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Without an industry, without a legit market, we had nowhere to turn besides the brand's themselves for trustworthy information during Prohibition. I don't think I need to tell you the issues that arise when your information comes from those who profit from your understanding or lack there-of it. After tackling the tough issues early on and believing the community was being steered in the correct direction (toward higher quality products for consumers for less money, without the dogma or false narratives that have plagued hashish and cannabis for a millennia) the sidebars and thinking appears to be back on the producer's side. We can only spread the word so far, and while cannabis has always been something "cool" to consider, the narrative is driven by the brands who profit from us.

Allow me to open up by saying, there is a place for everything in the world of cannabis (almost). There's a time and a place for almost every product and every consumer. Many are quick to dismiss distillates without understanding what's really at play. Many are quick to dismiss these distillates, yet remain in favor of diamonds and live resin BHO. Most will scream at the thought of a "CRC" extract. All of these lines of thinking are applicable, but many fail to comprehend a few basic facts when trying to decide on what is appropriate for consumers and which methods should simply be forgotten and left behind. Plenty want to refuse distillates on the market, while supporting live resin BHO.


While the people are rightfully quick to refuse C.R.C. as a quality product, the same people are smoking BHO & Live Resin Diamonds, processed through a color remediation column without their knowledge! So much of what occurs behind the scenes has been hidden from consumers until the recent solventless evolution. Not much point in showing off your gigantic chemistry set that is about to be packed full of cannabis "biomass" and blasted with chemical solvents, but if your beef is with CRC, then avoiding Live Resin BHO is probably a good idea.

CRC, or a color remediation column has become nearly standardized in most Live Resin BHO labs, built directly into their Butane Extraction lab equipment. It's quite literally an additional metal column that uses various substances to further refine and effectively lighten the color of an extraction.

cannabis greenhouse growing crazy colored cannabis plants
Crazy Colors galore.

Fast-Food of Weed

The degree of remediation varies and the substances used within the C.R.C. column vary from producer to producer. Check out our early article on CRC "As the Fast-Food" of weed, that revealed much of the problem to a wide swath of consumers, including the "Fryer Grease Filtration Powders" that work to turn black sludge into clear concentrates.

Color Remediation possibly has a place to stay in the industry, once a good deal of research is performed. So long as it leaves something safe for consumption behind, the process can be used to refine crude extracts and prepare them for further distillation and this brings us to our next point: BHO Versus Distillates.

the hashish manifesto Understanding Retail Cannabis through the art of hashish for consumers and smokers of all knowledge levels.

What's good about distillates?

Here's the real kicker, distillates can come from any quality of cannabis, from the worst to the best (if you choose to ruin your quality cannabis). Generally speaking, distillates are the lowest form of cannabis extract available today, and the final step and process in a chain of chemical procedures. They remove 100% of the residual solvent (butane, hexane, etc.) from the extract. You see, it requires a crude extract utilizing one of our many chemical solvents, to initiate the distillation process. Once the crude oil has been extracted (into BHO), distillation purges to remove all of the remaining solvent, hence why it was originally introduced as "Solvent-Free" (not to be confused with Solvent-LESS). From this line of thinking, distillates are cleaner, safer, and far less disgusting than many BHO Live Resin soups with unknown amounts of residual solvents and the always present possibility that a CRC column was in use. So many variables and unknowns mark the chemical extract industry, making it corporate cannabis' best friend with endless profit margins, and no concern for growing healthy or quality cannabis plants.

Visual Non-Appeal

They say you eat with your eyes, and with California's pro-corporate residual solvent limits being sky high, I can't help but to think that soupy terp layer in BHO Live Resin Diamonds is just excess butane watering it down. While this is huge exaggeration, knowing that some amount of butane always remains in BHO, destroys my experience of consumption. My taste quickly outgrew diamonds and live resins for a number of logical reasons, once hash rosin rolled around. Those against CRC, should be quick to move to live rosin, leaving BHO behind.

Cannabis residual solvents limits in California:

  • Butane: >5000 PPM

  • Propane: >5000 PPM

  • Hexane: >70 PPM for inhalable goods >290 for all others

  • Ethanol: >1000 PPM for inhalable goods >5000 PPM for all others

  • Benzene: >1 PPM

"All limits in California coincide with the limits set by the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practice guidelines". They also approved eight billion oxycontin/heroin pills to be prescribed, so I put zero faith in the FDA's guidance.

BHO Diamonds are Distillates (basically)

The love of Live Resin Diamonds, despite a hatred for distillates, is at least partially contradictory by nature. You see, those diamonds are nothing more than pure THC, which when isolated naturally turns to a crystalized form. And with most BHO Live Resin extracts maintaining a THC level over 80%, this THC is provided in the form of diamonds. Many must believe it to still be a pretty murky area without clean-cut differences between the diamonds (cannabinoid THC) and the sauce (terpenes), but that is really not the case. The diamonds are pure THC while the terp-layer is a mixture of additional cannabinoids and remaining terpenes. And with at least 80% of live resin coming in the form of diamonds, it's a pretty simple logical deduction to realize that diamonds (aside from a few differences that ONLY matter if you are eating it, rather than smoking it) are no different to our endo-cannabinoid receptors than the finest of distillates. That is correct, dab those diamonds without any of the terpy sauce, and you're hitting a high known only to distillates and pure THC.

And so are Solventless Diamonds

You may have read our post about "Splitting the Trichome", which throws the same shade at solventless diamonds or solventless THC (not solventless sauce) as it does distillates. Since THC is THC regardless of where it comes from or what kind of cannabis it comes from, in the end the exact effect is felt. It wasn't until chemical solvents were introduced that we had the ability to split the trichome, containing all of the plant's cannabinoids and terpenes, to provide just a piece of what trichomes have to offer us. Solventless methods have countered, to provide the entire trichome in six star hash and the trichomes contents in live hash rosin.

Let that Digest

So, as we let that information digest, let me try to predict the most common question or concern that will assuredly come from this line of thinking... "what does it mean for vape cartridges claiming to be live resin or live resin diamonds" and not distillate? The answer: Your guess is as good as mine, but by the time you extract something and use post-processing techniques (and certainly the CRC column) to liquefy the THC with stability, and take into account how it is vaporized by the cartridge unit itself, and you're basically smoking a distillate regardless of the method. With less than ten percent terpenes and 80-90 percent THC, the bulk of every cannabis cartridge high is almost entirely THC-based.

From this line of thinking, distillates are cleaner, safer, and far less disgusting than many BHO Live Resin soups with unknown amounts of residual solvents and the always present possibility that a CRC column was in use.

As much as I hate distillates, with Live Resin being a monumentally superior product, the fact remains that distillates are truly cleaner and safer than BHO products. The upside I see is distillates for free for everyone. They should be handed out to those in need. With the ability to utilize nothing but "biomass" (the waste of others), distillation provides a clean and serviceable extract of pure THC (or CBD) to test, study, and supply those most in medicinal need.

the hashish manifesto Understanding Retail Cannabis through the art of hashish for consumers and smokers of all knowledge levels.

While live resin bho is normally superior to a distillate, the concerns for consumer's on the open market can only be satiated by distillation, or a close tie and behind the scenes access to a live resin producer like @Humboldtterpcouncil.

Here's my honest take

For too long consumer's have been at the mercy of chemical extraction makers charging top dollar for products that are worth close to nothing without the solvent. Even the regulations favor solvents and their use for remediating contaminated cannabis. You don't see it, but nearly every distillate comes from a "remediated source". It's time we take a huge step forward, forgetting the chemical solvent industry and moving ahead into a new solventless age. If I showed you the quality of cannabis and the steel pipe to pack it in for butane to pour through, you would never want to smoke BHO again. I'm all for leaving chemical solvents out of cannabis, having solved the problems and drawbacks of solvent extraction with the vastly superior solventless form.

We have found perfection in solventless refinement. The rest is for corporate profits and the uniformed.




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