Cannabis Concentrates

Discussion in 'The 420 Lounge' started by Buds_Of_Steele, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Buds_Of_Steele

    Buds_Of_Steele Your Undisputed Disputer

    wanted to put this in science, since it is chemistry, homemade paraphernalia made sense too, but whatever if any mod deems there a part of this forum better suited to house this how to, then please do move it there.

    I've been asked by a few members to post directions on how to make concentrates. I've been reluctant to do so because of the frustrations I must confront due to the fact that around the world, most people consider this to be the manufacturing of drugs, which in today's world is synonymous with evil, and crude, impure products that are often intended to make a quick buck off people who you could really care less about whether they're smoking glass shards so long as you have money in your pocket.

    People ask "is it safe to smoke butane? is it safe to smoke alcohol? can I burn off the alcohol instead of letting it evaporate? why do I have to do this on a glass plate? is it alright if I just leave the weed sitting in the alcohol for a day?" and I get frustrated because Im 16, only think about myself and have a hard time taking a step back and trying to understand this from the perspective of someone who hasn't been researching, and making concentrates for a long time.

    To alot of people, this is scary shit, and should you get caught doing it it's more illegal than just having weed. Not sure how the laws are different around the world, but to have the equipment set up to make concentrates, makes it alot easier for cops to try and stick you with intent to distribute, and charges related to the manufacturing of drugs.

    anyways, enough about my personal problems and that other shit


    a concentrate by definition is a stronger or more potent product than the one it was originally refined from. Concentrating something, involves removing the undesirable or unnecessary components and leaving behind the ones you want, thus making the final product purer, more concentrated.

    In making cannabis concentrates, the undesirables are obviously everything in the bud that is not THC or other cannabinoids.

    So how do we separate the THC from the plant matter?

    How do we get stains out of our clothes without destroying the fabric? We use a solvent that breaks down the stain but does not destroy the fabric.

    Therefore we must find a solvent that will break down or dissolve the THC without breaking down the plant matter.

    Isopropanyl Alcohol and Butane are two solvents that are commonly used in making concentrates, others can be used like Ethyl Alcohol or naphtha but why don't we see them more commonly used?

    Ethyl Alcohol (the kind we drink) is not readily available in its pure form, and much of the naphtha we have access to is fuel grade, and full of impurities that would get left behind when the naphtha evaporates.

    ISO (rubbing) alcohol and Butane (lighter refills) are commonly available, cheap and very pure. Butane IMO is less trustworthy as every company has it's own way of purifying the butane, some brands are less pure and are not good for making concentrates. a list can be found via google search though.

    ISO alcohol can be bought in a variety of percentages. These refer to the ratio of ISO alcohol to distilled water in the bottle. I prefer 99% ISO alcohol for making concentrates.

    ISO alcohol IMO is a safer product, it evaporates much slower than butane and is alot more stable in a liquid form at room temperature whereas butane is only liquid at room temperature when the gas is compressed. Imagine how much easier it would be to work at the factory that produces ISO alcohol than the one that produces butane refill canisters, how much easier it would be to keep the ISO pure when its so much easier to handle and transport.

    Did I mention that ISO alcohol and Butane in their pure forms both evaporate cleanly? Because that's very important especially to the safety and health conscious hash makers. You are not smoking butane or rubbing alcohol nor are you smoking anything they left behind (aside from the concentrate.

    Only what goes into the solvent, comes out in your concentrate. The solvent starts pure and finishes pure (though you can see it anymore because it evaporates).


    if you've made it this far then you're serious about that and im excited because making the concentrates is almost as awesome as the science behind them.

    The method I will explain here is one of mine. There are many ways to do this, there are many objects that can be substituted for the ones I use, and there is room for improvement on my technique, obviously since what I can tell you now is the culmination of all my hashmaking knowledge and experience which are two things that will hopefully continue to expand for me, along with the improvement of my technique.

    To begin you will need:

    -A mason jar, the ones with the ring lids
    -the ring lid (but not the flat metal disc inside the ring)
    -Coffee filters
    -99% ISO Alcohol
    -A flat glass surface that can hold liquid *
    -The weed
    -rubber gloves
    -razor blades and scalpel tool dealy that you can put the blades into, pen knife shit basically

    *this is crucial, I use a glass microwave tray I picked up at a thrift shop for 2 bucks. it is 1 square foot and is efficient for batches in the half o to ounce range (amount of weed you start with) it allows the final solution to spread over a large surface, exposing more of the solution to the air, allowing it to evaporate quicker. You need to find a glass plate (you can use regular dinnerware type plates that are made of that porcelain stuff, can't remember what its called now. might even be porcelain. ceramic? fuck it just go with glass) with a large surface area and raised edges to hold the THC rich solution while the solvent evaporates.

    Now that you have your tools let's actually get this shit made

    do this in a well ventilated area. set everything up so it is all within arms reach as speed is one of the key's in making a good concentrate.

    gloves are optional, but if you don't wear them you will get a high from touching the solution, and your hands will be sticky as fuck when the alcohol evaporates off them and leaves hash oil on your hands. You will need to touch the solution at one point.

    1.Bust your weed to a powder, an ungodly, unsmokable powder (its not worth smoking after its been put through the solvent anyways, believe me) and put the weed powder in the bottom of the glass mason jar.

    2.Remove the metal dis from the inside of the jar lid ring, push the coffee filter through the ring so that you can screw the ring onto the jar and it will hold the coffee filter in place. (the filter will prevent the lid from properly screwing on, this does not matter, it will still screw on with a little effort although it will be an awkward fit)

    3. unscrew the child safety cap bullshit on the rubbing alcohol and then loosely set it back down to prevent alcohol fumes from escaping the bottle

    4. with the lid off the jar, pour enough ISO alcohol into the jar (with the weed in it) to cover the weed but don't drown it.

    5. screw the lid with the coffee filter in it onto the jar immediately. cap the ISO alcohol and swirl the jar lightly for 5-10 seconds, the weed in the jar will have already sat in the alcohol for about 5 seconds while you were putting the jar lid on. Ideally you want the plant matter and the solvent to be in contact with each other no longer than 15 seconds.

    6. turn the jar upside down over your plate. The THC rich ISO solution will drip out onto the plate. when the drops slow to an agonizing pace, carefully unscrew the lid (still upside down and dripping onto the plate) and carefully remove the ring from the filter.

    7. here;s where the gloves might help you. squeeze the filter to wring the remaining solution out of the weed, be careful as the filter can break, dropping weed crumbs onto your plate and adding impurities to your concentrate. once this is done I put the weed back in the jar and will do another wash on it later to extract what the first extraction may have left behind.

    8. your work should have been done in the area you intended to leave your plate to evaporate cause its hard to move a plateful of liquid. Now you sit and wait, if you have a plate like mine this takes about 1-3 hours depending on the size of the batch.

    9. now that some time has passed, check on your plate, you will begin to notice changes in the amount of alcohol on the plate, changes in the viscosity of the solution as it grows thicker while the alcohol evaporates.

    10. it is ready to scrape when all the alcohol has evaporated. at first it is hard to tell whether it is gone or not. with experience you'll learn when a plate is scrapeable and when its not. Some indicators are that if you try to scrape the plate and the product is runny, and you notice it separates into a clearer more golden watery liquid that runs off the blade and a darker more viscous liquid that sticks to it, then the plate is not ready to scrape.


    The final product is entirely your choice, whether you want full melt, oil, or something in between. After a plate becomes scrapeable, the oil window opens, this is the time immediately after when the last of the alcohol has evaporated off, up until the point where the moisture in the oil has evaporated so much that the scraped product can no longer be considered oil. At that point it becomes full melt.

    Oil is liquid, you cannot touch it without it sticking to your fingers and being lost to them. To get oil, scrape the plate while the product is still more of a liquid

    Full melt is solid, you can stretch it, play with it, mold it and so long as you don't molest it too much it will still peel away from your fingers. To get full melt, wait until the product on the plate looks more solid.


    99% rubbing alcohol is 1% distilled water, water evaporates significantly slower than alcohol and some will be left in the product after the alcohol has evaporated. This is one of the reasons I prefer ISO alcohol to butane as a solvent. That moisture gives you a lot of play with your product, and is partly responsible for allowing such a wide range of concentrates to be produced from one solvent.

    Butane concentrates are different from ISO concentrates due to the rapid nature at which liquid butane evaporates (it boils instantly at room temperature) butane concentrates are often referred to as honey oil due to the fact that they look like liquid honey.

    I use 99% ISO alcohol as opposed to any other percentage because it works the fastest to dissolve the active chemicals, whereas ISO diluted with more distilled water would take longer.

    There is no solvent that can extract just the THC and Cannabinoid out of weed, you cannot make 100% pure THC with this method alone. Even the best oils top out at 60-65% THC, the rest of the product is made up of natural waxes and terpenes (scent and flavour chemicals) and chlorophyll that also get dissolved by the solvent and come out in the process.

    These extra chemicals are what allow oils to retain the flavour of the weed they came from, and arguably make it a much more pleasant smoke. I actually believe that without the terpenes especially, 100% pure THC oil might not even be enjoyable to smoke (aside from the intense high) though im still not gonna turn down a hit of 100% should the day ever come when we can produce an oil that strong.

    These extra chemicals are another reason for the time component, if you let the weed sit in the alcohol for an hour or so, it would suck out all the chlorophyll, all the waxes, every last terpene, and your oil comes out gross and forest green coloured and tastes like laundry detergent.

    THC dissolves into alcohol quicker than these other chemicals, the longer you leave the alcohol on the weed, the more THC you get, true, but when most of the THC dissolves instantly, why would you give the alcohol the time to get that tiny last drop of THC, if that means its going to bring along with it such a higher concentration of waxes and chlorophyll?

    feel free to ask any questions you may have, point out anything I may have missed or etc. I tried so hard to keep this short, and here I sit feeling like I barely scratched the surface despite having typed a few pages. I could probably go on about concentrates forever:D
    4 people like this.
  2. newbud

    newbud New Member

    whats the smallest amount of weed you have ever used?
  3. Buds_Of_Steele

    Buds_Of_Steele Your Undisputed Disputer

    I did a wash on 3 grams once, the final product was about .9 grams or 900 mg.
    one of the fun parts about oil making is that if you really want to you can roughly calculate the potency of the weed you used.

    3 grams yielded .90 grams, .90 is 30% of 3 but even the best oils are only tested at 60-70% THC. Assuming my oil was top shelf, 60% of it was THC and the rest was waxes and terpenes and chlorophyll 60% of .9 off the top of my head and for the sake of simplicity is about .56 which is 18% of 3.

    Therefore the weed I used was approximately 18% THC

    if you do a smaller wash, you might want to scale down the size of your evaporating tray (glass plate) if the oil is spread too thinly across the plate, it's a lot harder to scrape up than if there was a nice, thick layer of oil to scrape off.
  4. pHAETON

    pHAETON Well-Known Member

    And alcohol is a polar solvent it pulls resins and for lack of a better word 'sap' out with the alcohol. And being polar, the non polar THC does not dissolve easily. That is why some people prefer butane, way more relative THC.

    A hexane extract takes 45 seconds to pull all the THC off the trichomes heads. No resins come along. Similar to a butane extract, but safer and USP hexane is available.

    And for the last poster, extracting just the oils from the average medical plant gave 60% relative THC in the samples. Testing was done 2001-2003, so the 8% by weight average should not have changed much either. Pot hasn't got much better since then.

    As for evaporating 'cleanly', no solvent evaporates cleanly at temperatures too low to destroy the THC. A vacuum pump is necessary.

    I realize people smoke cigarettes, and cigarettes will kill you. So smoking a little alcohol or butane or lube oil occasionally is not so bad in contrast.
    But not recommended.

    If this were posted by a grownup I would be less kind.
    A child does not have the experience and is amazed at his wondrous discovery, not realizing it had been discovered before his birth. And people fully as intelligent as him have discovered a great many things about extracts over the years. Not over weeks or months, years.

    Do not take chemistry lessons from children's internet postings I guess is what I am trying to say.
    This one could really hurt people sensitive to the chemicals this tutorial would have them smoke.
    2 people like this.
  5. Buds_Of_Steele

    Buds_Of_Steele Your Undisputed Disputer

    I still have a lot to learn man, for I can only be as smart as what I have been exposed to, and by posting more information you have exposed me to more.
  6. newbud

    newbud New Member

    A vacuum pump? example of how this would work?
  7. Love4TheNugg

    Love4TheNugg NorCal MushroomCloud

    Absolutely love concentrates.

    I want to get a titanium nail so bad. My buddies have a real nice zong with a nail...dabs ALL day.

    Thanks for posting this guide, I'll using to make my own in the near future hopefully!

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