So here’s the deal: 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 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.
THC vape juice that you get down at random vape shops, for example, is (to put it nicely) questionable at best. And a lot of the stuff you can order online is made from harsh solvents like propylene glycol, which has been known to break down into carcinogenic (cancer-causing) formaldehyde when heated to extreme temperatures (even if you’re using the best vape pens on the market).
As such, we’ve put together this basic DIY guide for how to make THC oil for your e-cig and/or portable vaporizer. The obvious advantage when you do it yourself and use your own materials is that you know exactly what’s going into the product. Thus you (should) know that it will be safe and effective.
That said, dealing with ANY kind of chemicals and solvents can be tricky and intimidating, and thus the process should not be attempted if you don’t have the proper equipment, and/or if you don’t feel comfortable with any of the steps.
Furthermore, it must be noted that this guide is for informational purposes only – we do not particularly recommend you do this. It’s always better to buy from an established manufacturer whenever possible. Therefore, we take ZERO responsibility for any ensuing hazards, mishaps, injuries, or any other dangerous/negative outcomes.
If you’re still here, though, and that little disclaimer didn’t scare you away, here’s the ultimate DIY guide to how to make THC oil for E-cigs and portable vaporizers!
What You’ll Need to Create a Safe THC Oil for Your E-Cig or Vape Pen
In terms of the materials that you’ll need to make your THC e-cig vape juice, it really depends on the specific method that you’re going to use. If you do a simple search on YouTube, for example, you’ll find several different techniques and methods that you can use, all of which seem to work.
We will go over the steps for all three of these methods, but we will say that in terms of purity, safety, potency, and overall quality, we recommend using the rosin extraction with a hair straightener method.
This is because the other two methods involve using potentially dangerous solvents that, when heated to high enough temperatures, may break down into carcinogenic formaldehyde that you definitely do not want to be inhaling. (Traditionally, PEG400 or a mix of polyethylene glycol (PEG), propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) have been used. However, all of these – except for VG – have been shown to break down into carcinogenic compounds at extremely high temperatures. You can make a vape juice using only vegetable glycerin, but it tends to be a little lower in potency and overall quality).
In any regard, we will go over the process for making the e-juice using all three of these methods, and you can choose which one you want to employ based on the amount of time you have, and the materials you’ve got on hand.
THC Oil for E-cigs: Method #1 – 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 and letting it sit for a really, really long time (up to three months), while stirring it/straining it every several weeks. Not a very popular method due to the amount of time it takes, but it’s simple and hard to mess up (unlike the other two methods).
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)
To start, first, you’ll need to grind up your raw marijuana buds. We don’t recommend using an actual grinder, because if you get the flower too fine, a lot of it won’t filter out during refinement and you’ll be left with a lot of ground-up herb in your final 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 raw buds into smaller pieces by hand.
- Cover your baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spread out the buds onto the sheet.
- Place the baking sheet into the oven at a temperature of 250℉ (121℃) for about 30 minutes. This is a crucial step because it decarboxylates the THCA in the raw buds, into psychoactive THC.
- Take the buds out of the oven and let them cool off for a few minutes.
- Dump the buds into your glass jar with the sealing lid, and pour just enough vegetable glycerin (VG) over them so that it saturates the buds. You do not want to use too much VG, because your end product will end up becoming super diluted and will have almost no psychoactive effects. If you use the right amount of VG, you should be left with a thick, clumpy, gooey mixture that’s easily stirrable but not too liquidy.
- Stir up the mixture, seal the lid, and put a label on it with the date. You will let this sit in a safe, cool, dark, dry place for about a month.
- After a month or so, take the jar out and stir it up thoroughly. Add about a tablespoon of fresh VG in order to keep the THC extraction process moving along. Stir/mix up again, and set aside in a safe place for another month.
- Repeat this same process, adding another tablespoon of fresh VG. Place back in a cool, safe place for one more month. (On a side note, feel free to mix/stir up the jar as frequently as you want during the three month period, even on a daily basis if you want. The more it is mixed up, the better).
- After the last month is up, take the mixture out and stir it up nicely with your stirring wand. Then, place your small wire mesh strainer over a clean glass jar (this one doesn’t need a seal), and dump the cannabis/VG mixture into the strainer. Let all of the VG drip through the strainer, using the rubber spatula to squeeze out as much remaining liquid as you can.
- Discard the raw cannabis material, clean off your mesh strainer, and then cover the strainer with about four layers of cheesecloth (you can also use a cotton muslin bag).
- Pour the cannabis/VG liquid mixture onto the cheesecloth or muslin bag, letting it drip through into a clean glass jar (you can use the same one that you did for the first filter as long as you clean it out).
- Squeeze out any remaining liquid from the cheesecloth/muslin bag as you can, and then you’re done! If everything went correctly, you should be left with a clean, debris-free VG liquid infused with THC extract, at which point you can use a syringe or dropper bottle to add to your vape cartridge.
- Enjoy! (For maximum effect and taste, allow about 15-20 minutes after you add the THC e-juice to the vape cartridge before you begin vaping. This allows the wick to fully absorb the e-liquid).
Final Thoughts on How to Make THC Oil for E-Cigs
As we mentioned, if it all possible we recommend you purchase a THC weed oil (one that’s been made specifically for vaping) from an established, reliable dispensary. This way, you know you’re going to get a high-quality and safe product, and you won’t run the risk of wasting any good weed or injuring/burning yourself along the way.