This just seems to be a topic that stoners can’t seem to agree on and that’s because the decision is ultimately up to you.Some people even suggest to have both, though since propane has at home benefits while butane is better on the go. The differences are pretty minor and I mean either way you are using dangerous highly flammable gas… Both propane and butane are pretty dangerous and should be used in ventilated areas, preferably outside.The NFPA though, both are listed as mild health hazards with average stability and of course, high flammability. Both are also used for fueling vehicles and heating foods or dabs.
You can avoid doing this by finding healthier alternatives. One way would be to use a porcelain or ceramic soldering iron to heat your concentrates with, which you would have to have it put in the nail first and then it will immediately vaporize as you bring the tip to the concentrate. They make specific ones you can buy for marijuana, but it isn’t necessary. The only difference is you usually will have to remove the metal on the outside of the ceramic heating element, because you will be using the ceramic to heat with, not metal.
MAPP gas that is known for burning at up to 5300°F and largely used for heating, soldering, brazing and welding. There has been controversy regarding this because many of the canisters they distributed the product in were manufacturing and blowing up in peoples faces, literally. Some stoners use this because it heats up so much faster than the other two, but it’s not worth it to me to deal with.
- Butane is cleaner. Butane is a hydrocarbon (C4H10), meaning that it burns relatively clean only producing CO2 and H20 when plentiful oxygen is available, unlike propane which produces carbon monoxide. However, at low temperatures with inadequate ventilation, all chemicals will produce carbon monoxide, though not always in toxic amounts of course. For example, when you light a candle with a regular butane fueled cigarette lighter, you can notice some soot build up that is carbon. The torches, however, are overflowing with extra oxygen so this shouldn’t happen. Remember, ventilation isn’t just about getting things out of the air, but sometimes you have to put things into the air. Anyone who has grown weed indoors knows all about it. To be safe, keep it ventilated. Whenever using propane, you must be forcing the air out and bringing new air in actively since it contains carbon monoxide. The majority of carbon monoxide related poisonings involve people leaving their cars running while in their home garage where they are currently inside. It is not a common thing to happen to stoners who are operating tiny torches, but if you are having some sort of dab party at your house, watch out. Smokers are more prone than most people to have higher levels of cobh in their blood as it is.
- Propane burns hotter. Propane burns about 1000 degrees hotter than butane, and is relatively close to the melting point of titanium, which has perks and cons. If you are in a hurry trying to get your dab lit, you’ll appreciate the speed. However, if you are passing around the same nail to all your friends using the same hot ass torch, you may damn well melt your nail if it is cheap metal. Only use propane on titanium nails, since quartz or glass will most likely melt. You really have to treat your nails like little babies. Both torches are already way hotter than your nail needs to be, anyways. Propane torch users also claim to be able tot make multiple hits when using these torches, but this is only because they are heating the nail a lot hotter than it needs to be. When you do this, part of your hit is going to just turn into soot and be wasted, so did you really get more hits out of it? Why not just take your time, enjoy the hit and don’t waste it?
- Propane is easy to buy. Since propane is used more than butane in other activities, it is much easier and cheap to find propane and propane accessories at affordable prices and in different sizes. The butane torches that stoners buy are typically creme brûlée ones like from Bed Bath and Beyond.
- Butane for portability. That being said, these little torches are easier to carry around and emit a lot less carbon monoxide, making them great for walking around and are safer in inclosed areas. Unfortunately, butane does not hold up in all temperates as well as propane, so some travel destinations will not benefit from its portability and you’ll be forced to use propane since the butane will be working at less than average.
- Propane for extreme climates. Since you are able to get larger amounts of propane for less money, of course you will want to stock up on that instead. But aside from that, propane also stores a lot better than butane at varying temperatures and will keep up its efficiency, so if you are traveling to Alaska, skip the butane.
- Propane smells less. Though this sounds like a benefit, it’s highly dangerous. If you can not smell the propane leak, you will end up breathing it all in any dying! Make sure that your propane has ethanethiol added , which has a prominent detectable odor.
In conclusion, both are handy to have. Propane is durable while butane is a little safer and more portable and so on. Or you can try out using the soldering iron which takes away all that dangerous gas, including the nasty taste. At the end of the day though, it really doesn’t matter as long as we are getting high!