There are solvent and solvent-free cannabis extraction methods. Many cannabis oil companies use CO2 extraction as it is solvent-free. Moreover, many cannabis users consider this method “cleaner” than solvent extraction methods. However, solvent-based methods are cheaper and more effective at extracting some desirable cannabis components. The most popular methods are butane extraction (solvent extraction method) and supercritical CO2 extraction (solvent-free method). Nonetheless, many manufacturers use propane as a solvent to produce cannabis concentrates. This hash concentrate is known as propane hash oil. Propane is an excellent solvent to extract and keep most of cannabis compounds such as terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids.
Let’s explain more about propane hash oil and how it is extracted.
What is PHO?
Propane hash oil uses only propane as a solvent for the extraction of cannabinoids and terpenes. Propane has a very low boiling point (-42 ºC) and this low boiling temperature is one of the key advantages of propane hash extraction over other solvent extraction methods such as butane. A lower boiling point means a more effective extraction of terpenes that would not be properly extracted if done at higher temperatures.
Butane hash oil has a low boiling point too (-1 ºC to 1 ºC) but substantially higher than propane.
Even though both propane and butane are very effective solvents for the extraction of cannabinoids and terpenes, they are both flammable and they must be used under safe and appropriate conditions.
Some cannabis extraction companies use an extraction method that blends propane and butane in the extraction process as they claim it achieves better consistency and yield.
How is Propane Hash Oil Made?
PHO or propane hash oil uses primarily propane as a solvent. There are other solvents used to make cannabis concentrates (e.g. alcohol, CO2…).
The use of solvents in the extraction methods carry some risks. Solvents must be used in special laboratories with good safety conditions. Mainly, because chemicals can explode.
Furthermore, there is a reason why many cannabis users prefer non-solvent extraction methods. The main reason is that solvent based methods may contaminate the final product. In other words, it is possible that residual solvent is found in the cannabis hash oil.
Therefore, it is important to buy propane hash oil that has been certified and verified. Propane hash oil, if properly extracted, is safe to consume.
PHO comes in different consistencies, but it mainly has a soft solid consistency. Propane runs at higher pressure than butane and many sources claim this results in a richer and more potent cannabis concentrate. Basically, Propane hash oil is made the same way as butane hash oil. The only difference is that they use different solvents in the extraction process. Nonetheless, PHO is a bit more expensive than butane hash oil as the extraction process can take several weeks.
Propane hash oil is usually vaporized using a dab rig, a process known as “dabbing”. As mentioned above, it is very important to ensure that the propane hash concentrate is lab tested.
Propane Hash oil is very similar to butane hash oil. They are both solvent extraction methods and high in cannabinoids. In addition, PHO is rich in terpenes as propane’s boiling point is lower than butane. This allows the terpenes to be extracted with better efficiency than using butane.
Both PHO and butane hash oil are vaporized using dab rigs that could be a glass dab rig or an electronic nail (e-nail).
Always make sure you buy PHO that has been lab tested. Both solvent and solvent-free methods are very effective extraction methods but perhaps BHO and PHO are more popular than CO2 extraction as solvent extraction methods are cheaper than using supercritical CO2.