What is Butane Hash Oil? [BHO Definition]

Discover the ins and outs of this popular substance…

In the world of cannabis, it can be challenging to keep up with all the latest innovations, releases, and phenomenal products, and although some of the selections that are only now rising to popularity have been around for a while, it feels like there’s always something new going on with the marijuana market. The same goes for butane hash oil.

If you’re a fan of cannabis or even rely on it for its medical benefits, there’s a chance you’ve heard the term butane hash oil floating around. This versatile substance isn’t as complicated as its name might imply, so we’re here to provide the gist of the info you should get to know about butane hash oil (sometimes referred to as BHO).

Keep reading to discover more about butane hash oil and what the substance is…

What Exactly is Butane Hash Oil?

Probably the most important topic we’ll be covering in this article is, “what is butane hash oil?” (as the title implies). Butane hash oil (BHO) is somewhat of an umbrella term used to describe certain forms of marijuana concentrates. It is an extremely potent substance, an extraction made directly from the cannabis plant. The most common types of purchasable BHO are: Shatters, budders, oils, saps, crumbles, and waxes. BHO is also available in a few other forms that aren’t as frequently consumed so we won’t really be mentioning them here.

Although there are more than a dozen different types of cannabis concentrates, they’re only categorized as butane hash oil if they’re produced using a specialized butane extraction method. During this method, the THC and terpenes of marijuana buds and/or trim are processed using butane and heat. The result is a marijuana concentrate that can have a THC percentage anywhere from 50% upwards of 90%+.

In fact, a few years back rumors were circulating around the cannabis community that a 99% THC shatter existed, and this does seem to be available from some distributors today. You can only imagine how little concentrate you’d need to inhale to get incredibly blazed off of something that potent. There are other viable ways to extract concentrates from cannabis, but we’ll be focusing specifically on butane-related options for it is by far the most popular process.

Information on the Butane Hash Oil (BHO) Extraction Process

Before we go any further with presenting information, we must mention that you really shouldn’t try making butane hash oil at home unless you are a well-trained professional. The process is extremely dangerous if you aren’t 100% sure what you’re doing, and those that make cannabis concentrates using a butane extraction method typically have a background in alchemy, chemistry, or science.

Butane is a flammable gas, which means that explosions and fires can potentially occur. In fact, there sometimes are reports of injuries or even deaths due to butane-related explosions, often in the case of individuals not knowing what they’re doing when they perform a butane extraction process. There are just a lot of factors that can go wrong, with the most significant being that butane turns from a gas to a liquid as the extraction process is happening, and then returns into gaseous form once heat is applied, only to fall towards the ground because of its more massive density than oxygen.

Working with all that trapped in butane gas indoors with an open source of heat can be a real recipe for disaster if you aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of butane extraction. Indoor extraction isn’t such a smart idea either; this could potentially amplify the dangers.

Alternatives to Butane Extraction (Butane Hash Oil)

The good news is, if you desire a little DIY cannabis concentrate, you have other options that aren’t nearly as risky as the butane extraction methods utilized to create butane hash oil.

Extracting Cannabis Using a CO2 Process

The absolute easiest way you can extract the THC from your cannabis plants is utilizing a CO2 method where carbon dioxide is used in place of butane, but any resulting product wouldn’t be labeled butane hash oil; instead, it’d be termed CO2 oil.

CO2 is:

  • Relatively cheaper than buying butane
  • Way safer for use and won’t create random explosions if handled improperly
  • Safe for indoor use
  • Less toxic and/or harmful to the user and the extractor

Although this isn’t an article on CO2 extraction, we thought we’d mention this option if you’re genuinely considering making concentrates at home. We just really want to get all the real information out there so that it is understood just how potentially dangerous amateur butane extraction can be.

The Different Types of Butane Hash Oil (BHO)

Considering that cannabis professionals have the skills and mindset to get creative, it makes sense that there are several butane hash oil concentrates on the market to choose from. It’s important to recognize the difference so you can determine which form would be best suited to your individual needs and wants. Amongst the options, the most common distinguishing factor is consistency, and often the name of the form will reflect its physical state. These differences in texture are produced depending on humidity, heat, and whipping. We’ll show you what we mean:


Wax possesses a nice consistency for dabbing, due to its reliable form. It won’t crumble when you pick up a portion, but can also become liquid if held for too long. Wax is definitely on the wetter side when compared with other concentrates, but it still isn’t too soft. Ideal for those who are quick to put their concentrate into their dab rig.


The hardest consistency for a cannabis concentrate, shatter has a glassy, smooth texture and essentially mimics the appearance of a colored sheet of glass. The reason why consumers often opt for shatter is due to its intensely strong consistency. The highest recorded THC percentages have been found in shatters, with some in the 90% and above range, but most sit in the 80% zone. For those who want a crazy hitting smoke, shatter is the way to go. The only way you’ll be able to inhale this concentrate is with a specialized dab rig.


On top of shatter being super potent, so is budder. In fact, the strongest types of concentrates you’ll find are either shatters or budders. Budders tend to be even purer, usually never possessing a THC content lower than 90% and going all the way up to 99%. The term budder comes from the concentrates butter-like consistency which is soft when picked up and easily moldable, yet still it won’t fall off of your tool when grabbed.


Crumble is drier than budder, much like feta cheese, and tends to fall apart when scooped up. For this reason, it isn’t as desired for dabbing, because tiny particles tend to go to waste whenever it’s time for a dab. Crumble, still, can be relatively potent, which is potentially why one might opt for this over another concentrate form if it’s available.


Slightly thicker than liquid, oils are the softest form of BHO, and for this reason, they often aren’t dabbed. Instead, consumers usually opt for vaping a cartridge pre-packed with oil placed in a pen or similar device. Oils are not as potent as some other marijuana concentrate forms.


Sap has a thicker texture than oil, yet it is still a bit watery. If you imagine the sap that comes from a tree, cannabis sap is about the same. Sap is often more potent than oil but poses a bit of a dabbing challenge. You’ll want to be very careful when adding this substance into your dab rig, for if it falls down, you won’t be able to get the sap clean enough for consumption.

How Can Butane Hash Oil Be Consumed?

If you’ve ever heard of weed lovers “taking a dab” or “dabbing,” then you’ve probably heard of butane hash oil indirectly. Those “dabs” that are being consumed, well that’s BHO in some form. If you have any prior knowledge of dabbing then you likely are also aware of how insanely high one can become when they try a dab. One of the biggest reasons why people love dabbing is because of the strong potency of THC, other cannabinoids, and terpenes that they can intake in a small frame of time. For individuals that rely on medicinal, green marijuana for relief or assistance in some form or another, getting a dose of their potent medicine fast can become an essential necessity.


A process conducted by touching a heated up nail to your concentrate hooked up to a dab rig, which then turns the substance into a vapor that can be inhaled and consumed.

High-heat dabbing was once popular, which did involve a butane torch, but now low-temp dabs are now a bit more common which still require a torch, but your nail is heated to a significantly colder temperature. If you want to skip the torch rigs altogether, opt for an e-nail which lets you enjoy all the concentrates you want with no flame. E-nails are controlled by a temperature adjusting controller and a small heating element that covers the nail so that it is ready to make contact with your shatter, budder, wax, etc.


In some circumstances, butane hash oil is flat out vaped. Although this isn’t insanely common, specific forms, such as oil, are a bit challenging to dab using a dab rig, and for that reason, they’re generally loaded into a cartridge and consumed using a vape pen. BHOs such as wax or shatter, however, will not be good candidates for vaping because of their thicker consistency. You’ll be having quite a few clogs, and likely won’t get much of a pleasant result (plus the clean up would be painfully messy).

Final Thoughts on ‘What is Butane Hash Oil?’ [Explained for the Rookie]

If you’ve got your heart set on consuming butane hash oil or were simply curious what this term even means, then we hope this article has been able to clarify any questions that might’ve been lingering. Butane hash oil is an excellent option for those who would like to receive the benefits of THC/cannabis terpenes and don’t want to spend much time consuming their marijuana. Concentrates are high in THC and it often only takes a miniscule amount for an average consumer to experience powerful effects. For medical marijuana patients who need their medicine quick and potent, this could potentially be an ideal choice.

Regardless of why you chose to learn more about butane hash oil, we can say that it’s often essential to stay up-to-date with the latest in cannabis technology and releases, for new developments can be of benefit if you’re involved in the marijuana community. It is important always to remember, however, that the consumption of cannabis is the sole responsibility of the user and discretion should always be taken.