Human beings will never be satisfied – this is one of the (many) faults of our kind. Back in the 1960’s and 70’s, people were smoking weed that probably had about 5-10% THC in it. Nowadays, this amount is considered next to nothing for an avid smoker.
Over the generations, marijuana strains have been extensively bred to contain higher and higher THC amounts, with many of the most popular varieties that you buy in dispensaries boasting upwards of 30% THC.
But guess what? This still isn’t good enough. In recent years, more and more people have been ditching their dry cannabis flower and traditional joints and bowls for a much more potent, “hi-tech” marijuana experience. Of course, we are talking about consuming liquid THC for the ultimate marijuana high.
Liquid THC is essentially ultra-concentrated marijuana that has been extracted from buds and processed into the form an oral tincture or vape juice that can be inhaled at low temperatures with a vape pen, vape mod box, or any other type of concentrate vaping device. Depending on the quality of the extraction and the various processes that were used during the infusion process, it is not uncommon for liquid THC to contain well over 90% of the psychoactive cannabinoid.
In this article, we explain everything you could ever want to know about liquid THC for either vaping or oral consumption – how it’s made, where you can buy it, and how to use it without going into a frenzied, hallucinogenic fit of THC-induced paranoia.
What is Liquid THC… and is it Different from a Cannabis Tincture?
As we’ve mentioned, liquid THC is basically an ultra-concentrated form of marijuana that has an absurdly high THC content. While typical marijuana strains have a THC content anywhere between 12-35%, most “normal” varieties of liquid pot have upwards of 90% (or more) THC content – more than enough to get you higher than you’ve ever been in your life.
The term “cannabis tincture” or “cannabis oil” is pretty broad in its scope, and thus there’s no real distinguished difference between liquid THC vs. cannabis oil. In a general sense, you could say that all liquid THC is technically cannabis oil, but not all cannabis oil is liquid THC. If that makes sense.
In fact, a “cannabis oil” or cannabis tincture could include things like low-THC oils, sublingual medicinal oils, CBD oils, and so on. The word “tincture” just refers to an oil-based liquid that is infused with natural botanical extract.
If you’re wondering how to make liquid THC, it can be done in several different ways – some safer and more “appropriate” than others. In this next section, we will highlight a few of the most common ways to make liquid THC, and pinpoint a few important things that you’ll definitely NOT want to do if you plan on trying to throw together your own concoction.
How to Make Liquid THC
Below, we have highlighted three of the most common ways to make liquid THC from dry marijuana plant matter. We DO NOT recommend you try any of these techniques, and we maintain that we are not responsible if you decide to break any laws, and/or if your liquid pot-making adventure results in any kind of damage or injury to people or property.
Know and understand the marijuana laws of the state that you live in, and only make sure to buy liquid pot from a legal, licensed dispensary.
Make Liquid THC at Room Temperature
If you’re wondering how to make liquid THC in the simplest, most fool-proof way, doing it at room temperature with some form of stable alcohol is probably your best bet. However, it takes really really long compared to the other methods.
Basically, all you need to do is get some marijuana (preferably nugs that are devoid of stems and seeds), chop it up into small pieces (don’t use an actual grinder as you don’t want a fine powder), and let it sit in an alcohol bath for a few weeks. Depending on the quality and potency that you desire, “a few weeks” could be anywhere from a single week or two all the way up to three months.
First, you’ll need to bake your chopped-up weed on a cookie tray in the oven for about 20 mins at 200℉ (or preferably a little less). This decarboxylates the THCA into THC so you can get high.
Next, add the chopped up, decarboxylated marijuana to a mason jar, pouring just enough alcohol in to cover/saturate it. Then screw on the lid to the mason jar and let it sit, making sure to shake it up every now and again. The natural chemical properties will pull all of the THC from the flower, thus making a rich, super potent liquid.
Don’t just use any type of alcohol, however. For example, don’t use isopropyl alcohol as it contains toxic compounds compared to pure ethanol. Most people who make liquid THC use either food-grade vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol (PG), polyethylene glycol (i.e. PEG-400) or pure ethanol. You can even use 190-proof Everclear, which is a 95% grain alcohol.
After the THC has been extracted from the weed, the solution will have to be strained and purged in order to get rid of the excess plant matter and alcohol residue, leaving only the activated THC. There are a few different ways to purge liquid THC, but none of them are really 100% effective (unless you’re an experienced chemist with access to expensive machinery).
You can vape your liquid THC, use a dropper bottle to place drops under your tongue, or even use it to cook with and make edibles. Whatever you decide to do with it, though, be advised that liquid pot is incredibly potent compared to “traditional” weed smoking. It has resulted in a lot of paranoia-filled emergency-room visits in recent years.
Also, it’s worth pointing out that both PG and PEG are known to break down into formaldehyde (a carcinogenic compound) when heated to temperatures above 390℉. This is a very important consideration to keep in mind if you’re going to be vaping your liquid THC, as we for one would not want to be inhaling potentially carcinogenic aldehydes.
Make Liquid THC by Freezing
You can actually speed up the process of how to make liquid THC above by simply carrying out the same process inside a freezer rather than at room temperature.
Basically, after you decarboxylate the marijuana, what you’ll want to do is freeze put the nugs in a ziploc bag and freeze them for about 3 hours (put your alcohol in the freezer for this same amount of time). Afterward, mix about 4 oz of alcohol in with every ⅛ oz of cannabis, seal the mixture up tight in a mason jar, and shake it around vigorously for about 3-4 minutes. This will help saturate the flower and kick-start the reaction.
After the alcohol-marijuana mixture is good and mixed up, place the mason jar back into the freezer and let it sit for about 48 hours, making sure to shake vigorously every several hours.
After 48 hours, you can pull the mason jar out of the freezer and proceed with the filtering/straining/purging steps, as outlined above. You will be left with a potent THC liquid that you can either cook with, administer sublingually (under the tongue), or inhale via a vaporizer (though be wary of the above-described hazards).
Make Liquid THC by Heating
If you’re wondering how to make liquid THC, extracting the compound while heating it is by far the quickest method. Basically, there are two different techniques to use: you can soak your dry plant matter in an alcohol solution (as described above) and speed up the extraction by boiling it in an oil bath, or you can use a hair-straightener (or designated plant matter/herbal extractor) to press rosin out of densely-packed nugs.
First, we will describe the process of how to make THC tincture by heating in an oil bath:
- Chop up or pull apart your marijuana plant matter into small pieces. Don’t use a grinder as you will end up with too fine a powder.
- Put the plant matter into a Pyrex (or other heat safe) jar and saturate with vegetable glycerin (or another form of alcohol). Make sure to pour enough alcohol in so that the buds are completely submerged, but don’t go overboard.
- In a larger Pyrex pan, pour enough water or cooking oil in so that your jar with the buds will sit about 1-2″ submerged. What you will be doing is heating the oil in the larger pan, while letting the smaller jar sit inside the boiling bath.
- Heat the oil in the large pan until it is simmering at a consistent temperature of 220℉ (you’ll need to use an accurate cooking thermometer).
- Place the jar with the marijuana/alcohol solution into the oil bath. Using a separate thermometer, try and maintain a temperature of about 180℉.
- While frequently stirring and monitoring the temperature of both thermometers, let the cannabis jar boil in the oil bath for about 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, remove the jar from the oil bath and let sit for about 10 minutes before straining all of the plant matter out (there are a number of different filters you can use for this).
- Set your filtered liquid THC aside, and then with the same nugs, repeat steps 2-7 two additional times in order to extract the most THC possible.
- After your last round of extraction, put the filtered, refined THC liquid into a clean glass jar by itself and boil it in another oil bath for about 30 minutes at 220℉. This will help to decarboxylate all of the remaining THCA from the original nugs into THC. (Use both thermometers again to monitor your temperature, though be advised that you’ll have to raise the temperature of the oil in the “outer” pan above 220℉ in order to get the liquid THC in the “inner” jar to remain steady at 220℉).
You can also use a hair straightener and wax parchment paper to press rosin out of medium-sized, densely-packed marijuana buds in order to make super potent liquid THC. It’s actually a lot harder to do than it sounds, but basically the general idea is to sandwich a nice dense nug between a piece of the parchment paper, then squeeze it between the blades of the hair straightener as hard as you can until thick, THC-filled goo (rosin) comes oozing out of it.
If your technique is up to par, you can consistently make about 0.5 g of ultra-potent THC rosin from about an eight of dry flower – maybe even more if you’re a DIY rosin-pressing expert.
Regardless, once you’ve extracted the THC using this technique, you’ll need to add a terpene solution of some sort in order to turn the gooey, gunky mess into workable liquid weed that you can either vape or administer under your tongue.
Precautions to Take When Making Liquid Marijuana
Be advised that there are serious dangers involved with using any one of these techniques to try and make THC oil. This is why we DO NOT recommend that you do any of them, and instead buy your liquid THC from a trusted, reputable dispensary.
One of the most inherent dangers of making liquid THC is from butane gas accumulation that can result in serious explosions. We didn’t go over how to make liquid THC using butane here in this article, but it is nevertheless a popular method among DIY’ers.
Basically, what a lot of people do is pour butane (lighter fluid) over a bunch of plant matter that has been packed super tightly into metal tubes. The butane runs over the plant matter and extracts the THC, oozing out the bottom in the form of a sticky, gooey liquid THC.
The problem is that without proper ventilation, fumes from the butane can accumulate in large volume as it sinks down to the ground (butane gas is much heavier than normal air). This large amount of vapor can be ignited in the form of a serious, deadly explosion by something as simple as a water heater pilot flame or a tossed cigarette butt.
Whatever kind of personal decisions you make in terms of how to make liquid THC, just do so at your own risk.
How to Store Liquid Marijuana
The best way to store liquid THC is probably in a small glass dropper bottle jar, similar to a Visine (eye drop) bottle, but made out of glass instead of plastic. Also, opaque bottles that are dark green or brown are a much better option than clear glass bottles as they do a better job of filtering out damaging UV rays.
If you store your liquid THC in a dark glass vial or dropper bottle and keep it in a dark, climate-controlled environment out of direct sunlight, it will last for easily over a year. Keeping it in the refrigerator is also not a bad idea at all as this will maximize shelf life.
What Does Liquid THC Look Like?
Liquid THC can come in many different viscosities and physical appearances depending on the strain that was used, the type of alcohol that was used, the temperature during extraction, etc. In all truth, there are dozens of different factors that can contribute to the appearance of a quality liquid THC tincture.
Generally speaking, though, a good liquid THC will be pretty opaque or cloudy (i.e. light will not be able to pass through it), and will range in color from a light, limey greenish to an ultra dark, tarry, almost black goo. The best THC oil is typically a beautiful shade of amber or gold.
Whatever the case is, your liquid THC should not be clear, and there shouldn’t be any visible flakes, plant matter, etc floating around in it.
How Do You Use Liquid THC?
As we’ve already mentioned, the safest (at least in terms of general health) way to use liquid THC is to administer it as droplets underneath the tongue. This area of the mouth is loaded with glands and capillaries (tiny blood vessels), so you are essentially getting a direct administration of THC right into the bloodstream. If you administer below the tongue, place a single drop or two and hold for about 60-90 seconds before swallowing.
Of course, you can also vape liquid THC using a vape pen, e-cigarette device, or some other kind of portable vaporizing unit. Be advised though, that if the liquid pot contains any amount of propylene glycol (PG) or polyethylene glycol (PEG), you risk inhaling formaldehyde if the vape burns the juice at a temperature much higher than 200℃. Proceed at your own risk.
And lastly, many people love to bake with liquid THC to make super potent edibles that will get you stoned out of your mind. You can make “traditional” things like cookies or pot brownies, or you can use the liquid concoction to infuse other cooking oils for a variety of different dishes.
What are the Effects of Liquid THC?
However you choose to use liquid THC, be advised that the effects are much more potent than regular marijuana smoking. Depending on the plant matter that you used and the effectiveness of your extraction procedure, you are likely going to be looking at a concentrate with a THC content between 50-90%. If you are not used to this type of potency, proceed with caution. Many inexperienced individuals have been sent to the hospital with hallucinations and severe panic attacks after consuming too much THC content or liquid pot.
While the toxicity of cannabis is known to be virtually non-existent and there have been no reported overdoses on liquid THC, it still can cause some pretty intense psychedelic experiences and marijuana “trips,” many of which are unwanted and/or unexpected.
Is Liquid THC Dangerous?
As we just said, there have been no known deaths that we are aware of that have been attributed to liquid THC overdose. While we certainly would not call it a “safe” way of consuming cannabis, it most definitely does not possess the same inherent risks as other drugs like opioid meds, painkillers, etc.
However you choose to use liquid THC, do so at your own risk and make sure to start off with a very small dose – especially if it is your first time using a high-THC marijuana concentrate. The effects are substantially different from a “traditional” marijuana high.
Final Thoughts on Liquid THC: Everything You Need to Know
Liquid THC is an interesting way of jam-packing as much THC as humanly possible into one consumable form of marijuana. Truth be told, we are not huge advocates of ultra-potent THC concentrates as we’ve never really understood the need to venture from quality marijuana flower, which has already been bred for extreme potency itself.
In our opinion, the real benefits of liquid THC and ultra high-potency marijuana oil are to help sick people find relief from chronic, intractable forms of pain or symptomatic nausea. For these uses, liquid THC can offer fantastic therapeutic benefit.
Regardless, many individuals will continue to use liquid THC for recreational use, as it results in an extremely potent high that far surpasses that of traditional marijuana smoking. However you choose to make (and/or use) liquid THC, do so with wisely and make sure to proceed with caution every step of the way.