Materials & Use

What Is Hash Oil and What You Should Know About It

Gabi Antunes

Aug 17, 2019

As cannabis concentrates continue to gain market share in virtually every legal market, hash oil has become a household name. This liquid concentrate, high in Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, is a potent substance that can be used with a vape device or added to dry flower to increase its potency. Hash oil can even be consumed orally or added to foods and beverages to create infused edible products.

What exactly is Hash?

Hash is a potent, solid concentrate derived from the cannabis plant. Hash is specifically made from the “kief” of the cannabis plant, which is the dust-like substance that grows heavily on cannabis flower or buds. This kief contains a high amount of trichomes, which are nearly microscopic structures that contain a high concentration of THC and other cannabinoids.

Hash is made by gathering kief and subjecting it to heat and pressure to create a dense block of resin. Bubble hash is a water-purified variation of solid hash that is more resinous in its consistency but contains the same compounds.

Hash oil, by contrast, is an extract of the cannabis plant. Like other cannabis concentrates, hash oil is made by using a solvent to draw the desired compounds out of the plant. The extraction process can also be performed on solid hash or bubble hash rather than the plant itself. Once the solvent is refined, the resulting product is a thick, liquid hash oil.

Hash oil can be considered a specific subset of “cannabis oil,” distinguished by its elevated THC content. In fact, hash oil can contain up to three times the amount of THC by volume than less concentrated cannabis oils. For consumers looking for a more potent end product, hash oil is a good choice to run of the mill cannabis oil.

Is Hash Oil the Same as Dabs?

The terms “dabs” and “dabbing” refer to the act of vaporizing or ingesting potent concentrates, including hash oil. Hash oil is a particular type of “dab” material, though the term encompasses a wide range of other concentrates as well. Like many other dabs, hash oil is versatile and can be consumed in a variety of ways, including vaporization, smoking, or oral ingestion.

Some dabs, like crumble, are solid substances, while others like hash oil are liquid. The specific nature of each “dab” material means they are often consumed in different ways. While hash oil can be smoked or ingested, vaporization is one of the most popular methods of ingesting the concentrate. To use hash oil with a vape device, ensure that your device is compatible with liquid concentrates. Some vapes, such as the PAX 3, can be used with dry herb material and concentrates, allowing you to quickly switch between your preferred materials from session to session.

How is Hash Oil Extracted?

While hash oil was discovered as a byproduct of the process required to make bricks of hash, it has evolved to become an extract all its own. Also known as honey oil, hash oil can be created through several methods. One common method involves the use of a solvent, such as butane or ethanol, to draw the compounds out of the cannabis plant. The resulting liquid is then filtered and evaporated, leaving behind a sticky, thick, liquid resin. That resin is what we refer to as hash oil. Since butane is frequently used in this process, hash oil is sometimes also referred to as butane hash oil (BHO).

Extractors can fine-tune the process to isolate specific cannabinoids and select which compounds are emphasized in the resulting concentrate. Oftentimes, concentrate products mimic the compound profiles found within the plant, but with this selectivity process extractors can choose which compounds are contained within the concentrate in higher levels.

Is Hash Oil the Same as Hemp CBD Oil?

Hash oil is generally understood as a cannabis plant extract, and while it contains Cannabidiol (CBD) it also contains other cannabinoids, including a characteristically high level of the psychoactive compound THC. Hemp-derived CBD oil is an extract of the hemp plant that contains trace amounts or no THC. So, while hash oil and hemp-derived CBD oil undergo a similar extraction process, they are far from the same product.

There are indeed some similarities between hash oil and hemp-derived CBD oil, however. For example, both can be made with a solvent-based extraction process and often mimic the compound profiles found in the source plant. Moreover, like hash oil, hemp-derived CBD oil can be ingested orally and, depending on the liquid it is added to, vaporized and smoked, but only in states that allow the inhalation of these products. Still, the compounds contained within each product are very different and result in distinct experiences for the consumer.

Typically, hash oil is a product favored by cannabis consumers looking for a potent concentrate. Hemp-derived CBD oil, on the other hand, is a non-psychoactive product. Despite the similarities between hash oil and hemp-derived CBD oil, these products are not one and the same and cater to vastly different audiences, even when there is overlap between these two types of consumers.

Types of Concentrates

Hash oil is far from the only concentrate available in legal cannabis markets. It is but one of many concentrate materials, each of which undergoes a specific extraction and refinement process. While all concentrates are generally potent recreations of their source plants, the processes they go through can alter their intended uses and methods of consumption. Here’s a look at some of the most popular concentrates on the market today.

  • Oil: Oil is a liquid concentrate derived from cannabis and hemp plants using a solvent-based extraction process. Oil is most commonly used in vaporizers, added to foodstuffs and beverages to create infused edible products, or consumed by itself as a sublingual, but only in states that permit these products.
  • Hash: Hash, not to be confused with hash oil, is a solid substance created by subjecting trichome-heavy kief to pressure and heat. The resulting “bricks” can be added to dry flower material.
  • Wax: Wax is a cross between a solid and liquid concentrate and closely resembles a melted candle. Sticky and malleable, wax is generally used with dab rigs or e-nails for vaporization.
  • Shatter: Shatter looks like jagged, rocky pieces of a broken or “shattered” glass. It is a versatile concentrate that can be dabbed and vaporized, and it is gaining popularity as a food or drink additive to create infused edible products.
  • Crumble: Similar to wax, crumble is a drier concentrate product that easily breaks apart into smaller, dry pieces. Crumble is often used with a dab rig or e-nail, much like wax.
  • Crystal: Crystalline concentrates look just like the geological structures for which they are named. Like wax, crystals can be dabbed, or they can be added to food.

Whichever type of session you prefer, there’s a concentrate available for your intended purposes. However, concentrates are potent and should be used safely and responsibly. Whether you’re looking for the heightened levels of THC provided by hash oil or the non-psychoactive experience of hemp-derived CBD concentrates, this increasingly diverse and innovative industry has products to suit many preferences.