How to Make Solventless Wax: Dry Ice Extraction Method

solventless waxWhen most people think of hash these days, the first thing that comes to mind is the BHO shatter and wax that has become so popular within the last few years. The development of closed-loop extraction systems and vacuum ovens built specifically for concentrates have caused many high-end producers to shift away from traditional hash-making methods in favor of more modern, solvent-based techniques. Recently, however, a few concentrate artists have shared some extraordinary “solvent-less waxes” rivaling the flavor and potency of many solvent-extracted waxes and the technique to making this hash is both simple and incredibly safe—no explosive or potentially toxic chemicals required.

Solvent-less concentrate is made by collecting stalked trichomes from raw plant material. These trichomes are dense with THC and other psychoactive compounds, some of which may not be present in BHO due to their varying structures and solubility properties. While there are several specific methods, trichomes are most easily Trichomes-are-milky-white-collected by sifting—passing the plant matter through a series of screens that separate particles by size. As the heads of the trichomes fall through the smallest screen, they are collected to form the finest grade of “blonde hash” (because the milky heads of the trichomes typically produce an off-white color) or what we’re calling “solvent-less hash” now.

In order to optimize this process, the Pollinator Company in the Netherlands developed the Iceolator Bags (later spun off in the states as Bubble Bags) which allow for an efficient ice-water separation to be carried out. The bags each contain various-sized mesh-screen bottoms (ranging from 200µ to 25µ) which are then stacked within one another so ice, water and plant material can be added and mixed. The ice water helps lower the temperature of the plant material making the trichomes brittle and more readily separated from the plant (and thus, collected).

Unfortunately, the addition of water also requires about 48 hours of drying time and can potentially pick up some unwanted, water-soluble compounds during the separation. That’s why I’ve become very interested in dry-ice extraction. Instead of using water and ice, solid CO2 aka dry ice is used to cool down the plant matter for sifting. Dry ice is both cheap and much colder than regular ice and the way in which it sublimates (goes from solid to gas) rapidly cools down more of the area around it which eliminates the need to use water or some other insulator (water would freeze in contact with dry ice!). The dry ice also serves as an agitator so all you have to do is shake the sifting container/ bag, no need to sit there stirring. Dispensaries seem to carry product listed as “Solvent-less wax” from no larger a screen than 70µ but you will undoubtedly obtain better product (albeit smaller yields) from an even finer screen size.

So the next time you’re thinking about blasting that extra bag of trim/bud you have lying around, consider busting out the bubble bags instead of the butane and turkey baster— your lungs and neighbors will thank you!

For a complete selection of concentrate pipes meant for dabbing be sure to checkout: http://www.marijuanapackaging.com/smoke-shop-supply/glass-and-metal-pipes/concentrate-pipes.html

How to Make Quality BHO Shatter in 5 Easy Steps

How To Make BHO Shatter Now that you’ve been properly versed on “what is a dab?”, as well as “how to do a dab in 4 easy steps”, it’s about time to head into the kitchen to learn how to make your very own dabs.

Update: Since this article was written back in 2014, there have been a number of cleaner, safer methods for making dabs, some of which we have covered in more recent articles. Please check out the latest: How to Make Closed Column BHO and Live Resin.

What you’ll need: 

(Butane Canister: one can of butane typically should be sufficient to extract a full tube of material) Marijuana ounce Step 1: Gather Greens Gather an ounce of high quality uncut marijuana that has been dried. It’s good to note that about an ounce of dried weed will produce 3.6 grams of shatter if you use 12 ounces of butane and a double wash. BHO Plastic Tube

Step 2: Pack Extraction Tube Stuff your marijuana in an extraction tube that is made of thick glass and is relatively clean. It’s important not to have excess residue in your batch which can degrade your dabs. If air pockets begin to form inside the tube, this can be prevented by gently packing your bud until it is firmly packed in the tube like so. Drip Butane

Step 3: Butane Drip On the opposite end  of the extraction tube that you used to pack your marijuana in, you now want to begin dripping your butane through, in a slow yet controlled manner. On the opposite end, attach coffee filters tightly around the tube, so that the liquid which runs down will have to go through it. The drippings should fall onto a collection dish.

Caution: Note that it is best to do the extraction process outside as there is less chance of explosions or bursts of fire in case the butane is dripped too fast.  bho drain Step 4: Drain O’ Weed Once your butane can is spent, and you feel you have inundated all of the cannabis in solvent, remove it and let the excess butane still in the tube make its way down through the filter and into your pan.

Step 5: Evaporate Next is the evaporation part of the process. Your pan should be filled with a golden brown liquid similar to the one here. Take your collection dish and place it in a larger frying pan filled with hot water and your mixture should begin to bubble. Change the water as needed if it cools and don’t expose it to the hot water for a long time as your product will become dark and degraded. Once the oil stops bubbling you are done. You can take the left over marijuana concentrate and place it on a non-stick silicone parchment paper to dry, or you can place it in concentrate containers.

Safety Note: Butane is HIGHLY FLAMMABLE and ALL extractions are to be done OUTDOORS only, doing extractions indoors is extremely dangerous. Butane gas is heavier than air and will pool in low areas. If left to collect butane gas becomes flammable. Wear eye protection, as well as gloves and always keep a fire extinguisher near by. Never smoke and avoid having an open flame around when doing any kind of extraction, even outdoors.

Rule of Green Thumb:  When the liquid dripping from the extraction tube appears completely transparent, that’s your indication that all the THC oils from the cannabis have been extracted from the tube. A proven way to test this is to put one or two drops on the dish next to your BHO “puddle”, to see if it immediately evaporates or if it  leaves a thick bubbly residue on the dish. If the drops of oil leave a thick residue, you should inject more butane into your tube and continue extracting. If the oil evaporates away quickly and cleanly with little to no residue, that’s your sign that the extraction process is over.

How to Do a Dab in 4 Easy Steps

How to Do a Dab in Easy Steps

Chances are you’ve heard of dabbing, and are reading this because you want to give dabbing a try. If you have no idea what a dab is and want to know more, please check out our last post, Dabs 101. Ok, So let’s get right to it.  There are several ways to ‘do a dab’, but I’ll walk you through the most typical dabbing method.

What You’ll Needoil rig, torch, wand, nail

  • Marijuana concentrate or extract (i.e., shatter, butane hash oil, wax)
  • An ‘oil rig’ or percolator
  • A nail (glass or titanium)
  • A dabber or wand
  • A Handheld Torch

Season the Nail

If you are using a titanium nail, you’ll first need to season the nail by torching it until it is heat the nailred hot and then dunk it in cold water. Use tongs to dunk the nail and repeat the process 5 or 6 times. Now place the nail on the stem of your rig.

Heat the Nail

Heat the nail with a torch until it starts to glow. It is best to wait about twenty seconds for the nail to cool before you begin dabbing. This should give you enough time to prepare your dab.

Prepare your Dabdabbing

Scrape or scoop up a single dose of concentrate with your wand.

Take a Hit!

Slowly inhale the vapor from the mouthpiece of your pipe as you gently touch or ‘dab’ the concentrate to the top of your nail.

Cannabis concentrates are potent, and can be up to 90% THC. So, keep in mind a little goes a long way.