Beware Consumption Of Low-Quality, Poorly Purged Butane Hash Oil

This year’s High Times Cannabis Cup in Southern California took place Feb. 16-17. Originally slated for Los Angeles, the event had to be moved due to police-permitting hassles from downtown L.A. to Glendale before finally landing in San Bernardino. Despite logistical issues, the High Times crew and everyone else rallied, making it one of the best run and well attended of all Cups to date.

Regular readers might remember my column after last year’s L.A. event, where I expressed concern about the explosion of dab culture (see The Harborside Illuminator, vol. 7). One of the most troubling aspects to me at the time was the consumption of low-quality, poorly purged butane hash oil (BHO). I was also worried about the fixation on elaborate dab gear. How was this wellness? I asked. Thankfully, this year I witnessed a tremendous improvement in the quality and purity of concentrates.

Perhaps the biggest change is the rise of a wide variety of solvent-less waxes. From our own hyperbaric pressure chamber (HBC) wax (see The Harborside Illuminator, vols. 8 & 10) and CO2 to cold-water hash (CWH), non-BHO concentrates have greatly proliferated. Today’s patient has many top-quality, high-potency choices. On the BHO front, cleanliness and purity have improved considerably. Vacuum purging, using specialized equipment to remove impurities, has become standard; this has made much cleaner hash more readily available. People are also generally using higher quality butane and are now frequently utilizing closed-loop systems where the majority of butane is recaptured and can therefore be re-used. This is both safer and less environmentally damaging.