Hydrocarbon extraction is the single most popular cannabis extraction method. Hydrocarbon extraction utilizes a hydrocarbon such as butane or propane to separate the active chemical components of cannabis, such as cannabinoids and terpenes, from the inert plant material.
This resulting extract is called Butane Hash Oil (or BHO) and it is used to create a wide variety of products such as shatter, oil, wax, budder, distillate, and sauces such as terpene sauce, high-cannabinoid full-spectrum extract (HCFSE) and high-terpene full-spectrum extract (HTFSE).
The process utilizes a hydrocarbon solvent such as propane or butane to wash the trichomes away from the plant surface leaving only inert plant material behind. The solvent is then evaporated, leaving only the targeted, psychoactive components of the cannabis.
This BHO is now a “solvent-free” extract and contains very high levels of cannabinoids and terpenes.
The most common method involves a glass, ceramic, or metal tube, packed tightly with cannabis flower. The hydrocarbon is poured or sprayed through one end of the tube and the liquid that exits the other end is the solvent, now carrying the active chemical components of the plant. A vacuum evaporator then evaporates away the butane leaving only the targeted chemical compounds.
BHO can be further refined or processed to create a wide variety pf products.