Newcomers trying to quickly comprehend the world of cannabis sometimes get stuck on the difference between the plant and the other forms.
The buds of marijuana plants are commonly sold as flower, which can be smoked or used as an ingredient in food. Growers can also extract oils and other substances from the plants to make material that’s more potent.
A variety of products can be made from cannabis concentrates, however, the more advanced the methods, the more it should be left to professionals – the process can involve high pressure and a high risk of explosion, along with precise blends of ingredients.
One of the more common extracts is Butane Hash Oil, commonly known as BHO. Depending on its form, texture and composition, it can be known as wax, shatter, oil and live resin.
• Wax (also called budder, crumble, flake or cake batter, depending on texture) has a moist, creamy, buttery composition that is usually light or dark yellow.
• Shatter is a crystalline structure and looks like a sheet of glass. This substance can be broken down into smaller pieces and is usually amber in color.
• Oil is the messiest of the consistencies and difficult to store and handle. It can be used for vaping with a vaporizer or vape pen.
• Live resin has a ‘sugar’ consistency and is easy to work with, however, it is usually the most expensive because it uses fresh flowers that aren’t cured or dried.
The extraction process separates the plant material and essential oils. The percentage of THC in BHO can be between 60-90 percent, whereas marijuana flowers naturally have a range between 8-20 percent.
This specific concentrate requires blasting the plant with butane at high pressure, freezing the mixture, then straining the liquid product in order to boil it until the butane evaporates from the mixture. You are then left with the oil, wax, shatter or other form.
Once the extract is created, it can be smoked, placed on the end of a cigarette, rolled into a joint, added to an edible or mixed into a topical solution.
Though BHO is common and considered safe because the butane is burned off, some in the industry avoid it due to fears of possible residual butane.