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/

371 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kay on January 12, 2017 at 2:51 PM

    Im only getting 1g of concentrate from 10g of bud. Always the same no matter quality and volume e.g 1.4g from 14g of bud.
    Is this good? Should i be expecting more?


    • That’s low for bud, but in the ballpark for trim. We typically get about 18 to 25% yield, depending on strain and other factors.



    • you can’t concentrate what isn’t there to begin with…are you sure your starting flower has the THC to begin with? 10% THC is still common and could be the reason for your consistent yield? how long are you letting the alc and cannabis sit combined? and what are you using for solvent 190/200pf? I usually pull 20% yield, using dispensary bud with a measured 23% THC content, i’ve been doing 10 minute single washes using 190 proof ethanol….


      • Posted by Kay on January 14, 2017 at 2:17 AM

        Dont have the luxury of dispensaries in UK. Have gowith whatever i can get. But tried from different sources and my own home grown and always 10% yield. I use 95% proof ethanol and do 3min washes.
        I dont dry the weed in between washes, and do the second and 3rd washes right after the first. Ive also been using ethanol instead of water for the third wash.
        Reading your method i may as well just do one 10min wash and see if that bulks out the yield.
        Before reading this i was rhinking of trying thr 48hr wash, strain and leave for another 48hrs. Dont like the amount of chlorophyl that people are reporting with this long wash though


  2. Posted by Chronic toker415 on November 30, 2016 at 11:07 PM



  3. Posted by Will on November 26, 2016 at 6:38 AM

    During the stage where the ethanol is being evaporated in the 250F oil bath and the drying step at 200F, it seems like these temperature and duration are high and long enough to be decarboxylating the concentrate. Do these steps potentially run the risk over decarbing even before the last decarbing step when watching for CO2 formation?


    • The 200F drying step is optional, and some decarboxylation happens both at the 200F dry, as well as the 250F boil off. Those are techniques employed when the material is going to be decarboxylated anyway.

      If you want to avoid decarboxylation don’t oven dry it first, and vacuum off the alcohol at lower temperatures.



    • Posted by Brandon on December 1, 2016 at 4:36 PM

      I have the same question and would like to add to it. When I use the qwet extract for baking edibles, I heat the extract to a liquid consistency and then pour into butter or oil and mix for 15-20 min, both of which are done at roughly 180 degrees. Then they are baked at 12-20 minutes at 300-325 degrees. Wouldn’t these steps also decarb and therefor OVER decarb and degrade the THC in the final product?


  4. Posted by Randy on November 16, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    Here’s another supplier of organic 190 and 200 pure ethanol. Available in 1 & 5 gal (much cheaper) I have ordered from them and they are helpful and competent. http://www.extractohol.com/ethyl-alcohol


  5. Posted by Randy on November 16, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    I have been using this process for 2-3 years. This past fall I used dry ice to cool the alcohol and bud down to 30-40 degrees below zero. I was able to do 4 runs of 2oz for ten minutes each in a quart mason jar with no visible green. On run five there was some “green” creeping in. Mixed all runs together, filtered with coffee filter and used a 1 gal distiller to reclaim most of the organic 190 ethanol. Didn’t notice any perceptible increase in yield compared to previous runs. But I did not have the time to compare different methods with this harvest. Yield was about 4-5g per oz of bud (from auto flower plants)


  6. Hello GW and the Skunkfarm team!

    I am starting to run RSO for patients and was wondering about maximum cannabinoid saturation in the ethanol…how much dry cannabis can a gallon of ethanol handle? Or more accurately, how many milligrams of cannabinoids can a gallon of solvent take?
    I have been told the standard amount is 1 gallon per pound of flower all the way up to 2 gallons per pound. Any chance you guys have tried maxing the solvent out on washes? And maybe have the results to share? Or maybe just a rough estimate on maximum numbers?

    It seems like you could wash material in a closed loop type system, cycling the ethanol through the column, packed with several pound software material. The only question is, how much material and how many gallons of solvent would be “too much”?

    Thanks for all the info, it has helped many of my patients and myself as well!


  7. Posted by Pavitra Tuladhar on October 18, 2016 at 2:36 AM

    Hey all,

    I have a few questions and doubts.

    1. Can I use “Dehydrated Alcohol” for oil extraction ? Please see picture below, I got 2 bottles from a Science lab supply. There is no mention of percentage or proof. It says Ethanol b.p. Just made in India by Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceutical Ltd. Kinda scared, what if I go blind or just die instantly, worse painfully slowly.


    This Extraction is strictly for my father (stage 4 lung ca.).

    2. Is it safe for for consumption? The guy at the shop told me it was safe as long it was not drunk neat. As if…

    Sorry folks but we don’t have EverClear or other good solvents. No Amazon or eBay either 😦 yes that’s the Third World. The last time I used Isopropyl 96%, I hear it’s not as good as Ethanol.

    So there you go, any help will be much appreciated. If there are any Nepali folks reading this your suggestions and input would help even more.



    • Sorry Pavitra, I couldn’t open the site without joining, so couldn’t see the pictures. If you will provide more information on the manufacturer and brand name, I will see if I can dig up more information.

      You can get ethanol to about an azeotropic 95.6% just using a compound refluxing still, and that is considered 190 proof.

      To get rid of the last 4.4% water requires either a vacuum still and/or a drying agent. The suitability of the ethanol can depend on what that drying agent was.

      If they are representing it as pharmaceutical grade 200 proof, it is most likely OK, but I’m unsure of how much attention the country of India is paying to standards compliance.

      If that doesn’t work out, are you anywhere where you can buy or build your own compound refluxing still, so as to produce your own 190 proof ethanol?



      • Posted by Pavitra Tuladhar on October 19, 2016 at 6:50 AM

        Thank you for getting back 🙂

        I called up the manufacturing company (http://bengalchemicals.co.in/contact/) this morning, was a complete waste of time and money. The industry has stopped production 😦 and the fellow i spoke to had no idea where it was denatured or un-denatured or as a matter of fact anything. So there in lies my fear, and as far as standards compliance & application in India – many doubts. I have lived half my life there.

        Here is the link Dehydrated Alcohol (Ethanol b.p) i got yesterday,

        I have extracted oil using Isopropyl only a couple of times before so i would consider myself new at this, i am more at my learning and listening phase at the moment. Any suggestions and help i am ready to soak. About the compund reflux still, i have no idea what it might be, but i sure do want to produce my own 190! 🙂



      • Posted by Pavitra Tuladhar on October 19, 2016 at 7:18 AM

        Thank you for getting back.

        Here is the photo link of the Ethanol b.p (dehydrated alcohol) doesn’t say much but please have a look, https://www.dropbox.com/s/d2es9mkqoeyw1zd/IMG_20161017_143833.jpg?dl=0
        I called up the manufacturing company at Calcutta this morning, said that the have stopped production of the item. When i inquired about the Ethanol, fellow, he seemed very lost and vague, basically he had no idea. Denatured – Undenatured – grain – synthetic??? no idea. Waste of time and money. About the standard compliance in India it gets very dodgy, i have lived half my life there to know. Hence, more doubts.

        Also called up the supply shop to reconfirm if so one knew it was safe to use that but no help 😦 But they said the have Absolute Alcohol, cost more and ther are other additive in the content 😦 think i will drop by the shop and have look. Are there any specfic chem i should be aware of?

        About your Compound Refluxing Still, yes i would like to produce my own 190 if i can’t get my hands on readymade stuff – why not. I have only made ISO a couple of times earlier so i would consider my self new at this but i am quick and keen learner so i am all ears and eyes at the moment. I think i can DYI one too, under your guidance master shifu 🙂


  8. Posted by DrAtomic* on September 26, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    Hi, About how many times could i re-use the same alcohol once I’ve extracted into it, filtered it and used it again with fresh material, before it would become too saturated to work?


    • If you are referring to the same ratios of material and alcohol used in this article, we are still stuck with the variable of how enriched the material is. The material used in the article for one 3 minute soak was prime and as you can see is rife with solute.

      It would probably be pushing it to extract one more batch.



  9. Could you explain the 3rd wash with water, Im a little confused. You say “for a different product” what exactly is this, …cbd? I looked online and cant seem to find any info on this topic using water. I followed the direction and made it, its currently in the freezer. I need a more seditive oil due to cannabis oil being to strong for my treatment. 1 gram is the recommended daily dose for fighting cancer, but this is such a strong dose its hard to handle. More info on the water product would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


    • The third wash captures the cannabinoids in the alcohol soaked into the plant material, among other things. An interesting red waxy product, that I’ve never run through the gas chromatograph to see what all is in it. Jump 117, of Moscow fame and glory, turned me on to it, and it does contain cannabinoids, based on its psycho-activity.



  10. Posted by nick on September 18, 2016 at 9:17 AM

    hi greywolf !

    its nick again … i’M a little bit confused about following your tutorial using my t500 distiller . My questions are :
    should i decarb buds prior to distillation ? following you instructions and distill ?
    or should i decard when oil is distilled and i’m finishing it in a cup warmer ?
    checking the bubbles ?
    i’ve read that you said its easier to manage the decarb when it’s oil than when it’s buds in the oven.
    for a top notch decarb high potent Thc what would you suggest as temp and time in the oven . Decarb in mason jar or pyrex , tight seal ou aluminum covered foil ?

    thanks in advance


  11. Posted by Casey Craig on September 12, 2016 at 4:22 PM

    I’m having a problem picking up too much chlorophyll and other polar solvents. We’re using twitter trimmings, think cut grass in a lawnmower, and due to volume, don’t have room in freezers to do this all at 0C. We are able to bake material at 200F to get all the most inure, and after the ethanol soak, I run it through a #1 filter with lab assist. However, my previous purge product looks almost jet black. Ideally I’d like to look a little prettier. I’m using a magnetic stiring hotplate while double boiling in oil, so my Temps shouldn’t be a problem. I have noticed that until all the ethanol has evaporated my Temps won’t get past 76C. After the ethanol is gone, I can bring Temps too 100C to cook off the remaining water.


    • Ethanol is polar, and has a love affair with chlorophyll, because of the magnesium atom in its chain. Soaking material at ambient temperatures will typically pick up large quantities of it.

      Freezing it ties up the water soluble chlorophyll binding proteins, so the alcohol can’t as readily reach it.

      Material that has been run through a rotary bladed trimmer, have more crushed cells bleeding their water and alcohol soluble contents into the extraction.

      You would pick up less chlorophyll using a non polar solvent.

      Rotary bladed trimmers typically clog, unless lubricated with vegetable oil, which contaminates the extraction and difficult to remove.



      • Posted by Scott Warner on September 13, 2016 at 6:20 PM

        Thanks for the wonderful info, GW.

        I’m still curious as to the necessity (and ratios) of using hot water to remove the last of the alcohol from finished product.

        Thanks in advance.



    • Thanks for getting back to me. What I washed the material in cold water first with some sort of scorn to stop the crystals from being washed away. Would this pull out most of the chlorophyll? Then I could really dehydrate and proceed normally.


  12. Posted by applepie on August 24, 2016 at 4:21 AM

    Hey. Thanks for this awesome instructional! Could you clarify what are the “added ingredients” that lower the viscosity etc…?


  13. […] a fantastic description of the alcohol extraction process (QWET) check out https://skunkpharmresearch.com/qwet-extraction/   Skunkpharm.com is incredible and a great resource I encourage you to explore their […]


  14. Posted by Red Riding Hood on August 18, 2016 at 12:12 AM

    Mr Wolf,
    I want to prepare QWET oil for skin application (I’ll be mixing it with some grape seed oil which i’ve read helps it to penetrate the skin). If I do not decarb the plant matter prior to extraction, is there a difference in the amount of cannabinoids extracted? i.e., does decarboxilation have any effect on the solubility of the cannabinous in chilled ethanol? Or, can I just run the QWET extraction, and then decarb later in the event that I end up wanting to ingest it orally. I realise that it may be beyond the scope of this page / site to discuss the pros and cons of decarbed vs non-decarbed for skin application, but any info or links would be appreciated.


  15. Posted by Nick on August 15, 2016 at 10:04 AM

    Hi ,
    first of all thank a lot for your help and infos grey wolf ! My mother as diagnosed with pancreas cancer .. 3cm tumor without metastasis . So i’ve been reading a lot about RSO and can oil . A lot of people pointed me here for more technicals tips.
    But i have some questions and it will clear my mind if you could answer them.
    I would like to make some oil with QWET extraction … i can have acces to a triple grain alcool a 93 % and to a a Still spirit turbo 500.
    Will i have good results with a 93% grain alcool ? i know about the decarbo and winterisation ( thanks to you ) but it would really help me to know if i can produce a good and effective can oil with this.
    Do i absolutely need a everclear style of grain alcohol ? ( 95% )
    is it better a grain alcool a 93% or iso ?
    i’m a little bit confused

    Thank you a lot



    • Sorry to hear about your mom Nick!

      It will extract just fine. It is getting rid of the extra water that takes its toll on the mono and sesquiterpenes, as well as converting more THC to CBN.

      While going from 95 to 93% is only 2%, it actually represents a 40% increase in water content. If you have access to a turbo 500 still, I would personally take advantage of it.

      I’m not a doctor, but when I asked Dr Melamede (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMxiuyLZluE) whether he felt that “Clear Concentrates” (Diterpenoid fraction) would be more effective as a base for cancer medication, he replied that he thought “Whole Extracts” (Cannabis Essential Oil) were more effective.

      Given the choice between food grade 93% Ethanol and 99% Isopropanol, I would still choose food grade Ethanol for extracting concentrates to be used in medication. Some of the folks using the meds already have compromised immune systems, and our bodies have greater tolerance for Ethanol residuals.



      • Posted by Nick on August 18, 2016 at 2:17 PM

        Thank you so much for you answer !
        yeah that’s bad for my mum but i’m trying to ease his life , maybe more time and maybe why not stabilize her .. who knows
        i am going to follow your QWET protocol but with the 93% ethanol and the Turbo still 500 .. hoping i ll have great results !

        very interesting video by the way .. this man seems passioned with helping people with cannabis .. this is great

        i’m just asking because i’m not sure .. what is the difference with cannabis oil we get with the Qwet amd a cannabis essential oil ? i’ve read some tecnics about essential oil but i’m not an expert.

        Thank for you time and you answer greywolf



  16. Posted by Matt on August 2, 2016 at 7:38 PM

    Howdy GW,
    I have a question for ya about 200 proof non-denatured ethanol…I have sourced a food grade 200 proof alcohol outa California willing to ship to my doorstep at a ridiculous price. I have always used 190 proof everclear along with a cryo freezer to run extractions below -70 Celcius with excellent results. However…my returns are always on the low side (around 14% at best) even after letting the material soak overnight at low temp.
    I pull zero chlorophyll even with these long saturation times but my returns remain low.

    I’d like to pick up some 200 proof and see if it improves returns, but won’t the alcohol at 200 proof grab moisture outa the air the minute I pop the lid on the container? Is 200 proof actually necessary to see better returns or would I be wasting my $ as the proof immediately lowers to around 190.

    After I have filtered the alcohol from the material, I use a 1 gallon still to reclaim my solvent…I was told the best I could see through distillation would be 190 proof if I was to run the used alcohol a few times to raise the proof back up.

    So. After my long winded intro, the question remains…Is 200 proof food grade ethanol worth the price? And will it remain at 200 proof once used in extractions?

    As always thanks for your experience and time!



    • I average 20% return (decarbed plant into concentrated oil) using 190 proof grain alcohol. For every 1 oz of quality bud I expect to get 6 grams of sticky dab-able oil. The quality of your starting material is the driving factor to increase yield, not eliminating the 5% of water in your solvent. I’ve done both room temp quick washes and dry ice 20 minute soaks with equal results using 95% ethanol.

      200 proof will begin to grab moisture out of the air, but it will take some time to reach it’s comfortable azetrope of 95.35% https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azeotrope under normal conditions.

      Regarding redistilling to reclaim your solvent: your setup, the timing on when you take your heart cut, and the speed you push liquid through your system will all affect the final proof you collect. You mention multiple runs to get back to 190pf, how much time do you spend recollecting the solvent?


  17. Does the oil separate from the alcohol like a vinegrette or does all the alcohol need to be extracted for the serum?


  18. Posted by D. Gold on July 19, 2016 at 11:04 AM


    As I said in another post, I really like what you guys are doing … especially the free sharing of knowledge thru the blogs, and the community of accomplished Alchemists that has grown around this wonderful center of knowledge.

    Back in the 1980s, I did a lot of work in the then brand-new field of alcohol distillation for fuel purposes. I built a 5000 gallon solar and vacuum-assisted fuel plant. I had an opportunity to taste and compare so-called industrial alcohol prior to denaturing. I made some pretty interesting observations that I will share here. Seems like the appropriate place.

    An industrial alcohol column still works differently from the type of distillation most people are familiar with. A large column contains about 50 perforated steel plates. A steady flow of beer is pumped into the top of column and high pressure steam is fed into the bottom. As the beer flows thru the perforated plates, some of the alcohol distills off and the slops continue to wash to the bottom. By the time the beer gets to the bottom of the column, all of the alcohol is stripped off.

    As the alcohol fumes creep up the column, they are redistilled at every perforated plate. In effect, an industrial alcohol column still redistills much of the alcohol 50 times, or once for each plate. By contrast, premium vodkas like Sky and Grey Goose brag that their product is distilled all of four times. In my humble opinion, 200 proof industrial ethanol (non-denatured, of course), once it is cut to 80 or 100 proof with spring water and then run through a Britta or similar charcoal filter, has a substantial edge over the premium vodka brands in terms of taste, clarity of effects, and lack of hangover.

    So I had an epiphany, fantasy, brainstorm the other night that the Pharmers here might find interesting. Back when I was doing this, the big companies would simply denature their 200 proof alcohol with gasoline before it left the distillery. This rendered it undrinkable while in transit to the oil refinery, where it is added to gasoline to make gasohol.

    Each gallon of gasoline contains 12.8 ounces of 200 proof ethanol. If one could separate the ethanol from the gasoline, the gasoline could still be burned in an internal combustion engine, making the cost of the 200 proof alcohol about $2.50 per gallon, the cost of gasoline.

    I haven’t tried it, but I imagine that if 12.8 ounces of water was added to a gallon of gasoline, the mix would separate into two layers – one containing gasoline and another containing alcohol and water. So a gallon of 100 proof alcohol would cost about $1.25, or about 25 cents for a fifth of a gallon (approx. 750 ml).

    I certainly don’t recommend that anyone ever drink alcohol extracted from gasoline, or even use the ethanol for extractions, but wouldn’t it be interesting if someone here came up with a way to actually remove ABSOLUTELY ALL of the crap from industrial alcohol extracted from gasoline.

    Think of the social ramifications: Jack Daniel’s, Smirnoff, and their ilk would certainly be upset because drinkers could save a fortune and avoid their over-priced, heavily-taxed products. MADD would immediately lobby for the removal of ethanol from motor fuel. ADM and big ethanol would freak out because they could see that the use of their product in gasoline might be compromised. (This doesn’t bother me at all. I hate seeing entire trains of 20,000 gallon tank cars filled with corn alcohol for motor fuel that could have been used for food instead. Absolutely not right in a world with hunger).

    So again, please nobody drink any of this or even use it for an extraction, at least until someone perfects the process and the product is thoroughly tested and determined to be 100% clean and pure ethanol. If it does pass all the tests, it may prove to be an excellent way for Alchemists to obtain pure ethanol for a tiny fraction of what it costs from any other possible source.

    And as I said earlier, I don’t know for sure what the gasohol distillers are using for denaturing these days. If it is a poison with similar boiling points as ethanol, it would be difficult to remove. And if they are still just denaturing with gasoline (essentially hexane), they will no doubt come up with something different to add that can’t be easily removed once the knowledge gets out that pure ethanol can be harvested from gasoline.

    Just some food for thought that I think readers of this section might find interesting. And one last warning, please always be overly cautious in your selection of extraction solvents. I might consume some of your work someday, and I want it to be as pure as it can possibly be.

    D. Gold


    • Very interesting Dr Gold! I had to pull out some paper to confirm your cost calcs starting with today’s gasoline, and if safe separation was feasible, it could provide some cost savings vs using stuff designed for safe extractions.

      I happen to be an actual distiller operating in both the beverage and non-beverage (non-denatured) realms. To answer your question about what’s typically used to denature, the TTB provides a list of approved denaturants that distillers may add to alleviate the tax obligation, gasoline is one of the approved chemicals along with a slew of others that are designed to make separation into something non-denatured difficult. Here’s the link to their list: https://www.ttb.gov/industrial/sda_regs_laws.shtml

      Scott @ CulinarySolvent.com


  19. Posted by Joe on July 9, 2016 at 9:29 AM

    I get QWET to shatter pretty well (though certain strains are stickier than others) simply by washing dry flowers in a mason jar, filtering thru a coffee filter, drying under a fan, followed by a quick low temperature melt and then freezing. It’s not amber but it snaps like toffee.


  20. Posted by Randy Wiser on July 6, 2016 at 8:33 AM

    I have been using your QWET procedure for a couple years now. With good success, but with quite a lot of chlorophyll. Just wasn’t careful enough with soak times and my freezer temps probably. Mixing with MCT oil to make a sublingual spray which was very effective, but bitter. Recently discovered a easy modification consisting of using dry ice in a cooler instead of my freezer to lower the temp of the solvent and the flowers I use. Was able to lower temps to -40/50*. Major improvement, not even a hint of green. Even though the technique called for 10min soaks and 4-5 runs. Pleased with yield also. One year old material (buds), about 7gr, almost 2grs from each of 2 strains. Thanks for your continuing work.


    • Posted by Aloha Ryan on November 1, 2016 at 11:23 PM

      Hey Randy! Would you be able to give me some insights on how you successfully blended the extracts with MCT oil?


      • Posted by Mr. Helpful on November 13, 2016 at 7:47 PM

        im not Randy, but I take 2.5 grams qwet and add 1/2 teaspoon of soy lecithin and 2 tablesppons of mct oil and bake at 240 for 5 minutes followed by 200 for another 10 to 15.


      • Posted by Randy on January 13, 2017 at 1:27 PM

        Sure. I gently heat the coconut MCT oil on coffee cup warmer to about 200*. Add in the extracted oil slowly while stirring. Currently using 1/2 oz of MCT for each gram of extract for storage (to keep the volume down). I prepare a 2 oz spray bottle with the a mixed 1 oz of MCT+extract and add another oz of MCT oil. Using sublingually. 2-3 three sprays works for me for pain, 4-5 is a nice buzz.


  21. Incredible information.
    Thank you so much .


  22. Posted by ichibancrafter on June 1, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    My blog extractcrafter.com has ideas and process to make potent edibles using alcohol extraction


  23. Am located where only flowers are available. I need a recipe for edibles THC content high.The others in my case somes always there as just one cookie will work in 1/3s three times and all day meds.THC level is my goal as here it is expensive(flowers) and I am trying for most edibles as possible to make no odors and more doses.Terminal in sense of a recalled heart valve experiment many years ago.Which also was long enough ago that I got HepC in 80’s via blood transfusion so liver or valve which ever goes first.No Cards here yet,possibly cards but no dispensaries. Any help would be appreciated.


  24. Posted by Jay on May 25, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    Check out the section on purging. It talks a out elevation, thc and terpenoid boiling points and talks about purge time. Its basically a guide collected from various internet information sources like greywolf.

    https://www.maxyieldog.com/shop/e-books/your-first-concentrate-ebook (Its free, just have go through checkout)


  25. Posted by cmiller46 on April 30, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    Concerning bho shatter/ ethanol absolute.
    I believe I am following instruction correctly thru freezing and filtering. I am a lil confused about the oil bath for removing the ethanol from the mixture.
    What is duration for evaporating ethanol from mixture in oil bath? And temp is 250F?
    I’m using 200ml beaker inside a 600ml beaker with coconut oil for oil bath on a scientific stirring hotplate set to 250F. It has been 6 hours and i m concerned I’m losing terpenes and potency.

    Thanks for any advice


  26. Posted by someone on April 12, 2016 at 10:03 AM

    Hey, I’m interested in tinctures and learned a lot here and elsewhere. I wrote down a recipe (for small amounts) and would like to get some feedback on this method!

    recipe: http://pasted.co/782789ea
    password: skunkpharmresearch


  27. Posted by frank jones on March 15, 2016 at 6:47 AM

    Greetings skunk pharmers so any advice would be good I want to ask if I’m making
    Qwet and want to evaporate in Pyrex dish then vac purge with heat recon I’m wondering
    At what temp and duration of purge you might suggest


  28. Posted by ichibancrafter on March 6, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    Sure, checkout ExtractCraft.com and extract rafter.com for what I’ve been doing with it. Hoping this thing helps a lot of people


  29. Posted by Expendablechemstudent on February 19, 2016 at 4:05 PM

    Very informative read, thanks for sharing! I was wondering, if you wanted to make a tincture, could you simply bake the plant material at 240 (or will 200 still decarboxylate the molecule), and then follow the ethanol extraction steps and simply boil off say, half of the ethanol to create a concentrated THC tincture in ethanol, or would product be carried out with the vaporized ethanol?


    • Yes, you can decarboxylate first and then extract. It will be some extremely dry bud, so the alcohol will be prone to pick up more non target elements like chlorophyll.

      Easier to do a pristine extraction with some water left to freeze and bind things in place.



    • Here is a chart showing decarboxylation temperatures vis a vis time and THC levels.

      Extracting dried and desiccated material with alcohol, usually picks up a lot of chlorophyll.



      • Posted by Expendablechemstudent on March 13, 2016 at 8:30 PM

        Awesome, just ran a bastardized version of this to great results. Can’t wait to get some more equipment to up the quality, thanks very much!


  30. forgive me, but what is an oil bath?


  31. In case people are having trouble sourcing Everclear there is an online store that sells 190 grain alcohol specifically for cannabis concentrates. It ships through FedEx right to your door. http://www.culinarysolvent.com


  32. Posted by Al Khemi on January 16, 2016 at 6:12 AM

    I see the site has been re-done. This article, for example, has picked up detail that answers several of my persistent questions; thank you, not only for those changes but for your enormous impact on the community! I understand the changes, the landscape is changing & y’all must adapt.

    I voice my own hope that you not leave us kitchen-table operators out of the (closed?) loop: there is little chance of me gaining access to the kind of equipment (OR the kind of material quantities) that now dominate the conversation, so I fear the conversation, and information, may become too…industrial for me.

    I have learned much from you; I need to learn more before I can medicate myself properly. I expect there may be many at the table with me.


  33. […] Source: QWET Extraction With Ethanol […]


  34. Hello, regarding this :
    “f the material is prime bud, we break it up loosely by hand and extract from trim as is”
    Meaning you don’t grind bud or dry it?


  35. Posted by RAZZ-Berry on November 15, 2015 at 12:28 PM

    I think I missed it, what is the purpose of the 3rd wash with water that is set aside. I didn’t see it explained…. or maybe I am just stupid.

    Thanx in advance,



    • I am not a skunkpharmer, but I think that the cannbinoid laden alcohol remaining in the plant matter after the 2nd wash is mostly rinsed out by the water. I personally only do the first everclear wash and then dry the plant matter and use that to make bhang, its a little bitter, but adding some grape molasses and sugar to the milk at the end fixes that.


    • The first two washes utilizing 95% alcohol and 5% water didn’t permit the water soluble components of the cannabis to fully infuse out. By doing the third wash with just water, you get only water soluble components extracted, which according to the OP provides super sedative effects. -Scott @ Culinary Solvent


      • Posted by faryl on November 30, 2016 at 4:54 PM

        First – thank you to Grey Wolf & everyone who contributed here (as well as all the other forums). So much gratitude!

        I also have a few questions about the water step (numbering them to make responding easier) 🙂
        1 – do you want just enough water to cover the plant matter, or is more water better?
        2 – how long do you set it aside for (an hour? overnight?)
        3 – do you leave it covered or uncovered?
        4 – prior to straining (while set aside), is it kept at room temperature?

        Also, I’m not super comfy doing the hot oil wash (gas stove & water heater, poor ventilation), so I was just going to let the alcohol evaporate at room temperature (I decarbed before starting).

        I think that might take a bit too long to do with water.
        5 – Can I leave it in the oven with the pilot light on to speed up the evaporation?

        6 – At the end of the day, is there anything to avoid that would actually screw up this step?

        7 – Lastly – is there any value in saving the plant matter after the third wash? (7a) If I added it to Epsom salts for a bath at this point, would there be any benefit, or is everything pretty well stripped out of there? (7b) Any point in combining leftovers from multiple washes/batches, to use when making oil or to add to cannacaps?

        Thank you so much in advance for your help!
        (I already started draining my 2nd wash, so I’m probably just going to stick the remaining plant in a jar with a bit of water & keep it covered in a cabinet for now!)


        • 1. Yes, just enough.
          2. Shake it throughly and decant it immediately. No soak, you are after the alcohol and what is dissolved in it.
          3. Screw on lid so I can shake it and then uncovered immediately to decant.
          4. Not set aside. Strain immediately.
          5. Bad idea. Alcohol fumes can ignite.
          6. I keep it covered with a cloth, to keep dust out
          7. It should make excellent compost, with exactly the right nutrients present for growing cannabis, if you sterilize it kill all pathogens.



          • Posted by faryl on December 1, 2016 at 10:17 PM

            Thank you!!!

            I’d already soaked the plant in water overnight (that’s what I get for jumping in without making sure I fully understood the instructions!) but I figure I may as well strain it and try the third wash anyway. Worst case, it tastes yucky, I guess 🙂

            I’m really excited to see how the first 2 washes come out.

            I love how pretty & vibrant the color is in each. It just looks so much more “alive” than the dry powder that’s left after 3 days in a magical butter machine.

            Again, thank you so so much!

          • If you have vibrant colors and they aren’t green, you should be in for a treat once you’ve purged the alcohol!

            The water wash typically produces an unusual bright red concentrate. What it does is grab the alcohol, which has cannabis concentrate dissolved in it. Once you evaporate both away, you have an oleoresin left behind.


  36. Posted by Peacefull warrior on November 10, 2015 at 5:34 PM

    Need any ones assistance quickly. Is it possible to get 89% THC from ethanol extracted cannabis oil?

    How is it that I see 89% RSO for sale and the CO2 oils are around 50%. (California)

    Just wondering if this is even possible before the trying it for a few medical conditions.

    Other wise ill just go back to diluting co2 oil into mct or coconut oil.
    Please help thanks


    • Posted by William Mackenzie-Smith on November 10, 2015 at 6:00 PM

      I believe that 89% is possible if the strain you are using is particularly potent. I made one RSO oil that tested at 83%, but on average the oils I make test between 75-80% and if the material is less resinous it can go down to the 65-70%. It seems to come down to the potency of your starting material with ethanol..


      • Posted by peaceful warrior on November 10, 2015 at 6:15 PM

        I see, yes I believe the starting product is superior. (LA Confidential) has origin of Afghani and that other one. 83 % is great., happy to hear that.


    • Posted by IchiBanCrafter on November 10, 2015 at 6:12 PM

      I think the answer is yes and no. I tested some concentrate I made and it came back as 85%. This started as 19%-21% bud. That was washing to get out only THC. So it is possible to get concentrates up to 89%. Now when you are talking about RSO it is washed to include a bunch of other CBD, CBN, and Terpenes. In getting those additional CBD, CBN, and Terpenes you also end up getting wax and chlorophyll. Because of all the other stuff in medical cannabis products like RSO I don’t know how it would get to 89%. I would say it isn’t RSO if 89%, and if it is RSO then it isn’t 89% THC. Maybe 89% all cannabinoids? That would be different.


      • Posted by peaceful warrior on November 10, 2015 at 6:17 PM

        Lol slightly confused there but i think I understand what you’re saying. 85 % sounds great., congrats. and 19-21 % sounds great too, and thats what this oil started out with, probably more i’m assuming so perfect. when you say “Wash” do you mean winterzigin?


        • Posted by IchiBanCrafter on November 10, 2015 at 6:34 PM

          By “wash” I am referring to the process of mixing the alcohol and cannabis together (extracting) then separating the alcohol based liquid from the cannabis. If you just want to get the head high and THC, you ‘wash’ is for just a short time, 1-3 minutes. For best results I learned here on SkunkPharm you use frozen cannabis and frozen alcohol. The resulting alcohol mix will be golden to light brownish. If you are looking to get all the more medicinal components or sleepy components (CBD, CBN, etc) then you wash longer and more vigorously. Your resulting mixture there will be vibrant to dark Bruce Banner green. So the wash determines what kind of end product you are going to have.

          You can also do more than one wash for the two different effects (also props to SkunkPharm for teaching me this!). The first wash you do to get the THC then the second wash you do to get the remaining THC and pick up the CBD and CBN for medicinal and sleeping qualities.


    • Posted by Roil Jelli on December 8, 2015 at 5:52 PM

      Potency test results can be interpreted in a few different ways. Some add the Acidic compound to the neutral compound (X%THCA + XTHC) typically generating a higher number which is a true value, however this method does not account for variations in decarboxylation. Others determine their THC content by using the following formula,
      (THC-acid x .88) + Delta9-THC = Total potential cannabinoids
      (.88 can vary based on decarboxylation rate/temp)

      Concentrates can be decharboxylated also resulting in higher THC percentages.


  37. Posted by IchiBanCrafter on November 8, 2015 at 7:26 PM

    Mike, that is awesome advise! I am going to try that tomorrow, this could be exactly what I have been looking for. I have also noticed that it seems like the more alcohol you use the more gummy the final product remains, where using less alcohol in the wash sets up nicer in the end. As for the spattering when purging is probably too much heat, creating to much of an active bubble when the surface tension increase do to decreased viscosity of the thicker material. The I don’t know if it is kosher to name brands on here, but the unit I use for home extraction has no splatter problem.


  38. Posted by IchiBanCrafter on November 7, 2015 at 9:35 AM

    R&D for treatment, I have a home unit that distills and does concentrates. It is the next big thing for home users, but I don’t want to turn this forum into a commercial. If you have somewhere I can send you the link let me know and I will give you a peek.


  39. Posted by Jonsey on October 20, 2015 at 8:55 AM

    How are you using an .45 ptfe syringe filter with that thicker liquid?
    I tried filtering just the alcohol and it is super hard, and takes forever just to get 20ml to filter, & gave up on filtering.


    • It isn’t thick when we put it through the syringe filter, and has already been rough filtered at 1 micron. You are right in that it isn’t a good way to do large quantities, but we’ve filtered liters, not mililiters.



      • Posted by Tarheeltravis on October 24, 2015 at 2:37 PM

        Can i use 151 proof all my state sales or should i just go with iso?


        • I personally like to use Ethanol and suggest you consider having it shipped to your doorstep by one of the two sources listed in the article.


        • Posted by IchiBanCrafter on November 5, 2015 at 9:01 PM

          If you distill the 151 with a system that recaptures the solvent you will have the 190 left over. There is only one home system I know that does that though.


          • Posted by R&D for treatment on November 6, 2015 at 6:03 AM

            It is very easy to make your own still out of a wide variety of materials. My college and I have kicked around the idea of selling a partial built still as DIY kit. If what you say is true, then we should get to work.

        • making your own still is crazy and illegal. If your state doesn’t sell everclear, Culinary Solvent is a 190 proof grain alcohol that ships fedex.


  40. Posted by Marcus on October 16, 2015 at 5:15 PM

    After purging/cooking are you able to obtain a shatter consistency after using the QWET method? If so, how did you cook it?


  41. Posted by chaswool on June 29, 2015 at 7:55 PM

    Purge longer


  42. Posted by Nick Avens on June 29, 2015 at 11:39 AM

    What ratio do you use for cab and ethanol? Like how many grams per, lets say, 20oz ethanol? And in the final process are you saying you took the trim and shake after the 2 ethanol washes and put it in a jar then added water, washed for 3 mins, and then evaporated the water to extract the new resin with more alcohol and then evaporated that off for a different red colored resin?


  43. Posted by Jack on June 2, 2015 at 10:38 AM

    If you are using 151 proof ethanol, do you need to increase, decrease, or not change the extraction time of 3 minutes in freezer to maximize yield on first extraction and second extractions?


  44. Posted by HappyJack on May 27, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    Have used you QWET method of extracting and I love it because I’m anti BHO. Im looking to make the carboxylate acid “shatter” form of absolute for vaping. I use dry ice sift to reduce trim or flower to kief using a coarse stainless steel mesh. Probably a 220 to 250 micron size. Shaking until just slight green. I shake left to right so I can separate where I want but retain as much yield as possible. I do one quick wash with Everclear at three minutes everything frozen or dry ice frozen. Chinois strain and let settle in freezer. Then coffee filter again.The second wash is 12 hour and Ethanol is boiled off and is decarbed for edible coconut oil infusion. Evaporate first wash with a nylon stocking stretched over mason jar til thick with fan only no heat, then pour out over a glass pan with silicone liner and stretch stocking over pan to keep out dust and lint. Place on heating pad sandwiched between a wooden cutting board and ceramic tile. Use IR therm to keep under 115°F. Takes few heat cycles and couple days to evaporate. Fan on low nearby. I have cut a piece of rubber floor mat to insulate tile but let pan set directly on tile so fan doesn’t cool it too much
    Works great. BUT! I don’t always get shatter. Do I need to vacuum? Or is material too old. I use under 3 months when I can but get gifted a lot of shake from top shelf flowers.
    How can I get shatter more consistantly?
    50% of time I get taffy in a very translucent golden to dark golden amber. I get 15-19% returns from the original flower…like 30% from the dry sift. Also is a very slight ethanol taste but oil gets many great comments but I notice the ethanol flavor especially at vape pen temps. Less so on a ceramic banger or nail but very slight blackish residue post dabbing.
    How can I refine this method for the maximum yield and flavor consistantly?


    • i also want to know about getting qwet to shatter. i don’t even know why i care cause i just decarb it for eating, but i want to do it anyway so somebody plz tell me


    • Posted by Hugh on September 27, 2015 at 7:32 AM

      Hay HappyJack, You first mentioned planning to use carboxylate acid to make a high grade shatter. My first thought was that was brilliant until realising that there are at least 20 different forms of “carboxylate acid.” So I have to ask, which form, compound, or product name are you working with? Good luck and keep us posted!! -Hugh


    • Posted by IchiBanCrafter on November 3, 2015 at 9:19 PM

      Hey Happy Jack. I have been having the same problem with getting my Taffy/Sap/Wax all the way into shatter using ethanol (Ever Clear) I have been doing a lot of testing of a device that is coming to the market to make concentrates. What I have found with the alcohol extraction is that the concentrate always wants to revert to a stiff Sap/Wax. If you cure it enough it will become shatter like in a thin crystal kind of way but not the real rigid shatter you see pretty photos of. I am thinking you can’t actually make thicker shatter with alcohol? I have tried extended purging, low grade heat, more solvent, less solvent, more vacuum time after. There is something the BHO adds into the process to give shatter the rigidity, or something the ethanol takes out. If you have any insight I would be very interested to hear your thoughts or anyone else also please!


      • Posted by Mike on November 8, 2015 at 5:49 AM

        There is still quite a bit of water in Everclear as it is only 75.5% alcohol. I distill my own ethanol at around 180 proof or 90% alcohol then use a molecular sieve 3A Theolyte in an attempt to remove more water. The Theolyte is nothing more than a desiccant, like one of those little packets you get inside of products they want to stay dry that says “Do Not Eat” on it. The Theolyte is reusable multiple times, just need to bake the moisture out of it. I’ve gotten my ethanol up to 194 proof or 97 %. This produce a shatter that actually shattered but I was working with a very thin layer and it splattered all over inside of my purging chamber. Hope that helps! Now, can anyone tell me how to stop this stuff from splattering everywhere when purging? Peace


        • Posted by Nasty Nate on May 3, 2016 at 10:46 PM

          Im sorry you get the shwagg of everclear. where i live everclear is 190 proof. But I have produced product that “shatters” smaller batches usually less than 1/2oz with a wide pyrex dish over a double boiler to purge. i also increase the temp of the water to a ideal poaching temp. (180 – 190). Being very careful not to inhale too much alcohol fumes i carefully smell the product. when she aroma of alcohol is gone and replaced by a sweet floral hash odor, i quickly remove from heat and scrape the product from the glass dish once cool my product will snap a d shatter with the best of them.


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

%d bloggers like this: