The hash oils made in the nineteenth century were made from hand collected hashish called charas and kief. The term hash oil was hashish that had been dissolved or infused into a vegetable oil for use in preparing foods for oral administration. Efforts to isolate the active ingredient in cannabis were well documented in the nineteenth century and Cannabis extracts and tinctures of cannabis were included in the British Pharmacopoeia and the Pharmacopoeia of the United States. These solvent extracts were termed cannabin (1845), cannabindon, cannabinine, crude cannabinol and cannabinol.
So called “butane honey oil” was available briefly in the 1970s. This product was made in Kabul, Afghanistan and smuggled into the United States by The Brotherhood of Eternal Love. Production is thought to have ceased when the facility was destroyed in an explosion.
Traditional ice-water separated hashish production utilizes water and filter bags to separate plant material from resin, though this method still leaves much residual plant matter and is therefore poorly suited for full vaporization. Gold described the use of alcohol and activated charcoal in honey oil production by 1989, and Michael Starks further detailed procedures and various solvents by 1990.
Large cannabis vaporizers gained popularity in the twentieth century for their ability to vaporize the Cannabinoids in cannabis and extracts without burning plant material using temperature controlled vaporization. Colorado and Washington began licensing hash oil extraction operations in 2014. Small portable vape pens saw a dramatic increase in popularity in 2017.