Glycerin Extraction

Kosher vegetable glycerin is an effective method for extracting cannabis concentrates directly from the plant material and produces a tasty medication that is easily ingested directly orally, or mixed with drinks and food.

Glycerin is a heavy, syrupy clear liquid sugar alcohol that has approximately 60% of the sweetness of sucrose, and about the same food value.

It is however not actually a true sugar and is often used as a sugar substitute, as diabetics are often able to use it without experienced the blood sugar rollercoaster they suffer with sucrose or other sugars.

Glycerin makes an extremely tasty and provocative cannabis tincture, that when made using cold extraction methods, is reminiscent of wild honey, as it preserves all the individual flavors, so that they dart off in all directions simultaneously.

Hot glycerin extraction also makes a tasty tincture, with the flavor more resembling a fine soup, where the individual flavors are married into one overall flavor. While not as whimsical and provocative as a cold extraction, it can be prepared start to finish in a couple days, where cold extractions take a minimum of 60 days and are commonly soaked for 120 days or longer.

Many of the provocative flavors and odors from cannabis are aromatic terpenes, and the reason that they are aromatic in the first place, is that they give off molecules at room temperature.

Heating speeds up the rate that the accompanying terpenoids and other aromatics are vaporized off, so many are collateral damage in a hot extraction and are lost.

The glycerin molecule is actually only a three carbon molecule chain, with three hydroxyl groups (OH) attached, and as hydroxyl groups are hydrophilic, glycerin is hygroscopic (absorbs water) and dissolves readily (miscible) in water.

It has a flash point of approximately 177C (351F), and a boiling point of 290 °C (554°F).

It is relatively non toxic. The MSDS tells us that the LD50 Oral rat dosage is 12,600 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, which is approximately 5.7 grams per pound of body weight, or 36 ounces for a 180 pound male.

By comparison, acute oral toxicity (LD50) Oral Rat for sucrose sugar is 29700 mg/kg and about 7060 mg/kg for ethyl (grain) alcohol.

At saturation, Glycerin only hold as 33% as much cannabis oil as the same volume of ethyl (grain) alcohol, so about three times more is required per dose.

To reach maximum saturation however, requires processing more than one batch of fresh material through the glycerin, because as the saturation level increases, the glycerin becomes less aggressive as a solvent and the partially dissolved cannabis boundary layer interface with the solvent is also no longer at full strength and as reactive.

To keep the reaction from slowing to a snails pace, or even stopping, some method must be used to keep removing this stagnant layer and refreshing the boundary between the solvent and resin.

In addition heat dramatically affects resin dissolution rates. The hotter it is, the faster it works, up to the point of overheating.

As glycerin is usually used as an oral med, we also need to consider decarboxylating the cannabinoids so that they are orally active.

If not in excess, some water solubles add to the flavor of a glycerin tincture, and taking all of the water out of the material before processing it, makes it frangible and prone to breaking into small fragments that may be hard to remove.

Let’s look at how these four variables can be manipulated to produce delicious and effective glycerin tinctures.

Drying and decarboxylation:

Plant material is typically dried to around 10/15% water content by weight for smoking and vaporizing purposes, which is low enough to make some delicious glycerin, but for those who prefer less water solubles in their glycerin tincture or wish to decarboxylate the material before extracting, you may add a drying and/or decarboxylation step.

To simply remove most of the remaining moisture, I place the plant material on a cookie sheet in a 200F oven and turn it, until it is frangible when I roll it between my finger and thumb.

At that point it is ready for extraction, but if you also wish to decarboxylate the plant material before making your tincture, you can then crank up the oven to 250F and after it stabilizes at the higher temperature, replace the plant material in the oven and hold it at temperature for approximately 30 minutes

That will add a roasted flavor to the tincture and many of the turpenoids will be lost, but it will decarboxylate approximately 70% of the existing carboxylic acids into their non acid orally active form.

An alternative to decarboxylating the material ahead of time, is to do it after the extraction is complete and the plant material has been filtered out. That eliminates the roasted flavor and preserves more of the turpennoids.

Using Temperature:

Elevating the temperature of the glycerin increases the rate of dissolution of the resins, especially if you raise the temperature high enough for the resins to be molten. THC, CBD and CBN are all molten at just under 180F, so we operate at that temperature.

The advantage of using as low a temperature as possible, is that fewer aromatic terpenoids are boiled off at that low a temperature, and it decarboxylates more slowly, so that the process doesn’t pass the peak of the decarboxylation curve and start down the other side toward low THC and high CBN. As previously noted, we can finish the decarboxylation later.

Keeping the boundary layer removed:

The boundary layer is the layer of partially reacted resin and dilute solvent that forms on the surface of the resin after the initial aggressive dissolution by the solvent. The solvent at that point is dilute, as is the resin concentration, so that the reaction slows or grinds to a halt.

To keep the reaction operating at a reasonable rate, we need to periodically or continuously remove that boundary layer, and there are four methods that I will present here.

The first is to stir. Simply stir gently and thoroughly with a wooden spoon

The second is to shake. Simply shake a jar of glycerin and plant material by hand regularly. A paint shaker would also work for this application.

The third is to tumble. Placing the jar of glycerin and plant material in a rock or photo film tumbler will keep the boundaries fresh. It is an effective and gentle way to speed up the process.

The forth is vibration. Placing jar of glycerin and plant material in a vibratory cartridge case cleaner, or other form of vibration, creates more shear energy that tumbling and will dissolve the material the fastest of any method we have tried thus far.

Material selection and preparation for hot or cold processing:

While glycerin tincture can be made from anything from prime bud to stems, it is tastiest done from prime bud and least tasty with the stems. I usually make glycerin tincture out of the sweet trim removed from the buds during manicuring and popcorn buds.

It is not necessary to grind up the material, only to break it up any buds so that the material is loose enough for the glycerin to reach all the surfaces. Excessive pulverization of the material will result in color and particulate pickup that is difficult to remove. If you leave some surfaces blinded however, the resins on those surfaces won’t be removed either.

Extracting using the cold process:

The cold process is the easiest and tastiest way to make glycerin tincture. We extract using the cold process, simply by soaking the plant material in glycerin at ambient temperatures and agitating it for sixty days or more. Sixty days is about the least amount of time for a cold extraction, and typically they are run 90 to over 120 days. I have one experiment with more than 365 days of soak time.

After the extended soak and agitation, the glycerin is poured off and pressed out of the plant material to yield quality and tasty tinctures. It can also be used with fresh material for another cycle, so as to build up more potency.

There are a number of ways to press out the glycerin from the plant material, and it applies to both cold and hot extraction, so I will cover that in a separate discussion at the end of extraction methods.

The way that we make cold process glycerin tincture, is to load a canning jar 2/3’ds full of plant material, lightly compacted and then cover with glycerin while stirring with a wooden spoon, until every surface is well coated and mixture is homogenous, and then add another inch of glycerin on top.

We place the jars in a cool dark place or cover to exclude light. We sometimes wrap jars with aluminum foil to exclude light.

Every day for the soak period days, we periodically agitate the jars, using one of the above methods and at the end I filter out the plant material for a a light golden to dark amber glycerin tincture, that is tasty and of high quality.

Because the aromatic terpenoids are preserved, it will have many flavors present, interacting and darting off in all directions simultaneously.

You can more easily filter the mixture if you warm it up to 150F or so before filtering.

Potency and gleaning:

As previously noted, to reach maximum saturation, requires processing more than one batch of fresh material through the glycerin, because as the saturation level increases, the glycerin becomes less aggressive as a solvent and the remaining partially dissolved cannabis is also no longer at full strength and as reactive.

In point of fact, the fresh pressed material from the above first cycle will still contain significant cannabinoids, which takes two to three cycles to get it all.

What we do is put the fresh pressed plant material back in the jar and refill with fresh glycerin and add fresh material to the freshly pressed glycerin for another cycle, if I desire more strength.

The fresh glycerin will do the best job of scavenging the remaining cannabinoids, and then can be used again with fresh material to further build up its potency. It is by this cascading technique, that we can leave little behind and yet still maintain quality and potency.

I should note that the most potent glycerin tincture is not necessarily the most tasty, and one cycle produces effective meds, so most of the time we do not bother to bump up the potency with cold tincture.

Hot glycerin extraction:

We prepare plant material and extract cannabis by the hot glycerin extraction process in much the same way as we do by the cold process, though we stir it instead of shaking, tumbling, or vibrating it.

We also use a thermal cycling process and stir regularly, rather than an extended cook as many processes call for. The expansion and contraction of the thermal cycling help break up the resins so that they dissolve more readily.

As with cold tincture, we load a canning jar 2/3’ds full of plant material, lightly compacted and then cover with glycerin while stirring with a wooden spoon, until every surface is well coated and mixture is homogenous, and then add another inch of glycerin on top.

We then set that jar in an electric fondue pot full of hot Canola oil at 200F, and stir it regularly with a wooden spoon until the mixture reaches 180F, and then we adjust the pot temperature controls to maintain 180F.

We stir the mixture regularly with a wooden spoon, for another thirty minutes, and then take it out of the hot oil and allow it to cool to ambient temperature.

For what it’s worth, we use a wooden spoon, because a light tink with a metal spoon against a hot glass jar while stirring, can break it and dump the whole mixture into the hot oil.

After the mixture has cooled to room temperature, we again place into 200F oil and bring it back up to 180F while stirring regularly. When it reaches 180F, after a through stir, we take it out of the hot oil and let it cool to ambient temperature again.

We repeat the last step about five more times and after the last cook and stir; we filter out the plant material while the mixture is still hot.

Filtering glycerin tincture:

Vegetable glycerin is thick and syrupy, so it doesn’t filter quickly or easily without mechanical help. The simplest way to filter it is to heat it up so that it isn’t so viscous, and pour it into a jelly bag, which you wring out by hand. That works, but leaves a lot of glycerin behind and you are limited to temperatures that you can handle with your hands.

A French coffee press, a potato ricer, or a jelly press can also work, and you can buy tincture presses used by the botanical extraction industry.

We made my own press, using a hydraulic bottle jack inside a scrap metal frame, which presses a filter bag between two stainless dog dishes, at a force of 12,000 psi, and catches the glycerin in a third stainless dog dish.

It presses the plant material into a hard little puck, that we have to break up to reprocess.

Flavoring glycerin tincture:

A well made glycerin tincture is a taste delight in its own right, but for those of ya’ll who just like to play, here is how we’ve flavored glycerin that I had already infused with cannabis oil.

We started by adding equal parts of Bing Cherry and Blueberry raisins in a blender with enough 190 proof grain alcohol to make a soupy paste when macerated by the blender.

We tossed in half as much Japanese Gari and a dash of Almond extract, added another half a cup of 190 proof, and let it blend well.

When pureed, we poured it into a stainless mixing cup and placed it in a 180F hot oil bath. We cooked and stirred it until all the alcohol was gone, and then removed it to cool.

We then put a bout two tablespoons of that concentrate into each 1/2 pint of infused glycerin to be flavored and place it in the 180F oil to cook for thirty minutes while stirring regularly.

At that point we remove it from the oil, filter out the concentrate using a filter bag and the glycerin press. The glycerin is delightfully flavored, and the chef gets to eat the concentrate from the filter bag! Ahwooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!! Hee, hee, hee………………..

Above

Hot soak for one week; Hot cycle 7 times;Cold vibrate; Hot cycle and vibrate

Cold Vibrate                                                                               Density samples

Second pressing of material                                                160F cycled 7 times

Cold press 60 days                                                                   Hot versus cold extraction

264 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by daniel on December 15, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    Great discussion!

    Did anyone try a dual approach first extracting most of the tasty terpenes in a shortish cold extraction with as little volume as possible, then putting the tasty terpene concentrate aside. Proceed by activating the canabiods by heating the solid in an oven for 40min@100C.
    Add fresh VG/PG and perform a warm extraction (90C) to get the activated canabiods in liquid. Mix the liquids. I guess the problem is to keep the volume small enough. Alternatively the second extraction could be performed with the tasty terpene solution but less hot but a bit longer. The point is to get the terpenes out while keeping the canaboids in for isolated activation, then bring them together.. Yes all based on the assumption that terpenes extract faster than bigger canaboids. Possibly playing with different VG/PG ratios during the steps might help.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Philip on December 10, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    Did anybody already try to put the rest plant material in a slow juicer instead of putting it in a cheese cloth?

    Reply

  3. Posted by John Greens on December 8, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    I have a couple questions about the cold extraction, does the cold method extract the thc the same way the hot method does? So as soon as your done with it after 60 days you can put it under your tongue and get high? I have been working on a batch of 1/4 of high grade dank with glycerin and have been shaking it for 50 days. If you can just put it under your tongue and get high what it the recomeNed dose?

    Reply

    • Posted by Al Greentree on December 8, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      You’re not going to get high off of the cold process, the THC is not activated. You would need to place the bottle/jar in a hot oil bath at 220°-230° for about 20 mins to activate

      Reply

      • Posted by John Greens on December 10, 2014 at 8:49 AM

        Would using an ecig , able the thc to activate the cold extraction?

        Reply

        • Posted by Philip on December 10, 2014 at 9:36 AM

          No, not in a regular e-cigarette but in a so called dripper it might be because that operates in much higher temperature.
          A regular e-cigarette pen operates at 1.5 to 2.5 Ohm
          And a dripper can go subohm so that is below 1 Ohm. Only a few atomizer tanks can go subohm, like the Squape R, the erlkonigin, kayfun lite plus, etc. But those atomizers costs between 60 and 180 Euro. To be used on a regulated mod or a mechanical mod.
          I didn’t try it yet
          But I suggest to heat it up before you use it in a e-cigarette pen, use the hot extraction méthode, that works great.

          Reply

          • Posted by John Greens on December 10, 2014 at 2:33 PM

            What would be the easieat way to activate the thc ? Putting the mason jar full of the cold extraction in a crock pot for 20 mins on 200-250? … or like could I do something where u just stuck the mason jar in the oven ? Thoughts ? Experiences?

          • You can do it a mason jar, but they are sensitive to thermals shock, so I’ve broken some setting them in a 250F hot oil bath, so now I use a stainless bain marie pot in a 250F hot oil bath.

            Somewhere around 25 to 30 minutes, but based on direct observation of the bubble activity.

        • Yes, as long as you heat it up, it doesn’t care how.

          Reply

  4. Posted by johnny on November 22, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    ok so real quick:

    crock pot empty on warm at 180F with a mason jar sealed, resting in the crock pot. 1/2 OZ of trim (decarbed) mixed with VG and an added inch on top inside mason jar. Cooked and stirred for 6 hours. Filtered via cheese clothe or grease screen. will this work?

    Reply

  5. all you do is fill a jar with herb fill it to the top with glycerin close at ceiling it in a mason jar keep all light away” black bag “from it for 60 days shake it daily and that’s it that your tincture and then all you do is press the herb through cheesecloth and get the tincture out of the herb and its yummy.on your aching body parts and also underneath your tongue for as long as you can keep it there.

    Reply

    • Posted by jimc2350cofarmer on November 22, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      I’d like to know how long it takes for max extraction on tumbler running 24/7. I enjoy this site. It reminds me of how varied the pot community is.

      Reply

  6. […] weird exception: […]

    Reply

  7. Posted by Christopher Marney on November 5, 2014 at 6:30 AM

    I’m a little confused on the cold extraction… I get that a room temp extraction will preserve a greater amount of terpenes, but what about the thc & cbd? Isn’t heat required to to convert them?

    Reply

    • Posted by DD on December 1, 2014 at 8:15 PM

      that what the “decarboxylation” step he described is for… to convert the THC from an acid to ‘active’ form

      Reply

  8. Hey there awesome article. I was wondering if you can help me figure out a way to make a flavored cough syrup type liquid. I have tried it from a local company and the ingredients say VG, water, flavoring and BHO. I have read this and a few other blogs and i cannot for the life of me to get the BHO and VG to blend very well. Any suggestions?

    The 2 or 3 times i did get what appeared to be mixed the next day it was separated. I tried blended the BHO with coconut oil prior to mixing with VG and that kinda helped but after 2 days it separated again. That is before i even got to the point where i experimented with different flavoring options. That is another mission.

    Right now i would love help on getting the VG and BHO to emulsify. Please help if you can. I love the syrup it really helps me medicate discretely in class and at my job. I just cannot afford to buy it from this collective. I think i can make it. Thanks for any help.

    Reply

  9. Posted by Crash Badley on October 15, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    Great discussion. Have you tested the cannibus material before and after processing to determine efficiency of transfer compared to other methods of extraction?
    If extraction is not complete, could the source material be used with more aggressive methods after processing?

    Reply

  10. Posted by Bob on October 2, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    How do you put THC in glycerine though?

    Reply

  11. does the cold press tincture lose its potency when it’s going through the process if it’s exposed to light?
    what I’m doing glycerine is poured over my plant material and it goes through about it inch in diameter plastic container and it has a small hole at the bottom in the plastic container and goes through the plant material and I repeat this process go back and take their take the glycerin and pour it over the plant material four times daily very slow drip process. it’s an amber liquid kind of dark and it tastes really good and putting on my back that hurts I’m putting it under my tongue and its good.about a 30 day process.

    Reply

  12. Sweet article! I’m making a batch as we speak. I had about 12 grams of low quality kief and about an eighth of scrap buds. I ran the kief first. Using hot method with a double boiler… Then the ground up ganje.. well I’m finishing up the ganje now.. cycling the heat 6 times while mixing with chopstick… let you know how it comes out

    Reply

    • Posted by Randy on October 6, 2014 at 11:41 PM

      How long do you plan to wait before trying it Les? Also is do you or anyone else know an easy way to find out the thc and cbd and cbn levels of your tincture at home?

      Reply

  13. Posted by Pukeko on August 14, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    Thanks so much for this. I’ve just made my first batch using VG, decarbed it in the oven first and then put it in the crock pot on low (no water or oil) for 24hrs.
    Looks great – but I put too much VG in so not strong. I’m using it in e-cig pen.

    I will recycle the VG with a new lot and I’ve got the right measurements now!

    Question: Could I mix the old weed with the new in the old glycerine to increase the potency?

    Reply

  14. Posted by Sychops on August 11, 2014 at 5:12 AM

    Thanks for great info! Quick question have tried hot vg extraction method from another source and used a sealed jar during the process with idea of preserving active ingredients, was a sealed container a waste of time or do anything to help the process?

    Reply

  15. Posted by Dan on July 22, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    Have you guys tried using your homogenizer to keep the boundary line broken?
    If you could seperate the homogenizer shaft from the plant material, via a basket or filter, could this increase the saturation rate, or improve extraction efficiency?
    Ive only been using my homogenizer to blend pure oil into glycerin, but the flavor nuances are lost.
    I’m hoping maybe someone with more of an engineering mind will have an idea for a flow box, with two seperate chambers seperated by small channels to keep solid material out but glycerin flowing in and out of the homogenizer and in and around the plant material.
    anywhoooo just throwing an idea at the wall.
    thanks skunkpharm crew! Much love!

    Reply

    • Posted by Philip on September 5, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      i am going to try to put the rest plant materials true my Hurom Slowjuicer everything that comes out the slowjuicer is almost dry, so after whats described above with the hot version. i keep you informed

      Reply

  16. Posted by Jeremy on June 30, 2014 at 7:59 AM

    II bought everything that this guy has for hot extraction. I followed directions to a T. Both attempts the canning jars cracked. I didnt use a metal spoon nor did thr jars break while i was stiring. As far as i can tell they broke from heat alone. Glycerine was room temperature not refridgerated so there was no extreme temp difference. Im completely baffled n out $900. My recommendation……. Screw this hot extract method. Will see if his cold method works in october

    Reply

    • Posted by Amanda on July 10, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      Did you heat your jars up first?

      Reply

    • Posted by JeremySux on August 14, 2014 at 8:05 AM

      You did not have all identical supplies, Jeremy. You also needed a functional brain.. Which is probably why you failed. The jars wouldn’t have cracked from the heat alone…they are made to be boiled. That’s how canning works.

      You spent $900??? Further evidence of your foolishness. Jeremy, go jump off a bridge instead of blaming others for your stupidity.

      Reply

  17. […] Glycerin Extraction | Skunk Pharm Research LLC Luckily I dint throw out the bud and have more glycerin on hand. In this article this guy is experimenting with a 365 day extraction. Only thing "I noticed that I may of done wrong is that I should of covered the jar with aluminum foil. Apparently it works best in the 'Dark. So this extraction continues……. __________________ if you have good auto genetics, they can be very handy Fuck the Monkeys […]

    Reply

  18. […] VAPOR! (unless you want to blow yourself up) For VG the proces is described pretty well over here: Glycerin Extraction | Skunk Pharm Research LLC All are concentrates .. that's why I added this to your […]

    Reply

  19. Posted by Tony on February 28, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    I use a basket type juice extractor to filter all my tinctures and oils. Spin dry! I manage to save every milligram of tincture this way.

    Reply

    • Posted by Grace M on June 23, 2014 at 7:43 AM

      any suggestions on a particular brand of juice extractor? I’m losing SO much during the hand straining process – need to figure it out!!

      Reply

  20. […] love to see a walk through of how to get my plants into my e cig, will be keeping an eye out Glycerin Extraction | Skunk Pharm Research LLC Decarbed, it should work in an e-cig. It seems that 'underestimated' is an understatement on the […]

    Reply

  21. Posted by Zygomaticus on February 23, 2014 at 4:51 AM

    I would like to make a hot glycerin extraction with kief. How much glycerin/gram of kief and how many doses could I get out of one gram of good kief?

    Reply

    • Glycerin will saturate to around 10/20% and I typically yield about 61% oil from average bubble.

      Assuming 15%:

      1 gram X .61 divided by .15 = ~4 grams glycerin.

      1 gram divided by 5 grams = 20% solution

      .100 gram dose divided by .20 = 500 mg of tincture per dose

      5 grams divided by 500 mg = ~10 doses

      Reply

      • Posted by Zygomaticus on February 24, 2014 at 10:46 AM

        I am totally confused by this answer. I’m guessing I could get between 5-10 doses depending on strength. I have my glycerin in 2 oz bottles. Should I add 1 gram of kief per ounce of glycerin? What is the fastest and best way to process this? I thought I could just heat it for a while but the process above is so complicated, and the dispensaries where I live don’t have a good selection of tinctures at all so that’s why I want to make my own. I also need it to be as cost effective as possible.

        Reply

  22. Nice thread!
    I have been doing some experiments with REALLY hot glycerol extractions.
    How hot?
    375 F.
    Yes, vaping temperatures being used in a liquid extraction.
    What I used:

    1. 3.2 grams Sour Diesel, very well dried, powdered.
    2. 1.5 fl. oz. Glycerin, USP, anhydrous.
    3. Small stainless steel measuring cup, 1/2 cup capacity.
    4. Electric Hot-plate.
    5. Candy thermometer.
    6. 70 Micron stainless steel mesh.
    7. Bamboo skewer for stirring.

    Heated Glycerol to 375 F in s/s measuring cup. Verified temp with candy thermometer.
    Using half the solvent, mixed in small amounts of dried herb to hot glycerin, stirring until ‘foaming’ action calmed down.
    Decarboxlylation likely going on, throwing off CO2 with each addition. What would be the decarb time for 375 F, in anaerobic conditions?
    Once all herb added, continued stirring/heating for five minutes. Minimal bubbling.
    Pushed hot mixture through 70 micron screen using small press, collected liquids expressed.
    Added second volume of hot solvent (375 F) to the herb, as above, and pressed out liquid.
    Combining the extractions came out with about 1.2 fl. oz. of dark amber/orange product. Herb held onto about 0.3 fl. oz. of solvent. Herb is quite dark brown at this point, and has hints of ‘pop-corn’ aroma.
    Taste of tincture is kind of buttery, floral, with a distinctly sharp after-taste, much like the smoked herb!
    Aroma is like sticking your nose in a bag of fresh herbs.

    The medicinal effects are quite profound.
    One dropper = relaxed, mildly sedated.
    Two droppers = very good sedation and pain relief.
    Three droppers = what were we talking about? No, really, I was paying attention…just sort of drifted…..

    BTW, smoking herb ten minutes after ingesting tincture is very nearly psychedelic.

    ABTW, fumes and vapors present during the cook were not too bad. Since the mean free-path of the THC molecules in glycerin is about 1/10,000 the distance as in air, very little vape escaped.

    Reply

  23. I’m very grateful for the information provided. Amazing job explaining your experiment. I’d like to share my method and hear your thoughts.
    I used 14g of materiel which was put in a grinder and placed onto cooking tray to decarb for about 20mins.
    After this I placed my material into a glass Masion jar which I then proceeded to cover with glycerin (note at the time I was not aware Vegetable glycerin was required and so I used a glycerine purchased from cvs labeled 100% Glycerin)
    Once all my material was covered I sealed the jar and placed it into an empty crock pot closed the lid and kept it there for about 10 hours on the lowest setting.
    After this process I extracted the oil using coffee filters , my end product was a very golden brown color, very sweet in taste and worked in my vape pen, yet didn’t produce the desired medicated effects I was expecting.

    Should I have used oil inside the crock pot?
    Did I over cook?
    Should I have tried stirring with wooden spoon?
    Thanks in advance for any help, I plan on trying my experiment again with less glycerine (and using VG) , and more materiel about 28g

    Reply

  24. Posted by doogie on January 27, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    I’d like to start off by saying thank you for helping the medical cannabis industry with your research. I have made my most important findings through you.
    A friend and myself are getting into the topical and edibles industry, right now about to come out with organic vegan healthy snacks, everything is raw except for the cannaoil obviously. We use bho and coconut oil in order to have consistent potency and i love how you can barely taste it. Our next venture is tinctures, we have access to greenhouse acdc which is a high cbd strain, what would be your best way of extracting and making it for patients. will a vegetable glycerin be the best approach? or should i go to the extent of making absolute and then combining it with a different delivery substance like coconut oil or glycerin.

    Reply

  25. Posted by Michael on January 23, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Hi there
    Thank you for an awesome article. I just want to be 100% sure i do this right for cold extraction. I want to keep as much taste/aroma as possible. So i just cover my ground marijuana with glycerin in a glass jar. Shake often in room temperature for at least 60 days. Will my weed decarboxylate by this time?

    Reply

  26. I, like many who have come here, am seeking a viable e cig option. I have a bottle of emulsified BHO and e cig juice that i love, but I live in a state where access to BHO is tough and I’m not yet comfortable making it. From your main article and reading every comment (and your e cig article), here’s what I’ve gleaned: Hot extraction using pure PG will probably yield the best results given my options. A few questions then.

    1) Is 100% PG still safe to ingest as a sublingual (I’m guessing the flavor will be much different, but SAFE is the operating word here)? I’d still like that option if possible.

    2) You mentioned smoking VG tincture from an e cig was not super potent. Obviously everyone’s experiences and tolerances differ, but did you notice a significant qualitative difference in using the tincture sublingually vs smoking it?

    3) Do you have any ballpark on the extraction/saturation potential of pure PG? Mostly to know how many re-extracts I can do on spent plant material. I’m guessing 2? I’m also considering running my first batch with just PG and re-extract using pure VG to compare. I could get two ‘full’ extractions from the same bud, yes?

    One bonus question, just as a point of curiosity. Though I plan on decarbing anyway, is the heat from an e cig battery enough to decarb as you smoke? I’ve got a variable voltage that can get up to 4.8. I run it at about 4.3 when I smoke the BHO blend.

    Reply

  27. Posted by Philibuster on January 15, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    I have been soaking a small experiment with cold for just over 3 months. A couple of grams with 20 ml of ecig liquid. When i started it i did some research. Im getting ready to pull it out to use by my wedding in a month. Ill leave it in another 3 weeks. One thing i didnt see in my original research didnt say anything about not using pre flavored and nicotine pg/vg. Now ive read stuff about not using that. Did i waste my time?

    Reply

    • E-juice can be used to extract, even with the additives.

      Reply

      • Posted by David Tooley on February 9, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        E-Juice contains nicotine in often toxic levels. 12 mg/ml is a common e-juice nicotine strenghth. I don’t think at any level of dilution that useing/mixing e-juice is a good idea. Given that 40 mg is in some people a toxic dose, 3.5 ml of the resulting tincture could well be fatal.

        Get your flavors seperatly and your VG seperatly…. no-nic e-juice here.

        Reply

    • Posted by Philip on September 2, 2014 at 2:03 PM

      no you didn’t waste your time only the nicotine wil be less if you heat it because it can’t stand the heat

      Reply

  28. Posted by crafty toker on January 10, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    Would i have to use a glass jar? Could i cook it in metal? What’s the bud to vg ratio? How will i know when all of the thc is extracted? How much of this extract does it take to medicate? I plan on putting it in e liquid so it will be thinned out and diluted with flavors and such. Do ih have to put the material in the oven at 250 for 30 mins before the hot extraction method? I don’t want to take the extra time to flavor it should I?

    Reply

    • Stainless works fine.

      Enough VG to cover the material about an inch.

      How much it takes depends heavily on what it is made from. It will typically be saturated 30%/40%.

      It will be partially, to mostly decarboxylated by hot extraction, so you might cook a test sample to see what happens when you heat it to 250/290F. If it froths, it isn’t fully decarboxylated.

      Reply

      • Posted by crafty toker on January 13, 2014 at 1:20 PM

        Thank you very much your post has been the most helpful I’ve found after hours of searching. Could you pay pics off what it should look like when you’re done the hot extraction method? What if i hear it and let it cool more than five or six times just to be sure i got it all would that only make it more strong or will i lose potency after a certain point of cooking?

        Reply

        • Posted by crafty toker on January 13, 2014 at 1:23 PM

          You say how much it takes depends heavily on what it’s made from are you saying quality product names a lot of difference? And what will be saturated 30to 40 percent?

          Reply

      • Posted by crafty toker on January 13, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        Also do you think this is a good tincture for the e cig? If not would you recommend another tincture that will vaporize properly?

        Reply

        • Posted by Zombie_WeeD on August 26, 2014 at 12:13 AM

          depends on the vaporizer type if your using a mod this vg mehtod will work without a hitch, but if your using say an ego or some simaler pen styled one it will work with some needed puffing as tank styled vapes use a 50/50 vg to pg ratio to as high as 30 / 70 vg to pg ratio, pg stands for propaline glycol ive probly spelled that wrong but you could use pg and vg interchangably or a mix of your chosing.

          i would sugest simaler to these ratio’s

          mechanical mod: 100 vg 0 pg to 0 vg 100 pg (mechanical mod with atomizor can vape any ratio with ease)

          pen/tank vaporizer 50 vg 50 pg to 30 vg 70 pg (pen atomizers are weeker and need a smaller range of liquids for ease of vaping)

          e-cig refillable (cigerette style) same as the tank/pen vape above.

          i cant rember off hand witch is witch but i know one caries flavor better and one produces more vapor, refering to vg and pg that is.

          Reply

      • Posted by jimc2350cofarmer on December 6, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        I use a qt mason jar. the problem i have with this is grams of material when the jar is 2/3 full. I can put from 40 gms to 100gms per jar How do I figure potency. I know how much vg is in each jar. I understand the keif method. How do figure this out when using buds. Thanks for any help in advance.

        Reply

  29. Posted by Jake on January 9, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    What about using a PG/VG mixture for vape pens? Would you want to add the pg first or add it after its done for a hot extraction? Also, is there any value in adding some some high proof alcohol to the glycerin when cooking it and boiling it off before you’re done?

    Reply

    • Posted by Zombie_WeeD on August 26, 2014 at 12:20 AM

      mix them before you process it pg and vg are fairly interchangeable when concerned with vaporizing but as my reply now sitting above your message explains certain vaporizers work better with certain ranges. you could if you wanted go pure pg for any vaporizor as it vaporizes easily

      i have no knowledge of how alcohol would interact with the process or how it could help at all, i can add that along my process to finding this site i have read many peoples reviews on mixing alcohol tintitures into pg/vg mixes with varied results. enough where negative for me to not end up trying it myself

      Reply

  30. Posted by Dean A on January 3, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    Hello & thanks for all of the great info! My question is, can I first do a QWET (frozen) then reduce that down to an oil, reconstitute it with some warm grain alcohol, then add that to the glycerin to make a very potent VG tincture? My goal is to make a very strong VG tinc that can be diluted to load into my ecigs. Can this tincture be made with QWET oil instead of plant material?

    Reply

  31. Posted by chris on December 28, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    Can you smoke the it after it has been soaked in vg or pg?

    Reply

  32. Posted by Dave Arnold on December 26, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Great site. Always my ‘go to’ whenever I start any science project.

    Question: I have two quarts of glycerin that are about 9 months old. It wasn’t made to your specs and could be made stronger, since I have this summers crop sitting in jars getting older by the day. Should I start fresh with new glycerine or can I build on the older batches?

    Either way is fine. I do like the glycerine tincture in my closet of oils and subs. Thanks for the great work.

    Dave

    Reply

  33. Posted by John on December 24, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Hi, first of all thank you for taking the time to share this information. Quick question though. I recently did an extraction (thermal cycling) and when I proceeded to the decarboxylating stage the extraction never started bubbling, I had it in a jar in a pot with water on a stove/hot plate. I assume it was at correct temp. Water was hot, but not quite boiling at the beginning, towards the end it was slightly boiling and on the last cycle it was boiling. I was going by the look of the extraction itself during the entire process, which was definitely hot and runny the whole time. It turned dark pretty quick and was black at the end. One thing I forgot to mention is I used 3G vaped and 1g normal (dried) that is why I tried to decarb it to get the last out of the vaped and all of the dried. Sorry for the rant, figured I would provide as much info as possible. Hope to hear back from you. Merry Christmas.

    Reply

    • Try a 250F hot oil bath, instead of a hot water bath.

      Reply

    • Posted by Zombie_WeeD on August 26, 2014 at 12:32 AM

      asuming i understand you correctly you used weed you had vaporized already if so …

      quality of starting material decides quality of output material. so your vaped leftovers are not a good starting point. Yes they may contain some residuals but most of the thc is gone if you have a good vaporizer. I have a Pax vaporizer and ill vape on its highest setting till the bud turns a brown/almost blackish color and crumbles to the touch. The leftovers are virtualy worthless i will (rarely) mix it with tobacco to give my cigerette a nice earthy flavor but beyond that i cant imagine using the crumbs leftover.

      Reply

  34. Posted by tinct-tinckering on December 15, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Can you please explain decarboxilation in the last step of the hot process. Temp and time. I’ve been following this thread for a long time now just being audience. Thanks for all your information and time. I think this is overall healthier and enjoyable way of medicating.

    Reply

  35. Posted by korupt on December 15, 2013 at 5:49 AM

    Experimenting some more so now I’m back thirsting for knowledge:)

    Vibration seems to be the best thing but would an ultrasonic cleaner work at all? I know it is not exactly the same type of vibration but maybe sound waves can be used to keep boundary layers from forming and help free cannabinoids. Any thoughts on this?

    Is it always best to agitate more or is there some point where it isn’t required any more? I saw that with vibration you used like 10h/week, I got a dremel that turns on every 15 mins and rests for 45. Could agitating to much damage it somehow?

    And my last question is on decarbing. I asked this before but I wanted to check if I understood it right. After I followed the hot process and let it sit for 2-3 weeks, right before I am to bottle my tincture, could I decarb it here? The small tests that I’ve made with VG seems to indicate that I can, as I am able to see the bubbles forming but I’m not sure if there is any disadvantages to this.

    Thanks for the help everyone.

    Reply

    • Any energy wave that creates an interchange of solvent at the resin interface, would help. I guess it would depend on the sound amplitude and frequency.

      The agitation has to be gentle enough to not break up the material.

      Yes, you can decarb as a last step.

      Reply

  36. Posted by Mark Miller on December 14, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    I have been reading this stuff all morning.
    I am trying to perfect my oil.
    I am using pure bubble and VG to make it,getting it to around 180f and the hot and cold method.But when all is said and done the is a left over that has not melted down.
    What do you think it is? is it still what I want or is it a by product.It still smell great…
    Can that be melted at a higher temp.Or should I just get rid of it ? Perhaps it needs to cook for a longer period.
    Thought I read somewhere in here to cook for 6hrs the first day then 4 the next and 4the next……..
    Could really use some help here…..

    Reply

    • Vegetable glycerin isn’t all that good a solvent, so some of it is good stuff that wouldn’t dissolve and some is the cellulose material left over from the trichome stalks and discs. Straight BHO won’t readily dissolve in VG either.

      Reply

      • Posted by Mark Miller on December 16, 2013 at 8:36 AM

        Thanks for the reply
        I am trying to stay away from PG that is why just VG to melt , I know you folks say 180f is less better if you are not in a hurry ?
        Is PG a better solvoent? If so Ill use it for the last run. Or do you have a better idea?
        What do you think about vacuming the jar while heating?
        I have tried BHO but think it taste very bad.
        What I am getting now taste very good, nice light brown sugar color
        and can be smoke in a E-Cig
        Used some bubble from last yr and not nearly as nice as the fresh stuff a week old. So I would use only the freshest product you have.
        Will send pics if you folks like.

        Reply

        • PG is a better solvent than VG.

          I see no advantages to heating and vacuuming.

          Reply

          • Posted by Mark on January 1, 2014 at 10:22 AM

            Happy New Year GW
            Using the above mentioned method I have come out with what I think is really nice, smokes good and taste great. But the THC level is very low. For you see I had it tested. I am thinking to much oil not enough bubble. So I am going to do some more bubble runs and try to make it as strong as I can. Should have at least 250-300 more grams to ad to it. I am trying to get away from smoking the greenery in the plant it self. And I have been smoking for 41yrs so my tolerance is very high….

            my question is this:
            Will pure grain alcohol melt the bubble?
            If so will it mix with the VG to make what I have stronger?
            Would you just do it in the old oil?
            I am trying to stay away from the heat mehod, that is why I want to try grain alcohol that way I can use less liquid to melt it down. As to not turn THC into CBN

            Also do I need to decab it, It only went to 180f or less for the transfer. I dont eat it I smoke it. So is that something that needs to be done?

          • Posted by Johnny Golucky on January 5, 2014 at 9:30 PM

            First and foremost, thank you for all your research and willingness to share this information. This website is a wealth of knowledge.

            Do you have any recommendations for incorporating BHO into VG for e-cig cartridges? Is it possible to do extended cold processing with BHO in VG on a tumbler over long periods as you do with the cold extractions for fresh material? Or will BHO just never dissolve into the VG, regardless of how long it sits?

            If my intent is to get e-cig cartridges with VG-based tincture. Would you recommend just doing the cold extraction on fresh material as listed above vs. trying to go to BHO first? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

          • Posted by Johnny Golucky on January 6, 2014 at 7:41 AM

            You can delete my previous message. I will admit, I didn’t read the entire thread – now I have and now I know the answer to this question as I have had the same results you have posted here – just wanted to confirm I wasn’t a dummy! :) Thank you GW for all your continued work.

  37. […] process while I wait to need more oil. I heard this was key to achieve maximum potency. Source: Glycerin Extraction Skunk Pharm Research LLC Ill repost in January/February with my update in potency. I need to […]

    Reply

  38. Posted by Pete B on December 6, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    I plan on using 7.5g of very high grade material with a 2oz 50/50 mix of PG and VG, I am going to decarb the material then mix into the 50/50 mix. Once mixed I plan on putting it into a sealed jar and putting it into a crock pot. I am undecided on using oil or water in the crock pot. How long should the jar sit in the crock pot,? Should I just put on warm, low or high setting? I am then going to filter through a cheese cloth and vape the oil in a vape pen. Does this sound correct. Any advice you can offer with the crock pot would be very helpful. Thanks

    Reply

    • You need to stir the material frequently and thoroughly to keep the dissolution going.

      Water is hot enough, but I like to use hot oil because PG and VG will absorb water from the steam while you are stirring it.

      I would extract closer to 140/150F to keep the THC to CBN conversion low.

      Never tried a 50/50 mixture, so no idea on time. If you have a 100X microscope, you can tell by looking at the trichome heads.

      Reply

    • Posted by Jeff F on December 12, 2013 at 9:23 PM

      Hey Pete B….. How did it work out buddy? I plan on using just plane VG for extracting and using PG to blend with the finished product…. I’m curious to know how it worked for ya tho? Let me know.

      Reply

  39. Possible Solution for dissolving BHO in Glycerin!

    Hi GW,
    I was speaking with Joe on Friday and he told me about the lack of success everyone is having mixing BHO in Glycerin, BHO not being soluble in Glycerin.

    I may have an solution; we also manufacture homogenizers, handheld and bench top. Gas and oil companies use our homogenizers to make oil /water emulsions, via dispersion.

    Here’s a demonstration of our X120 handheld homogenizer:

    http://www.catscientific.com/video-lab-homogenizer-emulsifies-the-immiscible/

    If you think this will work let me know.

    Steve

    Reply

  40. Posted by Chea on November 23, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Yo thanks for the teachings! i got one question, can you do the cold method with wax and bho concentrates?

    Reply

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