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Butane hash has hidden dangers, says edibles maker arguing against controversial solvent

bubble hash cropped.JPG
Bubble hash.
Butane, used as a solvent in making hash, is among the more controversial substances for medical marijuana users. Experts like Westword medical marijuana reviewer William Breathes, believe butane extracts are safe when done properly. But Wanda James, co-owner of the cannabis edibles company Simplypure.com, is 100 percent anti-butane, and she's encouraging fellow manufacturers to stop using it before something terrible happens.

James and her husband and partner, Scott Durrah, are prominent members of Colorado's medical marijuana community. For instance, both appeared (along with Breathes) in The Daily Show's May 2010 segment on the state's pot scene. She's also not afraid to speak out against what she sees as problems in the industry, as opposed to taking an it's-all-good approach. And that's led her to target butane.

"We've done a lot of research," James says. "We're a chef-driven company, and Scott has taken a look at what edibles are and who's eating them. We're concerned about how we can continue to help patients heal.

"We know butane hash is very popular. Lots of edible companies and dispensaries use it, and there's lots of disagreements going back and forth, with people who like it saying that if it's done correctly, there's less than 1 percent butane left in the finished product. But people throw out these percentages without being able to say if they're accurate or not, and without knowing if even 1 percent butane might be harmful."

wanda james posing on balcony.jpg
Wanda James.
This concern is heightened for patients whose immune systems have been compromised, James maintains. "If you're going through chemotherapy, anything that's reducing your body's ability to deal with chemicals and solvents is the last thing we should be giving to people," she believes. "There's no way of knowing if there's a problem until someone has an adverse reaction to it, and then, the only way the consumer would know if it wasn't done right is if every batch was lab-tested for what's contained in it. And I don't know of any edible company out there that's testing every batch of butane hash that's made."

Another potential factor "is how many edibles you're eating," she continues. "If someone with lung cancer or someone going through chemo is eating a lot of these edibles with solvents, what does that 1 percent mean over the course of a week? And the last thing we want in this industry is for anyone -- even one person -- to be harmed by an edible."

For these reasons, Simply Pure eschews butane hash in favor of bubble hash, "where we do a cold extraction of the cannabanoids from the plant material," James explains. "It's done with ice and water. There are no solvents, nothing added to it."

Why doesn't every company take a similar approach? "It's extremely labor-intensive," James says, "and it's also expensive, because you have to buy the equipment to make it happen. Quite frankly, making edibles with butane hash leads to a dramatically cheaper product, which is why it's been popular in the marketplace. But it's popular without consumers understanding what they're doing. So many people say it's safe, but we don't really know that."

simply pure coconut almond cups.JPG
Coconut almond cups from Simply Pure.
What about the potent jolt butane hash offers? James thinks "a lot of the high you get from a butane extraction may not always be from the quality of the cannabis. Some of that may be from the butane that's in it."

Besides, "the point of medicinal edibles is not to be high. The point is to get the THC and the cannabanoids into your system so that they can do the most good when it comes to pain relief, relaxation, relieving muscle spasms and so on. A lot of people do eat edibles to get a sustained high, but if your high is coming from a solvent-based gas, then it becomes the opposite of what medical marijuana is supposed to be about."

James knows taking such a public stance against butane may bother some of her peers. "A lot of people are afraid to stand up, because they don't want anyone to think they're attacking other people in the industry," she acknowledges. "And we're not attacking anyone in the industry. We think it's phenomenal, and we want to see it continue to be phenomenal. But our concern is that if anyone is harmed by something containing butane, it could bring down the entire edibles industry. And we want to make edibles safe for every patient: younger people, older people, people on chemo, people with HIV."

Her bottom line? "The medical marijuana movement is supposed to be about natural healing. And if we're talking about holistic, natural healing, there's no place for butane in that equation."

Page down to read Simply Pure's press release about butane, including links to articles and references.


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261 comments
janierick
janierick

Try MZ 12 X, approved solvent by CO MED.  I am more concerned about BHO explosions, with MZ 12x you reduce the risk of having your house removed off it's foundation. 

citizenjayz
citizenjayz

This is just bad reporting.  More like an advertisement for this dispensary.  But spouting misinformation is just dangerous.  Butane has been used in the food and cosmetic industries since the 1950s.  It's been deemed safe to use by both of those industries and our government.  The MSDS from OSHA on butane says there is no toxicity and no noticeable effect beneath a dose of 10,000 ppm.  Our hash oils may have up to 5-700 ppm.  Not dangerous.  You know what is?  Lies and propaganda all to sell more water hash.  Don't get me wrong.  I LOVE water hash.  But no need to malign BHO to make your sales...


http://mmmrmag.blogspot.com/2014/06/bho-is-not-dangerous-people-should-stop.html

infestedpasta
infestedpasta

Anyone who believes this is retarded. The stuff in butane used to make hash is called petroleum either, is evaporates 100% leaving behind no trace as long as there are no additives.They have been using pet either to make all kinds of chemicals people ingest on a daily basis for YEARS!


HubertJFarnsworth
HubertJFarnsworth

Butane is a NON POLER SOLVENT! This is in the same category as PAINT THINNER. I have smoked some store made dabs that still tasted like chems. Non polar solvents have been linked to cancer. I am not saying she is correct, but there is ample scientific evidence that says NON POLER SOLVENTS SHOULD NOT BE INGESTED.

jimisgenetics
jimisgenetics

Butane is as safe of a solvent as you can get.  This lady is making speculations that butane "may be harmful" when it's been used in food and medicine since it's discovery.  I'm referring to n-butane, not commercial lighter fluid.  Those cheap gas station lighters are filled with gas that is so dirty, it turns the snow black if you hold a flame up to it.

alteregogenetics
alteregogenetics

n butane from capitalbutane.com. the only phama grade butane on the market, and prices compare to vector or colibri. and its a much better product.. u don't need a vac ppurge to get the butane out lol.. just need the knowledge of some chemistry man. lol do a BHo run. then dissolve in ethanol.. repurge.. and u got clean bho.

kbhafford
kbhafford

West Word this is embarrassing 

Seriously this lady need to just stick to her Edibles. She needs to leave the concentrates alone.

TBHQ, A.K.A: ButaneTurns out butane isn't just for lighters anymore - it's also an artificial antioxidant that they put it in chicken nuggets to keep them "fresh" tasting. So instead of your chicken nuggets being fresh, butane keeps them "fresh." Eating butane probably wasn't what you had in mind last time you lit up, got the munchies, and ordered those nuggets.  Found in: Frozen, packaged or pre-made processed foods with long shelf lives such as frozen meals, crackers, chips, cereal bars and fast food.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/food-republic/6-ingredients-food_b_1400970.html

kbhafford
kbhafford

Wonder what all these retards would say if it was heptane????  very similar

kbhafford
kbhafford

This Lady is trying to scam everyone!! Butane is what is used in vegetable oil aerosol spray people eat it and cook with it everyday it is fda tested safe because it evaporates away!!!!

This lady sells edibles you can use already beaten trim from bubble hash to make great edibles. But trim soaked in butane has no crystal left and is gross to work with. She needs to just stick to her edibles and leave the concentrates to people who know what they are doing.

cavmanrockrdude
cavmanrockrdude

NUMBER 1 YOU DON'T USE BUTANE TO MAKE HASH AND WHEN YOU DO USE IT TO MAKE OIL OR WAXES IT NEEDS TO BE VACUMN PURGED A SIMPLE PROCESS BUTR CO2 IS A MUCH BETER SOLVENT AND OUR BODIES HAVE NO ISSUE WITH IT.......HASH IS MEARLY AN ACCUMALATION OF TRICHOMES  FROM MMJ WHEATHER YOU USE DRY ICE OR BUBBLE BAGS THE RESULT IS NEVER DONE USING BUTANE...AND CO2 BASED OILS ARE BUTANE FREE DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

spam43
spam43

Sounds like fear of uncertainty. I know people in the industry who are actively working on testing techniques and cleaner, purer methodology.


To ask us to stop for the reasons of uncertainty is just FUD.

No, is my response.

cirquecatering
cirquecatering

Ummmm, Butane is used to make a huge percentage of essential oils and extracts that this broad is using in her edibles, not to mention it is the number one propellant used in aerosol food products such as pan coating spray or whipped cream...

chrisbur4203
chrisbur4203

one last thing. thca is usually what makes it into edibles (see thca and decarboxylation)  so when this dumb bitch says the edibles arent to get you high they are to make you feel better its because her edibles are thca edibles and not thc <-- edibles. thc edibles are way harder to make but thx has all the healing properties especially for cancer so if your getting edibles that dont make you high switch your supplier because they are not healing you either. thca-rich butter recipes are a waste of money decarb'd bho tch<-- edibles are the future and have insanely more healing capability. im embarassed that people like this own a dispensory.

chrisbur4203
chrisbur4203

Don;t listen to this garbage. ten years from now BHO will be the only accepted form of medication. when its in edibles its cooked way overkill to decarb it so you wont have any butane at all left. also butane only makes physical bonds so with a proper purge technique u can easily get all the butane out. also anyone who is producing does not use lighter butane they use special ultra refined butane with near zero impurities or they order a tank of pure n-butane from a gas supplier and that is completely non-toxic and allows for a full purge. In my opinion smokeing bho is healthier, no burning plant matter smoke to inhale, no burning green plant oils. just all good absorabable medication that leaves no residue in my lungs. me and my mom eat it every day and both of us have immune disorders and both of us have had three times the energy and lung function and almost all aspect of health have gotten better. i dont even get infections anymore. Don;t buy into the propaganda. This horrible orticle should never have been written. everyone should be doing clean well made bho from the casual smoker to the hardcore medical user.

kimmy
kimmy

I know of 3 people whom after smoking bho had to be taken to emergency room, they were told they were suffering from tempoary global amnesia, one users testosterone levels plummeted. his denial of bho is sad!  i have participated a few times but did not like the high, way different than bud or hash, side effects suck, go do pills or heroin, probly safer any way than bho, dudes get real, dont kill urselves on bho! do some honest research, and kick that shit to the curb!

Give_Take
Give_Take

There's a common fear that butane is dangerous where there is little scientific knowledge to back that up, at least as far as vaporizing BHO goes.  If you're interested in a medical perspective, here's a link to a 14 minute discussion involving doctors and cannabis extractors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yerQMQt9Z64

haideehai
haideehai

BHO addicts will defend their use to the death. Literally. 80 percent of the oils in the Emerald Triangle - pot central - is adulterated by too much Butane. No one knows and no one cares, as it is not regulated, or tested. Just hearsay. Many of my acquaintances are hooked hopelessly to BHO. It is like any other addiction. Denial is a symptom.

watchman
watchman

BHO is fine for smoking (the butane fully combusts), vaporizing or daubing, but it does not belong in edibles.

 

Why not, you ask?

Because butane lighter fluid, the type commonly purchased at head shops, is not an FDA approved food additive.  That means you cannot add it to food for health reasons.  Doesn't matter if you use a hollow pipe or a Tamisium extractor, once there is butane lighter fluid in it, do not add it to food. (Oh, and a quick correction to Mr. Tamisium: Heptane and Hexane are FDA approved alkanes with boiling points below 250F).

 

Everyone seems to think that the butane bubbles off and makes it safe, or they can purge it with a food saver they bought at Costco.  Unfortunately, this is untrue.  Worse yet are the residues left behind from the butane manufacturing process.  These can include carcinogenic benzene.  Not something to offer a patient who already has cancer.

 

When it comes to edibles, just say NO to BHO

dfultz1963
dfultz1963

people been inhaling butane for years lighting bowls and cigarettes.  These are fear mongers.

Mccormickjacquelynn
Mccormickjacquelynn

I am readin in regards to butane in honeyoil. I live in Wasginton State. May 7th I bought purged bho from a clinic. Prior to that Ihad smoked the non purged numerous times. On May 7th within min of smkng the purgeh bho I collapsed. Non response paremedics were called I was rushed to hospital. I have suffered from seizures ever since. I have been in and out of hospital 2 times. I am looking at getting into Harborview this week to find out whats going on. I have never had a seizure or any  problems. I find it ironic within 5 min I hit the floor from one hit of smokin. Not sure if anyone else has had anythig similar . My Dr say no no no not the marajuana. But it has been a ride with all the Dr as well. I know my life has changed. If I dont take seizure meds everyday I am having them daily. I know the bho had something to do with it. Maybe there were underlying issues somewhere with me but 5 min down and a month now of seizures started with smoking bho

jimisgenetics
jimisgenetics

To put it bluntly, this is one of the most idiotic posts I've ever seen.  Now that I've had a chance to read the comments, I see that I'm not the only one calling "BS" on this one.

alteregogenetics
alteregogenetics

not to mention.. your smoking a bowl or bong with a bic.. ur taking in just as much if not more then a butane extracted hash.. even if its not purged completely ..

kbhafford
kbhafford

@cavmanrockrdude Buoble bags and dry ice are not as concentrated as BHO and they collect chlorophyll. if you have ever used spam spray you ate butane.

kbhafford
kbhafford

@spam43 This lady is just mad that she cant make crappy bubble and then use the trim to make her edibles anymore.

kbhafford
kbhafford

@cirquecatering

TBHQ, A.K.A: ButaneTurns out butane isn't just for lighters anymore - it's also an artificial antioxidant that they put it in chicken nuggets to keep them "fresh" tasting. So instead of your chicken nuggets being fresh, butane keeps them "fresh." Eating butane probably wasn't what you had in mind last time you lit up, got the munchies, and ordered those nuggets.  Found in: Frozen, packaged or pre-made processed foods with long shelf lives such as frozen meals, crackers, chips, cereal bars and fast food.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/food-republic/6-ingredients-food_b_1400970.html

kbhafford
kbhafford

@cirquecatering This lady is just mad that she cant make crappy bubble and then use the trim to make her edibles anymore.

kbhafford
kbhafford

@chrisbur4203 This lady is just mad that she cant make crappy bubble and then use the trim to make her edibles anymore.

sdcsdc
sdcsdc

@Give_Take  this is the best  thing u can listen to if u use calibri and u purge it right dry it out dont f***ing leave it sticky its bad if it oil u dont want it if its sticky stay away if its dry powder its pure these extraction are used every day for thing u eattttt. YOUR HAIR SPRAY IS WORSE FOR U!!!!!!!!!! DRYYYYYYYYYYYYY NO OIL NO STICKY AND MY NERVE DAM IS 75%+ BETTER THEN 5 YEARS AGO IF BUTANE WAS DAMAGING ME MY NERVES WOULD BE WORSE. THE SALT U EAT USES CLORIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


cavmanrockrdude
cavmanrockrdude

@haideehai 

what kind of research allows you to say bho is addictive........the oils created using bho can be extracted using co2......do the users of oil created that way become no2 addicts....I think not......I'm from the emerald triangle and everyone purges the bho out..its a simple process to purge bho from oils.....the denial is here.....denying yourself the correct information......before making this statement...

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@haideehai Thanks for adding to the conversation, haideehai. Much appreciated.

haideehai
haideehai

@watchman When it comes to anything, say no to BHO.. Yes to Bubble Hash. Until the testing is available. Butane is not to be ingested in any form, in a healthy human body.

JealousMuch
JealousMuch

 @watchman

 Total bullshit! You should be ashamed for feeding this propoganda to mmj followers. Butane has been used IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY for over fifty years. There is NO benzene in the butane used for extractions. Keep trying to scare the kids who don't know anything, Mr Chemist. LOLOL at this author taking the word of someone profiting by trashing their competition.

kimmy
kimmy

@Mccormickjacquelynn this happened to several people i know, also they have experianced temporary global amnesia, people wake up!!  This is bad shit, stick with organic bud and bubble hash! 

dfultz1963
dfultz1963

Its not the bho dude, the bho triggered epilepsy, which THC can and does do in high doses.  This is a problem with YOU, not the butane.  I know it sucks, but it's not something the average person will experience, and the same thing would have happened just by smoking whatever strain it was made from I'm sure.

cirquecatering
cirquecatering

@kbhafford

Oh wait? So you mean I actually know what I am talking about...Phew Dirty weasel was starting to make me think I was just crazy...hahah

kbhafford
kbhafford

@dirty-weasel

@cirquecatering

TBHQ, A.K.A: ButaneTurns out butane isn't just for lighters anymore - it's also an artificial antioxidant that they put it in chicken nuggets to keep them "fresh" tasting. So instead of your chicken nuggets being fresh, butane keeps them "fresh." Eating butane probably wasn't what you had in mind last time you lit up, got the munchies, and ordered those nuggets.  Found in: Frozen, packaged or pre-made processed foods with long shelf lives such as frozen meals, crackers, chips, cereal bars and fast food.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/food-republic/6-ingredients-food_b_1400970.html

cirquecatering
cirquecatering

many companies that make pre-canned whipped cream use butane or propane as the propellant....

cavmanrockrdude
cavmanrockrdude

@haideehai @watchman 

why bubble hash it.... is much better use of a bubble bag to throw in dry ice and get dry ice kief and compress it that's the proper use of a bubble bag

godisweed
godisweed

@haideehai Uhhhhh, the testing is available now.  Here in Seattle testing for solvent residues is normal.  Basically, there is no butane in most extracts which are seen here...Thanks for your opinion, but butane is non toxic and is safe enough it is NOT LABELED in food and medicine.  Thanks for your advice...

jimisgenetics
jimisgenetics

best bet is to get a refillable lighter and bleed the cheap gas out, then refill it with n-butane.  They really need to do a controlled study on development of cancer  in smokers who use cheap lighter fluid vs. n-butane.  I'm fairly certain that they'll find that its the cheap gas that causes cancer, not the tobacco. After all, tobacco has been used since the beginning of time (pretty much) but cancer has only been around for less than 100 years. 

Cannabis destroys and prevents cancer naturally, so that would explain why its cigarette smokers who get cancer from the cheap gas.

cavmanrockrdude
cavmanrockrdude

@cirquecatering 

actually they use no2 just like the gas the dentist uses not propane or butane........just like whippets they use for whip cream chargers

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