BHO, or butane hash oil, is a cannabis concentrate that’s made through using butane to dissolve and isolate the substances within the plant’s resinous trichomes. To remove the trace amounts of butane extractors use a vacuum oven to purge the material. Depending on the temperature during the purge, BHO comes in various consistencies.
Shatter is crystallized and translucent and golden to orange in color. It’s very commonly found and is one of the most popular forms of BHO concentrate. Shatter should be glass-like and break when bent. If the concentrate is slightly softer, bending and snapping, it’s considered pull ‘n’ snap, and has a consistency like taffy. Being very hard, it is relatively easy to handle, and all you need for a dab is a small pitch. Avoid shatter if it is cloudy or still smells like butane.
As explained in the book Beyond Buds Next Generation by Ed Rosenthal and Greg Zeman, when shatter turns from clear to opaque it goes through a process called nucleation or “buddering.” A magical combination of optimal heat and air pressure are the key for producing a batch of good quality budder. Budder ranges from opaque yellow to beige, and its texture is like cake batter or butter. Badder and batter are other alternative names, and it shouldn’t be confused with cannabutter, which is less potent and used as a cooking ingredient.
Crumble is opaque and often holey. Its consistency is crumbly and it breaks up like a hard cheese. Crumble is sometimes called honeycomb at the right consistency. Crumble is made by purging butane at a low temperature for a longer period than other forms of BHO extraction. Flat end dab tools are usually recommended for dabbing crumble. Good BHO crumble should remain stable at room temperature. As with most other forms of concentrate, good crumble should also taste like the original flower it was made from.
Live resin is a concentrate that is crafted from “live” or fresh frozen material. Flower is immediately exposed to temperatures below the freezing point, which in turn helps preserve delicate terpenes and cannabinoids. It takes on a variety of forms depending on how it is processed. Some connoisseurs consider live resin to be the most refined concentrate type. Good live resin should look light yellow to gold in color.
A sizable chunk of cannabis concentrates are oils or begin as an oil, with a honey-like consistency. Oils are commonly found in vape carts as their consistency is easy to work with in this delivery method. Sap, a more sticky consistency, is fairly similar but less runny. Dating back to the 1960s, crude forms of oil such as honey oil were available. Today, illicit butane hash oil production can be dangerous and many places have launched efforts to implement harsher punishments for its production.
This article was published in the July 2022 issue of High Times Magazine. Read the full issue here.