QWET Extraction With Ethanol

Quick Wash Ethanol, also know as QWET is one of the techniques commonly employed to extract oil from cannabis.

Here is skunk pharm’s QWET formula to produce an absolute using a 3 minute quick wash.

As most of our extracted oil goes into oral meds, we also decarboxylate ours. This process is based on the 252F curve shown in the attached graph.

The first question is why use a quick wash technique to extract the resins, instead of long soaks to extract as much resin as possible, or just boiling the material in alcohol to get the greatest amount of extracted material?

The answer to that is that because alcohol is a polar solvent that is soluble in water, the latter two techniques also extract the water solubles like chlorophyll and plant alkaloids, as well as the plant waxes and vegetable oil.

Even quick wash does to a lesser degree, but the added steps that we include here minimize pickup even further and we take additional steps to remove the impurities that we do pick up.

The first wash will usually extract 75 to 80%, leaving the balance for the second. The second extraction will be more sedative and less heady. If you use a hand microscope, you can easily see when the trichome heads are gone and the stalks look like wet fur.

You can also use the material for other extraction methods after it has dried. I have subsequently used BHO after the first QWET wash that yielded 16% oil by weight, and got 5% more pristine oil, or about 21.6% total.

A cured material QWET absolute is one of the most aromatic and tasty of the extraction methods and consistently gets high raves from the volunteer test panels, as well as the patients and students. Both from an efficacy, as well as a flavor standpoint.

The first step in the process is to get as much water as possible out of the material.

A fresh material QWET is possible, but this procedure is specifically for material that has been cured to about 15% water content, which is typical of cured material. 15% is a lot of water and the alcohol already has 5% in it, so unless we reduce the water content even further, we will be extracting a lot of water solubles.

We dry our cured material even further by spreading it on a cookie sheet and baking it in a 200F oven until just frangible when rolled between the finger and thumb.

If the material is prime bud, we break it up loosely by hand and extract from trim as is.

We never, ever, use a blender or coffee grinder to reduce material, because it produces a lot of ultra fine powder that makes it through conventional filters.

Next, while it is still warm, we seal the material in a jar, which we place in the freezer to tie up any remaining water as ice. We also put the 190 proof grain alcohol in the freezer.

When they have both stabilized at about 0F, pour the alcohol into the jar of plant material, so that it is at least an inch above the material, and shake it gently a few times to make sure everything is wet. Place back in the freezer.

Remove and gently shake twice more until the material has soaked for 3 minutes, and then dump it through a wire strainer to drain quickly.   We set the strainer atop a fine mesh stainless French Chinoise strainer, or a stainless coffee filter can be used.  Don’t press on the material to extract more, but just let it drain.
Set the material aside to dry for a second extraction. We usually keep the two extractions separate, as they will have different properties, as does the third extraction using water.

After refreezing, the second extraction is done like the first, but when it is drained this time, the material is returned to the jar, which is then refilled with water and set aside.

Filter the extracted liquid.

We use either a #1 lab filter with a vacuum assist, or a simple coffee filter to further filter the solution, depending on the quantity we are processing.

Place that filtered liquid in a suitable container and set that container in an oil bath heated to 250F. We use bain marie and other stainless ware from a restaurant supply or a still, so as to recover the alcohol.

Make sure that the container is sitting on something that suspends it up off the bottom of the oil pot. I throw four jar lids in the bottom of my electric fondue pot and use it for that purpose.

Never trust the numbers on the dial and use a good thermometer to set temperatures. We use either a mercury lab thermometer, or a digital one. Good temperature control is key to the process.

That means the device that you use to control the oil temperature must have a narrow dead band, so that the temperature control is stable.

We paid about $60 for a Quisinart fondue pot that was designed to heat sensitive sauces like chocolate and has excellent control throughout its temperature range. We also have a couple of Revels, that are slightly larger and work well, plus cost only about $30, though they have a slightly larger dead band.

Some fry cookers have sensitive enough controls, but many deep fryers designed to primarily run at 375F, lack control sensitivity and have large dead bands at 250F.

Either boil or distill off the alcohol until the liquid is reduced to a pool of oil, with no large solvent bubbles.

We suck it out of the container using a 60ml syringe, and then filter it to 0.2 microns using a PTFE syringe filter, but a coffee filter or a #1 lab filter may be used..

Place in a suitable container for return to the oil bath and this time cook it until there are not only no large alcohol bubbles, but the production of small CO2 bubbles along the edge dramatically slows down, even when stirred with a bamboo skewer.

Since you have much less material, a smaller one may be used. At this point we put them in small stainless cups with their tare engraved on their sides or a Pyrex beaker. The smaller container reduces the surface area that will be coated with oil when we cook it down the last time and knowing the cups tare weight allows me to take it directly from the oil bath and place it on a scale after simply wiping the exterior.

Since we know the tare, we then know the extracted weight, and exactly how much other ingredients to add. Once adding those ingredients, we place the cup back in the oil bath, where we stir it until well mixed and then decant into its final container.

Since the added ingredients include things that lower the cannabis oils viscosity, very little is left as a film in that container.
If we plan to use the oil as is, without adding any other ingredients, we extract it from the container using the syringe, or a pipette, so as to not leave a streak of material in the vessel. After we have extracted all that I can using a syringe or pipette, we wash the container and pipette out with hot alcohol, and save the wash for the next run.  Nothing is wasted or left behind.

In that vein, as a final step, and for a different product, we strain the water from the plant material, the same way we did the alcohol and cook it off exactly the same way.  When the water is cooked off, we redissolve the remaining oleoresin in hot alcohol, and place it in the freezer for a couple of days, before filtering it.  This time there will also be red waxy globs of insoluble material collected in the bottom of the jar.

Cook off the alcohol, and it produces an oil that is more sedative that either of the first two extractions.

Attached thumbnail(s)


For all of ya’ll living where 190 proof isn’t readily available, here are a couple sites that will ship most anywhere,

East coasters check out, http://www.winechateau.com/

West coasters, try http://organicalcohol.com/store/

252 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mike K on April 24, 2015 at 9:07 AM


    When trying to decarb in the oven after boiling off solvent, oil dried out to almost a powder consistency. Is this garbage now? What happened, can you help??




  2. dear friend, when you say “We dry our cured material even further by spreading it on a cookie sheet and baking it in a 200F (93C)”… wouldn’t it be better at 212F which is 100C, the boiling point of water? or 93C is enough to evaporate the remaining water?

    thanks and cheers from Mexico Cuty


  3. Posted by jediknight on February 26, 2015 at 8:34 AM

    what about using a turkey frier propane heat source in combo with my still to burn off/recapture the first 90% of alcohol? Too much heat?


  4. Posted by BlkWillow on February 10, 2015 at 6:30 PM

    Hey quick question new to the QWET game but looking forward to experimenting with this stuff, seems like a lot of chemistry to play wi th imo which is great. I was looking into what I needed to get and where to get it, my problem item seems to be the 60ml syringe with needle and a PTFE filter. I found the PTFE filters several places online, but all in huge expensive quantities that I can’t afford at this point, so that sucks, and I found 50-60ml glass syringes as well for about 50 bucks a pop, some less on sites like ebay. Besides the expense of these items being an issue, I cannot seem to find a place to aquire the needle that I need to extract the oil with the syringe, wondered if you knew of a source for those and cheaper syringes/PTFE filters. Thanks!


  5. Posted by Beepum on February 2, 2015 at 11:04 AM

    Hello Graywolf ! Do you have an email for contacting you directly ?

    I wanted to talk QWET, if you have the time out of your busy schedule.

    QWET runs have quickly become my favorite. It’s simple and for a small time grower just looking to process some of their popcorn nugs it’s a cinch.

    I’ve been looking to improve my QWET and came across some older buds to practice on. With those buds I’ve felt a little more liberal to try different things.

    These are some thoughts and ideas.

    1. I notice that my bud doesn’t leach a lot of chlorophyll. Even after a 6 minute soak. The reason behind this (I think) is my buds themselves. I take great pride in starving my plants of nitrogen in flower. I flush like a madman. When I pull my plants they’re as yellow as can be.

    a. If nitrogen deprivation and flushing a ton is one way to reduce chlorophyll pickup what do you think about water curing the buds beforehand ?

    Water Curing : Is a lesser known method and it has it’s pros and cons. You can take very harsh chemy buds and soak them in water for a night. The water grabs all those nasty water solubles while the trichomes stay on the buds. The water is pretty nasty and you can tell the buds have leeched all their chlorophyll and fertilizers. Drying is the most important part so your buds don’t mold.

    I’m thinking this method might be a great way to reduce unwanted water solubles from buds and can imagine this might help in a QWET.

    2. Do you decarboxylate all your QWET extracts ? Personally I love trying to capture those terpene profiles so I rarely if ever go above 120F when thin film purging. I find some terpene profiles are captured great by alcohol while some other more lighter floral flavors are much harder to retain.

    I know alcohol evaporates around 170f. Even if I thin film purge at 120f alcohol should still be present in some amounts in the extract, correct ?

    3. I’m interested in recapturing alcohol. It looks pretty simple but do you have a blueprint or any advice ? To recapture the alcohol it takes heat right ? Would that heat degrade the terpenes I’m trying to preserve ? You think I could set up something with low heat that would be somewhat successful at recapturing that alcohol ?

    a. Is the recaptured alcohol the same ABV ? Or does it grab extra moisture ?

    4. Autobuddering – We know it happens with BHO. We know excess moisture can cause this or that it might be strain dependent. I had some residual alcohol in a glass I forgot about in the freezer, when I looked at it it had a consistency that was very unlike all the other QWETs i’ve done.

    I was able to replicate this. I had some alcohol on a pyrex evaporating. When the alcohol had gotten to the point it was getting thick and was thinly spread across the pyrex I poured a glass of ice cold water in the pan. The cannabanoids all ‘buddered’ up and fell to the bottom of the pyrex. After scraping it up and drying out the moisture I found it vaporized perfectly. I’m guessing this is autobuddering from the excess moisture but I’m not 100% sure.

    Ehh, just some stuff I had been thinking about. I would love to hear back !


    • Posted by Chunker on February 6, 2015 at 12:49 PM

      Yo I know your looking for a response from GW, but I had a few suggestions for you. I have thought the same idea about a water cure prior to extraction. I haven’t tried it but I read on these forums (or possibly some other forums) that when you do a water cure, although it may take out some chlorophyll, it opens up some type of bond that makes it so the remaining chlorophyll in the trim/buds goes into the alcohol solution much quicker.

      As I said I haven’t confirmed this, but supposedly when you water cure, then do normal extraction times and methods, the oil is funky. not funky in a good way lol

      Also, a normal reflux still or a countertop plugin still will get you reclaimed alcohol and tasty wax. I will say that I do believe a good amount of terpenes are lost in the still process. On the other hand, some of the terpenes seem to remain in the reclaimed alcohol, so in some sense you will eventually build up a good terpene level in the alcohol and thusl your extract should retain some decent amount of terpenes (just a theory from observation). My extracts with ethanol where I reclaimed the alcohol have always been tasty when I use decent product, so even if a good amount of terps where lost in the still process, the darn terps are so strong they shine through anyways. Also

      if you order organic alcohol there will likely be some flavor left in your wax from the alcohol itself. Even though it has less than 5 ppm of stuff besides ethanol and water, it must have some super terps because the stuff definitely leaves a flavor in your wax before you distill it once.

      If you want to keep the exact flavor of your bud, don’t use organic ethanol that is fresh. Use alcohol you have extracted with and distilled once with, or use everclear. if your material you are working with is not good quality, the organic alcohol will leave a nice sweet flavor in your previously mediocre tasting
      extract, definite bonus!

      if you want to keep all your precious terps you do a thing called a vacuum still which allows you to evaporate and recapture alcohol at a lower than normal still temperature.

      cool buddering discovery by the way

      I have been experimenting with alcohol cannabis extractions for 5 years and other alcohol extractions for 8 years, I hope my hints/crazy theories were helpful, and Im curious to see what Graywolfs responses are.


  6. […] rn rn rn rn rn rn rn rnrn rn Here is a link to skunkpharms QWET procedure rnQWET Extraction With Ethanol | Skunk Pharm Research LLCrn rnrn rnrn rnrn rn rn rn __________________rn rnSCrn rn rn rnrn […]


  7. Posted by digger on December 29, 2014 at 6:36 AM

    Hi, I would be interested what you recommend for vaping a thc-based e-liquid. Is decarboxylation necessary? Some say vape-pens don’t go higher than 90°C, but other sources suggest it goes 200°C and higher, at least for higher-powered devices. So it should be possible without any of that, right?

    And do you recommend ethanol or isopropyl alcohol? And is proyplenglycol polar or non-polar, or how does that work with thc?

    If you decarboxylate, do you go above 106°C, or stay around that? Would an already decarboxylated material be as potent or less so if smoked or vaped, assuming with a temperature of ~220°C, in a pg/vg solution?


  8. Posted by Mike on December 18, 2014 at 6:18 AM

    Has anyone tried an even shorter wash period than 3 minutes? I clean my hands and scissors after harvest with 70% Isopropyl alcohol, it only takes a few seconds to dissolve the residue.


    • Posted by BPM on December 25, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      Isopropyl alcohol is more aggressive then ethyl alcohol. Maybe do a shorter soak ? The main point of the soak is to make sure you’re alochol and starting materials are frozen to tie up the chlorophyll. Using 95% ethyl alcohol I’ve found that a 3minute cold soak works rather wonderfully.

      I was skeptical at first now all my QWET shatter runs are 3 minute cold soaks.


  9. Posted by Silversouth on December 1, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    I would like to know what type of oil is suggested to be used for the oil bath, when evaporating alcohol from the extract.


  10. Posted by Shawn on November 23, 2014 at 4:55 AM

    Has anyone used denatured ethanol for the first pull? It seems that denaturing agents, usually methanol & isopropyl, render the extract a bright green color.

    Any luck at removing the green color? A hexane and saltwater wash did not help.


    • Posted by chunker on November 23, 2014 at 6:05 AM

      Yup ive used it. I have gottn really nice amber red and yellowish oil from denatured . I did 2x 20 -30 second rinses and the color of the alcohol for the first one is yellow normally and second is bright green. Usually the wax from the first run looks red. second run is still really nice and honestly when the stuff dries it looks yellow /black in a large amount and transluscent yellow/orange/amber or red under a light. I also do a 1 min third soak which is more residue more green and less transluacent. Sometimes is third tastes great. Sometimes awful. sometimes bearable. The point is some “green” colored alcohol may have just enough cloropyhll to color the alcohol green but in reality it is a almost residue-free translucent tasty oil after u boil of the alcohol. Also you can do a longer soak than normal and put the oil in a centrifuge and separate the thc mostly in one part and the clorophyll and cbd in another part. I read that in some scienctific extraction article it cannabis patent


    • Posted by chunker on November 23, 2014 at 6:13 AM

      …..Sorry no serious advice i can give on removing the green color. I just recomend testing it before worrying about the green. If u don’t need to sell it aka personal use and it miraculously ends up tasting fine while being green then you still have a success right? you did an alcohol to hexane double extraction and proved to the world that weird looking extracts can be good! Don’t judge a wax by its color…… or its bunk wax lol. Good luck homie Im rootin for ya!


    • Posted by BPM on December 25, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      Personally I think that ‘Green’ color might also be more than just chlorophyll. We know that marijuana can absorb heavy metals and other crap from the soil. Most bud these days is pumped with so much fertilizer and junk. I think this all factors into a QWET extract.

      I personally nitrogen deprive my plants in bud, don’t feed too much and flush a shit ton. My buds even after a 6minute soak barely leech any green. Other people’s buds who I know are chwmy indoor instantly turn bright jolly rancher green after barely any time.

      So I think that green is also excess nitrogen from chmical fertilizers on top of chlorophyll.

      Also why are you using denatured alcohol ?


      • Posted by chunker on December 25, 2014 at 8:15 PM

        Update: ISO rinse on kif yielded green colored liquid from a cold quick wash and green colored liquid from a second long ISO rinse. After being boiled down/ initially purged the oil is definitely yellow with no green hints.
        Do a test batch of your “green quick wash” by evaporating a gram worth of oil. If this isnt satisfactory then take steps to improve. This green liquid may turn to yellow gold!

        The reasoning for using ISO or denatured is twofold. People think the higher possible alc alcohol content (99% or so) of ISO make it a superior solvent to ethanol. Also its cheaper, so u can evap with no still without being Cost prohibitive. Also I prefer ethanol rinse with a still because I can drink it as a tinc if i want. Also ethanol is a touch less flammable and doesn’t bother me when I use it inside. I personally don’t use use ISO but my friend does hence the above story of green quick rinse.

        Many blessings on your concentrate expeditions. Stay safe!



  11. Posted by Tres on November 22, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    Hi Chunker,
    The one drop blast stuff is too much for me (well that particular sativa high was). The day was a wreck. Racy, slight hallucinations on a Salvadore Dali theme and time frame slippage. Now I know where he got his material from lol.

    For the wider audience slight pains in my wrist and shoulder disappeared for over 12 hours, plus other improvements of mind and body, a more laid back feeling afterwards.
    I have a life threatening condition that is under good medical control. The consuming of cannabinoids on a daily basis along with supplements an attempt to keep everything working properly.

    I used the ethanol so that if I got it wrong (too much dilution) I could just boil some off.
    I’m looking to make topical cream with resin, beeswax and coconut paste, also a cannabis tincture and a coconut nut oil resin mix.
    I’ll try your various suggestions. I will be starting quite a lot further down the dilution scale, working up, many thanks, Tres.


  12. Posted by Tres on November 21, 2014 at 12:59 AM

    Titration – So! I’ve grown my stuff, built my refractionating still to produce 90% ethanol. Stripped the resin from the plants and decarboxylated resin as per GW intructions. I am left with resin that just covers the bottom of a 100ml pyrex beaker. I have diluted this with 10 ml; of ethanol. I have product that blows your head off even with a drop.
    What sort of dilution with ethanol should I be looking at to make product more manageable? I’m looking at taking daily doses just under or around minimal psychoactive level. Many thanks to Gray Wolf and the team and anyone who advises.


    • Posted by Chunker on November 21, 2014 at 8:54 PM

      You should dilute it by 1/2, over and over again until you can personally feel the proper level. Take your 10ml solution, add 10ml ethanol. try one drop. later in the day or the next day. if still too strong, add 20ml ethanol. try this, and if still too strong, later add 40ml ethanol. If you know that by doubling the alcohol content it will be still be too , try quadrupling or octupling by adding 30-70mI right away and doubling from there. I personally prefer the “one-drop blast-off” stuff you are talking about because it seems that the more concentrated it is, the less you taste the alcohol bite, and I don’t mind taking active ingredients in high doses. Another solution would be to dilute it with Vegetable Glycerin or Propylene Glycol, for a sweeter taste. You can also mix your stuff it in with water now that the active ingredients are added to the alcohol. So you could just put one drop of your current concoction into a glass/bottle of water and drink it throughout the day/ over multiple days. One more suggestion! evaporate as much of the alcohol off as you can and mix your oil in with organic virgin coconut oil for a very mellow, healthy, tasty form of eating oil.


  13. Posted by Roy Kilsaw on November 8, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    Hypothetically, could you filter the extracted liquid and cook it down at a later date (for example, a week later) without affecting the end product?


  14. Posted by oilymaker on November 7, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Followed all directions. Thank yoU! except: 2nd wash, stuck back in freezer (didn’t let “dry”), just stuck it right back in after first strain. When i re collected alcohol from still (megahome), and re froze and re filled the 2nd wash jar . It was NEON GREEN. Is this normal? Anyway I re distilled it down to a manageable size, covered it and stuck it back in the freezer. In 12 hours it will be officially 48 hours, Iwill refilter this liquid and put it on a 250 f fondue oil bath . Hopefully not too much chlorypyll left over…

    Any one can chime in?

    is the neon green from 2nd wash due to?

    a:) moisture from buds got into the 190 proof alcohol making it more of a polar wash

    b:) the 2nd wash is always going to produce a green color (as opposed to a beautiful amber / brown color from the first wash)….

    c:) test the alcohol with hydrometer before using it to make oil to make sure what you are using is still high proof

    ANY help is really appreciated. Thank you community. God bless.


    • Posted by William on November 22, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      I would pick b:) “the 2nd wash is always going to produce up a green color” I put it down to the fact the first wash pulls 75-80% of the resin from the material which accounts for the amber color. The second wash is extracting the remaining 20-25%, but since Ethanol is a polar solvent it is also pulling out some chlorophyll along with the remaining resin, hence the green color. I used to use the ‘Rick Simpson method’ which called for long washes and they both came out a very dark green. At the same time, we had a patient complaining of gastric upset after taking the oil. After discovering Skunk Pharmacy and reading through all the great research they have done, I realized that he was reacting to the large amount of chlorophyll inherent in long washes with Ethanol. Once I switched to Skunk Pharm’s method of freezing the material and short washes, the patient had no more gastric issues with the oil.

      I usually combine both washes before evaporating off the Ethanol since most of the time I am making a high CBD oil where sedative effects can be useful for the patient. However, using different starting material, I have tried the recommendation of separating out the first wash for a more ‘head’ effect and that patient was very impressed with the results.

      I hope that is useful. Good luck!


      • Posted by Chunker on November 22, 2014 at 7:22 PM

        I just wanted t make a comment here, since stomach/gastro issues seem to be prevalent with people taking these oils. I have seen people have stomach issues from taking a 25% CBD oil with <1% THC, 40-50% fatty acids, 1-2% other cannabanoids, unknown terpenes, and virtually no detectable clorophyll. It was a co2 extract. Also another person was eating oil closer to 60-70% THC that was very low in chlorophyll, made from a quick alcohol rinse caused another stomach pain. I recommended the person with the co2 cbd stuff mix it in with coconut oil and try to not take it on an empty stomach, and that worked for her. The point being, even quick rinse, or BHO, Co2, virtually any oil can cause stomach discomfort, it may be specific to each person, and it may be something you can get over if you do it for a while. Whatever the THC,CBD and other chemicals are doing to your stomach seems to be makes some people feel uncomfortable physically,. Sometimes getting the chlorophyll out is enough to stop the pain, but as demonstrated by experience of my friends, virtually chlorophyll free extracts can cause similar discomfort. Also if you eat lots of chlorophyll (veggies presumably like kale etc.) or take daily chlorophyll powered supplement, you will probably have no issue with the chlorophyll present in a long rinse.

        So people wanting to eat long-rinse chlorophyll-laden oil: start eating chlorophyll supplement now to adjust your body.

        Any people eating any oil for medical purposes that are not used to the effects of ganja on your body: start slow so you don't expose yourself to a painful experience. I personally would love eating 1/2 gram -2 grams of oil, long rinse or not, but this may send some people on a hallucinogenic, stomach cringing journey. Stay Safe Everybody, don't blow up your neighbors making BHO

        p.s. the co2 extract with 40-50% fats can dissolve into your skin or tongue easilly on your tongue, unlike most oils which are relatively sticky and viscous, making it so you have to quicky swallow the oil


  15. Posted by Blujay on November 5, 2014 at 7:08 AM

    Yes a waste of time. Experement with it on your own if you want. Glass of ethanol 6 feet away from a fan. 2 min youll have condensation. Yes that fast.


  16. Posted by Laurie Kent on November 3, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Used a MB2 for the first time.Made an epic tincture but I want to turn it to Wax or Shatter without blowing myself up.Any tips????


  17. Posted by Blujay on October 29, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    Further concentration of the ethanol can be achieved by shifting the azeotropic point via vacuum distillation or addition of another substance to the mixture. Often times the compound added is highly toxic such as benzene. However, Everclear is hygroscopic. Meaning it absorbs water from the atmosphere. Even if you achieved 200 proof it would move down to about 195 when introduced back to normal conditions.


    • Posted by Mark on November 5, 2014 at 5:25 AM

      I understand the hygroscopic concept but I am sure that it happens over hours, not instantly; one could also limit the atmospheric exposure by simply using an Erlenmeyer flask and a stopper. Not debating the ethanol’s ability to absorb moisture. So back to my original question; will using 200 proof ethanol, which is what the molecular sieve will achieve, reduce the amount of water soluble material that is extracted? Is that the goal of minimizing the moisture? Is it a waste of time to suck out the moisture from the ethanol?


  18. Will using a drying agent (molecular sieve 3A zeolite) on the Everclear to extract more water before beginning the QWET result in less water soluble material from being extracted? Is that the goal of minimal moisture?


  19. SPR, your stuff is great as usual. Since california seems to be cracking down on BHO because amateurs keep on blowing themselves up, I want to start making ethanol absolute for both vaporization and oral/topical usage. This technique is perfect for the latter, but I’m looking for a technique to minimize terpene loss while maximizing purity. It seems like the least expensive and safest route to take. I’d like your thoughts on techniques. I’d assume low temperature vacuum purging with a cold trap would be optimal?


  20. Posted by SativaHybrid on September 27, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Thanks for your info it has been extremely helpful for me as in the uk there is no access to the grade of medicine available to you guys over the pond . That said I have made some oleoresin and turned it into e- juice using a pg mixture which mixes perfectly into a liquid and is stable. It is a golden honey colour , but when mixed is jet black ?I have not winterized it as I only had 14 gms of bud to play with , which produced 1.2 g of oil off of the first wash.
    Thing is It’s just not the same as smoking a spliff? I miss the rolling , mixing and smoking of it .The main reason for making it into e-juice is I am trying to save money . This mix is off of the first wash of some haze. Does the next wash produce a resin with different effects.?


  21. Posted by Shawn on September 20, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    After a QWET extraction does the absolute oil need to be decarboxylated if it will be added to oil vaporizer e-cig type of device? 


  22. Posted by JuneBuechting on September 9, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    Thank you for your information on the 3rd water extraction. I’m not sure I will do this again, as it is time consuming for very little end medicine.

    I boiled off the water, added the ethanol, froze for 2 days and strained. I didn’t observe the “red waxy blobs” that I expected. just some sludgy green stuff.

    I then processed using an Air Still.

    I evap’d using a coffee warmer.

    My resulting extract has 2 parts to it.

    1-this lovely bright green oil that is around the edges of my dish
    2- a thick (like honey) clear amber “oil” substance that has a bitter scent (and taste) to it.

    so far, I don’t know how to separate the 2

    my question is: Is this amber stuff medicine or is it some other by product that I don’t want? (I guess I could be the quinea pig and try some in a capsule….)


    • Posted by Shawn on October 5, 2014 at 5:15 AM

      I am also noticing this. Have you determined the difference in the oils?


      • Posted by JuneBuechting on October 5, 2014 at 6:21 AM

        I have not tried the oils to determine differences. WAITING for a reply as to how to separate the bitter honey colored stuff, and if it’s ingestable………still in pyrex……..


        • Posted by Shawn on October 10, 2014 at 8:58 AM

          Have you tried using a separating funnel, winterizing/filtering, or any washes on the oil? I believe the green colored substance is due to chlorophyll pick up and the amber oil would have high THC content.


          • Posted by JuneBuechting on October 10, 2014 at 3:50 PM

            when you say “winterizing” are you referring to putting it in the freezer? I did the step
            ” When the water is cooked off, we redissolve the remaining oleoresin in hot alcohol, and place it in the freezer for a couple of days, before filtering it. This time there will also be red waxy globs of insoluble material collected in the bottom of the jar.

            Cook off the alcohol, and it produces an oil that is more sedative that either of the first two extractions”

            I did that, however no waxy red globs were detected. the material was strained and processed. I believe the green edges to be cannabis oil….as it looks like what I normally process. I’m just confused as to the amber/bitter stuff also in the dish….

            i guess i could scoop some into a capsule and see if I get sick……

  23. Posted by Blujay on August 13, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    Glad to see others care about GMO. Good luck and have fun!


  24. Posted by AlcoholExtractor on August 13, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    Hello! First off, thank you so much for maintaining such a wealth of information. So, I have my hands on some medical/lab grade ethyl alcohol. It is 200 proof, should work just as well as the 190, right?


    • Posted by Blujay on August 13, 2014 at 7:11 PM

      Its the same thing; alcohol is hygroscopic which means as soon as you open the sealed bottle it absorbs H2O from the atmosphere making it 190-195 or so proof. Almost no point to buy anything other than 190 proof unless u want organic.


  25. Posted by Jeff on July 23, 2014 at 2:33 AM

    Could you please tell us the exact model # for the fondue pot you use? I found two different Cuisinart models (CFO-3SS & CFO-1000) both priced at $59.99 that fit the “about $60″ price you mentioned. I’m not sure if they have similar dead bands so I’d like to play it safe and get the model you have.


  26. Posted by Charles on July 14, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    Any videos on this?


  27. Posted by otherone420 on July 9, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    How about using anhydrous alcohol for the extraction? Do you think there may be any health hazards associated with the end product?


  28. Posted by Eli Elixer on March 5, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    Well, I just want to say thank you for your wealth of information. I did my first go at making an absolute by winterizing and filtering 12 g’s of some bho wax I got and then decarbing and then adding to coconut oil. The absolute came out great. Mythically good. Completely golden orange red hard shatter at room temp and when heated between fingers can be stretched paper thin and becomes golden see through. I washed the razors and pyrex pan and got another half g of oil out of it, but it is much darker red? does a secondary extraction cause this? I did make a few mistakes, but still rather enjoy my end result. The first mistake I made was underestimating the shatter consistency of the absolute. Completely shattered and a bunch landed under the fridge. So, after decanting into the liquid coconut oil I used, I simply re-filtered the liquid. Worked like a charm. The other mistake I made was I used a water bath as opposed to oil bath, heating the material to only 212 for the decarb. Do you think that the 250 bath would have been very noticiably better? My oil worked wonderfully and is fully heady, which is good, as I have a lot of oil that is made from very dry kief that is very sedative. I’ve spent the last year making 150 ml mct oil that was slow cooked with kief for five hours at whatever temp my slowcooker is on low, probably around 200. I also noticed the possibility for the pyrex to tip into the boiling oil, but luckily this didn’t happen. For future projects, any recommendations to better stabilize this part? Also, I ended up mixing 60 ml coconut oil into the 7 g’s decarbed absolute and baked at 220 for 2 hours (per badkittysmiles guide), winterizing for 18 hours halfway through. I went ahead and tried roughly .2-.4 ml subliminally, and felt the intensive head effects within 1 minute. Much much much much stronger sublingual effects than any other method I’ve done. Do you think it’s possible that thc lends itelf better to sublingual administration than the CBN’s? Have you experimented with making sublinguals at these lower temperatures?


  29. Posted by chunker on February 24, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    Can you please describe the taste difference of oil passed through a .2 mu syringe filter vs just passing through coffee filter. I noticed my QWET leaves a little bit more residue on my nail than bho, but still dabs very well. It comes out golden colored when looked at in a small layer under a light, but looks black and non-translucent when in a large quantity. Do you think the syringe will take away the minimal residue and make it more translucent? someone on the comments mentioned that the syringe removed alot of the ABV taste, would it also remove good flavors from oil made from fresh material? for example maybe the oil that only goes through the coffee filters has more flavor, but also more harshness because of more junk, whereas the syringe filtered oil may be less harsh and also less flavorfull.


  30. Posted by BrianTC on February 22, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    Greetings Skunk Pharm folk! First, as always, a HUGE thank you is due. You guys rock.

    Second — I’m wondering what method/tools you use or suggest to determine water content of starting materials, for this and all extractions. Reviews I’ve read on many of the readily available hygrometers

    (ex: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A9W41GI/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3ADS0L6RJ0S9F&coliid=I3NCP8CN7XRUSS)

    say that the readings vary dramatically from unit-to-unit placed in the exact same environment. Lab technique would suggest weighing before and after a complete dry, then calculate, but that not only wastes bud, but takes a long time and is not feasible when using material stored in multiple jars, etc. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


  31. Posted by davewessell on February 17, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    hey guys… just had a few things to figure out that stumped me a month ago. i have some erl which apparently was contaminiated by being left unsealed in a freezer. it has absorbed the smell of what could be described as leftover mongolian bbq. so, i was just looking everywhere for the best method of removing this smell. yet to find a fitting solution for what i am faced with.

    second- for the qwet method i stumble upon a method by using what i had- i winterized some erl with 196 eth (10 parts ethanol to 1 erl) and hot bath at 120f…. found that a simple plastic trashbag over the top of the pot kept evaporating water out of the erl dish. this method seems to get the initial bulk of etanol out quickly (2 hours or so it was thick). i then proceeded to do a 3 hour finish at -29hg in a 3 gallon chamber. i would then open all valves to replenish the air and start over for another 2 hour -29hg vac. this seemed to work really well considering how janky of a lab guy i am. i am just wondering if anyone has any comments to offer. the product came out quite nice, but there was the smallest hint of ethanol left behind. taste was fine overall.

    thank you all for the info that is all over this site. this place is a wonderland. i am not a retailer of any sort. i only try to help my friends and family be safer and happier, who which are even more ignorant than me… only because i read the threads here!


  32. Posted by Matt b on February 16, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    Would putting it in the oven at 250 finishhe dedecarb rocess.? If so, how long do I keep it in there?


  33. Posted by Matt b on February 16, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    I burn off the ethanol in rice cooker at 180°F. According to the graph im not fully decarbing


  34. Posted by Sand Blaster on February 16, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Hello, thanks for all the great guides! I was wondering if you could describe from your experience the visual and taste differences between the same QWET filtered through just coffee filters or through .2um syringe filters. Will the syringe filtered extract be more translucent? I make about 450 grams of trim into QWET oil for meds, mostly smoked, yielding between 20 and 40 grams per run. I notice that my oil does leave a little bit more residue compared to BHO and QWISO I have made in the distant past. It tastes great, but gets harsher with bigger hits, more harsh than the same size bho dab would be, leaving me mostly taking small/moderate sized dabs (which is fine). The color is usually yellowish and translucent until gathered into a large amount, making it look black, with minimal light penetration coming through the 1 oz oily gloop. Do you think syringe filters will give me a nicer effect (in terms of color and ability to take large hits) compared to the unbleached coffee filters I currently use?


  35. Posted by Daniel Moore on February 10, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Have you tried using nitrous oxide in a whipping siphon to aid the QWET? Nitrous oxide is nonpolar and it dissolves readily into lipids/fats/oils, it also dissolves right into cold ethanol. If using a 1 litre siphon bottle you can extract using two nitrous whippers and 750 ml of everclear. Mix into the siphon, charge with two nitrous whippers and shake for one minute and let sit for the next. Quickly discharge the siphon upright and release the gas, cavitation from the gas escaping causes agitation to the glands at a microscopic level, also it aids in extracting the non polar essentials as well. let me know what the pharm thinks,


  36. Posted by Cannaseurs on January 19, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    Maybe it was butane


  37. Posted by Cannaseurs on January 19, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    I was asking about mixing keif with ethyl alcohol and then filtering the wax out. Since non polar solvents don’t dissolve wax you should be able to winterize it before evaporating the alcohol. Use a Büchner funnel. Then steam or a vacuum.


  38. Posted by Geoff Muller on January 18, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    Ran QWET for the first time yesterday and I really like the results. As has been said over and over, this site is a treasure.

    I have one process question: after the first ethanol wash, your instructions say to “Set the material aside to dry for a second extraction.” It seemed to me that there would be moisture left behind from the first wash after remaining alcohol evaporated, so I repeated the beginning step of drying the herb in the oven.

    Was this a good practice or am I adding an unnecessary (or detrimental) step?


  39. Posted by chris brown on January 14, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    is it really necessary to decarboxylate since the heat from boiling off alcohol in a distiller, I think would do the trick?


  40. […] of bud the preferred way to make a alcohol tincture is to do the cold method aka QWET extraction http://skunkpharmresearch.com/qwet-extraction/ this will give you a tasty potent tincture Reply With […]


  41. Posted by Cannaseurs on December 31, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    What if instead of running butane through trim or bud in my shatter tube, you can fill a cup with kief, add butane to it. Then stir it up good letting it all dissolve while adding more butane. Once it is fully melted you add grain alcohol and let it react for an hour. Then you put it into the freezer. You take it out, stir it a lot, pour it through a filter, then pour it into a pyrex over Steam a little at a time until it is shatter. Scrape it while hot. Add it to a parchment.


  42. Posted by Cannaseurs on December 31, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    Why can’t you dry deive keif and add alcohol to it and stir. Then boil some of the alcohol off, winterize it and evaporate the alcohol?


  43. Posted by Georg Williams on December 20, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Love this website … just what I was looking for.
    Thanks so much for sharing your professial knowledge.
    I have a question concerning the QWET method:
    Towards the end of the tutorial, after the oil has finished boiling, you mention adding further ingredients without getting precise. I assume something to make the cannabis oil more suitable for oral usage. What ingredients would or could that be?
    Ethanol and / or Glycerin to make a tincture?
    Coconut oil or Ghee?
    Which ingredients work / mix best with the cannabis oil?


  44. Posted by Dylan on December 17, 2013 at 4:12 AM

    So much great info that it is overwhelming!

    I want to make QWET extraction for vaping. I have a filter flask and a hand vac pump. I also have a ceramic Buchner filter (and filter papers) and the ability to cork the flask after filtering.

    My intention is to mix PG and VG Before cold boiling off the ethanol and collect the ethanol (I have 95% drinking alcohol available but it is very exp) using an ice bath heat exchanger into a gas trap connected to the vacuum.

    My thinking is that leaving it in liquid form will make removing it from the flask easier and result in a ready to use mixture for vaporising.

    Would you kindly be able to break down the steps I should take into the most basic instruction points? I will refer back to your detailed post to clarify each point if need be.

    Many thanks! Your efforts are appreciated all across the globe.


  45. Hi all,

    I hope all is well with you! A quick question to make sure I have my thinking straight (in this instant). I am extracting high quality kif with 190 proof ethanol, at about 75f. The kif has no visible green. Once I’ve extracted the oil, I plan on filtering the extract and then freezing it at 0f for 2 days … (as if I was winterizing BHO) ….. and then filtering the 0f extract again to remove any waxes/alkyls that may coagulate over the 2 days.

    Would you say that this step will remove some dissolved waxes etc? Is it worth the extra 2 days, and extra loss in the extra steps? (is enough wax removed to make it worth the effort?)

    Thanks in advance


    ps My wife is up to 6 drops a day of HAO, and it seems we are passing the ‘tipping’ point. After the initial slight diminution of her BP, things stayed fairly steady at the slight improvement. She has been at 6 drops for 5 days now and there is every indication that her bp is now dropping again … she is now between 3 and 4 BP medications now per day, whereas previous to this she was at 4 and sometimes 5 BP caps per day. I am having trouble getting CBD material to work with, unfortunately, with a result that she gets pretty wasted once in a while.
    She is also halfway dosing up at this point, and it certainly looks like she will be able to reduce if not eliminate her BP med, eventually …. however, we monitor her bp 4 times a day, and will continue that regimen for a long time … no reason to risk a bp flare-up undetected … which could lead to a stroke


  46. Posted by William on October 17, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Thank you very much for making such excellent information so widely and freely available, your site is an amazing resource.

    I was making quite large (60 gram) batches of oil using the ‘Rick Simpson method’ of evaporating the Ethanol in a rice cooker before moving to a coffee warmer for the final stage. I have noticed a huge increase in the quality of the oil since I adopted your QWET method and used the fondue pot to decarboxylate.

    My question involves the third wash, which I thought was an exciting concept but I seem to be messing it up somehow because I keep ending up with a hard resin that sticks so solidly to the pot that both resin and pot end up in the bin!

    If I could throw a couple of questions at you hopefully I can find out where I have been going wrong..

    1. When you cook off the water, should the oil in the fondue pot be at 250F?

    2. I am assuming I could be going too far in cooking off the water and the oleoresin may become too solid to even dissolve with hot Ethanol?

    3.Is it important for the Ethanol to be preheated before it is added to the oleoresin? I tried it once without preheating and after thinking this was a misstep tried adding heated Ethanol but it didn’t seem to dissolve the material which had by then become quite solid.

    4. You mention that the third wash is more sedative than the first two: would you a hazard a guess as to its potency compared to the first two? (or maybe it has been tested..) which would lead to the follow up question:

    5. What do you think would be the best use of material from the third wash: a sedative night time med..or maybe topicals..?

    Many thanks in advance for your time and patience!


    • The oil can start at 250F, because the boiling water won’t exceed 212F at sea level, but that would bee to hot for a finish if the plant waxes are still present.

      Heating the alcohol just makes it easier to dissolve the oleoresin. The last wash will have some things in the water, that aren’t soluble in alcohol and which you don’t want. If they won’t dissolve in warm ethanol, they aren’t cannabinoids or terpenes.

      Not much head and lots of sedation. Haven’t tested the difference.

      Evening meds or a topical.


      • Posted by William on October 20, 2013 at 8:07 PM

        Thank you for your help! I’ll make some adjustments..

        On another topic..whenever you have the time.. I tried to filter the oil once the solvent bubbles had disappeared using a 0.45 syringe filter, but the oil would not
        pass through…prior to this I had used a coffee filter and a vacuum filter with a Whatman # 11..

        I was wondering if I needed to filter more carefully prior to this point or might it help to use the syringe filter when the oil contains more Ethanol and is less viscous?

        Thank you!


  47. Posted by Frank on October 8, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Thanks for this great info! I recently made some Green Dragon tincture from directions stating to water bath decarbbed medicine in ever clear for 30min. I still can’t wrap my head around the discrepancy between your instructions with the 3 minute soak and the 30min water bath. The tincture did work for me, but severely cramped my stomach, which is how i indirectly found this site googling chlorophyll poisoning.

    I had one question:
    After the oil is obtained and alcohol is still present, can coconut oil be used to extract the cannabinoids from the alcohol?

    Thanks again for your amazing patience with newbs! Much respect!


  48. Hello …. I would like to try a QWET on some freshly harvested material. I would assume you at least trim off any fan leaves, and probably at least a rough trim on the flowers…. but beyond that, I would like to know how to proceed, to produce a QWET ‘concrete’. Thank you in advance!!!


    • QWET Concretes have a soapy taste, so try a small batch first, before committing your whole crop. We get the best concretes using frozen fresh cut material, and a non polar solvent.

      To do a QWET on fresh material, I would remove the buds and sugar trim from the lumber and fan leaves, and loosely cut the material into ~1/4/1/2″ chunks, minimizing broken cell boundaries where the alcohol can directly access the chlorophyll, and freeze it and the 190 proof down to 0F, before combining them for a soak.

      I start with a three minute ethanol soak, and watch it like a hawk beyond that point, occasionally gently shaking it to refresh the grain boundaries.

      If you watch closely, and even draw a sample if necessary, you can see any undesirable color shift toward the green and immediately decant the liquid into a strainer to rapidly drain, and then through a paper filter to remove the balance of the solids.

      If you thin film vacuum cold boil away the ethanol, you can retain the most monoterpenes and carboxylic acids. You can also evaporate it off the other conventional ways using evaporation an heat.


      • Thank you …. I would have guessed a different method ….. trim the flowers from fan and stems …. cut into 1/4-1/2 inch chunks …. so far the same, but I, was thinking to remove a substantial amount of water in the oven at 200f, perhaps removing the fresh flowers and pan from the oven every 20 min or so to reheat the oven, without burning the flowers.

        My Skywalker OG, loses 80% of its weight during normal drying, wouldn’t cooking off some of this water gently, allow the QWET to capture less of the undesirable water solubles.

        Would this cook off too many possibly desirable terpenes, or …. ?


        • Let’s make sure we’re saying the same thing. You asked about a QWET concrete, which I interpreted as from fresh material.

          I consider the oil from dried material an oleoresin, and is how we do ours.

          We cut the plant, remove the fan leaves, and hang it upside down until the small twigs snap, which is about 25% water content. We cut the buds into 1/4 to 1/2″ chunks and freeze them along with the alcohol for the extraction.

          We use oven drying only for oil to be decarboxylated, where we will lose the monoterpenes anyway. Oven drying also drives off monoterpenes, which is why the house reeks when you do it.


          • Posted by FeelingFactory on October 21, 2013 at 1:37 PM

            Hi GW,

            Thank you for your continual spread of information and seemingly endless support!

            To clarify, does the oven drying step take place exclusively with cured material, or should it be also used when working with fresh trim to reduce water content? I realized the post mentions “A cured material QWET absolute is one of the most aromatic and tasty of the extraction methods…”, but then the comments reveal oven drying step removes aromatic monoterpenes during decarbing. Is oven drying therefore reserved exclusively for decarbing the material for edibles & topicals, or does the final product still possess the aromatic & tasty qualities mentioned in the above post?

            I hope to be processing fresh trim soon, and I am still determining whether or not to heat the fresh trim first to remove water before the 3-min, 0-degree QWET for a higher purity. I have a food dehydrator that could be set lower than an oven to remove water but minimize decarbing & possible loss of aromatic compounds while drying, if this would help. Thank you in advance for any clarification!

          • I only use the drying oven on material that will made into decarboxylated oral oil. For vaporizing material, I freeze the material at 5 to 7 days drying and about 25% moisture content.

            The monoterpenes will leave with the water if you make it bone dry.

  49. […] technique cheers Graywolf you and your crew, thank you.rnrnQWET quick wash Ethanol extraction. QWET Extraction With Ethanol | Skunk Pharm Research LLCrnrn The only difference I didn't decarboxylate my trim by putting it in the oven, it was just […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,463 other followers

%d bloggers like this: