One of the many popular ways to consume cannabis or THC is to smoke e-cigarettes or vape pens. You could buy cartridges that already contain cannabis e-liquid or buy ones that you fill up with e-liquid you purchased separately. Some people, however, prefer to make cannabis e-liquid at home. If this is your preference, it is a reasonably straightforward process, once you learn how it works.
Why Make Cannabis E-liquid at Home?
Why would you want to make cannabis e-liquid at home in the first place? Everyone has their reasons. Some people see it as a way to save some money. Others enjoy the process of preparing their e-liquid and see it as part of the ritual of vaping.
Yet others may want to make e-liquid as a way to control its contents. This way, you do not have to worry about the e-liquid containing harsh chemicals, solvents, or anything else that is potentially harmful to your health as you will be in complete control.
Making your cannabis e-liquid could also let you make it using strains that you cannot find in already-made e-liquid. If you cannot find e-liquid with your favorite strain, this is the best way to get it.
The General Method
The general method of making cannabis e-liquid is to combine an extract with a carrier liquid. This process can be as straightforward or as complicated as you want to make it, depending on which method you choose, including whether you use fresh buds or an extract.
Long Extraction of THC Combined With Vegetable Glycerin and Propylene Glycol
If you have time on your hands and have quality as your goal, then this is a method worth considering, but you should be aware that the extraction process could take up to three months. The good news is that this method is relatively simple and does not require much effort or materials.
Essentially, you grind cannabis buds, work to decarboxylate them, and then combine this with your solution of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG). Mix it occasionally for three months.
You will want to use about 7 grams (or a quarter ounce) of buds with about 80 milliliters of the carrier mixture. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (121 degrees Celsius) and grind the cannabis buds. Aim for an even, coarse grind. Spread the ground cannabis evenly on a large baking tray, covering it with foil. Put it in the oven for 40 minutes. This takes care of the decarboxylation that converts THCa into THC.
Mix your VG and PG unless you bought a pre-mixed solution. Most people suggest either a 50-50 mix or 60 percent VG and 40 percent PG. Let your buds cool down and place them in an airtight jar, adding the mix, so you saturate the buds. You want them to be fully covered.
Stir the mixture and place a lid on it. Find a cool, dark place to store for three months. Every two weeks or so, stir it and add more of your PG-VG mixture if you need to. After three months are up, mix it one more time. Place a rice press over a clean glass jar, lining it with cheesecloth. Pour the mixture over the cheesecloth and place more on top. Squeeze as much as you can. The new jar will have your clean THC vape juice.
Short Extraction of THC Combined With Vegetable Glycerin and Propylene Glycol
If you do not want to wait three months for the extraction to finish, you can do something similar in significantly less time. The main difference is that heat speeds up the extraction process. As such, you will also need a double boiler or two pots, some water, and a thermometer.
As with the longer extraction process, you want to start by grinding cannabis buds then decarboxylating them in the oven. Let them cool while you prepare your VG-PG mixture. Put the decarboxylated buds in a jar and add your VG-PG mixture, so the buds are saturated and covered.
Now, you will need to grab either a double boiler or two large pots that can stack inside each other. Fill the larger pot with water that is around a half-inch deep and place the second pot inside with some water in it as well. Put your container on the stove and heat it until the temperature stays constant at 220 degrees Fahrenheit (105 degrees Celsius).
Place the jar with your cannabis mixture in the smaller pot and let the temperature in the jar reach 180 degrees Fahrenheit (85 degrees Celsius). Your goal is to maintain this temperature without passing it. Keep the jar on the stove at that temperature for at least an hour. Some people suggest going as long as four hours to maximize potency. You will need to mix it frequently and will likely need to add more of your VG-PG mixture as it dries out. Just do not add too much as this will reduce potency.
Let the mixture cool slightly, but it should still be warm. Strain it with a rice press and cheesecloth like you would in the long process.
Using Rosin Extraction and Carrier Oil
Another option is to use rosin wax and combine it with a carrier oil.
You can either start with already-made rosin or make your own. You can make your rosin with a rosin press or a hair straightener. If you are using a straightener, place your cannabis flowers in compact bundles that will fit in the straightener and heat the straightener to about 250 to 280 degrees Fahrenheit (120 to 140 degrees Celsius). Put the cannabis in parchment paper, and then place it between the straightener for around five seconds. Repeat this until you have about 0.5 grams of rosin. Take the nugs out of the paper and place it with the rosin in the freezer for a minute. This will harden the rosin so you can scrape it off with a dab tool or similar small pick.
Once you have your rosin, grab a glass vial and place 1 milliliter of medical terpenes or your mix of choice for every 0.5 grams of rosin. Heat the liquid, which you can do by placing the jar in a bowl with boiling water.
Or You Can Buy It
If those methods seem too complicated, you could also buy your cannabis e-liquid. Just ensure you choose a reputable source.