A new trend in the world of vaping has been THC oil, which can be used for e-cigs and other portable vaporizers. But unless you have a weed card, live in one of the states where it’s legal to purchase marijuana without medical documentation, or are using pre-filled cartridges available for purchase, it will be like trying to get your hands on quality juice.
THC vape juice that you get down at random vape shops, for example, is (to put it nicely) questionable at best. And some of the products purchased online are made from harsh solvents like propylene glycol, which can break down into carcinogenic formaldehyde when heated to extreme temperatures.
Want to know how to make your THC oil? Check out our guide for tips.
Fortunately, we’ve put together this basic DIY guide on how to make THC oil for your e-cig and portable vaporizer. The advantage of doing it yourself is that you know exactly what’s going into the product. Thus, you should know that it will be safe and effective.
That being said, exposure to chemicals and solvents can be dangerous, and thus it should not be attempted without the proper equipment or without feeling confident in your ability to complete the process.
Our intention with this guide is to provide informational support for future adventures, not give specific direction. It’s better to buy well-known products when possible. We take no responsibility for any hazardous or negative consequences of following these guidelines.
This article is meant for those that are still reading who need to know how to use THC oil in e-cigs and vaporizers.
Method Vegetable Glycerin Extraction (Long-Term)
This method essentially involves grinding up raw cannabis flower (high THC) and then saturating it with food-grade vegetable glycerin. The mixture is allowed to sit for a long time before continuous stirring or periodic straining is performed over several weeks. This is not a popular technique due to the amount of time it takes, but it is simple and easy to do.
Here are the materials that you’ll need to use this method:
- Marijuana flower/buds (you can use as much or as little as you want, but for reference, an eighth oz (3.5 g) of weed will produce about 30-60 mL of vape juice. (You can also use a high-grade cannabis concentrate, such as BHO wax, shatter, etc to produce a more potent e-liquid)
- Pure USP food grade vegetable glycerin
- Baking sheet (or oven-safe Pyrex bowl)
- Aluminum foil
- 2 glass jars with a tight-sealing lid (we recommend something like a Mini Hermes Jar with an anchor lock)
- Stirring wand
- Wire mesh strainer
- Flexible rubber spatula (small enough to fit inside the mesh strainer)
- Cheesecloth (or cotton muslin bag)
Preliminary steps for preparing your marijuana are to grind it and experiment with how much-grounded cannabis you prefer. We don’t recommend using a grinder at all, because ground-up herb will end up in your finished vape liquid. Just break the bigger nugs apart with your hands until everything is a smaller, uniform size.
Here are the steps, in order:
- Break up the buds into smaller pieces with your hands.
- Next, place the baking sheet on a stove and layout the buds into an efficient pattern.
- Place the baking sheet into an oven heated to 250℉ (121 ℃) for about 30 minutes. This is a crucial step because it transforms THCA, which isn’t psychoactive in its natural form, into psychoactive THC.
- Allow the oven-baked snacks to cool for a few minutes before removing them from the oven.
- Put the buds in the glass jar with a sealing lid. Pour just enough vegetable glycerin over them to saturate them. Similar to oil in salad dressing, too much VG will make your end product taste watered down and have almost no psychoactive effects. If you have the right amount of VG, you’ll end up with a thick and gooey mixture that’s easily stirrable but not too liquid.
- Cut the board to size, prop it on a box stand, and use wood glue to fill in gaps around the edges. After 15 minutes, stir together one part of water with three parts flour and seal up tight with cellophane wrap. You will let this sit in a safe, cool, dark, dry place for about a month.
- After a month or two, take the jar out and thoroughly mix it. Add about a tablespoon of fresh VG to keep the THC extraction process moving. Place the mixture in a paper bag or bowl and stir it up. Allow to settle for one more month, then mix it up again before putting it into an airtight container.
- Repeat the same process, adding another tablespoon of vegetable glycerin. Place back in a cool, safe place for one more month. (On a side note, feel free to shake the jar as frequently as you want during the three months; even daily if you desire. The more it is shaken up, the better).
- Once the last month has elapsed, stir the mixture thoroughly with your whisk. Next, place your small wire mesh strainer over a clean glass jar (this one does not need a seal), and pour the cannabis/VG mixture into the strainer. Pour all of the VG through a fine-mesh strainer and use a rubber spatula to press out any remaining liquid.
- Once totally cooled, discard the cannabis material and clean off your mesh strainer. Cover the strainer with about four layers of cheesecloth (or a cotton muslin bag).
- Pour the mixture of cannabis/VG liquid through a cheesecloth or muslin bag to filter it into a clean glass jar (using the same container for the first two filters would be okay as long as you clean it between uses).
- Press any remaining liquid through the cheesecloth/muslin bag and you’re done. If everything went properly, you should be left with a clean VG liquid infused with THC extract, which can be added to your vape cartridge at this point using either a syringe or dropper bottle.
- For maximum effect and taste, allow about 15-20 minutes after adding THC e-juice to the vape cartridge before you begin vaping. This allows the wick to fully absorb the e-liquid.