POT TV – Online documentary maniacs VICE present their weedified new series Weediquette. In this episode: the notorious butane hash oil extraction. Don’t try this at home!
Every Sunday for the past eight months, the Weediquette column has told a weed story, be it a profile on an odd character in the weed world, a trend in the newly legal drug, or an anecdote from my exceptionally stoned life. When you smoke this much weed, stories tend to find you, and one of the things that found me was just too big and too awesome to be conveyed through text alone.
It began with an intriguing comment on a Weediquette article. A kid from Denver said, “Dude, you should be dabbing errl.” There was very little available information on this phrase at the time, so I ventured to friend this kid on Facebook in hopes of getting some answers. Having smoked for as long as I have, I didn’t expect to learn anything new about weed, but the kid from Denver humbled me quick.
He was describing Butane Hash Oil, or BHO, a marijuana extract that is pretty much pure THC. People have been making marijuana extracts for millennia, pounding, churning, and milling green plant matter to separate its natural resins, yielding a more concentrated product. For ages, we called this stuff hash, but a new method of extraction came about that was so much more effective that the product itself looked different, had a different texture, and most importantly, got you waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay fucking higher.
Simply put, BHO is made by blasting marijuana with butane, a solvent that takes all the THC with it and nothing else. Evaporating away the butane leaves only the resin, a viscous, amber-colored, waxy substance. BHO is vaporized, either in a pan or using a dabbing pipe, which is where the phrase “Dabbing Errl” comes from—you blowtorch the titanium bowl piece until it’s red hot, then you use a pointy tool to press the oil onto the metal and it bursts into a vapor cloud that you inhale rapidly.
The most notable thing about the high from BHO is that it makes you feel the way you did when you smoked the first time. It’s a high that envelopes you and renders you pretty much useless, but the bliss that comes with it is unmatched. After that first hit, I was obsessed and took to the internet to explore this wonder substance further.
Alas, every rose has its thorn, and I soon discovered that the thorny side of BHO arose from the process of making it, a precarious procedure that can literally blow up in your face. Over the past couple of years, there have been an increasing number of instances of people fucking up the BHO-extraction process and severely injuring and even killing themselves. Naturally, this made me want to see the process in person. So we found a lunatic who makes BHO, and the rest is in the episode.
What began with a simple blog comment led me to some of the weirdest weed characters and weed places I’ve ever met and seen, things worlds apart from the tie-dye stereotypes of yesteryear. To me, getting high was just a recreational practice without a need for optimization, but the weed-hungry world disagrees and here we are, exploded faces, teenage highs, and all.
Check out the Weediquette column, Sundays on VICE.