cannabis-extract

Cannabis has been used for centuries for its medicinal and recreational properties. Today, cannabis extracts are popular for their ability to relieve chronic pain, anxiety and other health problems. This article will guide you through the process of making cannabis extract at home, ensuring a high quality and safe product for consumption.

Materials Needed

To make cannabis extract at home, you will need the following materials and utensils:

  • Equipment: glass vessel, water bath, coffee filters, rosin press, syringes to store the extract.
  • Ingredients: buds of the cannabis sativa plant, high alcohol (optional), coconut oil, hemp oil, hemp seeds.
  • Optional: cooking thermometer, protective gloves, adequate ventilation.

Types of Cannabis Extracts

There are several types of cannabis extracts, each with its own characteristics and preparation methods. Here we explain briefly what each one is:

Cannabis Oil

Cannabis extract oil is an infusion of the cannabis plant in vegetable oils such as coconut oil or hemp oil. This type of extract is popular because of its ease of preparation and versatile use. The process involves heating the cannabis in the oil to extract the cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. It is commonly used in culinary applications, topical products and as a sublingual supplement.

Dyes

Tinctures are liquid extracts of cannabis that are prepared using high-proof alcohol as a solvent. This extraction method is efficient and fast, allowing the cannabinoids and other active compounds to dissolve in the alcohol. Tinctures are usually consumed by placing a few drops under the tongue or mixing them with beverages. They are known for their long shelf life and ease of dosage.

Resin (Hash)

Resin, or hash, is a cannabis concentrate made from the trichomes, which are the cannabinoid- and terpene-rich glands of the plant. The trichomes are collected and compressed to form a resinous substance. Hash can vary in texture and color, from powdery to sticky, and can be consumed by smoking, vaporizing or adding it to food. It is prized for its high concentration of active ingredients.

Concentrates (Shatter, Wax)

Cannabis concentrates, such as shatter and wax, are pure cannabinoid extractions that are generally made using solvents such as butane or CO2. Shatter is a translucent, brittle concentrate, while wax has a smoother, more waxy texture. These products are extremely potent and are mainly used in vaporizers or dab rigs. Concentrates offer an intense experience due to their high concentration of THC and other cannabinoids.

Preliminary Preparation

Before beginning the cannabis extraction process, it is important to follow some preliminary steps to ensure a high quality and safe extract for consumption.

  • Cannabis selection and preparation: Use high quality buds. Crush the buds to increase the contact surface.
  • Cannabis decarboxylation: Heat crushed cannabis in an oven at 110-120°C for 30-40 minutes to activate cannabinoids such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
  • Safety precautions: Work in a well ventilated area and wear protective gloves.

Extraction Methods

Alcohol Extraction

This method uses alcohol as a solvent to extract the cannabinoids from cannabis. It is one of the most common methods due to its simplicity and effectiveness.

Materials and Detailed Steps:

  • Place the decarboxylated cannabis in a glass container. Decarboxylating cannabis is a process that activates the cannabinoids, making them more effective. It is placed in a container that does not react with alcohol, such as glass.
  • Add alcohol to cover the cannabis. Alcohol, preferably ethanol, is used to dissolve the cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds in the plant.
  • Shake the mixture for a few minutes and let stand. Shaking helps the alcohol to fully penetrate the cannabis, extracting the active compounds.
  • Filter the liquid through a coffee filter. Filtering removes the plant material, leaving only the liquid with the dissolved cannabinoids.
  • Evaporate alcohol using a water bath. The bain-marie is a technique for evaporating alcohol in a gentle and controlled manner, leaving behind a concentrated extract.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

  • Advantages: Simple and fast process.
  • Easy to make at home with common materials and provides an effective extract quickly.
  • Disadvantages: Alcohol may leave residue.
  • It may be difficult to remove all the alcohol, which could affect the purity of the final extract.

Extraction with Oils (Coconut, Hemp)

This method uses carrier oils such as coconut oil or hemp oil to extract cannabinoids. It is a popular method because of its safety and the added value of the carrier oils.

Materials and Detailed Steps:

  • Mix decarboxylated cannabis with coconut oil or hemp oil in a glass container. The oils help extract and transport the cannabinoids, in addition to having health benefits of their own.
  • Heat the mixture in a water bath for 2-3 hours, maintaining a low temperature. The water bath allows the mixture to heat gently, ensuring that the cannabinoids are infused into the oil without burning.
  • Filter the oil using a coffee filter. Filtering removes plant material, leaving an oil infused with cannabinoids.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

  • Advantages: Safe methods without toxic solvents.
  • No hazardous chemicals are used, making the process safer and healthier.
  • Disadvantages: Longer extraction time.
  • It requires more time and patience compared to other methods.

Rosin Press Method

This method uses heat and pressure to extract the resin from the cannabis buds. It is a clean and efficient method that does not require the use of solvents.

Materials and Detailed Steps:

  • Place the cannabis between parchment paper. The parchment paper prevents the resin from sticking to the press and facilitates the collection of the extract.
  • Use a hot press to extract the resin. The combination of heat and pressure extracts the cannabinoid-rich resin from the plant.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

  • Advantages: Clean and solvent-free process.
  • No chemicals are used, resulting in a purer, residue-free product.
  • Disadvantages: Requires specialized equipment.
  • A rosin press is needed, which can be expensive and is not always available to everyone.

Filtration and Purification Process

After extraction, it is crucial to filter and purify the extract:

  • Filtering Methods: Use coffee filters or fine sieves to remove plant debris.
  • Purification Techniques: If necessary, purify the extract by additional methods such as distillation.
  • Proper Storage: Store the extract in airtight glass containers in a cool, dark place.

Use and Dosage

The use and dosage of cannabis extract will depend on individual needs and the type of oil:

  • Forms of Consumption: Sublingual, mixed in food, applied topically.
  • Recommended Dosage: Start with low doses and adjust according to the body's response.
  • Effects and Times of Action: Vary according to the method of consumption and the concentration of THC and CBD.

Conclusion

Making cannabis extract at home can be a rewarding and beneficial task if you follow the correct extraction method and take the necessary precautions. This process allows you to customize your extract to get the benefits of THC and CBD safely and effectively.

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