For many years the human race has been using plants for medicine. In fact evidence indicates that certain plants were specifically chosen and used for medicine around 60,000 years ago during the paleolithic era. Whether cannabis is your medicine or simply a way to relax and unwind it is difficult not to relate to the same values of Herbalism that our ancestors once would have.
Evidence currently shows that the Sumerians were the first to compile literature concerning beneficial herbs. More than 5,000 years later the science of Botany was born.
Originating in Western Asia, Hashish was once the crude collection of cannabinoid containing, thrichome gland heads, mixed with leaf matter. Although some fantastic traditional style hash’s are still available, in recent times the extraction of cannabinoids using solvents has become more favorable.
Dabs, shatter, budder, wax, errls and oil are just some of the names that you may have heard being used for the currently very popular BHO, or Butane Hash Oil/Butane Honey Oil.
Mostly golden, up to blonde in appearance and sticky through shatter in texture – BHO is usually consumed using a specialised “oil rig” or in a vape pen.
The process of extraction involves passing butane gas through the cannabis material, either good quality “sugar trim” or buds and collecting the dissolved cannabinoids in a container after filtering through a gauze/filter.
Because butane has a boiling point in the (-) minus end of the celsius scale, at room temperature it is in a gaseous state and so, evaporates. Leaving pure cannabis extract, although unrefined.
At this part of the process of making BHO, you may be very tempted to scrape it up out of your glass dish with a blade and spread it onto your parchment ready for smoking.
However at this stage the BHO will still contain butane and must be vacuum and heat purged to make it safe for consumption.
BHO has been slated on many American news channels, being labelled “the crack of cannabis” or “highly addictive and dangerous”.
Largely uneducated and misinformed slander, thus making it important to understand the science and allow logic to prevail.
Phyto-cannabinoids, the chemical compound found in the Cannabis plant are soluble in non-polar organic solvents. Like butane, lipids and alcohol can also be used. Although the extraction of cannabinoids using butane happens very quickly, with other compounds such as alcohol, unwanted compounds such as waxes may also be extracted.
The purpose of a plant extract is to benefit from the useful parts of the plant without having to consume large amounts and also without having to consume other chemicals unnecessarily in the process of burning raw plant matter.
Although, it is advised that you consume cannabis concentrates extremely carefully. Where as the flowers that you may be used to consuming could contain up to maybe 15% THC, cannabis concentrates contain a much higher percentage of active ingredient.
Cannabis isn’t for everyone. In some people THC can cause anxiety or panic attacks. When using concentrate it is important to start slowly and keep your blood sugar levels at a reasonable level.
“The Whitey”, or the assortment of uncomfortable feelings a person may feel when consuming too much cannabis too quickly, whilst allowing their blood sugar levels too fall too low, isn’t a pleasant experience but can be avoided totally using common sense.
Not all doom and gloom. Cannabis concentrates or extracts can hold fantastic terpene profiles and done properly, the flavor and effects can be beautiful. It certainly isn’t difficult to understand why the science and following is developing so quickly. Mainly in the USA. Although this year at the High Times Cannabis Cup, Amsterdam, many may well have seen the start of a European cannabis concentrate phenomenon.
Yours, The Sensible Cannabis Consumer