Butane extractions have gotten a pretty bad rap over the years. With the severity of lab explosions in the past few years, some states like California have even taken steps to prevent people from improperly buying large quantities of the flammable solvent. So the question is, are butane extractions safe?
BHO – or butane honey oil, is the end result of botanical extraction. BHO was officially brought to market in the late 90s by a Canadian company, BudderKing. In the botanical extraction process, THC is separated from the plant matter and reaches percentages of 80-99% pure THC. THC is very soluble in Butane, which is fortunate. Butane, as a solvent, is a good option because it has a very low boiling point, respective to other solvents. This means that despite being flammable, it takes minimal processing to remove the solvent from the product.
Butane is flammable, though. It needs to be handled with care, and the proper safety protocols must be in place and followed by lab technicians who dabble in this process. (See what I did there?) Butane is also unsafe to consume. With the proper techniques and care, you can ensure that you and your patients are consuming safe, high quality concentrates.
By staying diligent with checklists, double checking seals and fittings, and rigorously following safety protocols, you can maximize safety and minimize risk. This is a process best left to professionals. If you’re interested in doing botanical extractions, it’s highly recommended that you take a hands on class or apprentice with a lab who’s willing to show you the best practices. Not only will you learn the nuances of creating budder, shatter, or waxes consistently, but you’ll also get a chance to learn how to operate diligently with minimal accidents.
Read the instruction manual. Lab equipment is precious and expensive, so make sure you’re reading the instructions and getting proper training on your equipment. Closed loop extraction setups are the best not only for consistency, but also scalability. However, closed loop means build ups of pressure. Know your equipment inside and out to ensure maximum profit and safety.