If you want to use this method of extraction, you’ll need the following equipment: A metal screen or filter (you can use a permanent coffee filter) A clean glass bowl Paper coffee filters A glass pot (a coffee pot works well) A glass mason jar A plastic storage container A large sieve; we recommend a large and a small sieve if you are using more than 10 grams of bud Cutting utensils A fan An oven 100-200ml of isopropyl alcohol At least 10 grams of bud A razor blade to gather the extract. When it comes to THC extraction using isopropyl alcohol, preparation is crucial and begins several hours before you attempt the process. Make sure every container you plan on using is extremely clean and dry. Next, grind up your buds into a small jar and put it, and the alcohol, in a freezer for a few hours (you can even do this overnight) to ensure they are as cold as possible. Isopropyl alcohol’s freezing point is approximately -128.2 degrees Fahrenheit, so there is nothing to worry about!
You need to freeze the bud because its trichomes fall off far more efficiently at very low temperatures. You can attempt the extraction process without freezing, but it will result in a far smaller amount of THC. Final preparation steps include placing a coffee filter into your jar to create a type of bag. If you plan on extracting THC from a large amount of bud, cover the entire surface area of your large sieve with filters and place the smaller strainer on top. Pour all of the alcohol into the jar containing the weed. Make sure the ground buds are entirely submerged in the alcohol. Don’t shake the jar for too long because you could extract too much chlorophyll, which will leave a bitter taste. Next, pour everything through a sieve and filter the contents in a jar. The filtering process could take up to an hour, so be patient!
If you have any alcohol left over, pour it into the jar to ensure no leftover trichomes are remaining. The process works because the cannabinoids in the weed dissolve in the alcohol. The sieve filters the plant material, while the coffee filter refines the liquid by removing tiny parts of the remaining plant. As all of the cannabinoids have been dissolved, they are now in liquid form. The coffee filter enables liquid to pass through but prevents solid particles from doing so. Once the filtering process has been completed, you are left with a jar containing a fairly clear liquid with a hint of green. Now, your precious THC is contained in the liquid, which means we must remove the alcohol. Pour the contents of the jar into a container with a flat surface. If you have a fan, you can set it to blow into your liquid at its lowest setting. Please note that the alcohol must be stored in a well-ventilated area because you are evaporating a toxic and flammable substance. It could take up to 24 hours for the evaporation process to be completed. The evaporation process is only completed when you see no traces of liquid on the flat surface. Get your razor blade and a clean mason jar, and gather the solid substance . A toothpick is a handy item to have as it can remove pieces of material that get stuck to the razor blade. Don’t be dismayed when you see such a small amount of material. It should contain at least 70% THC (depending on the strain), and a little goes a VERY long way. Final Thoughts on Using Rubbing Alcohol to Extract THC From Weed. The answer to the title question is ‘yes,’ but with a fair number of caveats. Firstly, you should NEVER use denatured alcohol as it is designed to be poisonous. If you are going to use rubbing alcohol as your solvent of choice, it must be isopropyl-based; ideally up to 99%. There is a significant amount of confusion when it comes to distinguishing between different types of alcohol. Ethyl, or grain, alcohol is used in the recreational beverages that millions of people enjoy. Manufacturers denature ethyl alcohol by including poisonous substances which render the solution undrinkable. Isopropyl alcohol, on the other hand, is already unfit for human consumption. Ingesting it can cause intestinal bleeding, vomiting, and occasionally, death. It is less toxic than denatured alcohol but is still poisonous to humans. Therefore, if you insist on using isopropyl alcohol for THC extraction, extreme caution is advised. You need to ensure that all of the alcohol has been evaporated before using the leftover cannabis concentrate. It is a common solvent in DIY extraction, but we would recommend using food grade ethanol instead.
Once again, you need the ethanol to completely evaporate before using the concentrate.
However, if you don’t remove 100% of the ethanol, and consume marijuana, you should not feel too many ill effects since ethanol is safe for human consumption. In fact, it is often used as an additive and food preservative. At Green Light Extracts we only use a cryo-ethanol extraction method to process our hemp. We buy only the highest quality spirit grade ethanol, made from wheat, corn, cane or grapes. The ethanol is chilled to no less than -50 °C before we start the extraction process.