What Is Hash Oil?
Whether you're a newcomer to the vaping scene or if you've been doing it for years, you've probably heard of hash oil. You can purchase this gooey, tar-like substance plain, or you can purchase edibles and beverages infused with it. Either way, you’re guaranteed to notice the strong effects of hash oil after consumption. But what exactly is hash oil? And how should you consume it? To learn the answers to these questions and more, keep reading.
Basically, hash oil is cannabis that’s been dissolved in some type of solvent. The final product (see image to the right) is a thick gooey substance that looks strikingly similar to tree sap. Unlike tree sap, however, hash oil is loaded in THC and other cannabinoids, making it a potent medicine for MM patients and users.
So, just how potent is hash oil? During the 1970s and 80s, the average THC content of marijuana fell somewhere between 1-4%. Today, this number is around 13-14%, with some strains going even further with their potency. Hash oil, however, may contain a THC potency level of 50-60%! When you compare modern-day hash oil with cannabis from the 80s, the difference is like night and day. Consuming just a small drop of hash oil can mimic the effects of smoking several grams of cannabis, which is one of the reasons why so many patients prefer it.
Now let’s talk about how hash oil is produced. In order for marijuana to literally melt into the thick tar-like substance shown below, it must be exposed to a proper solvent. Butane is the most commonly used solvent to produce hash oil. Butane hash oil (BTO) is highly potent and easy to make.
While there are dozens of different techniques used to make it, the easiest way is to pour liquid butane through a narrow pipe or tube filled with cannabis. As the the butane passes through, it crystallizes the cannabis. This substance then drips into a collection tray or pan below.
Of course, there’s some concern among MM patients regarding the safety and health effects of BTO. Some patients are worried that potentially toxic and/or noxious gases will pass from the butane into the hash oil, at which point they’ll end up consuming it. There’s also some concern about the actual production of BTO. Since butane is highly flammable, it can easily start a fire if not produced with care. Other solvents used to produce hash oil include alcohol, dry ice, hexane and ethanol.
Hash oil can either be smoked, vaped, or consumed in food and beverages.