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/

190 responses to this post.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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?

  5. […] 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 […]

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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?

  9. 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

    • Polar ethanol doesn’t extract much of the way of non polar plant waxes to start with, so we don’t winterize QWET extracts.

      The alkaloids are water soluble, so winterizing doesn’t remove them.

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. […] 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 […]

  14. […] 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 […]

  15. Posted by Intoxicus on September 16, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    Where I am it is less expensive by a wide margin to buy denatured.
    Would you consider denatured safe to use for either QWET or Winterization?
    I will be vacuum purging.

    Also is it easier to distill denatured to pure ethanol rather than try to break the azeotrope?

    It doesn’t seem to be an issue, but it’s not clear if the any of the conditions in a BHO winterization or QWET extraction could cause the azeotrope to break which would add water to the extract.


  16. zeolite removes water from ethanol did not read the whole thread but hey thats what i use…..

  17. Posted by frank l jones on August 27, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    greeting GW
    so just a question in regard’s ( Quart Mason jars are pushing it, but if you cover the jar and ice bath with a towel and it implodes, not much will be hurt. A better deal would be a vacuum flask from American Scientific or off e-bay.)
    I took your advice and made a trap using a vacuum flask 1000ml
    its already saved me once
    so question is , should this trap be sitting in a ice bath, when using for a oil trap?
    forgive me I have a second question(smile)
    I also wonder if its worth while to use a ice bath with such a simple trap
    my next project will be the diy unit that you have posted

    • Depends on what you are using it for. I set the trap in cold water or an alcohol bath with dry ice, when using it to capture alcohol during cold boiling.

      When I was vacuum distilling the butane, I sat the trap in 85F water, if you don’t use some heat, the evaporating butane will provide so much refrigerative cooling, the temperature will drop below the butanes boiling point under vacuum.

  18. Posted by walrus on August 25, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Been using this method for a while now with great success. Had a bit of a disaster tonight though. Just as the oil was finished purging/decarbing, I reached for the beaker and knocked it over into the oil bath, flooding the whole thing with canola. 3+grams of pristine oil wasted. I suppose I could use it to cook with. Any suggestions on how to use it?

    Thanks Skunk Pharm for sharing all of your knowledge. Hopefully I won’t be such a putz in the future.

    • I’ve had similar experiences and used the oil to medicate an arthritic pup. A friends Rott/Pit mix was getting too stove up to go on walks anymore, but after a tablespoon of the oil over his kibble, he was jumping into the back of the pickup again and promoting outings.

  19. Posted by herman on August 21, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    Hi GW, thank you for sharing this!
    I am going to provide a cancer patient with RSO using ethanol as solvent. It seems to me that your QWET method is the best way to preserve all the goodies from the plant while minimizing chlorophyll extraction.
    So far I have one question left though.
    I would like to combine the first and second extraction in the still to evaporate and reclaim the alcohol.
    You say that the material has to be dried after the first wash. Is that because you keep the extractions separate? Is it necessary to dry when I combine the extracts in the still anyway?
    Thanks in advance for enlightening me.
    Please keep up the good work!

    • No problem combining them in the still, to produce one grade, rather than two.

      You don’t have to dry the material between alcohol washes, just keep it below freezing temperatures. You do need to dry it before switching to a different solvent.

      • Posted by herman on August 21, 2013 at 12:46 PM

        Thank you for your prompt reply and clarification.

        After the first wash I will place the jar with buds back in the freezer for a couple of hours so that it will go well below freezing point again. Then the second wash and that is it.

        That should get me going.

        Thanks again for your help!

  20. Posted by Snorlax on August 21, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    Can I use potassium bicarbonate to “salt out” my diluted ethanol in attempts to try to increase the proof of my ethanol? If so, is any residual k2co3 left in my ethanol? And is it possible to remove using a carbon filter? Thank you.

    • You could remove some water from your alcohol perhaps. Using carbon with the proper particle sizes would remove it. I don’t believe you can “salt out” ethanol since it is not an acid.

      • Posted by Snorlax on August 21, 2013 at 4:15 PM

        This is my source stating how to salt out ethanol. It says since it’s soluble in water and not ethanol it is used for salting out. I do not have a degree I’m just doing some research. If I can’t use k2co3 how could I increase the proof of my ethanol? Distilling it again? Or is 180 proof okay to use?

        • Ok. I misunderstood the way you were using the term “salting out”. I have always heard it used in reference to precipitating a substance as a salt. I have used various salts to dry organic solvents. Which is exactly what you are trying to accomplish. 180 proof will work and k2co3 may remove the remaining water. It will very quickly return to azeotropic balance once the salt is removed.

          • Posted by Snorlax on August 22, 2013 at 11:46 AM

            It’s alright my description of “salting out” wasn’t very specific initially. I didn’t know it would return its azeotropic balance is removed. That very interesting :) is it because ethanol loves water(hydrophilic)?and like you said before, it starts off with 5% water and will absorb more through the plant material? Does absorb moisture from the atmosphere? Just trying to understand the logistics behind the process. And you said 180 proof is okay? If I dry out my material and use 180 proof do you think ill pull out an abundance of polarities from the residual water? Thanks for all your help!

          • It will absorb moisture from all sources through exposure. Its because of the hydroxide groups affinity for water and a lack of significant hydrophobicity from only having 2 carbons. Anything polar like alcohol will solvate polar compounds more efficiently than they will non polar compounds. Which can be mitigated through low temperature and quick incubation times; where they are not as efficient.

          • Posted by Snorlax on August 23, 2013 at 10:50 AM

            Alright, interesting that makes sense! I’m keeping my ethanol in the freezer around 0C and along with my dried material in a ziploc in the freezer. I’m attempting to “tie up” the water the while I extract. Do you think putting the material in the freezer after drying is counter productive(maybe exposes is to moisture?). I’m planning to do a side by side comparison soon, just wanted your input. Lastly, I was wondering if a good amount of plant waxes and lipids are pulled through in a QWET extraction? if so, could it be possible to do a filtration and allow the saturated ethanol sit in the freezer for 24-48 hrs to allow undesirables to precipitate out then filter?

          • If the material is in an air tight container, it won’t pick up atmospheric moisture coating the trichomes.

            QWET doesn’t pull many non polar fats and lipids, but it will pull polar element like water solubles and chlorophyll.

          • Posted by Snorlax on August 24, 2013 at 12:04 AM

            Again thank you for your time and patience answering all my questions. I was wondering if there is anyway to remove the chlorophyll? I’ve read your post about cleaning up using brine water. I read in the comments it has to be suspended in a non polar solvent. Would I have to evaporate redissolve and clean up with brine or is there an easier way?

          • The only easy way I know to deal with chlorophyll, is to not extract it in the first place.

            You can sun bleach some of it with strong UV, which breaks down chlorophyll into its bi-products, but that won’t help much with serious chlorophyll contamination.

            You could strip it with chromatography beads, but that would also involve a non polar solvent.

          • Posted by Snorlax on August 27, 2013 at 9:20 PM

            Thank you guys! sorry, I’ve been drowning in school work and individual projects. But I return with a question, I’ve been looking more and more into testing my own product. Cannatest provides a “DIY test” which I believing is just “cannabinoid fingerprinting” and comparing to a standard. I’ve been looking into purchasing a chromatography system, I work with a Gas chromatography units on the daily but have minimal experience working with a HPLC unit(but taking classes next semester to gain some experience). I’ve been reading that LC is better than GC when testing cannabis because there is no need to decarb. I’m not getting a system soon but was just tossing the idea around with a couple colleagues. If I were to embark on such a mission would you have any recommendations/opinion? (Maybe what type of system is ideal, your experiences, and if its even worth it)
            P.S Doing this I’d like to be able to test my own samples as well as friends and maybe gain some experience along the way, I’m not trying to start a business or get rich.

          • A GC can’t tell the difference between the carboxylic acid forms and the phenolic forms of THC, because the very process of heating them up in the GC, decarboxylates them, so you need an HPLC for that function.

            A GC column gets clogged if you are testing substances with non volatiles.

            A GC with a Mass Spectrometer attached would be ideal for much of the testing, but spendy.

          • Posted by Snorlax on August 28, 2013 at 12:02 AM

            After a little bit of investigation I have found Canna-test DIY is a Fast Corinth v salt test. That is what I mean by the term “Cannabinoid fingerprinting”, Canna-test is currently charging $3,000 for a one day class instructing how to do a fast corinth v salt test…

          • Posted by drizzle on September 16, 2013 at 11:42 PM

            ok, so if i add potassium carbonate to ethanol that is not so pure shake it up a bit, it will give me a higher proof alcohol?

          • That’s the idea. Add and swirl until the powder stops clumping. Then you know you removed the water.

  21. Posted by JP on August 20, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    Hi again GW. I asked some questions on the thread regarding the use of hexane as an extraction solvent but just received an email informing me they only sell 200 litre drums which is to expensive. My next option is ethanol but I have no idea which is the correct one. Could you please look at the below link and advise me on which is the correct one as there are so many and I don’t really know which to choose. Thank you so much.


    • The site refuses to yield the product specifications, but loops back to a page that contains no technical information.

      I would contact them for a useable MSDS and product specification sheet.

      In brief, I read the 96 Ethanol as a 96% azeotropic mix at 190 proof, similar to Everclear, and the 100 as a 100% mixture at 200 proof. If the MSDS doesn’t reflect anything but alcohol and water, either would be useable, and we usually use the 96%.

  22. Electrical conductivity would increase proportionally with metal concentration.
    I would use a multiple stage water filtration system. Which is generally a carbon prefilter, cationic and anionic resins.

  23. Posted by jds on August 17, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    I recently tried running some material through a 0.45um PTFE filter with very impressive results. You mention using a 0.2 filter. I’m wondering if you went straight to the 0.2 or do you run it through the 0.45 first? Also, can you provide any pointers on using the filters?

    • Depends on how much material is in it. If it clogs the 0.2 rapidly after the initial Whatman #1 (11 micron) lab filter, we filter again at about 1 micron, at 0.45, and then at 0.2 microns.

      • Posted by jds on August 18, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        Sounds like I have some room to improve my process.
        1. About what size is a generic coffee filter?
        2. How do you perform the filtration at 1 micron?
        3. Do you use vacuum assist on any of these, and is it necessary?
        4. At what point does the dilution level of the material start to matter? I’m guessing below about 2:1 or 3:1 it might start to matter? Should I filter at 5:1 or 10:1? or reduce and then filter at 3:1?

        • 1. A generic coffee filter is nominally around 20 to 25 microns

          2. We use vacuum assist for anything under 20 microns.

          3. See 2

          4. We do it by eyeball, but somewhere around 10:1, or when the mixture still acts like alcohol when chilled, as opposed to thick oil.

          • Posted by jds on August 18, 2013 at 5:28 PM

            Is it safe to use the 1.2um glass fiber and 0.45um and 0.2um in PTFE?

            That would get me 22um (coffee filter) – 1.2um (syringe glass fiber) – 0.45um – (syringe ptfe) 0.2um (syringe ptfe), without having to get all the accessories to use the vacuum pump properly. Yes?

            Better than going directly from 22um to 0.45um!

          • Sound plan. That should clean it right up.

          • Posted by jds on October 26, 2013 at 11:38 AM

            This has worked out very well for me. Here’s what I’ve been doing:
            1. Soak and gently shake kief in ethanol warmed to about 80F for about 10 minutes.
            2. Gravity filter through a coffee filter.
            3. Set the semi-green solution in direct sunlight for about 1-2 hours until it changes to a dirty amber color (I use a mason jar).
            4. Gravity filter through a coffee filter again.
            5. In an 80F bath (fondue pot), with a cheese cloth cover, put a fan across the solution until the volume drops to about 45-50 ml. Ensure that the solution remains at least 10:1.
            6. Gang a 1.0um glass filter and a 0.45um PTFE filter and draw some ethanol through the filters to prime them.
            7. Attached the 2 filters to a 60ml oral syringe such that as the solution is drawn into the syringe it passes first through the 1.0um glass filter then through the 0.45um PTFE filter and then into the oral syringe.
            8. Prime the 0.2um PTFE filter with ethanol.
            9. Remove the 2 filters from the 60ml oral syringe and attach the 0.2um filter.
            10. Pass the solution through the 0.2um and into the vessel for the final reduction (I’m using a 4″ pyrex petri dish).
            11. Cover with cheesecloth and place in front of a fan.
            12. After a number of hours, the ethanol with have evaporated and water will remain (it’s a cloudy liquid and separates from the alcohol and oil). Eventually the water will evaporate a very thick liquid remains.
            13.That liquid goes in a pliable, non-stick vessel (I use a slick-ball), and is opened and kneaded twice a day for about a week.

            The result has been a play-dough consistency, very strong concentrate. I’m getting about 45% return by weight from the keif.

            Note: In my experience, the 0.2um PTFE filter removes a very large amount of taste. For better or worse. With keif, I find that it’s really not necessary to use that last filter. However, when processing reclaim or abv, that 0.2um filter makes all the difference in the world. It removes enough of the undesirable taste to really make a difference. And it’s a really big difference especially with reclaim.

            This is worth saying again – when I’ve processed reclaim with ethanol, filtering through this progression, especially the 0.2um filter, has resulted in a more desirable (or at least a less undesirable) result.

            Thanks for all the help.

    • I would use a coffee filter before the 0.45um also for the best results. If you were immune compromised and could only afford one filter I would use just the 0.2um. The o.45 is sufficient if you are just removing mold and are not otherwise compromised.

  24. Posted by hashcat on August 16, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Hello GW! i posted in the Polishing extracts thread recently. I have been looking for a cheapest method of achieving high quality results. I was using hplc hexane before but as you know that is costly. I’m looking into doing my first QWET run this weekend but i had some questions before I start. I have access to still made moonshine that has been distilled using a reflux still and ran through activated carbon. Do you think it would be safe to use this? because it lacks an MSDS I am skeptical of using it. My other options are ordering some and recycling it using a liebig .I guess the ultimatum is recycle lab grade or make my own and purify? I also have another question is the extraction of cannabinoids using alcohol an SN2 reaction, if so is this proof that there is residual solvent in my product. I’ve read it forms weak hydrogen bonds that can only be broken with vac and heat. Thank you again for all your help, sorry for the abundance of questions.

    • Its not an SN2 reaction (solvents). Its a van der walls attraction between two dialectly similar compounds.

      • Posted by hashcat on August 17, 2013 at 12:39 PM

        Thank you joe! A friend and I were having this discussion I read it was the Van der wall attraction forces that were taking effect during extraction, but without a degree behind me he refused to believe me. Thank you again. Any input on how i can achieve pure(food safe?) ethanol using a still. I’ve read running through activated carbon works but i am worried it is not safe for ingestion. Thank you! you guys do wonders for the community!

  25. Posted by Helio on August 10, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    I finally got the chance to give this a shot.

    I started with roughly a quart jar’s worth of dried trim and underdeveloped popcorn bud. After further drying it in the oven, I froze the ethanol and material, did a 3 minute soak with multiple shakes, and then strained the stuff through a chinoise and coffee filters. I pointed an air filter at the dish to evaporate the alcohol and then set the dish in a hot water bath until it was dry.

    I scraped up about a teaspoon of very nice-looking golden, translucent shatter. It seems to have maintained many of the plant’s original aromas. No green or darkness, so I’m guessing I avoided picking up much of the undesirable elements. I feel I would have gotten more if I had used more suitable dish (i.e. more horizontal surface area and easier to scrape) and perhaps broken the buds up a bit. Even so, it was an interesting and informative first experience, and I look forward to sampling and sharing the product.

    Many, many thanks for all the hard work you guys have put into this website and your research. It is invaluable stuff.

  26. Hello :-)
    So, after the first boil off the alcohol until the liquid is reduced to a pool of oil, with no large solvent bubbles. you add more alcohol (at least ten volumes of alcohol) and freeze it.
    My question is – why do we need to evaporate ALL the alcohol and then add new alcohol… can i just not evaporate all the alcohol in the first place and go directly to the 48 hours freeze?

    Thank you

    • Redissolving an ethanol extract in ethanol again is a nuance that primarily gets rid of water soluble.

      Ethanol likes water, so besides the 5% water that it starts with, it absorbs more from the plant matter. That water brings along water solubles.

      If you remove the alcohol and water, and then redissolve it in 95.5% ethanol again, the new alcohol doesn’t have as much water to absorb the water solubles, so more are left behind.

      It is enough of a nuance and a two sided coin, that I just deleted that step. The flip side of the coin, is that it also removes more of the lighter terpenes

  27. Posted by HealingGreen on July 28, 2013 at 6:20 AM

    Do you get higher yields from qwet vs bho extractions?

    Can qwet extractions be vaporized just like bho on a ti nail?

    Which one will taste better?

    Thank you so so much! Words can’t express my gratitude towards you and your work.

    • Ostensibly, the active ingredient yield from QWET and BHO would be about the same. Depending on the process, one or the other make pick up more inactive ingredients like plant waxes or chlorophyll.

      Qwet can be vaporized and is choice.

      Which tastes better depends on the taster, as both can be choice. QWET and fresh frozen BHO extractions both capture the floral tastes and smells.

      Dried BHO extractions are typically less aromatic and floral tasting than a QWET, as more of the monoterpenes leave with the water.

  28. Posted by BluJayz on July 18, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    What do you use to thin out the oil at the end?

    Thank you

  29. Posted by Glenn on June 28, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Why are you specifying a temp of 0F for the inital soak? Has anyone ever determined the optimal combination of temperature and soak time and agitation needed to extract the maximum amount of clean oil, (by clean oil, I mean oil without chlorophyl or waxes)? If the oil is frozen inside the leaf can it still go into the ethanol?

    I am currently expermenting with extending the soak times by cyro-freezing. I first tried adding food grade dry ice to the ethanol/cannabis mixture directly , while gently stirring the solution until it partially freezes,(~ -70C) and straining the mixture at ~ 20C. I’ve had some success, (though low yields), with this technique, but only after a few disasters, (for example if the solution freezes completely the cannabis will be pulverized and the chlorophyll will be dissolved into the ethanol). I am also experimenting with various cooling baths such as dry ice /isopropyl alcohol and dry ice/propylene glycol/water.

    • I am specifying 0F because it is cold enough to tie up the water long enough to do an extraction and most modern freezers will pull to that level.

      I’m pretty sure that 5F would work just as well.

      The soak time at temperature depends heavily on what you are trying dissolve. 3 minutes is a good start place for ethanol, from which you can extend the time until you suffer color.

      The resin that we extract is not in the plant material, it is on the surface in the trichomes. We don’t grind material for polar extraction,

  30. Posted by Helio on June 2, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    What kind of shelf life do you have with these sorts of extractions? Any particular storage recommendations?

  31. Posted by Sebastian on May 28, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Alrighty thanx :)

  32. Posted by Sebastian on May 26, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    I know what denaturing means lol what I’m asking is do u think that I should use that non denatured alchohol I mean if its non denatured ethyl then why aren’t all the bumbs gettin drunk off it hahaha makes me feel like its poison
    but 5 gallons of non denatured ethyl for like 3 bills u can’t be that.

    • I would need to see the MSDS for the brand of alcohol, to have an opinion. All non denatured ethanol sources that I’m aware of, are so heavily taxed as liquor, that 5 gallons would cost you around $390.

      • Posted by Sebastian on May 27, 2013 at 7:11 PM

        Well its like the only 5 gallons of non denatured alcohol they have on ebay yea…and don’t u think they should just call it natrual alcohol instead of non denatured?? Lol idk I think it’s funny

  33. Posted by Sebastian on May 23, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    What’s ur opinion on non denatured ethyl alchohol?

    • We use lots of non denatured ethyl alcohol, primarily food grade 190 proof Everclear.

      • Posted by Sebastian on May 24, 2013 at 10:33 AM

        Yea well that’s wat I use but i got 12 bottles not 750 ml the regular ones for like 270 bucks i believe expensive :/ and u can get 5 gallons of non denatured ethyl on eBay for a similar price ;) proly not food grade but wat u think lol

        • No way to have food grade Denatured alcohol, as the denaturing process is intended to make it unfit for drinking.

          • Posted by Sebastian on September 1, 2013 at 2:07 PM

            Right but if its non denatured that doesn’t make it food grade does it?

          • Usually non-denatured is a 200 proof reagent grade. To get from a 190 proof azeotropic distillation to 200 proof requires vacuum or a drying agent. Any residual is obviously at a very low level at 200 proof, but not all of them are something I want in my food at any level, so I stick to 190 proof.

            200 proof Ethanol is intensely hygroscopic, and as soon as you open the bottle, it will no longer be 200 proof because of the atmospheric moisture it will absorb immediately.

            190 proof is considerably cheaper, as well.

  34. Posted by P77 on May 18, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    I use Absolute Alch.(99.8% pure) for QWET – any differences I should be aware of in technique versus using alch. with more H2O?

  35. Posted by Liam Morgan on May 9, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    What are some potential drawbacks to having material for qwet extraction freezing for periods of time significantly beyond them being sufficiently frozen? Like say a month or more for instance. How will this kind of procrastination negatively effect my end result if at all?

  36. Posted by Sebastian on May 7, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    That’s wats up good sheit mayne!

  37. Posted by Sebastian on May 6, 2013 at 4:20 AM

    Hey bros i have questions.i hAve been purgin my qwet past a shatter consistency 2 a budder right,but sometimes it doesn’t budder.now I was thinking this was either cuz I heat it too much sometimes like 170 180 and sum times when it does budder think its proly like 140 160 max or its the quality of the starting product that sometimes makes it budder?also I find when I do this I get better flavor from budder why?shouldn’t more heat after shatter make it less flavor full cuz it’s decarbed more? these are the questions that haunt me at night lol :o===~O <—–bong lol appreciate all knowledge bros :D

    • 140/160F is hot enough to decarboxylate the oil and is hotter than we go when we are trying to wax up shatter.

      There is no question that the oil loses the lighter terpenes with continued heating and vacuuming, or it wouldn’t stink up the vacuum pump oil, so my best guess is that it is a matter of more surface area exposed to cast off terpenes.

      • Posted by Sebastian on May 7, 2013 at 9:48 AM

        Yea fer sure I then need 2 lower my heat to the 115 u mentioned then.but then I wouldn’t feel comfortable runin more than a quarter oz per pan cus it would take 4 ever to wax up do u think a vac purge would be more efficient for large runs?!?and I do prefer wax ur totally right light terpenes should be fucked but I think it does release more aromas and flavors cuz ur purgin off excess moisture.

        • Vacuum purging will help even large runs, but really shines for retaining the lighter terpenes, when you do it in thin films under 1/16″. You are able to quickly remove the solvent, and then stop vacuuming.

          Thin films with large runs, just means you need more surface area.

          • Posted by Sebastian on May 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM

            So I would Need a large vacuum chamber.and will a pump be significantly faster to wax with large runs than usin a griddle or hot plate?usin thin films of course

          • The size or number of chambers would be driven by how much you needed to process in a thin film at a given time. It is a matter of surface area.

            So far none of the griddles or hot plates that we tried would reliably control in the 85F/115F range, where terpene and carboxylic acid retention is best.

            We are currently experimenting with reptile cage heating mats, controlled with a light dimmer switch, and it looks promising. More on that once we conclude our experiments,

  38. Posted by Liam Morgan on April 12, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Can a qwet extraction be purged under vacuum in essentially the same way as a bho? I have some super frosty trimmings i have toasted and frozen according to the steps outlined above, awaiting extraction. I intend to use the extracted oil solely for vaporization so Im wondering what is in the middle of the best and most cost effective way to evaporate and purge the ethanol while retaining the highest terpene content and decarbing as little as possible

    • Yes you can purge QWET under vacuum and that is how we do it to retain the most terpenes. We purge in thin films at 115F and -29.9″ Hg.

      • Posted by Liam Morgan on April 13, 2013 at 6:24 PM

        Do you know of anywhere solid info on how to build a diy vac chamber might be found for this purpose?

        • No, but you can easily make one out of a 22 quart pressure cooker and a 1″ sheet of Lexan for the lid. Use a Viton gasket, which Paramount Supply can cut for you, as can Gaskets Unlimited.

          You can drill and tap the Lexan for the plumbing, or better yet, weld a nipple on the pot itself, to preserve the intregity of the Lexan.

  39. Posted by UnblemishedMind on April 10, 2013 at 4:35 AM

    Excellent website, thank you so much for this information!
    A question regarding QWET, kif, and saturation point for 190 proof alcohol.

    “pour the alcohol into the jar of plant material, so that it is at least an inch above the material”

    If using kif, does more alcohol need to be added than ‘an inch above the material’? Can you please advise about saturation points for kif so I can make this oil using the least amount of starting alcohol possible?
    For cost, and evaporation issues, wondering what is the ratio for the most efficient amount of alcohol. Not to waste any 190 proof, but also not to lose any potency by unknowingly reaching saturation point when using kif. I will do the 2nd and 3rd wash technique to maximise extraction, but for a starting point, and efficiency how much 190 proof to start with would you advise?
    (I am not set up yet for re-caputuring the evaporated alcohol at this time, and for heath reasons want to make the oil as soon as possible)

    Many thanks, keep up the good work!

    • Kif does have a higher resin content, so it would take more alcohol to dissolve it, than it would for the same volume of plant material. I would suggest starting at 5X and experimenting from there.

      • Posted by frank l jones on August 21, 2013 at 12:18 PM

        when using kief what kind of soak time? would ya need to winterize?
        this be for vape

        • No need to winterize with Kif and ethanol. You can soak and shake until it is dissolved, because you aren’t worried about chlorophyll pickup. Probably in the neighborhood of ten to thirty minutes to get it all.

          • Posted by jds on August 23, 2013 at 7:00 PM

            Would anything need to be frozen when using kief? Actually, could I warm the ethanol slightly to speed the extraction?

          • You don’t need to freeze kif in the first place, as the water solubles and chlorophyll have already been mostly removed from the picture.

            You can boil the kif for maximum extraction speed, but that will also partially decarboxylate it and it most likely won’t end up shatter.

            If you want to end up with light colored carboxylic acid shatter, I would keep the alcohol below ~80F during extraction and cold boil away the alcohol under vacuum to purge.

            If it is for oral consumption, I would boil the kif in the alcohol for about 20/30 minutes, or until all the resin is dissolved. Use a microscope to examine the kif, as there will be a a fair amount of material left behind after the resin is extracted. Once all the resin heads are visibly gone, and only the stalks and discs remain, stop boiling and filter.

  40. was almost ready to make RSO, but keep hesitating on the naphtha. In Ca, so cant get the light stuff,can get iso. I see the qwet method , but not sure if its over my head . Is this the step you recomend to get a high quaility oil for medicine? Thanks

    • QWET can most definitely produce high quality oil for medicine and is one of the methods that I recommend.

      • Posted by CALumi on April 8, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        Hey GF, I have gotten a lot of your help on the BHO forum. I wanted to attempt to make QWET using your technique however, somewhere down the line someone said QWET works best with kief. Not knowing what I know now, I took about 2 fluid ounces of ethanol and I added 2 grams of kief. I then threw it in the freezer and it has been sitting there for some time. I was wondering since I have more kief and I have some frosty flowers. Should I place the flowers in the freezer and then into the container that has the ethanol and the kief in it? Then follow the recipe on your page or should I not worry about messing with the flowers and just use the kief? I place in a double boiler an allow the ethanol to reach boiling point, then cool down? Will I be using a thin film to purge anything or can I just deacrb the kief in the ethanol and then pour onto a large surface area and dry?

        • I would run the kif and flowers separately. You can soak kif for a long time in ethanol, but soaking the flowers will pick up excessive chlorophyll. They work better with a quick wash technique.

          Boiling off the alcohol at 173F will partially decarboxylate the oil and make it less viscous. Cold boiling the oil away at 115F under vacuum will avoid the decarboxylation and produce shatter.

          You can naturally evaporate away the alcohol with a fan at ambient temperatures, but will have to use some heat at the end to do the final purge.

          • Posted by cheeba_amiba on April 13, 2013 at 8:00 AM

            How much heat? I usually just set it on top of an electric stove top on low, but recently got a slick pad and wanna start using my electric pancake griddle and don’t know if it will go low enough.

          • We use 115F under -29.9 Hg, or 125/140F at atmosphere to get shatter, or 250F if also decarboxylating,

  41. Posted by poplars on April 3, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    is it viable to do the 2nd wash with water to collect everything? (to save ethanol) or would that be inefficient? *starts 3 min wash now.*

  42. Posted by Nick on April 1, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    >> the material is returned to the jar, which is then refilled with water and set aside

    Am I understanding correctly that your last wash is with water? Does this actually get any THC?

    Would it be possible to pre-wash with water to remove some of the gunk, then dry/decarb, and then do the extraction?

    • It is actually amazing what the water pulls on the last extraction, but it is because it absorbs the remaining alcohol, which is holding the oil.

      Prewashing with water will remove some water solubles, but also trichomes.

  43. Hi GW,
    I made a QWET extraction this weekend using an electric fondue pot for the first time (I’ve always used a rice cooker before). In the process several questions arose which I would like throw at you.
    I noticed that no matter how hot the temperature of the oil in the fondue pot was (250°F or above), the filtered ethanol never got above 172.4°F (ethanol’s boiling point).
    Does the surface contact temperature between the container that holds the filtered alcohol and the oil in the fondue pot while the ethanol is being boiled off affect the final outcome of the oil in any way?
    Since decarboxylation takes place at 250°F and the ethanol never gets above 172.4°, would it be correct to assume that any temperature can be used for boiling off the ethanol (250°F or above), and that the 250°F temperature only becomes of relevance once the large alcohol bubbles have disappeared, and when the smaller CO2 release bubbles are left?
    Isn’t it only until we have gotten rid of the solvent and during the final small CO2 release bubbling process that we can reach the 250°F temperature of the final liquid oil for proper decarboxylation to take place?
    Is it safe to finish off the oil in the fondue pot, or is it best to move it to a cup warmer for the final stage?

    • Hi, all good questions!

      You must be relatively close to sea level, because of your alcohols boiling point. Tis true, as long as alcohol is present in any quantity, the boiling temperature won’t exceed the boiling point of alcohol by much at atmospheric pressure.

      It will rise slightly toward the end as it evaporates away any azeotropes with the alcohol, and then will again move up to the temperature of the next boiling point constituent. That technique is used in fractional distillation.

      We always finish our oil to be used for oral or topicals in the fondue pot, but sometimes process oil in a vacuum chamber when making it specifically for vaporizing, to reduce the heat required, and thus end up with more of the end product in carboxylic acid form (shatter), with more retained terpenes.

      If you want the oil decarboxylated, a cup warmer doesn’t get hot enough to optimize THC content. Check out the decarboxylation curves at the attached link, which show that at the lower temperatures, the rate that THC is converted to CBN is close to the rate that THCA is converted to THC.


  44. Great! Thanks for the explanation and the HAO and HS page link. I’ve got my homework cut out for me. It’s always exciting to learn and apply new concepts. Aromatic tasting oil and holy? It can’t get any better than that! I appreciate your answer GW.

  45. Hi GW,

    Thanks for your ongoing research and for sharing your acquired knowledge with all of us. I’ve learned a lot by surfing up, down and all around your Skunk Pharm Research website. My favorite extraction is the QWET method. Reading through this page, I find a comment that I don’t understand and would like for you to explain: “Since we know the tare, we then know the extracted weight, and exactly how much other ingredients to add.” When you refer to other ingredients to add, which other ingredients are you referring to and why would you add these ingredients?

  46. Posted by Liam on February 7, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    when you mention adding additional ingredients to lower the oils viscosity during the final reduction after freezing, Is there any reason you couldn’t skip this step and just reduce it down as is? It would be more difficult to remove everything from the vessel then of course, but is there any reason you must add any of these ingredients?

  47. Posted by sppete13 on February 7, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Thanx I assumed the same thing except I had the jar in the freezer….


    I also want to come to your class at the end of the month…. Can you possibly send a link to travel info? Hotels and the place to get the Oregon medical card? I want to be able to sample your tasty meds!

    • We like the Monarch Hotel at http://www.monarchhotel.cc/ If you mention that you are a Skunk Pharm Research patient or student, they have agreed to give you their low winter rates year around.

      For OMMP cards, heres some data:

      The question frequently arises, about how to get an OMMP card, and the best solution that we’ve found is to send your medical records to the Portland Alternative Clinic for their doctor’s pre-review, and then set up an appointment for an exam.

      If justified, they will sign the required physicians statement and all that remains is filling out the OMMP paperwork, attaching $200, walking across the street to the main post office, and sending it by certified mail to OMMP in Salem.

      Once you have the certified mail receipt in your hand, you are legal to use cannabis products in Oregon, and the state will follow up with cards and other paperwork.

      Their contact information is:

      Portland Alternative Clinic, Inc.
      816 NW Hoyt Street
      Portland, OR 97209
      Phone: (503) 477-5643 Fax: 503-200-1147
      Email: staff@portlandalternativeclinic.com
      Dr. Camacho Is Available Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
      The Medical Marijuana Clinic in Portland Oregon – Se Habla Español

      OMMP Program information at:



      • Posted by frank l jones on August 21, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        just recenty stayed at the Monarch Hotel
        decent place and they have smoker rooms,decent food,all in all it worked
        in every way

  48. Posted by Sppete13 on February 6, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Hail Skunkpharm! Thanks for all you do… I learned SOoooooooooo much from this site and want to express my gratitude…

    I do have another question though… If I wanted to do the QWET method with an oz of Kief would my soak times be different? is there anything else I should take into consideration when using straight kief?

    • Yes, there is no need to freeze anything starting with kif and you can use long soaks. I would mix them in a jar and periodically shake until dissolved.

      If it is to be later carboxylated, you can boil the kif in alcohol for thirty minutes and do the same thing.

      Don’t be fooled by how much of the kif doesn’t dissolve, as there is actually still cellulose in the stalks and hairs. You can always rewash the filtrate in fresh alcohol, if you suspect you are leaving some behind, and can tell for sure by microscopic examination for intact heads.

      • Posted by Sppete13 on February 8, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        So I did a test run with a smaller amount after putting thru 2 coffee filters and a 37 micron screen… the liquid stayed green. I then Set up a pot with not quite boiling water (175 – 180 on my therm) until I had only oil left, I then made that oil as this as a layer as I could with a scraper, then i put it back on the beat in the thin sheen for about 20 minutes, taking my heat gun quickly over the top to pop bubbles as we went.

        Unfortunately the result is an almost black goo that is very hard to work with. It tastes ok and has a good heady buzz, but Im looking for my finished to be less dark,,, any suggestions?

      • Posted by C on March 7, 2013 at 9:40 PM

        I do a soak of just plain dry sieve trichromes like this. It usually yields about 1/4 to 1/3 the original and when we had the dreck left over tested it was about 2 percent thc left in it after 3 or 4 everclear washes of adding everclear to the trichrome jar and shaking it until the everclear turns from a purple red/first run to a dirty orange brown/last run. If a person is reclaiming the everclear you could prolly wash it till it came out clear but if you r just evaporating it off the cost /effect of anymore THC is not worth the effort. I just made some using your info on lower temps and it actually turned into a form of shatter even without vac purging the alcohol. Took forever to evaporate the last few bits of alcohol in front of a lam filter system. looking to get a vac chamber going to make the process more efficient. Would either of these cheaper pumps pull enough of a vac using a 22 qt pressure cooker as the vac chamber. I know the robinair is the unit of choice but $ are scarce. http://www.harborfreight.com/two-stage-3-cfm-air-vacuum-pump-66466.html or http://www.harborfreight.com/25-cfm-vacuum-pump-98076.html Any words on the subject as in experiences with these units. I figure someone prolly has already tried em out. In other forums I hear good results except from one guy who couldn’t get it to pressure for him. I figure if I could use a cheaper one at first I could always upgrade if I ever could afford to.

        • The Harbor Freight unit has the capacity to do the job, but I have no personal experience with them. I can tell you that I have heard of any number of folks using them on various forums, mostly successfully.

          I have heard of failures, but no details of how they were being used, or actual hours run time, or maintenance, etc.

          One local one that went through several in a row cold boiling without a cold trap, or changing the diluted oil after an unprotected run, to save the bearings and seals. He ran them almost around the clock to process products for a coop

          If I were in a funds challenged position, I would certainly be tempted by one, but would use a cold trap in front of it for boiling off any quantity of alcohol.

          • thanx ! I know it’s only a 70 $ difference but for us that is HUGE right now. I’ll only be using the unit for last end processing for the most part but I remember how you told me to set up the cold trap if I should go for heavy solvent loads. My idea is to slowly evaporate the hexane outside with a fan at 125 F max and then use the vac chamber to handle the rest of it. Then proceed with winterizing and then repurgeing with the chamber for a final finish up. How dangerous is it to use quart mason jars as a cold trap? any better containers readily available you would consider safer as in holding the pressure load without breaking? Thanks again and yes skunk pharm is the best at sharing info in a clear way.!!!

          • Quart Mason jars are pushing it, but if you cover the jar and ice bath with a towel and it implodes, not much will be hurt. A better deal would be a vacuum flask from American Scientific or off e-bay.

  49. I am curious. You say a good portion of your oils are used for oral use. Do you use the oils is cooking/baking? If so what is your process to convert the oils for to be used cooking ie. butter/cooking oils?

    • When I say orals and topicals, I am refering to oil concentrates, but we also extract with cooking oils and ghee. See our section on oil extraction at http://skunkpharmresearch.com/extracting-with-oils-and-fats/.

      Having said that, cannabis essential oils will mix at any ratio hot, with most vegetable oils and animal fats, so if you have the concentrate, just mix it into the oil you are using for cooking. If the recipe uses 1/2 cup oil and makes six servings, mix 100 mg per serving of oil (600 mg) with 1/2 cup of oil and use that in the recipe.

  50. [...] soak, before separating the alcohol and the plant material. Here is a link to our QWET procedure: http://skunkpharmresearch.com/qwet-extraction/ You can use multiple soaks with the same alcohol to concentrate, or you can reduce down the [...]

  51. Posted by Dr teeth on January 16, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    I keep reading throughout your site that you freeze your alcohol washes at 0f; what device are you using to achieve such a low temperature?

  52. Posted by Will on January 15, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    It sounds like the panels of judges like QWISO and QWET equally – was/is there a preference between the two? I can imagine both processes should result in almost the same flavor profile and there should be almost no residual solvent if evaporated properly. However, if the solvent wasnt fully evaporated which would be safer? I would assume that ET would be less noticeable flavor wise.

    • Posted by Will on January 15, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      After reading the comments in the QWISO article, I’ve come to the conclusion that ET is the superior solvent as far as safety, water solubility and flavor.

      • Both are effective tools in the tool box, but I think it is fair to say that EtOh is safer and more forgiving to extract with. I personally like the taste of its extracts better, but not everyone on our panels shared that opinion, so that is probably a matter of taste.

        The biggest problems with EtOh are its costs, after liquor taxes and limited availability in 190 proof some places.

        • Posted by Nick on April 1, 2013 at 8:45 AM

          To save money, I’d like to do the first wash with 90% iso alcohol and then redesolve and freeze in ethel alcohol (Everclear). Will that significantly compromise the end result?

    • Actually more folks liked the QWET taste better and it is less noticeable from a flavor stand point if under purged, as Isopropyl is a pungent alcohol. Far more pungent that even the Propyl alcohol that it is an isomer of.

      The effects are similar, but I personally find the flavors smoother and more subtle with EtOh, when vaporized.

  53. [...] hand, and we freeze the material and chill the 190 proof to -18C/0F before using a 3 minute soak. http://skunkpharmresearch.com/qwet-extraction/ When the oil is going into an oral, we do a final purge and decarboxylate in a 250F hot oil bath. [...]

  54. Skunkpharm how can I get some of this QWET I told you where I’m @ help a bradah out. You will be rewarded.

    • Hi Tommy, I sent you an e-mail to the address you provided, saying that our Oregon OMMP cards only permit us to provide cannabis products to OMMP cardholders here in Oregon and if you can make it here, we will help you get registered and provide you with free meds to try.

      As an alternative, I can provide support from here, on how to extract and formulate it yourself.

      I’ve been told that http://www.winechateau.com/sku1004371.html will ship 190 proof Everclear anywhere in the US, if you lack local sources.

  55. now five or six days in. I could still use qwet. I also had a question about using a bel-art vacuum dessicator. What pump is the most affordable but still has 2 stages and pulls a true vacuum?

  56. I would like to learn how to doa qwet extraction but I am already 3 days into an opiate detox. The plant waxes from this FINE quality vac purged jilly bean oil nor the girl scout cookies is cutting it. I would love to exchange for some rick simpson made this way or some sort of edible hash

  57. want to do a qwet extraction for opiate detox. I am already 3 days in but only know hot to do a butane extraction. willing to trade

  58. Posted by bigstevo on November 20, 2012 at 5:27 AM

    How do you consumer the finished product, can you drop it under your tongue like a tincture?

  59. Posted by Tom S on October 16, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    God bless you for putting all this great knowlege in a blog!

  60. lovely jubbly ,,,

  61. [...] out both of these threads. I added the bho thread, because it goes into more detail about purging. http://skunkpharmresearch.com/qwet-extraction/ http://skunkpharmresearch.com/bho-extraction/ __________________ Posse ad Esse. From [...]

  62. Activated charcoal will remove the polar elements like heavy metals, but also remove some of the cannabinoids. Chromatography beads will also strip the polar elements, while passing the non polar cannabinoids, and allow you to flush the different fractions one at a time.

    The easiest way to avoid the fusel oil, is to watch the temperature at the head of your column and stop before you start processing the bottoms in your still.

    When present, they are typically removed by fractional distillation.

    If you are starting with commercial 190 proof, it ostensibly doesn’t have fusel oils.

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