Honey oil is made by separating the resins of a cannabis plant from the plant material, using one of a number of industrial solvents, such as butane, hexane, grain alcohol and denatured alcohol, naptha, and various mixtures of these chemicals. Solvents are selected based on their ability to evaporate completely and cleanly, leaving no chemical residue, as well as which substances they more readily dissolve.
The purest, most potent grades of honey oil are made using only the flowers and leaves of the female cannabis plant which contain trichomes. This material is placed in a metal or plastic sleeve and washed in chemical solvents to separate the resin from the plant material. The solvent slurry is optionally filtered, then reduced by evaporation, resulting in paste that varies in colour from amber to dark green. This paste if filtered will be translucent and runny. If the paste is not filtered, it may by very thick, and opaque.
The most common solvent used in the preparation of honey oil is high-grade butane, sold in sporting goods stores and used in camping stoves and cigarette lighters. Due to the low boiling point and extreme combustibility of butane, extreme care is needed in the handling and preparation of these materials.
Honey oil made using isopropyl alcohol is referred to as ISO Oil or as QWISO for Quick Wash ISO and is quickly replacing butane as the most common solvent for making Honey Oil. Isopropyl alcohol  is safer than butane .
Honey oil is generally considered the province of amateur growers, who make it from collected trim leaves and immature "buds" from harvests as a by-product. Honey oil is generally not sold on the street as commonly as other cannabis products, but is highly prized among connoisseurs and those who use cannabis products medicinally.
Honey is most often found in rural areas where fresh marijuana is not available all year round. A high prevalence of 'outdoor' marijuana growers will make oil to use or sell through the winter months when there is no crop.