There are many ways to extract the cannabinoids from a cannabis plant to create concentrates, although most extraction methods fall into two categories; those that use a chemical solvent to pull the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant and those that do not.
Hydrocarbon extraction is an extraction technique that uses certain hydrocarbons, such as butane and propane, that act as solvents. They strip the chemical compounds when combined with plant material to separate cannabinoids and terpenes from other plant material. Hydrocarbon extraction has become increasingly popular due to the extraction quality, efficiency, and low cost compared to alternative methods.
While it may not sound safe to consume these compounds, hydrocarbons have been used for decades in food extraction to produce colorings and flavors. Hydrocarbon extraction is used to create specific cannabis extract profiles with varying levels of potency, although some extracts can contain high THC with up to 90% of the plantâ€™s original cannabinoids.
Hydrocarbon extraction is used to produce a variety of products, including wax, oil, shatter, glass, and hash. These extracts are sometimes called Butane Hash Oil, or BHOs, which are often used for dabbing. Hydrocarbon extracts can be used to make a variety of products, such as topicals, transdermal patches, capsules, vape cartridges, and edibles.