Hash oil is the most potent form of cannabis available. It is created in most cases by introducing dried female cannabis flowers to a solvent and then boiling off the solvent. What remains is an oleoresin rich in delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive compound that gives cannabis consumers the “high” feeling. The hash oil can be smoked using a vaporizer or incorporated into edible products.
Common solvents include various organic solvents and supercritical carbon dioxide. Butane has become a popular organic solvent. Butane as a solvent is effective because is mixes with the cannabis flower and creates a solution that frees the trichomes from the cannabis plant. Then the butane burns off easily, converting to non-harmful elements of carbon dioxide and water.
Supercritical carbon dioxide is becoming even more popular as a solvent because of its low toxicity and environmental impact. Supercritical carbon dioxide behaves as a gas at standard temperatures but when atmospheric pressure is manipulated it can behave more like a liquid, allowing it to act as a solvent with the cannabis flower.
The low temperature process and stability of the carbon dioxide allows most compounds, in this case cannabis THC among others, to be extracted with little damage or denaturing. What is left is a clean, potent, non-toxic hash oil ready for enjoyment.
Hash Oil Variations
There is a great diversity of hash oil on the market today. You can choose solvent extracted hash oil or non-solvent. Non-solvent oil does not work well in vaporizer pens. Use solvent extracted oil for your vape pen. Your HyTiva Cannabarista® can make appropriate recommendations depending on your device.
Solvent extracted oils are of two main kinds, wax and shatter. Wax tends to be opaque and shatter is translucent. Shatter is typically hard, sappy, or sticky depending on strain and environmental conditions. Wax is non-transparent and has a drier consistency than shatter. Wax is also called crumble or budder.
For ease of use, glycerin is often added to hash oil for use in vape pens. The glycerin is non-toxic and makes the oil more viscous so it is easier to vape.