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What is BHO? How it is made and purged well

BHO Texture Image

BHO stands for Butane Hash Oil, which means something like “hash oil made from butane“. For therapeutic users it represents one of the most effective forms of cannabis use, but critics claim that it is a hard drug because of its high levels of cannabinoids. What is it about this extract that leaves no one indifferent? 🤔 In this article you will find out…👉

🧐 What is BHO?

It is a cannabis extraction made with a solvent, in this case butane, which dissolves the resin contained in the cannabis, dragging with the gas the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, lipids, waxes and other components of the plant.

The outcome achieved with BHO technique is higher than using other mechanical sorting methods, such as Kief or dry hash, Bubble hash and even Rosin technique. But not everything is an advantage in BHO process, it has some disadvantages such as the purging of the gas that other methods do not need and, especially, for the danger of working with this highly flammable solventFor these reasons we decided to create an article that properly explains the steps to follow to achieve a quality BHO but minimizing the risks, something we would certainly appreciate having for ourselves instead of spending so much time experimenting.

Image of Shatter type BHO perfectly purged*

🔥 What do you need to make it?

  1. Fresh or dried cannabis
  2. Open extractor tube or closed circuit
  3. Refined butane gas
  4. Pyrex or silicone tray
  5. Tube filters
  6. Oven or vacuum chamber
  7. Vacuum pump

The first thing we need to be clear about is safety, you must think we’re making some kind of gas bomb. You have to work in an open or very ventilated place so that butane does not accumulate, and not to have near any source of heat or objects that can create a spark, not even one of static energy, cause we already know of a case that ended up badly.

✅ How to make BHO?

  1. We fill the tube with the cannabis (not too tightly)
  2. We place a filter at the bottom of the tube (where BHO comes out)
  3. We close the tube making sure it is properly closed
  4. We uncover the butane, insert the pump in the upper hole of the tube and place the tray below where the BHO will fall
  5. We press with the butane on the tube so that the gas comes out and goes down inside the extractor until it falls into the tray (It may take a while)
  6. We keep pressing until we see the transparent gas coming out of the bottom of the tube (at first it comes out dark because of the resin, but when it’s extracted everything becomes clear, and depending on the size of the tube and the amount of weed it may need less than one or several bottles of butane)
  7. We let the gas from BHO evaporate in the tray at room temperature for about 5 minutes, and it is ready for the purge phase.

Photograph of the BHO discharge into a borosilicate tube*.

🎯 What is BHO purging?

Extraction of BHO has several important phases, but the purging phase is critical, as it will determine the quality of our cannabis concentrate. This is the process in which BHO loses the gas residues it contains, by applying temperature and/or vacuum pressure.

This part is kind of tricky, as finding balance between a well-purged extract but one that contains the maximum amount of terpenes is difficult. This is because terpenes are very volatile, especially when exposed to a certain temperature, which is precisely what we need to extract the gas from the BHO. For this purpose, the vacuum pressure is very helpful, because with its help we will need less heat during the process.

However, best results are achieved by performing a slow purging, at low temperature and with quite a lot of vacuum. It is not possible to say exactly how long a sample needs to be purged because many factors play a role, and every BHO is different. But a standard purge would be about 100 hours of vacuum with a 10 CFM pump and applying a constant temperature of about 96.8º F (36º C).

Purging with too much temperature will result in a tasteless BHO or one with a neutral taste, since it will have lost most of its nuances. But the other way around can be even worse, because if we don’t purge enough our extraction can contain gas which, apart from ruining the flavor, is toxic.

👾 How to purge it?

A vacuum oven is the best option for removing butane from BHO, as it maintains temperature and pressure constantly better than other methods. In this case, simply set the oven to 96.8º F (36 °C) and connect its vacuum pump for about 100 hours. (The pump can be connected to a timer so that it is switched on for 5 minutes every hour).

The problem is that many people cannot afford to buy an oven like this, so we will explain other ways of cleaning up the gas residue left after BHO oil is extracted.

One way to simulate these ovens is with a hot plate and a methacrylate dehydrator, connected to a vacuum pump. And the most economical and safest way to purge the BHO is with this complete kit.

This BHO purge kit will help you in the second part of the oil extraction. Previously you had to introduce the herb in the extractor tube and with the gas you had to extract the cannabinoids from the flowers in the form of a golden oil of resinous texture…

BHO purging to bain-marie

If you can’t afford to invest money in tools, you have to find a way to at least apply heat, for example to the bain-marie. The point is that the BHO must be heated to expel the gas it contains.

A thermometer will help you calculate the temperature of the water, I recommend that it does not exceed about 122º F (50º C) degrees, you can pour it into a large tray, and inside place the tray containing the BHO. We leave it until the water cools down and we will have to repeat the process 2 or 3 times to get our concentrate clean.

⛳ How to use BHO

Once we have cleaned our gas extraction, the best moment of the process has arrived and you have different options to choose from, such as smoking, eating or vaporizing the BHO. This is to the consumer’s preference, although it is true that to make a good medicinal use the best option is not to smoke, so in that case the ideal is to look for a good vaporizer for concentrates or to make edibles which is how you best use it but, if you are going to ingest it, remember to decarboxylate BHO.

The best thing to smoke is a BHO pipe, or an oiler or bubbler bong, where you can slowly consume the dabs. Slowly means at a low temperature, because many times we see how they heat up with the blowtorch until the borosilicate almost disappears and of course, the smoke enters your lungs at 500 degrees… That is not good, BHO dabs should always be heated at the lowest temperature, you can enjoy them more, they taste better and contain more properties.

You can also get a regular joint, mixing it with tobacco or making little “sticks” that you can put into the rolling paper. This is not ideal, removing trichomes from cannabis to add them to tobacco is one of the worst ways to use BHO, but it is also very common.

Photograph of a BHO joint and dab*

✨ Its effects

It is undoubtedly one of the most potent cannabis concentrates, reaching levels of over 80% THC. It’s not a beginner’s extraction, as it’s much stronger than others like Kief, and if you don’t have tolerance you can have a hard time. Imagine a person who smokes weed occasionally, one day he/she gets to try a BHO dab and in one puff he/she smokes the same amount that you would put in a whole joint… It is even dangerous and we are not kidding, BHO is a hard drug for some people, in fact so hard that Washington State (USA) is considering banning extractions with high THC concentrations.

Smoked directly into a pipe or bong, BHO hits you right away, straight to the brain, like a Tyson uppercut. The effect is much cleaner than when mixed with tobacco, but it must be said that the combustion eliminates a good part of the THC before it enters our body.

Vaporized is better used, and it’s also more enjoyable, as it is consumed more slowly and you better appreciate all the nuances. The same concentrate sample makes much more vaporized than smoked.

However, the best way of BHO therapeutic consumption is ingested, that’s why medicinal edibles have become so popular in the USA. When you eat this cannabic extraction you take advantage of 100% of the cannabinoids and the rest of the components extracted from the plant, although it takes much longer to take effect, don’t be in a hurry, good things come in handy.

👌 What is the best butane for making BHO?

Standard butane gas we use at home is not suitable for cannabis extraction. Butane is odourless, and for safety reasons they add a component to it, so that in cases of leakage we can perceive it. This component is toxic, so we should avoid using regular butane for our concentrates.

To make quality BHO we need butane gas as refined as possible, and fortunately there are more and more brands that manufacture it. In Europe, Colibri gas is the undeniable leader, although there are other butane brands such as Clipper, Vector or Dexso that also have many followers.

Brands use components such as I-butane (isobutane), propane, N-butane or Dimethyl Ether in different proportions. I-butane is more toxic but extracts more and N-butane is purer but harder to get.

We probably, if we had to choose, would choose the Colibri for the ratio between return and quality it offers, better than the others. But it depends on your needs, because medicinal users can use Dexso better, since it extracts more components from the plant. The Clipper one contains a higher proportion of N-butane, which results in less profit but more purity, excellent for some kinds of BHO terminations.

🚀 Conclusion

BHO is one of the best ways to use cannabis if it is done well, but the danger involved requires extreme safety measures. It is not a game, we know of cases of death by explosion during the extraction, so we emphasize being outdoors or in a very ventilated place for the process, and do a long-hour purge so as not to consume any gas.

In another article we will see different BHO finishes and how they are made, and if you liked this post we would appreciate it if you could share it, as it gives us motivation and can help spread the message.🤗😜

BHO is a cannabis concentrate that has become popular worldwide because of its potency – This article uncovers all its secrets – Discover them!

Vacuum Purging BHO

How to vacuum purge BHO?

BHO extractions are becoming more and more popular today. In this Blog, we have already seen different BHO extractors and explained their functioning and advantages and disadvantages when making marijuana oil.

In this post we will focus on how to purge the solvent from this appreciated liquid gold, which offers us new experiences and opens new horizons in the world of marijuana concentrates and their recreational and medicinal uses.

Once the BHO extraction (with purified butane gas) is done, we have to purge any remaining trace of butane present in the extract. First, we will make a light purge with a bain-marie (water bath). During this process, we can observe how a large number of bubbles are formed and then burst, releasing the gas retained. In this first purge we remove an important amount of gas from our BHO, but it is not enough to get a marijuana oil 100 % clean of impurities.

In these pictures you can see the steps followed before the vacuum purge, so you can see the state of the BHO after this first and important bleeding performed with bain-marie (water bath). Always purge the gas next to a window or directly in an open area.

BHO purge in a water bath at 35ºC

In the following picture, taken a few minutes later, we can see how almost all the gas used for the extraction has evaporated. However, the remaining resin concentrate still contains butane, so we must vacuum purge it to leave it completely free from impurities.

Most of the gas has evaporated, but the BHO still contains gas

At this point, we can pop the remaining bubbles with a dabber to release the maximum amount of gas contained in the extraction.

Bain-marie purge successfully performed

One of the easiest ways to know if the BHO still contains gas is, after the first water bath purge, taking some BHO with a dabber and approaching a flame to the oil (Warning: do not approach any flame or spark before or during the water bath purging process, and do not approach any flame to the Pyrex tray until all gas has been purged). If we see or hear small sparks coming from our BHO, then our extract still contains gas and must necessarily be vacuum purged to ensure a final product without any trace of gas. Vacuum purging is advised by all professionals in any extraction with solvent.

More examples of gas purge of BHO in water bath

First gas purge of the BHO

The gas slowly evaporates

The butane contained in our BHO extraction is almost completely evaporated

Bubbles releasing butane

To correctly vacuum purge our marijuana oil we need the vacuum extraction kit. Ours is composed of:

  • A Rothenberger vacuum pump
  • 2 Oil canisters for the maintenance of the vacuum pump
  • 1 Connecting pipe to connect the vacuum pump and the desiccating chamber
  • 1 Vacuum purge chamber with stopcock

Once we have all the necessary equipment ready, it’s time to set it up and start vacuum purging our BHO extractions.

The vacuum compressor for the BHO purge

Rothenberger pump for the vacuum extraction

This is an essential element to purge out the gas from our oil, since it is the power source that will generate the air suction in the vacuum chamber.

The Rothenberger vacuum pump has a final vacuum of up to 34 bar with a pumprating of 170 L/min (6 CFM). Motor rating is 3440 RPM with two-stage rotary vane pump to get greater efficiency. Oil capacity is 330 ml.

This vacuum pump has enough power to remove all small gas bubbles trapped in the marijuana oil in a very effective and fast way.

Technical features of the Rothenberger Roairvac 1.5:

  • Weight: 11.5 Kg
  • Final Vacuum: 34bar
  • Pumprating: 170 L/min – 6CFM
  • Voltage: 230v
  • Oil Tank: 330ml
  • Motor: 2-stage rotary vane pump
  • Motor rating: 3440 rpm
  • Standard Connector SAE 1/4″
  • Compatible Connectors: 5/6″ – 3/8″

Vacuum connecting pipe

Connecting pipe for vacuum purging BHO

This connection tube is another of the three elements necessary to perform the vacuum purge. It’s composed of a rigid body coated with a protective plastic layer. This tube features high pressure resistance during the vacuum process, without getting blocked by the suction power generated by the pump.

It’s important to emphasize that this tube must be specifically designed for the use with vacuum, otherwise it’s possible that it bends or twists without properly performing the vacuum extraction.

At both ends, we find two adapters with a screw to connect the pump with the vacuum chamber without air leaks for a rapid and effective purge.

Vacuum purging chamber with stopcock

Acrylic vacuum chamber for BHO

This is the third indispensable element to purge our BHO. This acrylic vacuum chamber has a stopcock and great resistance to implosion. This tool is composed of two semi-spheres, being one of them the base and the other one the lid with the stopcock, which should be open to allow the vacuum process. Inside the lower, inner semi-sphere, we find a support plate where we have to place the BHO that we want to purge.

How to vacuum purge a BHO extraction

We have all the necessary equipment to purge the BHO that we have obtained with an extractor, an unbleached coffee filter, gas free of impurities and of course, the high grade raw material: buds full of large resin glands.

The first step is to connect the required equipment. The ideal is taking advantage of the liquid state of the BHO after the first purge – performed with bain-marie – to ease the removal of the gas bubbles that are trapped inside the oil. The more solid the oil, the harder will be to remove the impurities contained in the concentrated cannabis resin.

Collecting the BHO with a spatula

BHO before the vacuum purge

We recommend using low temperatures – around 35ºC – for the first purge (water bath) to remove the maximum possible amount of butane without affecting the organoleptic properties of the oil, since aromatic terpenes evaporate faster as temperatures rise.

Once all devices are ready to use, put the BHO on a baking paper or silicone pad inside the vacuum chamber. Now, and after checking that all components are correctly connected, we can turn on the vacuum pump.

The pointer of the barometer will always mark the pressure inside the vacuum chamber; when it reaches zero, the vacuum is created and the BHO starts purging.

BHO purging inside the vacuum chamber

After reaching the vacuum phase we can see almost immediately how the oil slowly transforms its appearance, developing craters caused by the emergence of bubbles created from the pressure of the compressor. These bubbles will burst and crystallize simultaneously during all the vacuum process taking form of a crystallized sponge, with an exponential increase of its volume.

At the time that we stop the vacuum we can observe how the appearance of crystallized sponge decreases and returns to its initial state, but being less fluid than before starting to purge.

We should repeat this process approximately 4 times (or more) for about 10 to 20 minutes, always remembering that this period of time can vary depending on different factors, such as the amount of butane present in the BHO after the first water bath, the amount of BHO to purge or the room temperature (the lower the temperature, the more difficult to remove the bubbles).

As we have no way to know the exact period of time required to completely remove all butane, we must use as reference the BHO itself. When its appearance doesn’t change at all and it stays in the form of a crystallized sponge even under vacuum, we have successfully performed the purging process and we can proceed to consume or store our oil.

BHO after the vacuum process

The BHO obtained can have different shapes and textures. If it looks like a compacted volcanic rock we can save it as is because it doesn’t contain humidity and can be stored for a long time. On the other hand, if it remains in the form of a crystallized sponge, we can compact it and give it a round shape to store it easier in nontoxic and non-adherent silicone containers or in an essence jar with protection against UVA rays, so it can be consumed when you want.

Compacted BHO after the vacuum purge

BHO without butane traces

Other samples and forms of BHO

Different strains/techniques produce different types of BHO

It is important to highlight and remember that during a BHO extractions we are using butane gas, and we must be extremely careful when we deal with any volatile product that can be set on fire with a simple spark produced by a lighter, by the brushing of one metal with another metal, by heat sources, electronic devices, certain types of clothes, etc.

Remember that performing these extractions in an open place, preventing any butane accumulation, is absolutely essential. We also want you to remember that gas is heavier than air, so it will always stay below air and can settle on the floor if you don’t take the above mentioned precautions. You should always avoid basements since that the gas can be accumulated and explode.

So, if you enjoy making and using your BHO, always take extreme care during the process !

In this post we show you the necessary equipment to vacuum purge a BHO extraction. In this way, with the help of a vacuum pump and its accessories we ]]>