I’ve written two previous guides on how to make cannabis e-liquid from loose leaf on VaporBlog which have received a ton of attention and lots of e-mails. However, I’ve recently discovered a new method which produces some incredibly potent e-liquid starting out with loose leaf cannabis that I feel the need to share with readers here. Although this method has produced the strongest cannabis e-juice of any loose leaf method I’ve used so far, it involves a lot more work than the other guides (but the end result makes it well worth it) and you’ll need to follow the steps closely. The process is done in two steps (which is why it works so well); the first step creates a potent cannabis concentrate, and the second step disperses the concentrate into e-liquid (the same kind found in e-cigarettes, but without any nicotine) in the most efficient manner possible. One of the biggest changes compared to the previous guides is the substitution of tradition e-cigarette juice with EJ Mix. EJ Mix is a special PG mix (less viscous, still food grade) used to transform cannabis concentrates into a liquid form which produces a much better result than with traditional e-liquid bases. This means better vaporization with less atomizer clogging. Batches require 1-2mL of mix so expect a bottle to last quite some time! Furthermore, you can substitute the loose leaf cannabis with already vaped bud (AVB) or a concentrate (which you can make from AVB!), just skip ahead to the appropriate section in the guide (start at Part One, Step 3 for AVB and Part Two for Concentrates!). Moreover, you can also use the Rosin Technique (see my guide) to make a potent concentrate and then skip ahead to step 2.
First you’ll need to obtain all the necessary ingredients and materials before you start the process. In order to make the advanced e-liquid, you’ll require the following items:
- EJ Mix. EJ Mix is ‘heavier’ PG (PG400 in particular). PG400 does a much better job of suspending psychoactive material compared to standard PG used in most cannabis e-juice recipes.
- High Proof (190+) Grain Alcohol (something like Everclear will work). You must use at least 190 proof for the extraction to be as efficient as possible.
- Blunt Tip Sringes . Syringes are essential to the process as they make the liquid transfer steps easier, mess-free, and more efficient.
- Some dropper bottles
- Optional: LorAnn Flavoring (the same kind used in e-cigarette liquids) to give your product some taste!
- Coffee Filters
- Parchment Paper
- 2 Mason Jars. Larger jars are better for making and storing higher quantities of liquid. If possible use opaque jars as they prevent light from degrading the THC in your juice.
- Stove pot (big enough so that you can put one of the mason jars in it almost halfway submerged).
- A minimum of 3.5 grams of high quality loose leaf bud.
Once you have all the necessary ingredients, you can get started with the actual process. Make sure to choose a well ventilated workspace which vents to the outside (and use only an electric stove with no open flame -no gas!). I take no responsibility for any accidents resulting from inadequate safety measures while following this guide!
First, grind your loose leaf into fine pieces and place it on a baking trat covered in parchment paper.
- Next you’ll need to decarboxylate your bud (see my ultimate cannabis e-liquid guide if you’d like to know the rationale behind why this step is so important!), so preheat your oven to 100C (220F) and insert your baking tray containing your ground loose leaf for about twenty-five to forty minutes until it turns light brown in color.
- Once your bud has been decarboxylated, place it into one of your mason jars and pour in enough high proof alcohol the loose leaf is submerged with 1/2″ (1.27cm) of alcohol on top. Then place a lid on your jar and place it in a cool dark place for at least 48 hours (but the longer the better). Each day give the liquid a light shake to mix up the active ingredients and encourage extraction.
- After at least 48 hours has passed, remove the jar and prepare your second mason jar as well as 2 syringes and a coffee filter.
- Unscrew the blunt tip needles from your two syringes, remove the plunger from one of them and insert half a coffee filter inside. This step increases filtration while minimizing losses which would be absorbed by normal filtration methods.
Take your syringe without the filter, and begin sucking up the liquid from your first mason jar and squirt it into the syringe which contains the filter, then replace the plunger. Squeeze this liquid (which will now be filtered) into your second jar and keep repeating this step until no solution remains in the first jar.
- Seal your second jar and put it in your freezer for 48 hours. This step increases purity by allowing any undesirable contents to settle at the bottom of the jar.
- Carefully remove the jar from the freezer, and filter it by using the same process outlined in steps 6-7. Then let the mixture warm up to room temperature before you proceed. This step is highly important as heating up cold alcohol can be dangerous!
- Take the lid off your jar, place it in your stove pot (hehe), and then fill the pot with enough water to cover almost half the jar to create a bain marie. Turn your stove vent on high and then bring the water to just under a boil and watch closely until all the alcohol boils off. Once this happens you should be left with a dark, thick oil at the bottom of the jar. Using 3.5 grams of potent loose leaf should leave with just under one gram of strong concentrate which you can now turn into an e-liquid using the next part of this guide.
Using your pot, fill it again to halfway with water with your mason jar containing the oil inside. I recommend putting a knife or fork at the bottom of one side of the jar so that the liquid will pool to one side (making removing it easier)
- Using a new syringe, measure 1mL of EJ mix for every gram of concentrate that you have inside your jar. Feel free to experiment with a little less or little more EJ Mix to alter potency, but this is what worked for me.
- Again, bring your water to just under a boil, but you won’t need a lot of heat for this step (just enough so that the oil gets dissolved into the EJ Mix). It should take about five minutes before the oil is fully dissolved.
- Take your syringe and transfer the solution into a dropper bottle for storage. You can also mix in a tiny bit of flavor (be careful as the flavors can be potent) in order to give your liquid a great taste!
Congratulations, you’ve now made a highly potent cannabis e-liquid! One drop of juice on an atomizer coil (like the BlackoutX) should produce several hits which give you effects of a dab but much less harsh and much more portable. You can use the e-juice in almost any e-cig, and its highly filtered nature will prevent any clogs (I only recommend using a tank system if you plan on making larger quantities of liquid though). I recommend storing the finished product in a cool, dark place away from light as Erowid has this to say on the subject:
Solutions of pure cannabinoids, nine samples of herbal and two of resin cannabis (one freshly prepared) were stored in varying conditions for up to 2 years. Exposure to light (not direct sunlight) was shown to be the greatest single factos in loss of cannabinoids especially in solutions, which should therefore be protected from light during analytical and phytochemical operations. Previous claims that solutions in ethanol were stable have not been substantiated. The effect of temperature, up to 20 degrees, was insignificant but air oxidation did lead to significant losses. These could be reduced if care was taken to minimize damage to the glands which act as “well filled, well closed containers”. Loss of tetrahydrocannabinol after exposure to light does not lead to an increase in cannabinol, but air oxidation in the dark does. It is concluded that carefully prepared herbal or resin cannabis or extracts are reasonably stable for 1 to 2 years if stored in the dark at room temperature.
If you have any questions or would like to share some of your own experiences making cannabis e-liquid, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me!