The use of BHO extractors and their resulting concentrates have increased in popularity. One of the biggest reasons for this is that they changeable and can, therefore, be used in a variety of ways. Additionally, and probably just as important is that they have amazing medicating properties. Furthermore, with the right equipment and know-how, you can make them at home.
For safety purposes, closed loop butane extractors are your best choice. These machines are big, airtight and made of stainless steel and therefore keep explosions and fires to a minimum. They also allow you to reuse the butane because it does not escape into the air. The main purpose of these extractors is to contain liquid solvents, as well as the pressures necessary to extract certain plant material.
Once the extraction is complete and the solvents have been evaporated off, the process is not complete. In order to finish it and remove any remaining solvent, the process is known as “purging” must be completed. Purging is done by putting your concentrate into an airtight chamber or vacuum oven. The air then needs to be pulled away then with a vacuum pump and thus ridding the concentrate of any leftover solvents trapped in it.
The temperature difference is what is believed to cause the different consistencies to occur. The most popular consistencies are known as shatter, wax, and honey. Shatter is created when purging is done at temperatures between 115 f – 120f. When you purge at temperatures between 120f – 140f, you get wax. This is also when the extractions begin to crystallize. Honey is the result of purging at the highest temperatures, between 140f – 190f.
The results can then be added to edibles, drinks, used as a topical solution or dabbed. Dabs are defined as a way of vaporizing the concentrate through contact with a hot surface. Most often this surface is a nail or glass rod that has been heated beforehand with a handheld torch. Once it is vaporized, it is inhaled.
Since all of these products are a concentrated cannabis product, they provide a faster and more efficient delivery of THC into the body. Translation, you get higher faster. Additionally, the concentrate can have up to 90 percent of pure THC. This is in comparison to the type that is traditionally smoked which usually hovers at the 25% mark. Therefore, less product is used to get a stronger, better high.
Just be aware that the concentrates made through the use of a butane extractor will have some level of contaminants and impurities. Therefore, you need to follow the directions when making your own. If you are purchasing shatter, wax, or honey from a supplier, be sure to ask if it has been tested in an independent lab so that you know what the levels are in the product. While low levels have not been shown to cause problems, additional studies are needed to know the impact over time. However, for most, the benefits outweigh the risks, especially when it comes to chronic pain.