Butane hash oil, BHO (more commonly referred to as hash oil or dabs) has exploded across the cannabis community. Although its been used quite commonly for a long time, a monstrously significant jump in use has sparked a new wave of potheads, as well as, an entire new wave of business: people scrambling to get their hands on this sticky oil and clamoring to get new pipes to support them. Like all new endeavors, this brings a wave of support and protest, but more on that later.
BHO comes in many different forms from a incredibly sticky, waxy slab, to a hard almost candy-like substance referred to as “shatter” because of how fragile it is.
The glass and vaporization business has been seeing this a new opportunity to make new pipes as well as special vaporizers for different forms of oil. In almost any smoke shop now there are “Oil rigs,” glass pipes or water pipes used for smoking specifically oil. These pipes are becoming more sophisticated, as well as pieces of incredible artwork.
The E-cigarette or Vapor pen is making a killing off of the new wave of smokers; selling pens with different cartridges for oil, solids and dry chambers for smoking buds. The sophistication of these pens range from manufacturer to manufacturer. The higher end ones sell for around 150+ dollars and some low end ones for around $50.
For a lot of stoners who have been hearing or reading about this it’s becoming a new venture in DIY. It’s one of the most simple extractions done in your kitchen; costing a decent amount of money to make, while still returning significant profit.
A lot of people are having a hard time moving back to pot itself.
Most of the people I have spoke to who prefer to use oil over buds say that once they have started smoking oil said they prefer to stick with just that. Making leaps back and forth is frustrating because of tolerance build up. Oil has a typical THC content of around 50-80% THC which is a huge leap from the highest ranking THC containing marijuana which weighs in around 22-35%.
One of the biggest dangers following this phenomena is the actual extraction process sometimes called “blasting” because of the butane process. People have been injured from explosions (do it in a well ventilated area away from open flames or high heat source I mean come on people seriously) as well as the butane vapors themselves.
Some companies brag on their bottles “3x filtered!” but most of the filtration processes are unknown to the public and it is not required to put a list of additives on the bottles. Worries that some impurities are crossing through into the extraction, or causing whatever impurities in the butane to cross into the oil itself, are currently unsupported. No one truly knows the extent or damage that it may or may not be doing. Butane is contained in a lot of household products that we use daily (I.e. hairspray, cooking sprays, e-cigarettes, flavor extracts).
Another worry is that some of the metal nails (used for the tip of a smoking pipe that is heated to put the oil on) may start to oxidize and flake, but most are made with grade 2 commercially pure titanium or quartz. Scientists reassure there is no problem as that they are made to do such things, so there is no need to worry of metal fume fever.
Some of the biggest negatives in the marijuana community are that a lot of medicinal/recreational proponents are worrying about is that oil use will be a major setback to the ’cause’ because of the strong high. They believe people will begin to see marijuana negatively in the sense that one only need so little to get high, and that some of the ways of smoking are crack/meth-esque or what’s known as free-basing.
Others are seeing it as a god-send. They have seen patients make complete turn arounds. A patient said that some of the pot he was getting wasn’t doing enough pain management and when he started using oil it was like a “wave right over me. It’s instant relief and I’m still coherent, albeit a little hungry, but I’ve never felt better”
Personally I’m on the new wave bandwagon, I believe the use of oil will usher in a whole new world of medicinal purposes and will not only help patients, but help people become more open as we move forward into a recreational nation without prejudice towards people who smoke a harmless plant that has been demonized for decades. But for now, patients and pot heads alike will smoke privately or some what openly depending on where you live and who you know.
Be informed, be open-minded, recognize and legalize.