With a fast growing cannabis industry, we can certainly get lost in terminology. Not to mention, the cannabis industry comes up with some whacky names for their strains and products and methods. We love abbreviations!
BHO is nothing new. In fact, it is said to have been around since the mid 70’s yet only gained popularity over the past few years. The latest surge in demand for extracts brought this retro concept back into the minds of modern stoners. So to help you demystify cannabis terminology and methods, we have created this in-depth review on ‘What is BHO’, how to use it and whether it’s safe or not.
So what is BHO?
As mentioned, the cannabis community loves their abbreviations. Simply put, BHO or Butane Hash Oil is concentrated extracts of the cannabinoids within the flower using butane as a solvent. Most people refer to this as ‘Honey’ since it looks very similar to actual honey.
The safety of the extract relies entirely on the producer. If someone doesn’t manage to clear the solvent entirely from the end result, you could be left with butane residue and for obvious reasons, this is not healthy. In addition, ignorance in the process can also provide a whole lot of ‘other dangers’ such as combustion since butane is highly volatile.
We’re not going to delve into the details of making BHO within this article but rather explore the ‘safety profile’ of the substance. The reason I don’t want to jump into the details of making BHO is because some moron on the internet is going to be like, “I can do that!” and then blow up his/her house and wind up on the news featured as a “reefer scare”.
We already have cops calling “BHO as bad as heroin” trying to dupe the public into believing that this “new menace” is the result of cannabis legalization. We don’t need inexperienced stoners doing potentially dangerous shit to help further the agenda of prohibition.
So let’s forget about making BHO right now, and let’s look at the safety profile of BHO.
How Safe is BHO?
If done properly by experts, BHO is ‘healthier’ than smoking flower. This is because you eliminate any plant matter from the equation. As we all know (or at least should know), smoking anything isn’t really ‘good’ for you. Not because of ‘what you are smoking’ but rather because ‘smoke’ harms our organism. Sure, cannabis smoke is far less toxic to human beings than cigarette smoke, however there is still some irritation being done to the organism.
With BHO, we don’t have any plant matter at all, meaning there is no “combustion” and there is no smoke. All in all, this is a far more healthy way of consuming cannabis. This, of course, if you have purified the mixture. If we do have a lot of Butane residue, that can be a factor in relation to health. Inhaling Butane is DEFINITELY not something we should be inhaling, despite the fact that the vast majority of stoners already do so on a daily basis.
You might be thinking, “I don’t inhale butane!” as you hit your pipe. Well, the lighter you are using contains butane and the vapor generated from the butane is also being inhaled with your toke, so yes, you do inhale butane essentially on a daily basis.
However, improperly purified BHO will deliver higher concentrations of butane, which obviously is NOT healthy. This is why it’s very important that you know the ‘source of your BHO’ to ensure that you are actually consuming a purified blend.
All in all, properly purified BHO is actually healthier for you than smoking flower. With higher concentrations of cannabinoids, terpenes and so forth, it can also act as a more potent form of Medical Marijuana.
How do you consume BHO?
You can’t just put BHO in a pipe and light it on fire. Well, you can, but you’d be wasting it. Rather, we use special vaporizers made to handle wax or extracts. Or if you want to get all rugged on us, you can use a blowtorch and a special adapter you place on the edge of your bong. By heating, typically a titanium ‘platform’, you use a ‘nail’ (a small titanium poker) with a ‘dab’ on it, and place it against the heated platform. This will instantly vaporize the BHO allowing you to inhale it.
Doing it this way will get you super stoned! I mean, newbies have passed out. Don’t worry, you can’t die from BHO through overdose, but you can definitely ‘lose your shit’ for a few hours.
I prefer to consume my wax with my ‘Wulf’. Essentially it’s an adapter you buy to put on an e-cigarette battery. Simply place the desired amount of BHO in the head, press go, and it slowly heats up the element. This allows you to take it chill and enjoy the wax more. In fact, doing this won’t get you totally “zonked” but it will get you functionally high.
In addition, since I switched exclusively to consuming my cannabis like this, it takes me about 1-2 months to consume 5 grams of extracts. This in turn allowed me to spend less on weed in general.
The Sticky Bottom Line on BHO
In conclusion, BHO is safe if done properly and is not a ‘new menace’ as some law enforcement agencies would like you to believe. It’s been around for decades!
Be sure to find properly purified BHO in order to eliminate the butane from the equation. You will definitely know if it hasn’t been properly flushed.
Don’t consume the BHO like a madman, especially if it’s your first time. Take it easy, get use to it and enjoy the high. Personally, I prefer extracts as its much more clear headed than other forms of consuming with less smoke. No smelly fingers and very ‘transportable’ meaning that you can consume this in public spaces if you’re careful. For the love of Ganja do not try to smoke in public places! I’m just saying, if you do, you’re a lot less likely to get caught. But still, don’t be a moron and consume responsibly.