This is a very common FAQ. Rightfully so. Consumers should be concerned with how their CBD products are produced, especially in today’s market. Extracts are most commonly made either by processing the flower with a hydrocarbon like butane or propane (known as Butane Hash Oil or BHO <- See the connection here to our Bluegrass Hemp Oil, BHO? ????), pressurizing the material with carbon dioxide (CO2) or soaking it with ethanol. In this blog, we’ll take the time to review our method of choice, hydrocarbon extraction, bring some of its misconceptions to light, and introduce a few other standard techniques.


An article written by Lindsay Maharry, Debunking the BHO Stigma: A Scientist’s Take on Butane Hash Oil vs. CO2 Extraction,” does an excellent job of shining a light on how unsafe practices engaged in by kids changed the perception of this extraction method. (I highly recommend you read it!) When in fact, this method, if done correctly, is completely safe. Hydrocarbons are non-polar, meaning they bind to the more fat-soluble components of the plant (cannabinoids and terpenes only) to extract compounds from cannabis plant material gently. The result is a higher-purity extract and the only product that resembles the plant from which it came. Butane and propane allow organic solvents to be used in an extraction process that produces the richest cannabinoids and terpenes. This oleoresin is live resin. The live resin extraction method makes high-quality cannabis oil like what we use for our Genesis Blend full spectrum CBD oil.

Learn about Bluegrass Hemp Oil’s BHO CBD


Hydrocarbons are a classification of organic compounds consisting of carbon and hydrogen, formed from the compression of animal and plant remains over long periods. The most common hydrocarbons include butane and propane. Hydrocarbons are also powerful organic solvents – substances capable of dissolving or dispersing other substances. They’re most commonly used in natural flavorings, soybean oil, vegetable oil, and many other food products consumed daily. It works well as butane has a low boiling point. That allows us to recover it at a low temperature in our extraction process. These preserve the most cannabinoids and terpenes.

Fun fact: Hydrocarbons like propane and butane are recognized as safe by the FDA and have been used since the 1970s for food production and extractions. Menu items like crème Brulee and flan are finished with a butane torch to crust them. Many will host barbeques while cooking their food with a propane grill. And let’s not forget the smokers who light up with butane lighters!


As we stated, butane allows our extraction process to recover it at a low temperature. These preserve the most cannabinoids and terpenes. Butane is a popular solvent in the cannabis world. It’s a non-polar, Class 2 liquefied gas with a low boiling point of 31.1°F and an evaporation point of 33°F. In cannabis extraction, this is important because it allows for the cold-boiling of any leftover solvent from the concentrate, preserving cannabinoids and temperature-sensitive terpenes, resulting in a high-quality product free from residual solvents. That other extraction process can not be achieved.


Co2: Co2 extraction is a process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to pull desired cannabinoids from the plant. Its vapor pressure is so high the CO2 disappears, leaving no potential for residual. However, this pressure is harsher on the plants and strips the terpenes during the process. In Maharry’s article, she explains the appeal of this process to manufacturers in the industry, stating it allows companies “to get away with running poor quality flowers” because they are producing a homogenous product. (In her case, she focuses on THC only, whereas what we see in the hemp industry is CBD only.) This affects the over all quality of the CBD oil. If the cannabinoids do not get extracted during the extraction process, how can they end up in the final CBD Oil? They can’t. Some Co2 extraction machines look big and fancy but do not produce high-quality extract CBD oil.

Ethanol: In this process, the solvent, Ethanol, is passed over the plant material to dissolve the cannabinoids in the plant. Because ethanol is a “polar” solvent, it will want to bind to the water-soluble components of the plant. The result is a less pure, generally less potent, end product that needs further post-processing and refining. Therefore, it has limitations in making a genuinely pure, full-spectrum extract. Have we discussed we only want the significant lipids from the plant material? That is why the only plant matter we like to use is the bud or flower from the cannabis or hemp plants.

Check out the video in the link below for more info on CO2 vs. Solvent-Based Extraction: https://precisionextraction.com/2019/06/solvent-based-extraction-vs-co2-extraction/

Visit our Podcast page and listen in as we discuss the most common methods of extraction in Episode 11

Rich live high quality cannabinoids and terpenes. This full spectrum extracted oil needs little post process and makes the best extracted CBD oil.