Concentrates have become extremely popular today as the popularity of cannabis in general grows and people discover new ways of enjoying the medicinal and recreational benefits of marijuana. The popularity of concentrates comes from the intensity of the high they are capable of delivering. Butane hash oil (BHO) is made from extracting high concentrations of THC from marijuana flower. It was done for the first time during the 1970s but didn’t really start to grow in popularity until the 2000s. The popularity of extraction has continued to grow since then, especially as more states legalize cannabis and more products become available to make the process of consuming concentrates easier and more enjoyable.
A General Disclaimer About Working with BHO
Keep in mind when working with BHOs that there are extremely flammable and even explosive solvents involved in the process. You have to be careful to keep the space well ventilated and be very careful of flames, spark and heat in general. You want to be very careful to avoid setting off a fireball that could quickly fill the room.
The Importance of a Thorough Vacuum Purge
Part of the process of incorporating concentrates into your life is learning a little about the ins and outs of how they work and what gives them their purity. Unless a vacuum purge is done on a BHO product either before or after purchase, you will have a problematic concentrate on your hands. It’s important to realize that without the purge, some butane will remain in the product which is not what you want to be consuming. The residual gases need to be purged in order to get the high quality BHO you deserve.
BHO That Hasn’t Been Vacuum Purged
If you’re a fan of enjoying concentrates then you know that there is nothing worse than having to consume low quality BHO. It is often grey, tastes foul and is full of nasty stuff that you definitely don’t want to be consuming for your health. This kind of BHO has not been vacuum purged, illustrating the absolute importance of vacuum purging in order to get the best possible quality product for your consumption. When you vacuum purge your BHO, it boils away those nasty elements, solvents and impurities, leaving you with a purer, healthier and better tasting BHO.
The Targeted Atmospheric Pressure
When working to perform an effective vacuum purge, it’s helpful to understand the precise atmospheric pressure for which you’re aiming. The measurement is made through inches of mercury, commonly called inHG. With the levels in the tube or barometer at a setting of 1, the mercury will move up to 29.92 inches. This is the basic atmospheric level we are all experiencing, as it relates to sea level. When we vacuum purge our BHO, we are aiming to create an atmospheric pressure of -29.92 inHG. At this level, the BHO would be devoid of all atmospheric pressure. It’s not an easy measurement to get but this is still what we are aiming for during a vacuum purge.
The Right Vacuum Purging Equipment for Your Purposes
A vacuum purge can be performed in several ways. There is a vast array of vacuum purging equipment available on the market. Of course, the more you are willing to spend, the better the purge is going to be. For those that will be consuming concentrates on a very consistent level, the quality of the purge may warrant that you purchase high quality equipment to use. For others that may be unable to shell out for the vacuum purge equipment, there are many processes for vacuum purging at home. It will take some patience, care and effort but it is more than possible.
Home Vacuum Purging Solutions
Some people have found that they are able to get effective results vacuum purging using equipment that is usually used to preserve food such as a FoodSaver 3460. The issue with this is that it can only go as low as -20 inHG. This means they will certainly improve the quality of the BHO but it won’t be as high a quality since it can’t achieve the desired -29.92 inHG desired result. You could also use a hand pump made for bleeding brake lines if you have a small batch and a small chamber. This technique may even create a lower pressure that could reach closer to -27 inHG.
Creating your Own Vacuum Purge System
You can also just make your own vacuum purge at home by putting together a few critical pieces. You can pick up a readymade vacuum chamber and then run it using a 2 stage vacuum pump. With your vacuum chamber, you want to be absolutely sure that you only use the highest quality silicone in the chamber. Cheap silicone has plasticizers in it that will wreak havoc on your vacuum purge, melting and spoiling your batch. Also be aware that the slightest crack in a glass vacuum chamber could become a problem under the pressure of the pump. Metal may be the best option here. With your 2 stage vacuum pump, you will be aiming for an oilers variety to stop the solvents from getting into the pump and being pulled back down into your concentrate.
The Process of Vacuum Purging in Action
Before you start vacuum purging, place your BHO on a Pyrex dish. Place the dish on hot water that doesn’t exceed approximately 140 degrees, the temperature of hot coffee. Gently boil the BHO, scrape up the syrupy substance and place it on your silicone mat, being sure to keep it as thin a layer as possible. Place the silicone mat in the vacuum chamber. You can use parchment paper if the mat is too big. Seal up the chamber now and start pumping, aiming to lower the pressure to anywhere between -27 and -29.92 inHG. Place the chamber on a heating pad and after a few minutes let the air back in the chamber. Then seal the chamber and pump again. Do this until the BHO bubbles. Then allow the BHO to sit for 24 hours. You can repeat the process of creating the thin layer of BHO and vacuum purging it again, allowing it to sit for a few hours. You can also roll it up and put it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes once it is done to allow it to get firm.
As you can see there are several ways to perform your vacuum purge at home. From Food Savers to hand pumps, there is something that everyone can use. The main focus should be on removing the gas bubbles that arise, which may mean taking a fork or dabber and popping the bubbles in a ventilated space until they are gone. Removing all of the butane may be difficult with a simple home technique but it will still help to make your batch healthier and purer.