Why purchase a butane extractor over a CO2 extractor
There are currently several different extraction methods being used in the cannabis industry. Two of the most popular are the CO2 extractor and the BHO extractor. The two create vastly different products and the choice between them is usually a personal preference along with the costs related to them.
What most people know as “dabs,” “wax,” or BHO, marijuana concentrates, are made with a butane extractor. This process is popular because butane is an inexpensive solvent. The safest type of butane extraction system is one that is known as closed-loop. The butane gas is trapped, recycled and reused in a controlled, sealed environment.
The best way to explain how this machine works is to watch a barista at Starbucks make your drink. They are similar. When you use a coffee or espresso machine, the water passes through the ground coffee beans. By doing so, it strips them of their oils which contain the caffeine, flavor, and aroma which is then filtered into a highly concentrated solution.
When you use a closed loop butane extractor, the extractor places the cannabis in a column that has a filtration screen at the end. This is much like a coffee filter in the example above. Like the water in the coffee machine, the butane passes through the marijuana and strips the plant material of its cannabinoids and terpenes.
The resulting product from using a butane extractor is dependent upon the quality of the plant material that is used. This is due to the fact that butane will also pull mold, mildew, and even naturally-occurring plant waxes into the concentrate. Some of it can be toxic when vaporized.
BHO also has some residual amount of butane left in it because it does not completely evaporate. However, you are more likely to blow up or burn your house down from carelessness than you are to die from the trace amounts of butane in your concentrate. Furthermore, the THC content in these concentrates can reach up to 80%. This makes BHO is a popular remedy for chronic pain and other incurable symptoms.
CO2 extractors are much more expensive than closed loop butane extractors and are therefore less popular. Furthermore, they are not available for consumer use. They must be used with a chemist on hand in a special environment specifically set up for this extraction method. Those that use CO2 extractors are required to work with closed systems in specially-designed, vented rooms.
However, when they are used, the result is an amber colored liquid that can be used in a vapor pen or added to an edible. Many users state that it is less flavorful and is less enjoyable to use than the concentrates that result from a BHO extractor.
Regardless of which type of extractor you use, be sure to read the directions and get instructions so that injuries and accidents are kept to a minimum. Be sure to follow the laws of your jurisdiction, as well.