Vaping is, without a doubt, one of the most popular ways of consuming marijuana – and rightly so. Not only does it provide fast-acting effects, but it also lowers the risk of respiratory infections and other smoking-related health hazards. This method of consumption is also discreet and cost-effective.
THC and CBD vape juice is one way of channeling these benefits. This potent substance boasts sky-high levels of cannabinoids that may range between 50-70%. Hence, it ensures that you can get powerful mind-altering or medicinal effects in no time. Best of all, THC and CBD vape juice could easily be prepared at the comfort of the home.
An Easy Way to Make THC and CBD Vape Juice
THC and/or CBD vape juice or e-liquid can be bought premade in head shops or dispensaries. But why shell out a lot of bucks when you can easily create it at home? The do-it-yourself route also gives you full control over the purity, potency, and even the cannabinoid content of the final tincture.
There are several recipes available online, but the one detailed below is probably the simplest and the fastest. Since it entails the use of alcohol and heat, however, caution is of the essence.
Step 1: Choose the Strain
First and foremost, consider which cannabis strain you are going to use. That is if it contains only THC, CBD, or a mix of both.
Recreational users may want to go for Super Lemon Haze, God Bud, and Mochalope. These strains have soaring levels of THC, inducing intense psychoactive high. As for medicating patients who prefer high-CBD cultivars, you can never go wrong with ACDC and Harlequin.
Step 2: Decarboxylate the Buds
Before preparing the vape juice itself, it is important to decarboxylate the buds first – or to bake it in the oven for a given time. It will transform tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBD) – the dormant compounds found in raw cannabis flowers – into their activated forms: THC and CBD, respectively. Without this step, the final tincture will not produce the touted psychoactive or therapeutic effects.
- This procedure tends to emit a strong cannabis odor, which can be an issue for those who want to be discreet. To resolve this, close the doors and windows to keep the smell inside the house. Also, have a fan and carbon scrubber running the entire time. Open the windows only when the two appliances have filtered out most of the odor.
- Make sure to wear oven mitts to avoid accidentally burning yourself, especially when taking the piping hot tray out of the oven.
- 5-6 grams of top-shelf cannabis buds
- Herb/ cannabis grinder or scissors
- Pyrex baking tray
- Oven thermometer (optional)
- Oven mitts
- Grind the dried plant matter coarsely using an herb grinder. Or, you could break it apart using scissors or bare hands. While the recommended amount is 5-6 grams of buds, you could use more if you want. Also, there is an option to use shake and trimmings instead of high-quality nugs.
- Place the lightly ground buds into the Pyrex tray. If there is no Pyrex on hand, a baking pan – preferably one with raised edges – will do. Simply line it with parchment paper or baking sheet, as you would when whipping up a batch of cookies.
- Spread the chunks across the tray evenly for uniform heat distribution.
- Place the newly-prepared setup inside the oven. Set it to 225°F (107°C) to 250°F (121°C). For precise temperature reading, use an oven thermometer.
- Let the minced flowers cook for about 15 minutes.
- After the allotted time, check the plant matter. It should appear dry, toasted, and brownish. If not, allow it to bake for a few more minutes until it sports the desired appearance.
- Remove the tray from the oven. Let the crisp buds cool down.
Step 3: Prepare the THC and CBD Infusion
After decarbing the herbs, it is time to brew the infusion itself. It involves steeping the buds in high-proof grain alcohol, then heating it to extract the cannabinoids. After pulling out the valuable compounds from the nuggets, some of the alcohol is allowed to evaporate.
- Use only high-quality high-proof grain or pure ethanol alcohols. Many prefer 190-proof Everclear, which is comprised of 95% alcohol. At any rate, do not use isopropyl or rubbing alcohol as it is toxic and can be extremely dangerous when ingested.
- This step uses both alcohol and an open flame. Keep in mind that alcohol is highly flammable, so be extra careful to avoid accidentally igniting it.
- During the procedure, keep the windows open to keep the kitchen ventilated and free of vapors.
- Decarboxylated cannabis buds
- High-proof grain alcohol
- Mason jar
- Medium-sized pot
- Small wooden spoon
- Oven mitts
- Once the decarboxylated plant matter has cooled down, place it inside the mason jar.
- Slowly fill the glass container with the chosen alcohol. Do so until the buds are completely submerged. Keep it open, and do not unscrew the lid. Set aside.
- Pour around 4 cm of water to the cooking pot. Set it on top of the stove. Let it simmer on low heat.
- Place the thermometer inside the mason jar, then place it on the bubbling water. This setup – also known as a water bath – will help facilitate an even burning while supplying less heat to the infusion. This way, there is less risk for alcohol to overheat.
- At this point, you want to make sure that the room is well-ventilated. If the stove has a vent, turn it on.
- Use a wooden spoon to stir the weed and alcohol mix slowly and continually. Alternatively, use a wooden stir stick. Doing so will boil off some of the alcohol in the brew. Keep at it until the buds get darker.
- Once the plant matter has turned dark, turn off the fire. Let the setup cool.
Step 4: Strain out the Solids
After letting the excess alcohol evaporate from the mixture, it is time to filter out the solid plant matter and other unwanted substances from the oil.
- Cannabis infusion (inside a mason jar)
- Cooking twine
- Mason jar
- Knife or flexible rubber spatula
- While waiting, prepare a strainer. Cut two pieces of cheesecloth, with each piece larger than the opening of the second mason jar. Then, place the two layers of cloth over the mouth of the glass container. Use cooking twine to secure it in place.
- Once the brew has cooled down, slowly pour it over the makeshift sieve to filter out the solids. You may have to use a butter knife or a flexible rubber spatula to scrape out the thick oil sticking to the bottom of the jar.
- There is an option to let it sit for an hour or two to let the juice drip down to the second jar. But, you could also go straight to the next step if you do not want to wait.
- Remove the cheesecloth, then squeeze it tightly, letting the excess liquid fall to the container. The collected tincture should appear brown.
- Discard the solid materials.
Step 5: Process the Cannabis Infusion
This step involves cooking the liquid one last time, then adding some propylene glycol to thin out the mixture.
- Cannabis tincture (inside a mason jar)
- Food-safe propylene glycol
- 5 ml syringes or (or 5 ml dropper bottles)
- Medium-sized pot
- Opaque dropper bottle (can hold at least 25 ml of liquid)
- Oven mitts
- Add a bit of water to the cooking pot. Set it on top of the stove.
- Place the mason jar with the thick cannabis liquid inside it. Reboil the water.
- Continue boiling until only about 5 ml of the concoction is left in the jar. To make sure that you have the right amount, use a 5-ml syringe or dropper to measure the liquid.
- Add the propylene glycol to the mason jar. The juice should now appear dark green.
- Carefully take out the jar from the pot.
- Use a syringe to extract the liquid from the container. You should have about 25 ml of vape juice ready for use.
- Transfer the tincture to an opaque glass dropper bottle. Store it in a cool, dark, and dry place away from direct sunlight.
A Quick and Easy Way to Harness the Benefits of THC and CBD
THC and CBD vape juice or e-liquid is a highly concentrated substance that is primarily used in vaporizers. Due to its many benefits – including potency, rapid onset, and cost-effectiveness – it has become a smash hit in the 420 community. Another major appeal is that it can be whipped up at your home. This makes it possible to use for recreational and medicinal purposes, even without access to local dispensaries.