Long time herbalists can relate to the near religious aspects of our passion. We carefully clean our buds, screen the seeds, fill the seam of a dube, and slowly twist it to perfection. Maybe we measure a one-hitter in our favorite bowl. The rituals of our sacrament are as comforting as the solace we seek.

Those days may soon be behind us.

Legalization, limited as it may be at this time, is creating a new boom in how we partake in our favorite substance. With its current medical focus, smoking is clearly at odds with the beneficial health effects of marijuana. For many, he potential lung damage outweighs the positive aspects.

The result is an evolution in types of marijuana used, as well as the ways in which we consume it. One way is in the form of food products, from the iconic brownies to lollipops, gumdrops and more, are quickly becoming the norm. Those familiar with food products know that the Indica-type body high just isn’t the same as the soothing head rush garnered from the flame.

For those affiants, sativa crude is where it’s at. And the Koch Brothers aren’t making a dime off this boom.

Hash oil has been with us for centuries. 60’s hipsters will still recall the thrill of the exotic and ridiculously strong treat, brought out only for the most special occasion. Whether we called it honey, hash oil, honeycomb, or dozens of other names, we certainly knew of its potency.

Today, the ‘champagne’ of pot is better known as BHO, short for Butane Hash Oil. The name reflects the type of manufacture. BHO has many colloquials, ‘shatter’ and ‘wax’ being the most common. No matter the name, BHO has a kick, with as much as 90% potency compared to smoked marijuana’s measly 20%. Just a tiny dab delivering as much of a punch as a few joints.

BHO isn’t without its risks. Amateur cookers often set themselves and their ‘kitchens’ on fire during the manufacturing process. Deaths from burns are not uncommon, and contamination also an issue.‘Blasting’ a batch of BHO means washing organic marijuana with liquid butane (or other substances, such as acetone or alcohol). Rinsing or cleaning the resulting ‘oil’ or ‘shatter’ properly and thoroughly is essential to ensuring the product’s purity. Done improperly,it can often leave a strong gaseous or petroleum taste that can cause headaches and nausea.

Fortunately, many larger manufacturers of BHO are conducting operations safely, and are committed to strong quality controls that ensure a safe and reliable product. Unfortunately, BHO remains highly illegal under most statutes as it is considered a chemical extraction (as opposed to ‘wet extraction’, the commonly used manufacturing process for kief). While it’s tough to determine who is a legitimate manufacturer, once you do, you’ll know it and be much the happier for it.

Editor’s Note – Blasting your own BHO is a dangerous practice and should never be performed by a novice or someone who hasn’t been properly trained. Try to consumer only those BHO products manufactured by growers and larger labs.