Wax, hash, shatter, dabs… the wonderful world of concentrates and extracts is delicious and diverse! Instead of navigating the dizzying number of options in a dispensary, why not give it a go in your kitchen? Introducing the QWISO method – a way to make extract in the comfort of your own home!
What Is QWISO?
QWISO, which stands for Quick Wash ISOpropyl alcohol technique, is a method of cannabinoid extraction that utilizes isopropyl alcohol as a solvent to wash the trichomes from the plant matter. What’s left over from this process is a very concentrated extraction of THC and other cannabinoids: wax, one of the purest forms of cannabis concentrates. If you keep your area clean and are diligent in following the directions, you can also end up with a lovely amber QWISO shatter that’s perfect for dabbing.
What You Need To Make A QWISO Extract
Before we break down how to make QWISO extracts, you’re going to need some basic equipment, most of which you probably have lying around in the kitchen or medicine cabinet!
- Cannabis flower, ground with stems removed
- 99%+ isopropyl alcohol, food-grade
- Unbleached coffee filters
- One glass jar that can be sealed, like a Mason jar
- Other glass jars or dishes, like Pyrex
- A fine mesh/wire strainer or sieve
- A small razor blade
- Optional: a small air-blowing fan
The QWISO Method: Step-By-Step
We’re committed to giving you the best QWISO method for beginners. The process can always get more complicated when you strive for purity, but this technique will still give you a great final product.
Step 1: Break Up And Dry The Nugs
First, break up your cannabis by hand, discarding any stems. Then, in an oven-safe dish, let your weed sit in an oven for 20-30 minutes at 180°F (80°C). Don’t worry, this won’t decarb the flowers. This is just to draw excess moisture out of the buds.
Step 2: Freeze Flowers And Alcohol
Fresh out of the oven, transfer your dried cannabis to a sealable glass jar and store it, along with the isopropyl alcohol, in the freezer for a few hours or overnight. This helps the trichomes separate from the plant matter more easily when you wash it in the next step.
Step 3: Quick-Wash
Next up is a quick-wash! Use isopropyl alcohol (food-grade, 99%), roughly 100-200ml per 10g of flower. Take the cannabis and alcohol out of the freezer, and pour just enough alcohol into the glass jar to submerge the flowers. Be quick, as you don’t want to soak it for too long. Stir the mixture for 2 minutes unless you’re working with an eighth or less, in which case you only need to spend about 20 seconds on this step.
Step 4: Filter
After stirring, pour the weed/alcohol mixture through your strainer or sieve into a new clean jar. Follow up with another round of filtering, this time through an unbleached coffee filter into a Pyrex dish.
Step 5: Let The Alcohol Evaporate
Be especially careful that your workspace is well-ventilated during this step. Alcohol fumes are flammable and a bit toxic. You just need to let the liquid extract sit for a day or two and the alcohol will evaporate on its own. It’ll evaporate more quickly if you have it sitting in a shallow dish; you could also use a small air-blowing fan to speed up the process. This step takes a bit of patience, but just remind yourself of the rewards to come!
Step 6: Do A Purity Test
After evaporation is complete, collect a small amount of the extract onto the head of a needle and hold up to the flame of a lighter. If there are any sparks, your extract needs more time to evaporate the rest of the isopropyl alcohol solvent.
Step 7: Get Dabbing!
Ta-da! You’ve got some awesome, dab-worthy QWISO extract on your hands. Scrape it all out of the dish with a razor blade and collect it in a small container or a bit of wax paper.
Ways To Use The Final Product
And now you’re left with the final product: some awesome QWISO shatter! Extracts like this are great for any smoking experience, but we recommend making the most out of the concentrate by vaporizing it either with a vape or by dabbing at a high temperature.
Do Some Dabs!
Dabbing isn’t for the faint of heart: remember, your QWISO wax is way more concentrated, and thus far stronger, than your typical cannabis flowers. The high is intense and fast-acting, so as soon as you exhale, you should be ready to get smacked in the face with an impressive stoney sensation.
Load Up That Vape
Nowadays, vaporizers have quite a range of capabilities and compatibilities. Some use just flowers, many only extracts, and there are some that can accommodate both! If you’ve got a vape that’s compatible with your homemade QWISO, you’re in for a great time. Sit back and enjoy the smooth hit and lovely taste at home or while on the go.
Top A Bowl Or Paint A Joint
Finally, you can definitely use your QWISO extract to smoke it the old-fashioned way – in a joint – but with a twist! Don’t let the simplicity of a joint deter you. Instead, open up your mind to the possibilities: for example, have you heard of twaxing? Heat up a little QWISO and “paint” it onto the outside of a rolled joint to add an extra kick to your buzz.
Repeat And Remember: Wash, Filter, Evaporate
To oversimplify the process, there are three main steps to QWISO extraction: wash the cannabis in alcohol, filter out the plant matter, and evaporate the alcohol. Hopefully, this QWISO tutorial has been inspirational to you and you’re ready to get started. Let us know how your own extraction attempt turns out, and which strains are your favorite to use for concentrates!