Submitted: November 27th, 2004
Images archived: 2005
Butane Honey Oil (BHO) extraction is an extremely dangerous activity. Butane is flammable, explosive and can potentially contain poisonous and harmful chemicals. Undertaking BHO extraction may result in serious bodily injury, or Death. The information provided on this website is strictly for educational purposes and in no way do the owners and staff of Overgrow.com encourage its production or use.
Butane is Highly Flammable and ALL extractions are to be done Outdoors Only, doing extractions indoor is extremely dangerous. There have been accounts of people blowing up their houses, kitchens, and bathrooms doing Butane and other solvent extractions indoors!
Butane gas is heavier than air and will pool in low areas, if left to collect butane gas becomes flammable when it reaches 1.8% to 8.5% concentration in air. A small breeze will keep the butane from being able to pool and become dangerous.
It is recommended you take every precaution possible. Wearing Safety Equipment such as Eye protection, as well as gloves and always keep a fire extinguisher near by.
Never Smoke, have an open flame or source of ignition around when doing any kind of extraction, even outdoors
Butane & Health
It has been talked about a lot lately, some brand of butane add a smell to their butane. This smell is usually added to the butane so that humans can detect leaks, you will find it in large amounts in cheap butane, or camping butane. It can also potentially be in ?Clean? butane such as Colibri.
These chemicals are usually Mercaptans or Sulfur Dioxide (Rotten Egg Smell), using cheap butane with high levels of these is harmful. Do not use cheap butane or camping butane. It can also be harmful to use ?Clean? butane, so do so at your own risk.
It is not known what the effects of residues in butane honey oil are; it?s not even known for sure what if any residues are left over in butane honey oil after the butane is purged.
Only a Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometer can give us the info on what?s exactly is in our BHO. The search is on to find somewhere to get a sample tested. Until then, be aware of the potential health risks and judge for yourself if it?s worth it.
Not all butane is created equally; there are 2 different types of butane that make up the most common brands of butane. Isobutane and N-Butane.
Most cheap brands use Isobutane (2-METHYL PROPANE) and is more toxic and hazardous than N-Butane. For making Honey oil N-Butane is what we want, it extracts better and leaves very little to no residues in the oil.
Other brands use a mix of the different types, and some, like Colibri, use propane as well as Iso and n-butane
ISOBUTANE: -11.7 C
N-BUTANE: -0.5 C
No source of pure N-Butane has been found available in stores, only through Gas Supply Companies.
The best brand of butane I have used is Colibri Butane. I highly recommend Colibri, and you should be able to find it at most Fine Cigar and Tobacco Shoppe?s. Below is a list of other brands that are good for making Honey oil with. If you cannot find Colibri try to find one of the butane brands listed. And by all means avoid Ronson, Bernz-o-matic or other butane not listed below, they add smell to their butane and this smell is left behind making the oil taste very bad.
Other Brands that are good to use:
COLIBRI, NEWPORT, CORA, CTC, COLTON, DUNHILL, DAVIDOFF, FACKELMAN, WIN, NIBO, SAROME, CALOR GAS MATCH, UNILIGHT, K2, SUPERGAS, VENTTI, VECTOR.
This is by no way a complete list, and there is no promise this info will always be correct, manufactures can change recipes at anytime. This list is the brands that carry the ?Near Zero? impurity label, which means they are not supposed to have more than 15ppm of impurities, what they are is not know.
When you purchase the butane make sure you find the largest size of can you can. I use the 300ml/167g (6oz) cans of Colibri. Most places only carry the little 2oz cans, these are not enough. You will need at least 8oz of butane for every 1oz of plant material.
If you find a brand that?s not listed you can do the mirror test to check to see if it?s ok to use. See Below.
Take a mirror or piece of glass and spray some liquid butane into it. A good amount. (You may need some pliers to press the nozzle in) Wait about 5-10mins for the butane to evaporate and check the mirror for a white residue like the kind pictured. The residue also smells bad. Don?t confuse water condensation for residue. Also even Colibri leaves a very slight residue, but it doesn?t smell. Check for Smell.
(First mirror picture is of a clean mirror, second of the butane evaporating and last one is the white residue from Bernz-o-matic brand butane)
This is the most important factor if you wish to achieve high quality honey oil, Good fresh dried uncrushed bud makes the best honey oil, and you should easily achieve clear oil using uncrushed buds. Grind them up and do a second extraction to get a lower grade ?B? wash, not as tasty or clear like the first batch.
Butane extracts the smell from the plant material, so if you have some great smelling buds the oil will also take on that smell. If you use bad smelling or tasting plant material, you will get bad tasting oil.
Using crappy plant material can also result in low yield and oil dark in color.
Plant Material-|-Recommended amount Butane-|-Estimated Yield
1oz High quality bud-|-12oz-|-3-6g
1oz Average bud-|-10oz-|-2-4g
1oz low grade bud-|-9oz-|-2-3g
1oz high quality trim leaves-|-12oz-|-3-5g
1oz trim & leaves-|-10oz-|-2-4g
1oz fan leaves-|-8oz-|-1-2g
The extraction tube should be no wider than 1.5?, I find ? to be the best. The tube should be made of Stainless steel or Thick glass Only, You can use a copper tube if you cannot find stainless or glass, but only if you clean the tube well before each extraction. Copper tarnishes and the tarnish can potentially be extracted by the butane.
Avoid ALL Plastics, brass, steel and galvanized steel pipe, these all can contaminate your oil and make you sick.
I found a cheap stainless steel turkey baster works very well with little modification. It holds about 1/2oz of bud and can yield 2.5-3g of oil from oz of good bud and 4-5oz of butane.
Some people like to build a contained extraction tube with valves to hold the butane in and let it sit in the plant material for a long time to maximize extraction but this is unnecessary. An open ended tube where the butane can flow through and drip into a collection dish is the easiest to build and makes much better oil. Allowing the butane to sit in the plant material will make your oil greener.
I use a ? by 9? Stainless Turkey Baster tube with a screw cap top and a small hole for the butane nozzle. Use a drill to make a 7/64? hole. Leave the bottom Open Ended, a paper basket style coffee filter, and stainless steel screen or metal window screen will be attached here when the tube is filled with the plant material. Use a Hose Clamp to attach your filters.
For the collection dish I use a Pyrex casserole or pie dish. Avoid metal collection dish as they can spark, you can use them but I don?t recommend it.
Honey oil is very sticky and it?s a lot easier to scrape it up from a flat bottom dish with square sides or one with out corners but I have yet to find the perfect dish, Make sure your collection dish can hold at least 500ml of liquid.
Make sure your plant material (Leaves, Trim, Stems, or Buds) are very dry, the dryer the better. If you want clear honey oil with a lower yield, pack the tube without grinding or breaking up the plant material. The butane will extract the high quality oil on the outside of the plant material then unpack the tube, Grind up the plant material into a powder, you don?t want any chunks in it, it should a coarse powder, and re-extract a lower grade oil.
The better the starting material the better the oil. If you use males or just fan leaves don?t expect awesome oil. You can also use butane extraction to salvage moldy buds.
Fill the extraction tube full with the powdered plant material; avoid making air pockets in the tube. I like to fill the tube a little then pack it down and repeat until the tube is full.
Don?t pack it to much and try to make sure the tube is full, if you don?t have enough plant material to fill your tube then try to get a smaller tube. Air pockets let the liquid butane expand to gas and lower the efficiency a little.
After your tube is filled then you can place your screen on the bottom, Coffee filter works well. The picture shows a steel mesh screen with a coffee filter, which would work the best.
Find some way to mount the tube on a stand or get an oven mitt as the tube gets very cold, and you won?t be able to hold it with your bare hand for very long.
Once the tube is filled and prepared its time to get your collection dish, tube, butane and stand or glove and venture outdoors.
This is the most dangerous part of the whole process:
Find a safe, secluded place where you can do the extraction. Hold or mount the tube over the collection dish and place the nozzle of the butane can in the hole you made in the end cap. Release the entire can of butane into the tube, it will take anywhere from 30 secs. To 1 min for the liquid to start to drip from the bottom of the tube into the collection dish. If no liquid comes out of the tube and you have used an entire can then get another can, Packing the plant material to tight can cause a build up of pressure and stop the butane from flowing, if this happens do not let the pressure build to high and take your time.. Eventually the butane will make its way out the bottom. If the butane starts to come out the top hole then slow the release of butane into the tube.
Continue to empty the can until its just releasing gas (you will hear the difference), remove the spent can. If you are extracting more than 1oz get another can. I usually run 1 6oz can as my tube will hold about 1/2oz of plant material.
After the last can is emptied I let the tube drip for another few mins, the liquid in the dish should have a golden color to it. It may be hard to see.
I like to bring a thermos filled with boiled water to my extraction location along with a frying pan so I can do the evaporations outdoors. It should only take about 15-20mins to evaporate it all.
Or you can do your evaporations indoors as long as you take every precaution and are aware of the risk of fire if a spark or flame reaches the evaporating butane. And be sure not to let it pool in low areas.
I have a small fan close by blowing at the dish to avoid butane pools but the electric motor can cause sparks so be sure to keep it blowing at the butane instead of sucking the butane out.
Place the collection dish into a larger dish or frying pan filled with hot tap water or water that was boiled and watch the butane start to bubble. The hot water will get cold quickly so change it often until the butane/oil mix starts to thicken up.
Once the oil gets thicker I let it cool in the freezer in the collection dish. I recommend you do another heating with hot water to make sure all the butane is evaporated.
Be careful not to overheat or evaporate for too long. The longer you apply heat the darker your oil will get. Once the oil no longer bubbles from boiled water then its usually ready, no more heat is needed.
The oil might still bubble when a lighter is applied but this is not butane gas bubbles. It?s just the nature of the honey oil.
If you find your honey oil gets hazy or cloudy it is usually cause by trapped butane, do another purge to get the last of the butane out.
Once your done evaporating the butane, the honey oil can be smoked. If you let the honey oil sit in the collection dish, keep it covered in a dark place for a week - the honey oil will harden and you can chip it off, it will be solid but melt when heated.
Handling, Storing and Smoking:
You can use a razor blade to scrape up the oil from the dish. I like to put my oil into 5g Glass vials for storage; you should be able to find the vials at your local head shop. It?s pretty tricky to fill the vials with oil and it will take a bit of practice to get it right.
You can leave the oil in the collection dish and scrape it as you smoke it as well, make sure you cover the dish with plastic wrap so no dust and other things get stuck in your oil.
Depending on your collection dish shape, it might be difficult to remove all the oil from the corners. I found a little tool that works very well for getting all the oil from the dish. It?s used for mixing paints and it looks like a little flexible knife that can bend to get in all the corners. It?s called a Palette knife and you should be able to find that at an art supply store.
I like to vaporize my oil on hot knives, Take a butter knife and stick it between the electric elements in your stove and crack up the heat, or use a butane or propane torch to heat the knife up. When it?s nice and hot remove the knife and use a pin to drip a drop of oil on the hot knife and suck up the smoke with some sort of tube. I use a pen tube or custom glass hooter.
Ash bowls are another common way to smoke oil. Take a pipe or bong and fill the bowl with ashes from a cigarette and then drip a drop of oil on top of the pile of ashes. Then light the bowl with a lighter and smoke like you normally would.
Well that?s it Folks. How to make kick ass honey oil! Good Luck to all and Be Safe.