closeup of cannabis concentrate

Butane Hash Oil or BHO Extraction – Things you need to know Pt. 2

Smoking BHO is much better than smoking the raw marijuana plant itself. Yet there are still significant side effects of Butane Hash Oil…

For all the potential medical benefits of hash oil, this medication should not be taken in large quantities – and never without consulting your doctor first.

Here are some of the most important hash oil effects and side effects you need to know:

What is BHO (Butane Hash Oil)?

Without going over the same ground as part 1 of this series on BHO extraction, it’s worth noting that Butane Hash Oil is a type of cannabis concentrate.

Cannabis concentrates can be created using a number of solvents, such as CO2 or propane. Butane Hash Oils are concentrates which have been produced using butane as a solvent. The sheer variety of different methods which can be used to create concentrates, and the range of final appearances which may result from them, lead to a large number of names and slang terms.

BHO is often referred to as: ‘Tane, Budder, Dabs, Glass, Whip, Honey, honeycomb, comb or honey toast, Liquid THC, Shatter, Wax

Let’s take a little look at the difference between the final two in this list of names for BHO – shatter and wax…

BHO – shatter and wax

The method used to create shatter and wax is largely the same. The technique is described in detail in the first article in this series. If you need to know more, head on over and check it out now.

In short, here is how BHO extraction works:

  1. Extraction: an extraction tube is tightly packed with cannabis plant material and soaked with butane.
  2. Evaporation and purging: the golden-colored liquid created by this process is then heated to purge the butane which is present.
  3. Creation: what should be left is a mixture of the cannabinoids (THC in the case of BHO) and terpenes from the original plant. The concentration should be greater than 80% THC, though better methods can achieve a 90% or even 99% concentration.

The only difference in the process which leads to the material becoming “shatter” or “wax” is in what happens afterwards:

BHO Shatter

Shatter looks like a sheet of colored, translucent glass. It is incredibly brittle, which makes it easy to – you guessed it – break or shatter. To create shatter instead of wax, the purged material is simply left to rest on a flat surface.


Wax, you won’t be surprised to discover, resembles soft candle wax or ear wax. To make wax instead of shatter, the purged material is mixed, whipped or stirred during different parts of the production process and then purged at a higher temperature. This results in partial crystallization of the cannabinoids.

cannabis closeup

Is hash oil legal?

Hash oil comes in various types. CBD oil (the primary ingredient in which is cannabidiol) and THC oil (which is primarily tetrahydrocannabinol) are two of the most common. Whether hash oil is illegal will depend on the type you want to buy. For instance:

    1. Several varieties of medicinal-grade CBD oil have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of certain types of epilepsy. This part of the cannabis plant is currently being tested to investigate numerous other beneficial medical applications. It is not illegal on the federal level – indeed, some states only allow CBD oil use. You can often buy it online, but make sure you are getting a high-quality product from a licensed producer.

THC oil tends to be more heavily regulated as THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects of the cannabis plant. But THC oil is also being tested for potential beneficial medical applications. At the present time, buying THC oil online tends to be illegal. On the other hand, all oils made from hemp rather than cannabis tend to be legal to buy as hemp contains far smaller quantities of THC.

In general, if you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal, you may be able to buy hash oil from a licensed dispensary. For instance, in Arizona, as of May 2019, all cannabis concentrates are covered by the state’s medical marijuana laws. You may need some form of identification in order to make your purchase. Using Arizona as an example again, you will need your state-approved medical marijuana card to buy medical cannabis in the state.

Hash oil benefits

There are at least two major benefits of hash oil as opposed to smoking the raw form of the cannabis plant:

1) Very few contaminants

Unlike the raw plant material, cannabis concentrates contain very few contaminants. This means that smoking BHO will be less unhealthy than smoking the raw plant.

2) Beneficial chemicals are concentrated

Medical marijuana is prescribed for a large range of medical conditions. One of the main reasons why hash oils are becoming so popular is that they contain far higher concentrations of the medically beneficial parts of the cannabis plant. This is opposed to the essentially random concentrations found within the raw plant material.

You should always check the concentration of the oil you buy. You’ll want to aim for as high as possible – always over 80%, with 90% or 99% being possible and, obviously, better.

Butane hash oil side effects

That said, butane hash oil has side effects. These may include:

Nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps

Extreme fatigue or sleepiness

Increases in appetite and subsequent weight gain

Depression, anxiety and panic attacks

Loss of coordination and reduced decision-making ability, possibly leading to accidents

Higher blood pressure

Uneven respiration

For people who make too much use of this kind of medication, there may be further issues.
Some of these can even persist after the individual has stopped using the oil:

Apathy, poor motivation and increased risk of development of psychosis

Lowered resistance to common illnesses like the cold

Reduced sexual function

Breathing problems

Mood changes

Growth issues if taken during adolescence

Should I try it? Is it safe?

You should always talk to your doctor if you are considering using medical marijuana.

In states like Arizona, you will need their permission and recommendation in order to do so in any case, so that’s an easy thing to cross off your list at the same time.

Hash oil has many potential benefits and it may offer you relief from a wide range of conditions if you use oil which is of a medical grade.

But it also has several possible side effects which you shouldn’t ignore.

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