to producing safe, pure, and tasty BHO shatter, dabs, wax, budder, and more every time.

Different Forms of Butane Hash Oil (BHO)

BHO and cannabis concentrate come in many forms. Some of these include wax, shatter, sap, budder, crumble, Holy Water, comb whip, etc. The list goes on and on.

The most common distinguishing factor is consistency, and often the name of the form will reflect its physical state. These differences in texture are produced depending on humidity, heat, and whipping. We’ll show you what we mean:


Wax possesses a nice consistency for dabbing due to its reliable form. It won’t crumble when you pick up a portion but can also become liquid if held for too long. Wax is ideal for those who are quick to put their concentrate into a dab rig.


Shatter has a glassy, smooth texture and the hardest consistency of all cannabis concentrates. BHO shatter contains the highest THC percentages, with some having over 90%. However, generally speaking, most contain 80-90%. The only way to inhale this concentrate is with a specialized dab rig.


Like shatter, budder is another incredibly potent cannabis concentrate. Budder tends to be even purer and rarely possesses a THC content lower than 80%. Some products contain up to 99% THC. The term budder comes from this concentrate’s butter-like consistency.


Crumble is drier than budder, much like feta cheese, and tends to fall apart when scooped up. For this reason, it isn’t great for dabbing because lots of its tiny particles go to waste.


Slightly thicker than liquid, oils are the softest form of BHO, and for this reason, they generally aren’t dabbed. Instead, consumers usually opt for vaping a cartridge pre-packed with oil placed in a vape pen or similar device. Oils aren’t as potent as some other forms of marijuana concentrate.


Sap has a thicker texture than oil. Picture tree sap, and you’ll have a good idea of cannabis sap’s texture. Cannabis sap is often more potent than oil but poses a bit of a dabbing challenge. Be very careful when adding this substance to your dab rig, as it is easy to waste.

Holy Water BHO

Like other BHOs, Holy Water goes through extraction and purging phases. At present, we are unable to outline the precise manufacturing process as it remains an industry secret. What we know is that Holy Water BHO is not taken from fresh-frozen plant matter.

Whatever the method, it produces a distinctive liquid consistency that is runnier than sap but not quite the same as oil. Also, Holy Water BHO has an extremely high level of terpenes. Up to 20% of this form of BHO’s dry weight is comprised of terpenes.


Butane hash oil is an incredibly potent form of cannabis concentrate. BHO is extracted from the cannabis plant by using liquid butane as a solvent. BHO comes in different consistencies, such as shatter, sap, and budder, among others.

Please note that cannabis concentrates contain exceptionally high THC levels. Therefore, they are entirely unsuitable for cannabis newbies to consume. Even seasoned users need to exercise caution as some concentrates can contain over 90% THC.

Even seasoned users need to exercise caution as some concentrates can contain over 90% THC.

Finally, as mentioned above, please resist any temptation to try and produce your own DIY BHO. Remember, butane is a highly flammable gas. People have been killed or suffered horrific burns attempting to make BHO at home. Stay safe and enjoy BHO responsibly.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Ava Grace

    BHO wax is really, really strong. I am dabbing since the last two years, and so have developed a good tolerance for all this stuff. However, if I still want to experience that out of the world high, I use this BHO wax.

  2. GhostTheSmoke

    So i recently started running my own BHO. and for the most part i am getting only 1.5-2 gs per half. From what I’ve heard and seen others do i should be getting around a 20% return (~2.8 gs) and i am wondering what i could do to increase my errl return?

    1. Dafoodmaster

      You need to provide info on your technique in order to get responses.

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