Technically, “solventless” isn’t a word, but we’ll pretend like it is just like everyone else in the cannabis industry. Anyway, this post is overdue because quite a few of you have been coming and asking for vape cartridges that aren’t filled with BHO or anything else that’s extracted with hydrocarbons, and until recently, CO2 was the best we could do, but that’s over now because we recently put the Live Rosin carts from Dab Logic on our shelves.
But first, I should back up just in case you have no clue what I’m talking about. When most cannabis vape oil is made, they start with dried flower. Then they grind it up finely, bake it to decarboxylate the cannabinoids, and then they put it in an extraction vessel (which looks like a big metal tube). And then they “blast” some sort of solvent through that tube, which separates the cannabis oil from the plant material, and then that oil is put into a vape cartridge. If a hydrocarbon such as butane was used instead of CO2—which is often the case, because butane is a more caustic solvent that removes more from the plant material—they must remove the solvent from the oil thanks to Colorado’s regulations. So, the oil must go into a purge oven before being put into cartridges: the purge oven heats the oil and creates a vacuum, which pulls from the oil all the residual solvents.
This is why BHO (butane hash oil) has never scared me—I trust the manufacturers we use for vendors, and I know their product has been tested for residual solvents to make sure it’s below Colorado’s permissible level. Frankly, I’m more worried abut the butane that gets into my system by using a butane lighter to smoke regular pot (we sell hemp wick in our Durango dispensary if it bothers you as well), so the tested, butane-derived concentrates we sell don’t bother me in the slightest.
That being said, there are still plenty of people out there who avoid hydrocarbon-extracted concentrates for one of two reasons: one, they’re worried about the residual butane, and two, they like the taste and high of solventless extracts. The former isn’t a big deal thanks to the testing, but I get the latter preference completely. Solvents such as CO2 and butane work well to remove cannabis oil from the plant, but they leave quite a bit behind, meaning the high you get from BHO will never be as complex as a flower high, and even though the butane has been removed, hydrocarbon extracts have a certain taste to them that some people simply don’t like, which is valid. And that’s where solventless hash oil, or “SHO” comes in, bringing us full circle back to where this blog started.
Rosin and Bubble Hash are two examples of solventless hashes because both products are made with only water, heat, and pressure, but both products are solids, so they don’t do you any good when it comes to vape pens; you need SHO for that. But this stuff hasn’t been around for long, which makes sense: you don’t need to be a scientist to figure out that it’s extraordinarily difficult to turn a plant into vape liquid, so it took this burgeoning industry of ours quite some time to figure it out. But we finally got it done, and here’s how:
First, instead of starting with dried, cured flower, to make SHO, producers start with “fresh-frozen flower,” which is frozen with dry ice immediately after harvest. They do this because when you let flower dry, many of the terpenes evaporate, which means flavor is lost. The next step is to take that fresh-frozen flower and give it a bath in Bubble Hash (which is separated from the flower with ice water and mechanical agitation), and this is done to bump up the potency in the final product. Then, the bubble-hash bathed, fresh-frozen flower is wrapped in a mesh bag before being put in a press, which applies gentle heat and pressure to squeeze out from the plant matter all the hash oil contained within. After this step, you have something called “Live Rosin,” which we also sell in our Durango dispensary, but it’s still a solid, so one more step is required. Next, the Live Rosin is put in a large, deep tray to be baked. This denatures the Live Rosin and makes all the solids float, which are scraped off the liquid below, which is then gathered and put into cartridges as finalized SHO.
Crazy, right? And if you think about it, even though SHO carts look like other carts, this complicated process is why you end up paying more for solventless vapes, but the price is worth it. The flavor from these things is as good as it gets, and since everything was removed from the flower mechanically, and since the flower was fresh-frozen, the high from a SHO cart mimics the complex one you get from flower, which is awesome. So, if you’ve never tried an SHO cart, I recommend running here to get one, because they really are that wonderful.
And if you’re just now realizing that most concentrates are made with hydrocarbons, and you’d like to try something that isn’t besides the new Dab Logic carts, we’ve got you covered. When it comes to solventless, full-melt concentrates, we always have Live Rosin from Kush Masters on our shelves. This is the solid form of SHO that didn’t undergo the denaturing process to make it a liquid, so it looks a lot like wax, but it’s as true to the plant as any concentrate out there, meaning it’s the best solventless dab on earth.
Or, if you’re old-school like me and you don’t dab, but you’d still like a solventless hash experience, The Greenery is Durango’s only dispensary that sells traditional, kief-based hashish. We have our own Hash Factory that produces Moroccan and Lebanese hash, both of which are completely solventless, and all you need to do to step things up a notch is sprinkle some of either on top of you bowl (or roll some into your joint).
But what about all you edible fans? Did you guys know that most gummies are infused with CO2 oil, or that some of them contain butane-extracted cannabinoids just like hydrocarbon dabs? Well, for you, we’ve always sold Love’s Oven edibles such as their Turtle Brownies and Chocolate Chip Cookies, both of which are made with canna-butter, which is technically solventless. With edibles such as theses, cannabis flower is mixed into butter and then heated, which causes the cannabinoids to infuse the butter solventlessly (which definitely isn’t a word). But in the coming weeks, we’re going to expand our solventless edible selection by introducing “Dialed In” gummies, which are made with the same SHO you’d find in a Dab Logic vape cart, which is very exciting, because it means you’ll be able to get a flower-like high from an edible (and because these things are delicious).
And that’s that! SHO carts are the newest “it” thing in the cannabis industry, and we have the best ones in town, so come see us. And for that matter, we always strive to bring in the newest and greatest innovations such as SHO carts before everyone else in Durango, because We’re Your Best Buds!