Hash oil: the future of extraction


Kyle Fenton, Staff Reporter

Over the past decade, dabbing has flourished in marijuana culture, from the underground scene to mainstream.

The word “dab” can function as both a noun and a verb. A “dab” in today’s language is one hit of a marijuana concentrate. “Dabbing,” as a verb, denotes the action of consuming the said marijuana concentrate. Dabs don’t consist of any specific amount of concentrate; they vary in size depending on the user’s preference.

The word “dab” is interchangeable with many other terms that describe the different types of hash oils that are on the market.

Hashish has been made and smoked for centuries. According to erowid.org, scholars debated the pros and cons of eating hashish as early as 900 A.D. That is when use of the concentrate started to spread throughout Asia.

To make hashish, the extractor would rub mature cannabis flowers between their hands, then scrape the collected trichomes and press them together.

“Charras” was the first term to describe hand-rubbed hashish and is still found in parts of India and its surrounding area.

In today’s world, marijuana processing companies are steering away from these outdated techniques of making hash and are using solvents that pull out cannabinoids, binding them together for a more dense and more potent product compared to the cannabis flower.

Carlin Darache, data processor at Analytical 360, Washington’s first I-502 certified marijuana testing lab, said that more and more people are moving to solvent extractions.

“A lot of people are going to butane and hydrocarbon extraction,” Darache said. “It’s easy to do and a high yielder.”

According to marijuana.com, the most common type of solvent used to extract cannabinoids is butane, which creates Butane Hash Oil (BHO). Butane and propane are hydrocarbon gasses. According to analytical360.com, commonly used solvents include butane, propane, hexane, acetone and ethanol.

The types of solvents are divided into three classes. Class 1 organics should never be used. Class 2 organics are not recommended for use outside of a good manufacturing practice environment such as a bomb-safe building, where they can be tightly monitored because of their dangerous effects. Class 3 solvents present no known human health hazard, according to analytical360.com.

Darache said that a marijuana flower failed microbial screening, the failed marijuana flower could still be turned into hash oil to avoid taking a loss on the product.

There are many ways to consume dabs with today’s technology, from vaporizer pens to ceramic and titanium dab nails.

The House of Haze, a 420 friendly hookah bar, offers many different products.

Scattered amongst the tables at The House of Haze are dab rigs and torches waiting to be used.

Izaak Fukuyama, volunteer worker at The House of Haze, openly consumes dabs daily.

“I prefer wax because it’s easier to manage and share,” Fukuyama said. “I think it is a healthier alternative to combusting a plant and inhaling it.”

Fukuyama said that he wished people would stop doing huge dabs because that is when it can start to be an unhealthy means of getting high.

“The gas is still expanding quite a bit when you’re inhaling it,” Fukuyama said.

There can be multiple benefits of smoking concentrates for those who choose dabs over traditional methods of consuming marijuana.

Higher concentrations of cannabinoids can be consumed in a smaller amount of material being smoked, hence less toxins being inhaled by the users.

I-502 processors that are licensed to use solvents with hash extraction provide a safe product thanks to the very restrictive and regulated set of rules they have to follow in order to legally make their product.