Alcohol vs fat: which is more efficient at extracting THC?
Hi all, this is my first post
I'm considering making some "green dragon" using a recipe I found online, but I'd like to hear from some experienced users first: what do you think is the best agent for extracting the maximum THC from the bud, alcohol or fats (i.e. butter or canola oil)?
I have gotten pretty good at making "weed oil" by simmering bud in canola oil for a couple of hours, then letting it soak another two hours, but I'm worried that I'm not extracting as much THC as possible. I tried cooking the leftover weed in some brownies, but frankly it tasted pretty nasty and I only got a mild buzz.
Alcohol usually works the best but you need to use high alcohol content. 120% or higher works pretty good.
Thanks for responding, killerweed420
That's a good point. I was thinking of using Everclear first, at least until I get the process down. I might then try some really high-proof rums and vodkas, if the expense seems justifiable (I don't want to waste expensive booze if the results are going to weird-tasting no matter what I use).
My favorite way is to use the very highest proof you can find, grind and toast your bud, put it in the freezer, wait till frozen, add the frozen 'everclear' or whatever into your frozen bud and wait and wait. Some of the things that don't taste good in our bud are water soluable so keeping things in the freezer diminishes their bad taste. In about three weeks I have a light amber colored liquior that while is still very high in proof, it doesn't taste bad at all. Some of us don't have a problem with drinking it, but just don't drink very much! BTW organic vegtable glycerine can be heated up and used in foods too.
In terms of chemistry, your absolute best bet is to use everclear, or another grain alcohol, at the highest possible proof (190+). This has the most alcohol molecules and will interact with the THC resin more than that of a lower proof product which is diluted with water, a useless ingredient in extraction.
Originally Posted by austintexican
I personally use 190 proof Everclear in a very low heat double boiler (alcohol @ 100-110F) for about a half hour, strain, then remove cover on glass mason jar (A real, thick mason jar made for canning), increase heat on double boiler, and allow to evaporate until leftover oil is only boiling very very slightly. I also pre-bake my product first in the oven at 225F for 5-10 minutes.
Last edited by rsjrv99; Mar-13-2012 at 20:34.
Hi rsjrv99, thanks for responding
Originally Posted by rsjrv99
Could I please get some clarification on those steps? It seems they are as follows:
- Initially bake the herb in the oven at 225F for 5-10 minutes.
- Mix herb with Everclear, then heat the mixture in the top pot of a double boiler (alcohol @ 100-110F) for about a half hour
- Strain mixture into a mason jar
- Warm the jar in the d-boiler to evaporate the remaining alcohol (assuming there is also water in the top pot to prevent cracking the jar)
Is this correct? Also, what is your initial Everclear/herb ratio?
Last edited by austintexican; Mar-13-2012 at 21:03.
Yes you are correct, this is exactly what I do to the dot just in case
Originally Posted by austintexican
1. Bake ungrinded herb at 225 for 5-10 minutes
2. Grind into fine powder while still warm, turn grinder upside and grind thoroughly if it has a passthrough
3. Get a small thick glass mason jar made for canning, preferably one with a securing lid, and dump 3 shots of everclear into it (I've used 3 shots for 3.5-14g, 5 shots for 14g-28g)
4. Turn stove on the lowest possible setting (i set it to where its barely teetering between LO and Off, you barely want to heat it)
5. Add water to pan to create a double boiler
5. Dump powder product into glass mason jar with everclear, stir, secure lid tightly
6. Place glass mason jar into water bath, leave for 30 minutes, pick jar up and stir lightly (do not remove lid) frequently
7. Turn stove off, allow to cool down for 30 minutes even though it is not that hot.
8. Strain through cheesecloth into another container
9. Dump filtered alcohol into a container you can scrape, such as glass (I use a glass baking pan) where the alcohol will only be a very thin film, allowing the greatest amount of surface area
10. Place near a window, wait until fully evaporated, then use razor place to scrape resin off pan
You can use any amount of alcohol, technically the more the merrier since there will be more alcohol molecules to interact with, the only downside is you will have to evaporate it for longer. When I first did an extraction, I used the entire 750ml over everclear for 14g, it worked excellent but took forever to evaporate fully.
I hope this helped!
Last edited by rsjrv99; Mar-13-2012 at 21:23.
I used a laser infared thermometer initially to get the temperatures correct. You do NOT want to heat alcohol up too much, the boiling point is 172F, VERY LOW! If the alcohol begins to bubble, then remove the glass jar from the heat source as the pressure buildup is not safe (a big reason why I use the thickest glass mason jars). The heat step is just to make absolute sure I am getting the most out of the extraction, although it is not completely needed, so if you are worried, then remove the water bath heat step and simply leave out at room temperature for an extra 30min-1 hour
The information is really going to help the people. Really thanks.
Hmmm, alcohol is definitely more efficient and it's faster. You can still use oil but the effects will sink in much longer. I tried to look up ways on how to prepare this with oil. Someone suggested using butter and ground buds. 20-25 minutes over the stove should melt everything. After that, you need to put it in a fridge too and use it for some other recipe (maybe brownies).