These days, e-liquids are not just restricted to nicotine and flavors, and new types of e-liquids are starting to increase substantially in popularity. In particular, many people are becoming interested in cannabis e-liquid or THC e-liquid. Not only is it a cool new fun way to get high, but it also helps to kick the nicotine habit.
THC oil for e-cigs or other kinds of portable vaporizers has become an incredibly popular “consumption method” over the past two years or so, but unless you have a medical marijuana card or live in one of the eight states where you can buy weed recreationally, it can be SUPER tough to get your hands on a quality juice, especially if you’re using some of these cheap, run-of-the-mill pre-filled cartridges.
Some makers of THC and CBD e-liquids will mix in an aroma and flavor to their herbal blends – if you shop around you will find many different combinations and will find one that is perfect for you. Usually, extra flavor and aroma are provided by terpenes, the natural aroma compounds found in the cannabis plant.
In most other places, THC extracts in the form of e-liquids do not exist. Even in the social clubs of Spain, most just sell herb and hash, with some wax and BHO. Places that regularly stock THC liquids are rare indeed. This means that your only real and reliable option is to make THC e-liquids at home.
There are various ways to make cannabis e-cig liquids. It can be a straightforward process if you learn from the right source but can become quite complex the more you try to refine the process. Here, we’ll go through two of the more simple methods.
The Easy Method of Making Cannabis E-Liquid
To start, we have the number one easy method. This method utilizes a popular product that is called EJMix, which is a blend of glycols – which we will touch on a bit later in this article.
Here is what you will need:
– EJMix (the availability depends on your country).
– High-quality cannabis extract, preferably winterized Butane Hash Oil (BHO) or quick wash ethanol (QWET)
Here is what you do:
First, melt your extract with low temp gentle heat – either in a microwave for a minute or minute and a half on a low setting – the lowest will work fine. Another method is to put it in a cup or container and place this in boiling water – but without getting your extract wet.
Second, mix the EJMix into your melted extract by stirring with a stainless steel/silicone spatula. Start with a 1:1 ratio of EJMix to extract. You can vary this according to your personal preference if you want a stronger or milder extract.
When the mixture is fully stirred in and homogenized, remove it from the heat source and allow it to cool completely.
You may have just made your first batch of THC e-juice. Test your cannabis liquid now and see what you think – if you find that it’s too dense or too strong, add more EJMix and repeat the above steps. Many people find that a 2:3 ratio of extract to EJMix is a good alternative to 1:1.
So that’s the easiest method, and as you can see, it only takes a few minutes if you have the right ingredients! But not everyone has the option to buy EJMix, as it’s not available everywhere, and even where it is available it can be pricey. As well as that, you may not have access to good-quality extracts like BHO.
How to Make Cannabis E-Liquid Using Bud, Trim or Kief
If you can’t obtain the needed items for the first method, or if you just prefer to use the plant in its natural form, here is a method for making cannabis e-liquid from bud or trim. This method should cost quite a lot less but will take more time.
This method will require you to obtain the glycols we touched on earlier in this article – and unlike the EJMix needed in method one above the glycols are available in most countries around the world. The glycols needed are polyethylene glycol (PEG) and propylene glycol (PG). Additionally, this can work the same with another compound called vegetable glycerin (VG).
You should look for a specific kind of PEG called PEG400 for this method. This compound can dissolve cannabinoids and hold them in suspension so that your e-liquid stays stable and homogenous. If you’re unable to find PEG400, you can still use this method to make e-liquids using PG or VG. These two compounds are not quite as effective, as they don’t maintain stability as well.
You will need:
– Quality bud or trim
– PEG400 or PG/VG
– Food grade alcohol that is at least 190 proof (freeze for 2 hours before starting this)
– Coffee filters (the white things that go in a coffee machine)
– A stainless steel tea strainer
– Silicone or stainless steel funnel
– Baking sheet
– 2 Glass jars that you will freeze 2 hours before starting
– Heating sources such as a heating pad stove or oven
– Stainless steel saucepan
– Precise temperature thermometer
Stage 1 of Bud/Trim Method – Preparation
– Decarboxylate your herb using the baking sheet. Approx 30 minutes at around 105C (220F) should be good. This is a low enough temp to avoid burning away all the terpenes.
– Break up your bud to crumbs with your hands. You should not use a grinder as this will create powder so fine that it could clog or even go through the coffee filter.
– Put the herb into one of the frozen jars and place it in the freezer for 1 hour.
Stage 2 of Bud/Trim Method
– First, pour alcohol into the jar – enough to just cover the cannabis completely.
– Next, shake the jar side-to-side gently (making sure not to agitate the mixture too much) for a few seconds before placing it back into the freezer.
– After exactly one minute, take the jar out, shake gently for a few seconds, and place back into the freezer. Do this again at the 2-minute mark.
– Also at the 2-minute mark, take out the second empty jar that’s chilling in the freezer.
– In the second frozen jar, place the stainless steel/silicon cone funnel, then the coffee filter, then the sieve.
– After 3 minutes is up, take out the first jar and carefully pour its contents into the second jar, through the sieve and filters.
– If desired, you can repeat the above steps up to 2 more times, to extract as much resin as possible. If you do this, you should use a different (frozen) jar for each run, as repeating the steps will extract more chlorophyll, waxes and so on.
– The last step of Stage 2 is to evaporate off the alcohol. You can do this with controlled heat, such as a heating pad, or in a water bath. You need to keep temps consistent and in the 60-80C (140-175F) range, to burn off the alcohol without losing the terpenes.
– If you are using PEG400, you can evaporate down to the last drop of the alcohol. If using PG/VG, you should retain a little of the alcohol to keep the extract liquid. You can gently heat at the end to evaporate the last traces if needed.
Stage 3 of Bud/Trim Method
– At this stage, your extract should be warm enough to be liquid and easy to mix. If you need to, warm it up again to reach the right consistency.
– Add your choice of PEG400, PG or VG and then stir until the mixture is homogeneous. Use a ratio of 1:1 for a fairly strong extract, or go with a ratio of 2:3 PEG to extract for a smoother, milder effect. Experiment to achieve your ideal results!
– If you used PEG400, you should be pretty much done by this stage. If using PG/VG, you may want to warm the mixture again and keep it at around 60C (140F) for an hour or so, stirring occasionally, to remove any remaining traces of alcohol.
– PEG400 blends should remain generally stable. PG/VG blends are much less stable, and it helps a lot to keep them warm and to shake them regularly to blend the liquids. Keep your cart in your pocket (where your body heat will keep it warm) and shake it every so often.
That’s it! You can try this with different ratios of PEG400, PG/VG until you find a good balance. You can also experiment by adding flavors and aromas, advisably cannabis terpenes for their natural flavor.
Please remember that these are basic guidelines. There are many variations on the same basic principle that you can try.