If you’re new to vaping and consuming cannabis flower, you may be curious how to get the most out of your favorite strains. On the other hand, you may just be curious about making your own homemade vape juice and avoiding large cannabis vape companies.
Is decarbing weed and adding it to vape juice dangerous? If you don’t know what you’re doing, then yes. However, if you have experience with fresh cannabis, heat decarbs, and THC doses then you should be more than capable of adding decarb weed to a homemade vape juice.
If you want to make your own amazing cannabis vape juice, as opposed to buying known brands of vape juice from the store, you’ll need to know a few things.
THC vape juice isn’t easy to make at home, and less experienced vapers may find purchasing the artificial flavors of weed vape juice far easier.
Luckily for those who are keen to learn, we will be looking at how to decarb weed, make your own THC vape concentrate, and make sure you get the sweet high even when using a vaporizer.
So grab your vape pen, a few basic ingredients, and get ready for a vape decarb that has all the euphoric effects of smoking marijuana.
What is Decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation is a process that activates certain desirable compounds in cannabis, including THC and CBD.
Decarboxylation can sound intimidating, but it’s merely the process of applying heat to cannabis to convert the cannabinoids THCA and CBDA into THC and CBD, respectively.
In more scientific terms, decarboxylation is the process of physically altering the chemical structure of various cannabinoid compounds found in raw cannabis plants, by removing carbon.
When you smoke cannabis, decarboxylation happens without you having to think about it. However, when making a cannabis product such as an edibles or a tincture, decarboxylating is something that you need do intentionally.
The same goes for making a vape juice from weed, otherwise your final product will have little to no potency.
Decarboxylation occurs naturally for smoked plant material, since the flame’s heat will do the job for you.
For consumables, tinctures and salves, however, it is a more careful process that occurs earlier in production.
As far as vape flavorings are concerned, cheaper businesses will artificially flavor their vape concentrate rather than providing a clean THC vape juice.
Some THC vape juice may not always be decarbed either, meaning you won’t get the active ingredients in the vape juice flavoring.
How to Decarb Your Own Marijuana
When it comes to natural ingredients such as cannabis, decarbing can often be as easy as applying some heat.
To get the CBD and THC, you need to remove the carboxyl group from the chemical constituent of your cannabis.
So how do you do this to make tinctures, edibles, and homemade vape juice? Treat the marijuana like a common household baking ingredient.
That’s right, grind your cannabis and put it on a baking tray like food ingredients. Then, bake the week at a low temperature to draw out the excess carbon.
We suggest 250-300℉ as an optimal temperature when decarbing weed, for anywhere between 20 minutes and half an hour.
It is also recommended that you line the baking tray with a piece of parchment paper to avoid cannabis sticking to your cooking utensils.
Cannabis isn’t among the most dangerous ingredients, but this method may leave you with a lingering smell of weed in the kitchen.
Another way that decarb can be performed is with a form of acid. Technically, a strong enough acid is capable of shedding the carboxyl group attached to an acidic form of THC or CBD.
In theory, this will convert the acidic form of the cannabinoid into its active component with this strange alternate method.
After the acid is removed from the biomass, the hemp or cannabis could technically be consumed and the active components will attach to the cannabinoid receptors and cause the desired effects.
Of course, we aren’t here to walk you through the more complicated methods a scientist may use, and our preferred methods are the simple methods.
Take for example, the crock pot method. Similar to the baking tray, only using a crock pot and a stove for better temperature control.
This alternative method gives you better control over the decarb process, and let’s you observe the process more closely. Plus, your oven won’t be stuck smelling like weed.
How to Know if Weed has Been Decarbed
Whether you have chosen a complicated process or not, it will be useless if you can’t tell when your cannabis has actually finished being decarbed.
Both a near effortless process like the crock pot or parchment pouch and a difficult process involving lab equipment will yield similar visual results.
The first is a lack of a red tint. This red coloration occurs in most unactivated cannabinoid plants, but fades when exposed to a heat source.
People with experience can always tell when their strain of choice has been properly decarbed, but for newbies it can be especially difficult.
Your weed should also be a medium brown in color, but be careful when toasting your weed as the last thing you want for your homemade vape juice is burnt cannabis.
For THC vape juice, you will want to make sure the marijuana is very dry to the touch after it has cooled, much like the texture of tobacco in a cigarette.
Can You Make DIY Vape Juices?
So, we’ve established that not only is decarboxylation important; it’s entirely essential when it comes to making a THC vape juice.
Decarboxylation enables weed to provide the therapeutic and psychoactive effects to users, but there’s more than just plain THC in a homemade vape juice.
Some ingredients you may need can be personal preference, such as a sweetener for weed vape. This takes the edge off the vape’s taste if you do not enjoy it so much.
This is an optional ingredient to add a more sweet flavor to the THC vape juice, and is included as an extra on a typical list of ingredients.
Another vape juice compound is food grade vegetable glycerin. Drops of vegetable glycerin are usually reserved for cheap, bootleg vapes.
However, organic vegetable glycerin is healthy and safe for human consumption, as opposed to chemically balanced glycerin used by shady companies looking for an easy profit.
If you want a mix of flavor profiles, then the natural flavors of vegetable oil may be something which you could consider adding to the mix.
This healthier method of making the vape juice viscous and oily isn’t found on your average list of ingredients for vapes, but it does work wonders and helps avoid nasty chemicals.
Measurements of ingredients can vary, so be sure to search for a vape juice ingredients list online as well when searching for methods for homemade vape juice.
High quality premade cannabis vape juice also comes with certain strains in vape carts that may be difficult to get if you’re not running a business.
So your standard vape pen and DIY vape juice stash will likely be limited to certain strains of cannabis and cannabinoids, and not your personal strain of choice.
Dangers of Homemade Vape Juices
The quality of homemade vape juice varies with personal experience, as untested products are rarely better than a commercial product available at a licensed dispensary.
E-juice bottles are also easier to store and get than a waste of time manufacturing your own liquids with cannabis at home.
Still, if you prefer your own e-juice bottles then all the power to you, so long as you are cautious when manufacturing them.
Since you will need a plastic syringe handy, rosin extract, and end up with a strange blend of liquids and chemicals, homemade vape juice can be dangerous.
Homemade vape juice is a very involved process, unlike decarbing your own weed. Rosin extraction is difficult enough, never mind adding it to juice with a diabetic syringe.
Plastic syringes and liquid with weed content is still a budding industry, so if you’re worried about fake carts being sold then making your own isn’t such a waste of time.
However, storage time and shelf life of homemade vape juice is generally shorter than their commercial competitors.
Even though some states and territories allow marijuana use for medical or recreational purposes, it is still illegal under federal law.
The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the definition of marijuana, making it legal federally as long as it contains 0.3% THC or less.
Therefore making your own THC vape with more than 0.3% content can be illegal, and land you in serious trouble following a drug test.
Difference Between DIY and Store Bought Vape Carts
Many people believe that DIY cartridge kits are better than store bought ones, while others believe that either type of cartridge is acceptable.
Apart from storage time being shorter, DIY cartridges can be tailored to the individual user’s own personal preferences.
DIY cartridges are often also more environmentally responsible and to control the chemicals and cannabinoid levels that are used in vaping.
It makes sense when you think about it, instead of buying glass or plastic e-juice bottles, you can store your own vape juice at home.
This cuts down on material waste from e-liquid bottles, while still giving yout the ability to tinker with the flavor and chemical balance of the juice.
Want more THC? Then you can add more THC. Want a particularly sweet flavor when you vape? Then add some sweetener.
As we are about to go on and discuss, you can even fine tune the results of your home baked methods to get different types of vape.
Not just juices, but weed wax and dabs which can also be vaped if you have a special attachment for your electronic vaping device. These are usually commercially available to buy.
Methods for Making Your Own Vape Juice
Long-term soaking or extraction is an easy way to make vape juice with THC. But it also takes the most time, as you need about three months to complete the process.
This is an almost effort free method and this process is near idiot proof as there are only two stages to it: decarboxylation of the strain and mixing it with vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol solutions.
However, the amount of time needed to commit to this process, as well as the need to know about vital chemicals in weed vapes, makes Steeping a painful process.
You can speed up the process with Infusion. Adding decarbed weed to vegetable glycerin, you can heat through the vape juice if you can keep the temperature constant.
Failing that however, say you have a faulty temperature dial, you can end up ruining your batch of weed and rendering it useless.
Getting a base liquid of either vegetable glycerin or propylene glycol can also still be a pain, however these are both vital to make a vape juice.
It is vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol which keep everything dissolved into liquid form inside a vape pen, allowing it to turn into vapor.
You’ll need to know how rosin extraction works if you want to make your own THC vape juice. You can easily make your own THC vape juices at home with rosin, and it is by far the easiest method listed here.
You can use any type of marijuana that has been decarbed. You’ll also need a way to apply heat to pressurized and extract cannabis oil from cannabis flowers.
This can be done with a rosin press, but what if you don’t know about rosin presses? Then you will have to get a rosin press online. These tools apply heat and pressure to extract cannabis oil from raw material.
Juice from rosin extraction of cannabis results in weed wax, which may need a specialized attachment in order to be vaped.
Fortunately, it is easy to use a 30ml syringe on rosin based cannabis to hand craft the perfect homemade vape juice for your own use.