Cannabis concentrates come in many forms and are all very potent, reaching upward of 70 percent THC by weight on average with nearly 100 percent pure THC for some products now commercially available. Compared to 25 percent THC by weight for top-shelf flower, one can quickly understand how a very small amount of concentrate goes a long way.
Butane honey oil (BhO) is an oleoresin (semi-solid extract) of cannabis and is obtained by exposing plant material to a food grade solvent such as butane, propane, or a blend, and collecting what is left behind after all solvent has evaporated. Created as a medicine to be safer and more potent, BhO is arguably the most common and readily available form of cannabis concentrate. Having a pronounced flavor, it can be consumed in edibles, beverages, and vaporized for inhalation.
Live resin is produced in a very similar process to BhO with the main caveat being that the cannabis plant material is frozen immediately after harvest and remains frozen during the extraction process. This practice is said to be better for preserving the flavor and aroma compounds known as terpenes.
Accessing safe, clean, and ethically made cannabis concentrates from a trusted source is essential, because improper extraction practices may introduce harmful contaminates that remain in the finished product. Dean Rodgers with Cascade Botanical & Golden Delicious Extracts provides facts about the ethical and safe creation of BhO.
Rodgers recommends a closed-loop food grade stainless steel extraction system and the use of a vacuum oven to purge off all residual solvent before consumption. "Closed loop extraction allows for the creation of BhO by safely containing and recapturing all of the solvent used in the process. This makes it safe for the qualified operators and for the environment while reducing extraction cost," he says. "Obtaining clean source material free of harmful pesticides and fertilizers is the number one priority when creating safe and effective BhO." Vacuum oven purging allows for the preservation of terpenes while removing all solvent by lowering boiling temperatures.
When it comes to gold-standard extraction equipment, Bizzy Bee Extractors is front of mind and Boris Kogon (coe-ghen) is the man to consult. Kogon explains in plain language the principles of physics that drive the extraction process inside each of his systems. "Thermodymagic," as Kogon likes to refer to it, allows the Beest Extractor to operate without the use of recovery pumps for quick, passive, and safe recovery of solvent. Each Beest is constructed using food grade hardware, aerospace welding techniques, and obtains the best results when medical grade solvent is used in the extraction process.
Pure distilled THC and other pure cannabis distillates are the direction that concentrates are heading. Kogon explained that boiling off whole cannabis extract and capturing just the pure cannabinoids desired create these distillates, which are some of the most potent forms of cannabis available today.