Cannabis users have started to get more crafty than ever, especially when it comes to homemade weed-infused products. Homemade cannabis extracts are all the rave, and we’re not just talking about chocolatey weed cookies and gooey brownies here.
In the past, edibles immediately came to mind when the words “cannabis extracts” popped up in conversation. Nowadays, the category of extracts is so much more than just edibles. Yes, it does include a huge range of edible cannabis goods because extracts can be put into just about anything, but it also includes things like oils, tinctures, and transdermal topicals.
The growing list of cannabis extracts isn’t even the best part of all. What’s even better is the fact that with the right tools, cannabis flowers, and a bit of patience, you can make cannabis extracts at home, especially with these easy methods for making great extracts.
What Are Cannabis Extracts?
Cannabis extracts and concentrates are often clumped into the same category, and that’s because both extracts and concentrates (as well as oils) are more potent forms of marijuana. Just like regular bud, concentrates and extracts are derived from the cannabis flower, but they’re made to be much more potent than your average flower.
Aside from their superior strength, another perk is that you don’t have to smoke extracts. While smoking is the usual consumption method for cannabis flowers, extracted cannabis opens so many doors. Whether it comes from using a rosin press or solvent extraction, you’ll be able to take your pick from oils, dabs, hash, tinctures, topicals, and even edibles made with
Common Types of Extracts
A few years ago, the most common form of cannabis extract was shatter, which is a highly-concentrated glass-like form of concentrated marijuana, but that’s beginning to change. Shatter is still a go-to choice, don’t get us wrong, but wax, budder, rosin, oil, and hash are becoming just as popular.
To give a better idea of the sheer number of extracts out there, here’s a list of some of the most popular:
- Pull and Snap
- Butane Hash Oil
- Full Melt
- Dry Sift
Why Make Extracts At Home?
Before getting into the how aspect of making extracts, you’re probably wondering why there’s any need to make them at all when dispensary shelves are lined with them. Well, it all comes down to two big reasons: convenience and cost.
Making your own concentrated cannabis means that you don’t have to pop out to your nearest dispensary every time you’re in the mood or need a refill. Just take some of the cannabis flowers you have lying around and make the extract yourself – that’s as convenient as it gets.
Convenience aside, the cost is the other big reason why so many cannabis concentrates users are making their own extract from home. Depending on where you’re buying from and the quality, the retail price for shatter is about $60 per gram.
Other forms of extracts, like resin and budder, are all along these same lines when it comes to high prices. So why not just make it at home instead?
3 Easy Methods for Making Extracts
There are a lot of different ways to make cannabis extracts, and the method you choose depends on the final product you’re hoping for. For example, if your aim is to make kief, then you’d use the dry sifting method (which we’ll get into in a bit), but if you’re hoping for rosin, you’d use a combination of pressure and heat.
Before getting into the specific extraction methods, there are 2 different categories for how an extract is drawn from the starting product. These include solvent and non-solvent extraction methods, and since solvent-based methods using substances like butane and propane are more difficult and dangerous, let’s focus on extraction without solvents, like:
- Dry Sift
- Hand Rolling
- Pressure & Heat
Extraction through Dry Sift
With any extraction, the main goal is to draw out all that sticky resin and potent cannabinoids/terpenes from the plant to create a much more concentrated product. With dry sift extraction, that process is made possible by physically knocking the trichomes from the bud and collecting them together to make kief.
You might even be using the dry sift method of extraction without even realizing it. When you use a grinder to grind up bud, there are usually 3 different chambers. The ground flower falls into the second chamber and sits on a screen that leads into the third.
The small, sticky pieces of ground-up bud pass through this screen and collect in this last chamber. This final product is kief, and it’s a lot stronger than your average bud.
Extraction through Hand Rolling
Hand rolling is considered an old-school extraction method, but it works. This is how hash has been made for centuries, and it’s actually very simple. All you do is start with fresh cannabis that hasn’t been dried or cured, and start rolling the flower between your palms.
After enough rolling, the sticky trichomes (which are what contain all the good stuff) come off the plants and remain on your hands. Once you have enough, scrape the sticky “hash” off and keep repeating the process until you have enough. It’s simple and effective, although it will take some time.
Extraction through Pressure & Heat
This last home extraction method for creating powerful cannabis products isn’t quite as simple as dry sifting or hand rolling, but it’s still fairly easy. Using the right balance of heat and pressure allows you to create rosin, which is an extremely versatile sap-like substance that originates from flower, kief, or bubble hash.
To make rosin, you can either use a high-end rosin press or make a straightforward DIY press. The simplest rosin press is a hair straightener; just place the starting product in between two pieces of parchment paper, clamp the hot straightener around it, and wait for rosin to form.