Hash oil (also known as hashish oil, BHO, wax, sativa bho, shatter, crumble, indica bho, honey oil, dabs, or budder) is a form of cannabis. It is a resinous matrix of cannabinoids obtained from the Cannabis plant by solvent extraction, formed into a hardened or viscous mass.
Hash oil can be the most potent of the main cannabis products because of its high level of psychoactive compound per its volume, which can vary depending on the plant's mix of essential oils and psychoactive compounds.
Reported THC contents vary between sources. The 2009 World Drug Reports reports THC content as "may exceed 60%". A 2013 American forensic science book gave a range of 10–30% delta-9 THC by weight and a 1972 American forensic journal reported a range of 20–65%. Current testing labs regularly report oil potencies ranging from 30% to 90%, with levels of dispensary quality oil typically ranging from 60% to 85%, occasionally higher and occasionally lower. Some extracts have supposedly been tested to over 99% THC but these are made using a process involving toluene washing. Because of the nature of cannabis producing essential oils, or terpenes as well as psychoactive compounds, the percentage of THC can vary greatly from one strain to the next.
Hash oil can be consumed by methods such as smoking, ingestion, or vaporization (dabbing). A water pipe, often small, is commonly used for hash oil vaporization and may be called an "oil rig". Such designs feature a nail or skillet, commonly titanium, quartz, borosilicate glass, or ceramic, which serves to be heated to temperatures nearing 2000 kelvin, typically by a hand-held blowtorch . A dental pick, glass rod, or special tool called a dabber — laden with dabs — is used to dab the nail with hash oil, which is consequently vaporized and inhaled.
Hash oil is a cannabis product obtained by separating resins from cannabis buds by solvent extraction.
The most common form of hash oil is made by passing liquid butane through a tube filled with cannabis plant matter. As the butane passes through the tube the crystallized resins are dissolved in the liquid butane. As the solvent (butane + resins) exits the tube it is caught in a glass container. Butane is a volatile molecule and boils at −1 °C., leaving behind the crystallized resins only, which are collected from the glass container. This form is known as BHO or "Butane Hash Oil". After obtaining BHO in this method, BHO producers will then vacuum purge their oil in a laboratory vacuum oven. The primary purpose of this step is to purge the butane still remaining trapped within the oil, because butane can have adverse health effects if inhaled. This "purging" process, depending on duration of exposure to vacuum and heat, will give the B.H.O characteristic textures, such as wax, crumble, shatter and budder. Other solvents commonly used are hexane, isopropyl alcohol, ethanol, and liquid or dry ice CO2. One should note the purity of the solvent used, as only pure, additive-free types should be considered suitable to avoid unwanted health effects.
Cannabis can also be boiled in a solvent to form a viscous liquid which is then strained and the solvent is evaporated to yield hash oil. Flammable solvents used in extraction make the process dangerous. This process, regardless of suitable solvent chosen, produces a broad spectrum essential oil and as such, its contents are variable based on plant genetics and environmental factors.
Potential for explosions
Explosion and fire incidents related to manufacturing attempts in homes have been reported, likely due to a failure to follow appropriate laboratory safety procedures. Associated Press reports that such incidents in United States have primarily been in west coast states that permit medical marijuana.
Michigan permits medical marijuana, and there were two home explosions in July 2013, in Washtenaw county. In December 2013 a Virginia man suffered third degree burns when an attempt to make BHO, "honey oil", exploded. A similar explosion occurred in Colorado Springs in early March 2014, shortly after the state of Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use.
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The 2006 World Drug Report reports that cannabis oil seizures doubled in 2004, and that it represented 0.01% of global cannabis seized. In 2007, 418 kg equivalent of hash oil was seized globally.
Australia and New Zealand
Issues a warning to those in possession of a substance for personal use which contains up to one gram of THC, with further sanctions following if the subject re-offends.
Although provision of tools utilized in production and consumption of cannabis is illegal in Portugal; Portuguese law allows for the possession of up to 2.5 grams of hash oil for personal use.
The legality of hash in the United States varies by state or municipality, although it remains illegal at the federal level. In some areas, possession and use, or sale and production (depending on the method used) may be legal or decriminalized for medical or recreational use.
Until guidelines were amended in November 1995, Federal law did not explicitly define the difference between marijuana, hash, and hash oil, which led to cannabis preparations being assessed case-by-case. Under 1996 federal guidelines, hashish oil is characterized as "A preparation of the soluble cannabinioids derived from Cannabis that includes (i) one or more of the tetrahydrocannibinols.. ..and (ii) at least two of the following: cannabinol, cannabidiol, or cannibichromene, and (iii) is essentially free of plant material."
Hashish is classified as a Class B controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The status of "liquid cannabis" was the subject of legal argument in 2013. The Misuse of Drugs Act: A Guide For Forensic Scientists published by the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2003 suggested that the term "liquid cannabis" was preferable to "hash oil", as it did not involve definition of what exactly constituted an "oil". The authors recommended adoption of "purified form" instead of "solvent extract" when describing hash oil, as the former would not require proof of solvent usage by forensic scientists.
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