There are so many reasons to use a cannabis e-juice vape pen, not least of which is portability. A pen can go with you pretty much anywhere, and the high concentrations possible with cannabis e-juice makes it both a highly effective and a highly economical way to dose THC or CBD. Plus, refillable vape pens are readily available in Canada.
If you’ve researched the pros and cons of vaping, using a vape pen may be your preferred ingestion method. If so, read on to learn how cannabis e-juice is made, and how you can make your own.
There are three primary ways to extract THC and CBD from raw bud if you have trouble sourcing cannabis concentrates for sale. The three different methods could be fast, medium, and slow. The level of chemistry and culinary sophistication varies widely between extraction methodologies, with the fast and medium extraction methods posing some very real risks for potential burns (investing in a silicone oven mitt is probably a good idea!).
But if you don’t want to invest in a THC vape juice kit, you can experiment with the different ways to make cannabis e-juice and decide which one works best for you.
How to Extract THC for Cannabis E-Juice: Fast Method
Let’s start with the fast method, rosin extraction, which takes an hour or less.
If you want to start from raw nugs and press your own rosin, you will probably have to purchase some equipment you may not have already.
For the extraction method, you’ll need dry herb nugs that are quite dense. Fine grinding is required for rosin extraction. You’ll also need:
- Ceramic hair straightener
- Parchment paper
- A glass mixing vial
- A lighter
- A vape pen cartridge
- A syringe
- A mixing wand
- An eyedropper to add natural terpene solution or wax to the mix
Some claim this method produces the most potent and best-tasting cannabis e-juice. It requires using a hair straightener to press the rosin from your cannabis, using the parchment paper to collect it, adding a few drops of a terpene solution, and then heating it up to bond the two mixtures.
You’ll need about an eighth of an ounce or three grams of fresh nuggets to fill up your vape pen. That much cannabis will produce about half a gram of rosin.
When we said potentially dangerous, we meant the risk of burning yourself. Be careful!
- Set your hair straightener to between 250 and 280°F (120 to 138°C). You’ll have to experiment with the temperature controls to see what works best.
- Place a nug on a piece of parchment paper and fold the paper over the bud.
- When the straightener is up to temperature, put the parchment paper in the straightener, and press down hard for several seconds.
- Don’t burn either the bud or the parchment paper.
- If it works, you should have a small amount of resin you can peel off the parchment paper.
- Repeat with all the nugs you’ve devoted to creating cannabis e-juice, and when you’ve got them all “straightened,” refrigerate the parchment papers for a few minutes to make it easier to handle.
- Use a knife or small paint scraper to collect the rosin from the parchment paper and add it all to your glass vial.
- Then use your eyedropper to add a few drops of terpene solution. Now comes another potentially dangerous step.
- You need to flash heat the glass until the liquid just starts to bubble, about three or four seconds. This means you have to be using a proper, high school chemistry lab heat resistant vial. Don’t overheat, or you’ll burn off terpenes.
- Mix the solution with the mixing wand as soon as the liquid starts bubbling. Use a syringe to draw up the liquid and fill up your vape pen.
An alternate fast cannabis e-juice method has you start with wax, shatter, oil, budder, sugar wax, or rosin (you’ll need a gram of concentrate in total), 2 ml of a wax liquidizer. Using this method, combine the concentrate with the wax liquidizer in a microwave-safe container, microwave for 10 seconds, stir to mix evenly, use a syringe to draw up your e-juice, and refill your vape pen.
How to Extract THC for Cannabis E-Juice: Slow Methods
Using vegetable glycerin to extract cannabis oil can take anywhere from three to four hours to two to three months.
- Decarboxylate your raw buds first, to render them psychoactive by baking them at 250°F (121°C) for 25 to 30 minutes.
- When they’ve cooled, put them in a glass jar with a sealing lid (Mason jars work well, or any jar used for jam making with a rubber seal), pour enough vegetable glycerin over the buds to saturate them.
- Stir, seal, and label with the date.
- Let your cannabis oil sit in a cool dark place for about a month before stirring and adding a little more vegetable glycerin.
- Do this twice more, then strain the mixture using a small-mesh wire strainer into a clean glass jar.
- Get rid of the raw bud, clean your strainer, and use three or four layers of cheesecloth to strain it. Let the oil drip through into a clean glass jar, squeeze the cheesecloth to get the last drops of goodness out, and use a syringe to fill up your vape pen.
The medium method involves using raw cannabis. This method requires a lot of oil for the oil bath — it has to reach to within an inch of the top of the Pyrex jar.
- Dump your buds (no need to grind, just break them up by hand) into a Pyrex jar, pour vegetable glycerin over them and stir.
- Create an oil bath with canola or vegetable oil and add your Pyrex jar to the oil bath, which has been heated to 220°F (104°C).
- You’ll need two thermometers for this process because you want the cannabis mixture to hit and stay at 180°F (82°C) for about 45 minutes. This method requires a lot of oil for the oil bath — it has to reach to within an inch of the top of the Pyrex jar.
- When the mixture cools, follow the same straining procedure as you do for the slow method to ensure you get a clear oil.
If you want to give your lungs a break from smoking and control your high, cannabis e-juice may be the way to go. There is absolutely no waste and it’s not like a joint you end up smoking just because it’s there and already lit. Next time you buy an ounce, set some aside and experiment with making your own cannabis e-juice.