Cannabis concentrates and extracts give great benefits! The theory is more is better. Increased cannabinoids in concentrates and extracts mean more relief for medical users. For recreational smokers and tokers, the highs are often stratospheric!
Concentrates and extracts are created by removing oils from plants. The terms are often used interchangeably but are somewhat different. Concentrates are sometimes processed by mechanical pressing. Extracts are always made by separating the cannabinoids out using solvents. Then these extracts can be used to create concentrates.
There are a couple of ways to chemically isolate cannabinoids. Both methods have their plusses and minuses. One way is to make butane hash oil, commonly called BHO. This uses butane as a solvent. The other method utilizes carbon dioxide for extraction.
Once you separate out cannabis oil, it can be used to fill vaporizer cartridges. Or you can make wax solids. Waxes can be wax itself, obviously, or crumble, butter (also called budder), shatter, and live resin. Extracts can be tinctures or RSO.
Let’s delve deeper into the differences between the two extraction methods. Then we’ll discuss getting great deals on BHO and CO2 products.
BHO production utilizes butane. Butane is a liquid fuel or accelerant. It’s a byproduct of natural gas. Butane is easily obtained. Many stores carry it. After all, it is what makes lighters light and torches flame. If you’ve ever barbecued, you’ve likely used it on your charcoal to help the coals light and burn.
When processing cannabis, butane is first refrigerated so that it is cold. Then it must pass through plant matter to release trichomes. After that, the solvent is removed from the mix of plant and chemical agents. To do this, heat is applied to evaporate the solvent. Cooling then condenses the vapor back into a liquid. What’s left is BHO.
Manufacturers use processed BHO to make the varieties of concentrate we listed before. So, how then do you consume concentrates?
Dabbing is the most popular method to enjoy BHO. You just place shatter, wax, or whatever on the nail of a dab rig. A dab rig is a modified bong with a nail or banger instead of a bowl. The nail is preheated with a butane torch. The hot nail vaporizes the solid and then you breathe in the hot gas. Vape pens or other vape devices can also be used to smoke BHO. Further, a small piece of the wax can be placed in a pipe along with some leaf or rolled up in a joint.
That’s the skinny on butane as a solvent. What about CO2 extraction then? How is it different?
CO2 is carbon dioxide. It’s a gas that’s in our atmosphere. You exhale it when you breathe. Consequently, it’s everywhere.
In the extraction process, supercritical CO2 removes the trichomes from plants. This happens as temperature and pressure are adjusted to high levels. Supercritical means that the CO2 is balanced between its gas and liquid states. Specialized equipment is available to utilize CO2 in this manner. Inside these machines, fluid CO2 passes through the plant matter. This separates out the cannabinoids. Then in another chamber, the fluid becomes CO2 gas again. The gas is reusable time after time.
At the end of the procedure, the distilled cannabinoids are removed from the equipment. They can then be made into various concentrates just like with butane. The products made with CO2 are also smoked or dabbed in the same way.
CO2 extractors can be purchased online or at specialty stores. They can be expensive. If you want to make a lot of cannabis concentrates, it might be worth the financial investment.
So, which way should you go if you want to buy or make waxes?
Both BHO and CO2 processing will produce similar results. Which is preferable? That will depend upon your budget and your concern over working with butane. As mentioned before, butane and its fumes are flammable. That’s a danger that would be wise to keep in mind. Yet the startup cost for CO2 extraction is higher. These are things to think about when deciding which method is preferable.
There are methods, like pressing hash, that don’t use either of these methods. Hash is a concentrate made by compression of plant matter. That’s something else to consider.
Let’s delve into the differences between the two chemical extraction processes.
Soaking plant material in butane is a very popular method of creating concentrates. Wide availability means butane is fairly inexpensive. Therefore, products made with BHO tend to be less costly at dispensaries. And often you can get some good deals on BHO products – like here on Cannasaver!
With BHO you can get THC levels of up to 90%! Unlike other methods, like soaking in alcohol, there’s no residual plant matter.
There are downsides to using butane to extract cannabinoids. It’s really flammable. An accumulation of vapors could result in an explosion or fire. There is also concern about products containing leftover amounts of the chemical solvent. You don’t want to be sucking unnatural fumes into your lungs.
Those are the upsides and downsides of butane.
CO2 processing requires specialized equipment. That’s an investment of money at the get-go. However, CO2 is recyclable, so the cost over time does go down. Using specialized equipment does sometimes require learning about it or being trained.
CO2 leaves no residue in the final product.
When purchasing products made via either method, the biggest concern is residual butane. Some people prefer hemp wicks when lighting even a bowl of cannabis leaf. That's because of concern over butane fumes. Something to think about.
Before we go, let’s look at some super deals on concentrates made using both extraction processes.
Want to save some dough on BHO-made products? Check these deals out:
$12.95 WAX & SHATTER - MIX-N-MATCH at Pure Marijuana Dispensary
Robhots BOGO 50% OFF at Rocky Mountain High
1000mg Gummies Starting at $33 OTD at Spark Dispensary
And if you want to find deals on CO2 extraction products then take a look at these:
$17.95 for 1000mg Distillate Syringe at Pure Marijuana Dispensary
16 - 500mg Distillate Cartridges for only $175 at Pure Marijuana Dispensary
$10.95 for 500mg Distillate Cartridges at Pure Marijuana Dispensary
(Monday) - $25 CCC 500mg Distillate Cartridges at Organix