Isomerization process for Green Dragon?

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by dragonrider, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. dragonrider

    dragonrider Registered+

    Does anyone know if there is a way to isomerize the cannabinoids in Green Dragon?

    I've found info about isomerizing honey oil, and I'm not interested in trying that. Those techniques involve a little more chemistry than I want to do. I'm looking for a standard kind of kitchen cooking technique that would boost the potency of Green Dragon, and does not involve solvents like butane or using hydrochloric acid or a chemistry apparatus like a reflux column, whatever that is.

    I already use Master Wu's oven technique to decarboxylize the bud before extracting the Green Dragon. Now I'm looking for a similar kind of isomerization technique for Green Dragon. According to what I have read, isomerization for honey oil boosts the potency a lot, so I would like to try to do the same for Green Dragon. The honey oil processes that I have read about involve refluxing with hydrochloric acid, and as far as I understatnd it, that means you cook it in combination with HCl. Later you add a base to neutralize the HCl.

    I'm wondering if the same thing could be accomplished with Green Dragon by simmering it with an acidic cooking ingredient like lemon juice or maybe a more concentrated citric acid. Does anyone have the chemistry background to know if this would work? I don't know enough chemistry to know what is really going on with the isomerization process, and I don't want to just try something on my Green Dragon if I'm not sure it will work.
  2. Coelho

    Coelho Registered

    Man... i did try it once, but couldnt say if it worked, as i had nothing to compare with. I took a cup of alcohol, soaked the weed in it, added some lemon juice to it, then put the cup in a pan with boiling water for 1.5 hours. I put a dish over the cup for avoid the alcohol to evaporate. Then, after it i mixed this alcohol with some soda and drank it. Of course, the effects were amazing, but as they always are when i drink green dragon, and as i dont drink it very often, i couldnt compare it to know if the process had worked.

    What i do, and works, is to isomerize hash oil. The weed i have is indica, and so the hash oil i extract from it. Then, i put this hash oil in a small glass with water, put this small glass in a can with boiling water, and let it for some 2.5 hours, adding water to the small glass when it evaporates. After it, the hash oil is much more sativa-like, and almost nothing indica-like.
    I would suggest you to make green dragon from hash oil. Just mix the oil with alcohol until it dissolves, and you have green dragon! Doing so, you could isomerize the hash oil first, and then make the green dragon.
    Also, you can make hash oil from green dragon. Just let all the alcohol evaporate, and what will be left is hash oil. Then, you can isomerize it, and after it, re-dissolve in alcohol.
    Anyway, if you do some other experiment, i would like to know... im a bit of alchemist myself, and love to experiment with weed, so if you have any good idea, post here! And good luck! :thumbsup:
  3. dragonrider

    dragonrider Registered+

    Coelho, thanks for the reply!

    Do you know if the isomerization process is due to heat alone, or does it need the acid? I already bake the herb a little bit to decarboxylize it before extracting it, and then there is some heat during the extraction too. Do you think your heating process is decarboxylizing left over THCA to THC? Or do you think it is isomerizing other less active cannabinoids into more active isomers of THC?

    I might just have to try simmering with some lemon juice during the extraction and see what happens. As long as someone has done it before without actually destroying their green dragon, I'm willing to give it a shot and compare it to the batch I made without lemon juice. A controlled experiment! If I do it, I'll post results.

    When you say heating the oil makes it more of a sativa-like, not so indica-like, do you mean a lighter, less sleepy high? I like the lighter kind of high with some psychedelic aspects, not so much the deep, stoney, out-of-it, sleepy kind of buzz. I still like a strong high, just not totally out of it. What kind of high do you get out of your heating process?

    Thanks for the info.
  4. Coelho

    Coelho Registered

    Well... the decarboxilation (THCA -> THC) happens from heat alone.
    I dont know about the isomerization... when i isomerize my hash oil, i dont add any acid, and yet it works. I think just heating for a time long enough can cause the isomerization of the CBD to THC (as they are the only real isomers). I think you need add acid if you want to convert ALL cannabinoids to THC, and not only the CBD.
    (BTW, CBD is what causes the indica effects, mellow and couchlock stone... and the THC is what causes the sativa giggly mind high)

    Only a note...when you add the lemon juice to the alcohol, the juice added will turn to a whitish spit-like thing... but its not a problem...

    Yes... thats what i mean... the indica stone is the sleepy, mellow, couchlock one... when i heat the oil, the high becomes more energetic, high, giggly, mind high... sometimes its hard to realize that youre high, cause the effects are not so obvious, like, you dont feel the mellowness, mind slowness coming, so you may think youre not high. But, when things start to look funny and you dont know why, then you realize HOW high you are... :stoned:

    If you like chemistry, you can look at the link below, that is from where i got all this informations:

    Robert A. Nelson: Hemp Husbandry ~ Cannabinoid Chemistry (Ch 6)

    So, good luck, and tell us if you made some good discovery! :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2007
  5. dragonrider

    dragonrider Registered+

    OK, yesterday I tried some of the things we've been talking about in this discussion, and I ended up spending a good part of my day in outer space.

    I took an ounce of the green dragon liqueur that I had made a few weeks ago, added an ounce of lemon juice, and used the water bath method to cook it for a little more than an hour. (One ounce is one good strong dose of the liqueur. If you want to see how I make the green dragon liqueur, I described it in one of the later posts in the "Definitive Green Dragon" thread. It's really good as is --- I'm just curious whether it can be imporoved.)

    The water bath was a gentle boil, and I put a lid over the whole water bath saucepan, so the temperature was probably close to boiling water (212F, 100C) for the whole hour. After cooking it, the volume had reduced to just over an ounce, so I added an ounce of fresh Everclear to bring the alcohol content back up. I put the mixture in a cup of hot black tea with some honey to cut the lemon juice and drank it down on an empty stomach --- yum! Then I had the rest of my breakfast.

    I got incredibly high.

    In a half an hour I was starting to come on pretty strong, and it continued to build for another hour or more after that. For at least two hours I was so high I really couldn't do much of anything --- I managed to take a shower, which felt great, but that's about it. At the peak, I had some visual effects, with a little bit of a shimmery effect on the edges of objects and a distorted sense of distance. I was able to function enough to do a few things around the house after the two-hour peak, but I was high for most of the day, and I even feel a little bit out of it today.

    I can definitely say that cooking the green dragon liqueur didn't hurt it any. But I can't be sure that the effect was actually intensified, because I got so high. The experiment is actually flawed becasue a full ounce of the green dragon liqueur that I make will already get you really really high without the extra cooking, and after a point it is hard to tell whether you are any more high this time than you were the last time you were really really high.

    To get a better idea of whether there is a difference due to cooking, I'll have to do an experiment using a smaller dose --- maybe try a 1/2 ounce shot uncooked one day, and another 1/2 ounce shot cooked the next day. It might be a little while before I can do that experiemnt and report back. If there is a difference, then it would be interesting to find out whether the difference is just due to the heat of cooking, or if the acidity of the lemon juice had anything to do with it.

    Until I do that experiment I won't know for sure, but I think the cooking did strengthen the effect and changed it qualitatively too. I don't remember getting any visual effects with the uncooked liqueur, and it seems like the effects lasted longer with the cooked version.

    If anyone else has done any experiments along these lines, please post your results!
  6. Coelho

    Coelho Registered

    Well... your results were much like the mine... i went TOO high to perceive if i was higher than some other time, for comparing... youre right... after you reach a level of highness, you cant know if you are more or less high... anyway, when i drink/eat weed, i see the visual distotions you mentioned... for me it seems like when you look to a swimming pool, and the floor of it seems much nearer than it is actually... :stoned:
  7. dragonrider

    dragonrider Registered+

    Ok, I tried refining my experiment a bit by cooking only a half ounce of the green dragon liqueur. Came here about 20 minutes ago and starting posting results, hit some random button after typing for about 20 mins, and my post was gone! Don't know what happened ... so apparently I am high.

    Anyway, i'm going to try to recreate the post now. I used a half ounce of the green dragon liqueur this time. Using a full ounce last time made me too high to tell if there was any difference due to cooking, so i'm using less this time.

    I put the half ounce of green dragon liqueur in the double boiler water bath and simmered it for about an hour. I took what was left after cooking it, and added another ounce of Everclear 151 to bring back the alcohol content that had boiled away. Then i added that to a cup of good coffee with cream and sugar. Yum! Breakfast of Champions!

    Started drinking the coffee about 8:45 AM and finished it around 9:00. Ate some breakfast between 9:00 and 9:30. Was begining to feel high around 9:15. Started first post around 9:30. At 9:50, i was high enough to totally lose the first post. Have no idea what happened, so if it shows up in some random thread, let's assume that boiling the green dragon does not hurt it any, and maybe makes is strong enough so that you don't really know what you are doing anymore...

    9:54, decided to try to post again, and that is what you are reading right now, unless i happen to lose this one too, in which case i am going to give up and find somehting else to do for awhile.

    I feel really high right now, but not totally incapacitated like the last time i tried the full ounce. I'll post back more results later.

    If i don't come back to post more results, do not assume i died! After Shamanic Hippie and Sparknote consumed massive quantites of weed and then never came back to post results, everyone got a big laugh out of the idea that they died. Well, i'm sure they didn't actually die --- they went into another dimension and are trying to get back (or maybe they aren't trying that hard, bacause they are still so freakin high). So if i don't come back, just asume i am with Shamanic Hippe and Sparknote in the other dimension. If so, I will try to send word out somehow. Look for a note tied to the tail of a flying monkey.
  8. dragonrider

    dragonrider Registered+

    Ok, I'm back. Did not die or go into another dimension. I am pretty high, but nothing way out of the ordinary.

    The rest of the experiment will be to try another half ounce sometime soon and not cook it. Then compare the two to see if there is any difference in how high I get or the kind of high. This is a kind of clear headed high --- feels good and stuff is funny and trippy, but I'm not glued to the couch or ridiculously stupid. Sometime soon I'll try the other method and see if it is the same high as this one.

    Alos, just remembered to note for the scientific record: the last time I cooked the liqueur, I also used lemon juice, so to really try all the variations, I need to try once again without cooking, and once again cooking with lemon juice. The sacrifices I make for science!
  9. subsonicbug

    subsonicbug Registered

    so what happened with this? I am looking to also get the most out of master wu's green dragon technique, and have come across this post about adding an acid and am wondering how this has increased the GD potency..
    dragonrider / cuelho any new comments?
  10. Coelho

    Coelho Registered

    From me, unfortunately there isnt any new comment... i stopped making new experiments with green dragon, cause right now im searching sublingual tinctures, that are much like green dragon, but using glicerin instead alcohol as solvent.
    Regarding the green dragon, i also am waiting for dragonrider results...

    Oh yeah... im sure this sacrifices are almost too hard for you... im sure you are only doing this for the sake of science... yes... i understand you very well, as i do the same... getting high everyday for testing new ways of weed consuption is indeed an awful sacrifice, dont? :p
  11. dragonrider

    dragonrider Registered+

    Nothing new to report. That last post was just this morning, so I'll need a few days before I find time to try the other variations. My suspicion is that these cookling processes that I am trying after the extraction are not going to make a lot of difference. This is because I'm already starting with really good bud, I do the decarboxylization process before the extraction, and I already cook the mash a long time during the extraction. I'll do the comparisons when I get time just so I can be sure, but I think I've got the green dragon about as strong as I can get it.

    By the way, if you are interested, my recipe for the green dragon liqueur that I make is posted in the Definitive Green Dragon thread by Master Wu. I do a few things differently to get a liqueur instead of a tincture. See
  12. dragonrider

    dragonrider Registered+

    For true men of science no sacrifice is too great! Please carry on with your glycerine research and let us know how it goes.
  13. Coelho

    Coelho Registered

    Indeed! LOL!!! Mainly in such subjects like the one we are studying... :jointsmile:

    I will... now that i have a new batch of good hash oil (isomerized from the bad one i had yesterday), soon i will try it again, maybe tomorrow, or the day after it.

    BTW, in another post you said you dont think that processes after the extraction will change very much the quality of the high... well... i think it depends... for example, the isomerization i mentioned was done after the extraction of the hash oil. Also, it doesnt convert only THCA in THC (what is done in the decarboxilation or curing of the weed), but almost everything (including CBD, CBN, etc) to THC, so if you do it with a indica, for example, it will become more sativa-like. I think you already reported it... saying that the high was more clear... i dont remember well... the hash is still in my mind... anyway... the best way to know for sure is do the experiment. For the progress of the science, of course! :thumbsup::p:rastasmoke:
  14. 20dollarholla

    20dollarholla Registered+

    Isnt isomerzation the rotation of the molecules to convert thc to the Delta-9-thc version as well as converting the CBD to THC. I had a recipe for making hash oil and isomerizing it. It involved making hash oil with everclear, you can use fresh or dryed bud but if you use dried you are going to need to use more everclear. Put your weed in a double boiler and add everclear to the top of the bud. Now you just make hash oil. After that is done you are supposed to burn some some of the bud that has already had the thc extracted into ash in a frying pan. Now this is where it gets tricky and I dont remember the proportions or the exact recipe. You add the ash and some sulfuric acid to the hash oil, then add sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)to the mix to nuertralize the acid. After this I believe you extract with pet ether and it seperates in layers and you extract the pet ether and dissolve.

    I am probaly wrong in some steps, I cant find the article as it was simpler than ones I have found on the internet where you need seperatory funnels and chemistry glass and shit. But I think it is close to the recipe the part I am not sure about is when it seperates into layers what to extract I think it is the ether but could be wrong also I know you have to add ash but am not sure exactly when I believe it is when the sulfuric acid is added.

    Apparently when done correctly you will yeild oil that is 85-90% pure Delta-9-thc. It is supposed to kick ass! The recipe is in an older WEED WORLD magazine and I cant find it for the life of me.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
  15. Coelho

    Coelho Registered

    This process of isomerization, with sulfuric acid, is described in the link i posted in one of the first posts. I would like to try it, but havent any acid here... anyway, just heating the hash oil in boiling water for some 2 hours always does the trick for me... i dont know if ALL cannabinoids are converted to THC, but i can assure it makes the hash oil FAR stronger... :stoned:
  16. TryptamineScape

    TryptamineScape Registered+

    Isomerization is the transformation of a molecule into another isomer.

    Wouldn't the extraction itself be a form of isomerization?

    I was thinking about the lemon juice idea. Does it matter what kind of acid? I'm under the impression that the citric acid varies quite a bit from the hydrochloric acid, or sulfuric acids in the way that it's produced, and even how it dissolves and evaporates. I know you can find 10-15% hyrdochloric acid in some household cleaners, but I really wouldn't want to go through the extraction process to seperate the acid from the other chemicals. Especially since it might not even work once I use the acid. It would be a waste of cleaner, time, and then later weed. Wasting weed is the worst thing I could do in this process. I did try the differences between re-cooking with and without the citric acids, and didn't really notice much of a difference, but then again, once you're high, you're high. I'm wondering if there's a saturation limit. I forget which cannabinoid it is, but one or more of them change metabolism to slow or speed up saturation of the other canabinoids in cb1's. Could that have something to do with me not being able to tell if this works or not? Basically, I'm so high, I can't tell if one is more than the other or not. Thus, my conclusion is that it doesn't matter. If the acid makes it stronger, fine, but the "not-as-strong" version is strong enough that I can't tell.

    This is a very interesting topic, this has definitely got me paying attention. I could be completely off and wrong about what I said, this is just to my understanding. I want it to work with the citric acid, but I'm having problems telling if it is or not. I've made the green dragon a few times, and using this new recipe makes it quicker and easier. I had another question for the recipe itself though. What would happen if you distilled it? I haven't tried it out of sheer laziness to build a still.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
  17. Non

    Non Registered+

    dude tyou should make your own thread detailing your methods

  18. dragonrider

    dragonrider Registered+

    I'm not sure why I said I thought cooking the green dragon after extraction would not change the high that much --- it's too early to tell. My first experiment when I took a full one-ounce shot of the green dragon liqueur and cooked it for an hour in lemon juice did give a very VERY strong high with some strange visual effects. At the time I couldn't tell if it was any different from the uncooked green dragon liqueur, bacause a one-ounce shot is such a strong dose that you would get really high anyway. But looking back on my posts from that experiment, I did think it might be different, mostly because of the visual effects. That is why it is so importatnt for weed scientists to take careful notes!

    My second experiment was to cook a half-ounce shot (this time without the lemon juice). I guess I didn't think it had changed the high much because it was a relatively mild high, but that is what you would expect from a half-ounce dose. That was the whole point of the smaller dose --- so I wouldn't get so high that I couldn't tell the difference! Maybe I was just disappointed in being less high than I wanted, but I should remember I did it for a reason.

    So it is too soon to tell. I still need to do a half-ounce shot uncooked, and a half ounce shot cooked with the lemon juice. The problem is that I am busy enough with other things that I can't just get high all the time! So I need to find a good amount of time whan I can try the other two variations and still pay attention to the effects for the whole time. The best thing would be to be able to try them all one day after another, so I could be sure to remember details from one time to the next, but I'm not able to do that.

    The other thing I wonder about is if cooking the green dragon or using the lemon juice would have more of an effect if some of the other factors were different. For example, I'm starting off with pretty good weed, so maybe the processing would be more important if I was starting off with a lower grade. I'm not sure the strain of the weed, but it does not seem to have a strong stoney couchlock stone when you smoke it --- it's more of a nice sativa-type high already. So maybe if I was starting with indica it would make more of a difference. Also, I do the decarboxylization step in the oven --- so maybe if I was skipping that, cooking it later would be more important. And I already cook it for a little bit longer during the extraction than Master Wu does. So maybe I'm already doing some isomerization.

    Anyway, don't worry! I will complete the experiement! I have devoted my life to science and will not stop experimenting until I discover the truth!
  19. dragonrider

    dragonrider Registered+

    I'm not very familiar with hash oil, but I have read some of your other posts about it. It sounds like after you do the extraction, you have a sticky ball of hash oil resin. When you do the isomerization, do you just put that ball of resin in some water and boil it for 2 hours? Is anything extracted into the water, such as impuritites? Are you able to discard the water and recover all the resin? Is there any loss to the amount of hash oil?

    It sounds like you get good results from this process, and I want to duplicate those results with the green dragon liqueur I make. I am wondering if part of the improvement you get is from removing some impuities, as well as isomerizing some of the cannabinoids. I imagine this process would remove any left over acetone residue. I think also some of the other cannabinoids in some strains of weed can block the attachemnt of the good forms of THC onto the nerve receptors. So even if this process does not actually CONVERT those to more active isomers, I wonder if it REMOVES them, making the good isomers of THC more completely utilized by the body --- I do not know enogh about this chemistry/pharmacology to know if that could be true, but it is one idea I had.

    Anyway, whatever is actually going on with the chemistry, it sounds like you have a successful method for boosting the potency of your hash oil. So congratulations on that!

    If you could post a detailed description of your exact isomerization process for your hash oil, please do. Or if you already have posted it, could you post a link? I would really appreciate it. Thanks!
  20. dragonrider

    dragonrider Registered+

    I don't think so. Some isomerization might inadvertently occur during the extraction because of the heating, but the purpose of the extraction is just to get the cannabinoid molecules out of the weed and into the solution --- it is not actually meant to change the chemical structure of the cannabinoids that are extracted.

    What you said about isomerization being the transformation of a molecule into another isomer is true. In chemistry, an isomer is a chemical compound that has the same number and kind of atoms in it, but in a slighly different arrangement --- this means it has different chemical properties. For what we are trying to do, different isomers of THC produce different kinds of highs --- some don't produce any high at all, and we want to convert those into forms that do produce a high.

    So what we are talking about here is three different processes (not necessarily in this order):

    1. Extraction: Getting the cannabinoids out of the weed and into solution (green dragon tincture, green dragon liqueur, hash oil, glycerine tincture, etc.).
    2. Decarboxylization: Removing a carboxyl group from THCA to make THC. This changes the number and kind of atoms in the chemical compound, so it is not technically isomerization, but it is still one of the most important chemical conversions in this process.
    3. Isomerization: Converting different THC isomers to active forms of THC. Some people have mentioned in different posts that this includes converting CBD, CBN, etc. to THC. I do not know enough chemistry to know if these conversions are truely isomerization processes (converting one form of THC to another) or if they actually convert chemical compounds that have a different number and kind of atoms into THC. If they are making non-THC compounds into THC, then I would say they are more similar to the decarboxylization process that changes the chemical compound, and they are not true isomerization processes. But regardless, converting these componds to THC is one of the things we want to do, as well as true isomerization processes that change different forms of THC into the most useful isomers.

    You are correct that hydrochloric acid and citric acid are completely different. Your question about whether it matters is actually the original question of this thread, and I don't think we've answered it yet. Does anyone know? I am wondering it HCl is REQUIRED for some of the isomerization chemical reactions to occur, or not. Does the acidic environment just speed up reactions that would occur naturally under heat? Or is an acidic environmnt required? If an acidic environment is required, then is citric acid acidic enough?

    I am personally not interested in buying HCl, which I think would be relatively easy to get through a chemical supply source. And I am definitely not interested in isolating it out of cleaners! I get a bit nervous about putting these chemicals in my body, so I am trying to stick to regular cooking ingredientls meant for human consumption (grain alcohol, lemon juice, glycerine, etc.)

    This was my experience too. I go soooo highhhhhh taking a one-ounce shot of my green dragon liqueur, cooked or uncoooked, that I couldn't really tell the difference! So I'm trying it again with half-ounce shots. What I am hoping to find is a way to make the half-ounce shots as strong as the one-ounce shots! If it doesn't work, then I am perfectly happy with what I've already got --- it turns a 1/8th of weed into a 750 ml bottle of green dragon liqueur, 24 one-ounce shot glasses of liqueur, and one shot glass will send you to the moon!

    I don't think you want to distill it after it has been extracted. I think running the final product through a still would leave behind all the THC in the part you would usually throw away! All that would come through the still would be the alcohol and some wierd flavor molucules.

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