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Residual Solvents

Residual solvents refer to the leftover solvents that are present in marijuana extracts after the processing phase is complete. Residual solvents tend to occur if the purging phase isn’t done adequately or if the steps aren’t followed completely. Residual solvents can sometimes be found in butane hash oil, Rick Simpson oil, budder, honeycomb, wax, crumbles, honey oils, and hash. In processing extracts, solvents are used to separate the THC from cannabis.

Butane is known to be a popular substance that is used in the process to produce hash oil, wax, dabs, and shatter. Extracting the most desirable properties of cannabis is the goal of using solvents, but not all of these methods are foolproof. The goal is to remove as many of the residual solvents as possible, but there will always remain the risk of still having minuscule amounts left over.

Residual solvents typically occur after the extraction or post-extraction phase, such as winterization, is complete. Winterization refers to the soaking of cannabis in alcohol and then freezing it to isolate and separate the residual products.

If the residual solvents are not completely removed from the finished product, then there is a risk that the consumer will inhale it during consumption. It is up for debate how harmful the effects are to the user and in what quantities that need to be consumed for harmful effects to occur. Even though there is a risk of residual solvents in concentrates, they do hold the benefits of having a higher amount of cannabinoids in them. This means that the user can use a much smaller amount to get a greater effect than if they just used traditional cannabis.

Use of Term

I was able to remove the majority of the residual solvents from by shatter by purging it completely two times in a row.

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