Honu Concentrates

Did you know Honu makes concentrates?!

We have some fantastic slabs coming out of the Slab Lab featuring beautiful iridescent pale yellows to dark rich amber tones. A common misconception in the industry about concentrates is, “the lighter the color, the better the quality.” But many consumers and cannoisseurs are finding out for themselves this isn’t always the case… So what determines the color (and quality) of a dab?

Most Commonly:

  • The Extraction Method: Honu uses a variety of extraction methods, Hydrocarbon (butane and propane) CO2, and Ethanol.  Hydrocarbon extraction can produce the widest variety of extracts, from shatter to sugar wax to pull-n-snap to crumble. Hydrocarbon extraction is an aggressive extraction method and can pull carotene which is responsible for the deep orange to brown colors in extracts to chlorophyll which can give extracts a green cast. CO2 extracts tend to be a vicious oleoresin which makes it ideal for vape cartridge use with colors from deep orange to a light straw yellow. Ethanol extraction can produce very stable shatter with a wide variety of colors, mostly depending on the temperature and duration of exposure of the material to the ethanol. As far as quality goes, extraction methods are up for debate. What some prefer, others may not favor.

Other Important Variables, that impact the end result of color and quality:

  • The Strain: Just like with flower, different strains have different colors present. This is the same for concentrates. For example, Yeti is typically various shades of light green. Grape Ape usually has darker purple hues.
  • Plant Material: Was the concentrate made from bud, trim, sugar leaves, or a combination of them? Concentrates made from bud will usually produce a slab lighter in color compared to a slab made from the trim of that same plant.
  • Curing Process: Was the flower processed fresh or old? Dried after harvest or was it made from live resin? (Live Resin is when the plant is frozen directly after harvest.)
  • Terpenes & Trichomes: The level of terps and tris in the plant material can affect the coloring of a slab. Also, the age of the trichomes at harvest can impact the color of the slab. If the trichomes are clear or cloudy at harvest, you get very light gold to almost no color. If they are past that stage during harvest or curing time, then the slab can result in a darker amber color.
  • Density: Naturally, a slab that is spread thin versus a slab that is thicker, will allow more light to pass through, which can change the color of a concentrate. And just like with photography, it’s all about angles! See below:

(all four photos are of the same slab, taken at different angles, using different lighting techniques)

More Information on Honu’s Extraction Methods and Processes

Honu uses three extraction methods to produce a wide variety of cannabis concentrates: Alcohol, Hydrocarbon and CO2. Also known as BHO (Butane Hash Oil), PHO (Propane Hash Oil) and EHO (Ethanol Hash Oil). Each extraction method has its advantages and disadvantages. By using multiple methods of extraction we can tailor the extract to a specific purpose.

Alcohol – Ethanol Hash Oil (EHO)

Alcohol is the most effective and least selective extraction method. Full plant extracts which contain the largest number of salts, oils and phytochemicals. We use 190 Proof Ethyl Alcohol in our extraction process.

Our ethanol is:

  • Food grade
  • Meets United States Pharmacopeia (USP) requirements
  • Made from Cereal Grains (Corn, Milo (Sorghum), Wheat)

The longer alcohol is left in contact with cannabis undesirable chemicals, like chlorophyll, are removed. Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO) has traditionally been used for it’s medicinal application. Material that has been processed using hydrocarbons and CO2 can be run through an alcohol extraction process to remove more THC and other desirable cannabinoids. Depending on the time the cannabis is exposed to the alcohol solvent extensive secondary processing may be required to produce an acceptable extract for the recreational market.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

CO2 is a non-polar solvent and is limited to the chemicals it can extract, however due to the nature of CO2, a “tunable” solvent by controlling temperature and pressure, CO2 extraction can be made more selective as to the chemicals it removes from cannabis. CO2 is considered GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by the FDA. Cannabinoids need to be fully decarboxolated to be efficiently extracted by CO2. CO2 extracts are generally vicious making them ideal for use in vaporizer cartridges. During the material preparation process terpenes which are responsible for the flavor and aroma of cannabis are removed. Some CO2 extracts may have less taste and flavor and as a result we harvest and then reintroduce terpenes to our CO2 oil to restore the original plant nose to the extract. This lack of flavor in CO2 extracts makes them highly desirable for use in edibles where the “taste” of cannabis is less desirable.

Hydrocarbon Butane Hash Oil (BHO) Propane Hash Oil (PHO)

Hydrocarbon extraction using butane or propane produces concentrates that have the closest flavor and aroma of the original material without extensive secondary post processing.  Hydrocarbon extraction can also produce the widest range of concentrates such as shatter, wax and oleoresin. Hydrocarbon extraction is the most dangerous due to the use of explosive gases and requires an expensive and highly controlled extraction laboratory.