What is BHO? How it is made and purged well

Reading Time 7 minutes


BHO Texture Image
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*
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.



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✅ 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*.
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.


BHO Vacuum Purge Kit


BHO Vacuum Purge 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…

This kit consists of:
1-200mm methacrylate desiccator chamber.
2-Vacuum pump 6 CFM.
3-Connector tube.

More information about
BHO Vacuum Purge Kit


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*
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.🤗😜


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Fran Quesada Moya
Fran Quesada Moya

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