Cannabis is a safe and effective medicine for many of the most challenging conditions affecting patients today. It is also highly variable in its composition depending on growing (or extraction) technique. Recently, a new product has hit the market which provides a consistent dose of cannabis, and can be easily utilized by patients. This product is called Butane Hash Oil (BHO).
What is BHO?
Butane Hash Oil (BHO) in its simplest terms, is a sticky honey-colored oil made from the cannabis plant. In order to create this substance, high grade (usually medical grade) cannabis flower is placed in a tube and mixed with butane. The gas is allowed to infuse the flowers for some period of time.Then the mixture of butane and cannabis is usually filtered through various processes including water or carbon dioxide. After drying out, the BHO has a consistency similar to honey or wax, making it easy to smoke or apply it to various methods of consumption.
It is important for patients to understand that BHO does not equal hashish, which is a highly processed form of cannabis that has been around since the 16th century. Hashish contains large amounts of THC and little else, while BHO provides a wealth of medicinal components including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
What are the Advantages of BHO?
BHO is a very potent concentrate that can provide patients with quick relief from symptoms and pain. Since it’s consumed by smoking or through vaporization devices, many patients find that they require less medication to get desired effects. For example, the equivalent of 1-3 g of some other types of cannabis may be as much as 5 – 10 times more than what is needed to treat pain with BHO).
Patients who use BHO report that it has a different efficacy and duration of effect compared to smoking or vaporizing flower. This is expected given that most of the “goodies” in cannabis are either fats or oils. For example, BHO provides specific benefits when treating depression and anxiety. Patients who use BHO report that it is useful for reducing hypersensitivity to noise and promoting sleep. Because of its high concentration, some patients will actually rub it directly onto affected areas (such as an arthritic knee) for relief.
Want to know more about Recreational Cannabis Edibles? Read here.
BHO can also be used in “micro-dosing” to treat or prevent various conditions. For example, some Cannabis
patients find that a small amount of BHO rubbed onto the temples at the onset of a migraine is enough to eliminate symptoms completely. Others report rubbing a small amount of BHO onto the temples and forehead is useful in relieving PMS symptoms. Some patients report that a small amount of BHO Â rubbed into the skin provides relief from chronic pain. It can even prevent nerve damage.
As always, it is important to discuss use of new substances with your physician if you are considering adding them to your routine.
Cancer and Butane Hash Oil (BHO)
Patients with newly diagnosed cancer can also benefit from the use of Butane Hash Oil (BHO) due to its anti-tumor effects. Studies verify that cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, treat tumor cells in humans and lab animals by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death). This is important because these compounds effectively prevent the proliferation and spread of tumor cells in the body. Additional research shows that cannabinoids can cause cancerous tumor cells to die, without negatively impacting healthy cells.
Because of its strong anti-tumor effects and very low toxicity levels, Cannabis BHO
has been highly effective at treating a variety of tumors including brain cancers (gliomas), breast cancer, prostate cancer, and even skin cancer.1
What are the Side Effects of BHO?
BHO has limited human testing so side effects are being investigated. What is known at this point is that it has a higher affinity for CB2 receptors than either THC or CBD3, meaning that its anti-inflammatory activity is greater. It is also known that over-consumption of BHO can cause a panic attack or acute anxiety symptoms.
How to Obtain BHO?
Patients who are interested in obtaining THC oil will have several options, including purchasing
it from dispensaries (often called “pot shops”) and producers such as CannaCraft or making it at home.
Growers are allowed to possess up to 8 ounces of Butane Hash Oil (BHO) (but selling it is illegal). Patients who make their own can achieve similar results by extracting the oil from dried plants. However, there remains a risk of fire and explosion associated with using butane or other solvents in order to extract the cannabinoids. Also by applying high heat to the plant material.
Learn More About Cannabis Concentrates here
Patients who purchase BHO will want to verify that it was prepared in a safe and sanitary environment. Ingredients should be listed on the label (including the amount of THC contained) as well as information about the extraction process. Legal dispensaries are required to follow strict safety requirements in order to prevent fires and explosions.
BHO, or Butane Hash Oil, is typically sold in prefilled vape cartridges. They combine the cannabinoid with an oil such as coconut or a flavor like mint, lemon, etc. Patients should be aware that using BHO requires extra caution. Burns can occur if it comes into contact with skin or clothing. This type of preparation also obviates the use of edibles because the active ingredient is already in its purest form.
If you have tried BHO, feel free to leave a comment about your experience below!