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Honey Oil Butane Extraction Tips
by Phife (contact info available)
1.0, November 2001
I read Indra's Supercritical Butane Extraction to make Real Honey Oil and it sounded interesting so I decided to make a few attempts to see if this extraction method was all it was made out to be. I have a lot of experience with making oil with different fluids such as Isopropyl Alcohol.

For my first attempt I decided not to invest much money so I used stuff I found around the house. I used a 1 3/4in diameter by 3in tin with lid. I poked 5 holes in bottom and one on top. Taped a coffee filter to bottom and filled it with some finely chopped weed about 6g worth. Mounted it above a glass dish and ventured out on my balcony. I had a 4oz can of Ronson brand butane and I used the whole can. Just before it was empty the butane/oil started to flow out of the bottom. The color was a light yellow. I removed the glass dish and left the tin outside to be safe. I put the dish into another larger partially filled with hot water. After about 15min of boiling the butane was all gone and I was left with golden oil of the highest potency I have ever smoked, but the yield was very low. I ended up with a very small amount from my 6g of weed (Less than 0.2g of oil)

So I decided that the oil was good but the amount was very poor, I had to find a way to increase the amount of oil, as it would be very expensive to buy weed and make it into oil.

I purchased a 1 and 1/2 foot by 1inch diameter copper pipe. I didn't want to get any PVC plastic into my oil so I stayed away from that. I also bought two 1inch copper end caps and drilled the proper holes. I wrapped some paper towel around the center foot of the tube and taped it on so I could hold the tube and not freeze my hand as it gets very Cold. I made a stand out of coat hanger to hold the tube and used a glass dish to collect the oil. My tube can hold 1 oz of finely chopped weed or shake (stems and leaves). I recommend using a coffee grinder or blender to chop the weed or shake as it should be a fine powder and you want to fill the tube all the way. Don't pack the weed/shake but you don't want air pockets in the tube for best results.

I used a 6oz can of Colibri butane. I found that Colibri was the best; I found a 6oz can of Colibri for $3.20. I tried Ronson, Colibri and Lite-it (which I found at 7-11). Ronson was good as well but Colibri says its 99% free of impurities and I didn't want any butane residue or impurities in my final product. The other brand was horrible, it left a weird taste to the oil so I never used it again.

I recommend slowly releasing the butane into the copper tube, I found that the slower I released the butane the longer the interaction with the weed or shake and the more THC was stripped, hence the more oil I ended up with. Also don't remove the can of butane from the tube until a little after its empty. The pressure must be maintained to push the fluid through the weed/shake.

It took a whole can of butane for about 1/3 to 1/2 of a vial of oil (1 vial = 1g) but you can use the shake in the tube a second time. Just take the shake out of the tube and refill it and use another 6oz can. Smaller cans do not work. Don't even attempt it there will be no fluid to drip out it wont even make it to the bottom and will just sit in the tube.

So I figure I can get about 1g of oil for every 1oz of shake and 12oz of butane. The Amount and color of the oil varies due to amount of THC on the shake or weed your using, I expect to get a little more if I use good weed but I don't think its economical.

A few other tips I found useful:

  1. I tried coffee filters, fine cloth and even paper towel to attach to the bottom of the tube and all seem to work just fine.
  2. The oil is very hard to remove from the collection dish so there are a few methods to get it out.
    1. Scrape what you can and then use some Isopropyl to get the rest then boil that off.
    2. Just before all the butane is gone I pour it into a clean pop or beer can bottom. It makes it very easy to scrape from.
  3. I recommend that you let the oil sit on something warm, e.g. Floor heater or some kinda warm plate for about 3 hours as some of the butane is still left behind. Leaving it warm until it stops bubbling is a good idea
  4. I do the butane to tube filling outside, but I bring in the dish to evaporate inside. There is very little smell but I do take every precaution so I don't blow myself up.
  5. Make sure you clean the copper tube very well as it can corrode if left dirty for a long period of time. There is no interaction between the butane and copper so you don't have to worry about any copper residue in the final product.
  6. Make the holes at the bottom of the tube small. Smaller than the top one by about half. I used a small drill bit.
  7. About 60sec after the butane has emptied, remove the bottle and blow into the tube to get the last little bit out.
  8. If you are making a large amount, say 1 pound, I recommend not using a longer tube as you will also need a larger can of butane, I recommend using several 1 and 1/2 foot tubes. Also I haven't found a good source of butane. I estimate it would take around 30 to 50 cans of butane for 1 pound of shake or weed and I haven't found a store that has that many or sells them in bulk.
  9. Do Not use camping butane as some brands put a smell into it to detect leaks and other brands even put poisons into it so you cant make drugs.
So there we have it, The VERY BEST extraction method I've tried. The oil is amazing, it takes about 30mins from start to finish which is a lot faster than any other method and its pretty easy to find butane at your local store or tobacco shop.