Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 4, 2023

Vaping has become the go-to method for smoking marijuana for many cannabis aficionados, and no wonder! Not only does the vapor contain fewer harmful substances compared to the cannabis smoke coming out of a joint, but it also doesn’t smell as potent, which makes it more discreet. If you’ve given vapes a try, you probably know that you can either buy vape cartridges from a dispensary, or you can make the THC vape juice yourself. 

If you want to try the latter, this article will give you all the information on how to make DIY high-quality THC oil for e-cigs and vaporizers at home, so let’s get started.

The 411 on E-liquid

E-liquid, or vape juice, is a cannabinoid-rich product that is mainly made up of cannabinoids and terpenes with a base of vegetable glycerin (VG) or propylene glycol (PG). The liquid made up of PG is colourless and odourless, and has low viscosity, while the one made from VG has a sweet taste and a higher viscosity.

This e-liquid is used to fill the tank of vaporizers, e-cigarettes, vape pens, and similar cannabis smoking devices which heat up the oil to a temperature between 200-400°F (90–200°C). What makes these devices popular is the fact that a single hit can give users as much THC as a whole joint. 

So, making your own e-liquid isn’t just a good way to use up any leftover cannabis flowers you have lying around the house, but it’s also more budget-friendly than buying it pre-made from the dispensary. Similar to making homemade edibles, tinctures, and other cannabis products, making a homemade cannabis oil for your vape pen only takes a few steps.

Steps to Take Before Making THC Oil for Your Vape Pen

Before we go into the step-by-step process of making your DIY THC or CBD oil, you’ll first need to decarboxylate your weed. You must also choose one of the following three methods to make your cannabis oil at home:

  • Vegetable glycerin long-term method;
  • Vegetable glycerin short-term method;
  • Rosin extraction method.

Out of the three, the best method you can use to make your DIY e-juice is the one that doesn’t require using solvents (the rosin extraction) as the other two require you to heat up the solvents to a high temperature which may break down the oil into carcinogenic compounds.

Preparations Prior to Making THC Oil

In order to make your THC oil, you first need to decarb your weed which can be done in a few simple steps:

  1. Break the buds apart with your hands (don’t use a grinder or you risk grinding the weed into a fine powder which will be problematic once you need to strain the liquid from the plant matter).
  2. Add aluminum foil to the baking sheet or Pyrex bowl and add the buds onto the sheets.
  3. Heat up the oven at about 250℉ (120℃), add the dish, and bake for 30 minutes (this step is essential since it decarboxylates the THCA into THC and makes your oil psychoactive).
  4. Take the sheet out of the oven and leave it to cool down, and you have your decarbed weed ready so you can start making your THC oil.

Making CBD E-liquids

Apart from making cannabis oil high in THC, you can also choose high-CBD strains to make CBD oil. This is especially beneficial if you’re a medical marijuana user, or you simply want to have a deeper and more restful sleep, reduce your anxiety, stress, and so on. 

Add Flavor to Your Vape Juice

Another thing that people enjoy about vape pens is that you can change the flavor of your e-juice. Avoid using store-bought flavorings which can sometimes contain non-food grade propylene glycol, and opt for using essential oils instead.

Using the Vegetable Glycerin Extraction Method to Get THC Oil for E-cigs 

For this method, you’ll need:

  • Cannabis buds with high THC content (or cannabis concentrates such as BHO, shatter, and other potent cannabis products);
  • Food-grade vegetable glycerin;
  • Baking sheet or a Pyrex bowl;
  • Aluminum foil,
  • Glass jars (mason jars);
  • Spatula;
  • Strainer;
  • Cheesecloth (or a muslin bag).

To make your vape pen cannabis oil, follow the steps provided below:

  1. Add the buds to a glass jar and cover it with glycerin.
  2. Stir the mixture and leave it to stay in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight for a month.
  3. After a month has passed, stir the jar well and add one more tablespoon of vegetable glycerin to keep the extraction process going. Stir again, and leave the jar to sit for another month.
  4. Repeat the process again after the month is up, add another tablespoon of vegetable glycerin and store for another month. 
  5. Finally, all that’s left is for you to strain the mixture into a glass jar using a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.
  6.  You can add the e-juice to your vape cartridge by using a dropper bottle and then you’re ready to vape.

Using the Vegetable Glycerin Extraction Method to Get THC Oil for E-cigs (The Time-Efficient Method)

This method is similar to the first one, however, it produces a vape oil in just a few hours. For this method, you’ll need the same materials as before, plus some canola or vegetable oil to heat the mixture in.

To make your vape pen cannabis oil, follow the steps provided below:

  1. Break the buds up inside a glass jar dish with your hands.
  2. Add vegetable glycerin to the buds, but make sure that the mixture isn’t very liquid.
  3. Add the glass jar to a larger pyrex dish filled with canola or vegetable oil (covering 1-2 inches above mixture of VG and cannabis which are inside the jar);
  4. Add the pyrex dish on the stovetop and start heating it until it reaches a temperature of  220℉ (104℃). Make sure you check the temperature using a thermometer.
  5. Add the glass jar to the heated oil, and make sure you keep the temperature even throughout the whole process or you risk breaking down the THC into CBN.
  6. Leave the mixture in the oil bath for 45 minutes, and stir often.
  7. Remove the glass jar from the Pyrex dish filled with oil, and leave it to cool down.
  8. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth, and pour it into a clean mason jar.
  9. You can add VG to the buds which are left in your strainer and repeat the procedure a few more times, although the first batch will be the most potent one.
  10. Add the e-liquid to your vape pen using a dropper, and enjoy.

Using the Rosin Extraction Method to Make THC Oil for E-cigs

Even though this last method gives you a more gooey texture, this is still the safest method for making cannabis oil for your vape pen. If you think this might clog your vape pen, add a disposable atomizer to prevent that from happening.

This rosin extraction process gives you oil of the highest quality both flavor-wise and potency-wise. It’s also much faster compared to the other two methods, especially if you use cannabis concentrates instead of raw flower.

For this method, you’ll need:

  • High-quality dry herb;
  • Cheesecloth;
  • Mason jars;
  • Mesh strain;
  • A kitchen pot for boiling;
  • Dry ice;
  • High proof alcohol (don’t use rubbing alcohol, opt for EverClear instead).

Make your cannabis oil by following the next steps after decarbing your weed:

  1. Add your weed to the jar and pour the alcohol inside to cover the buds completely.
  2. Freeze the cannabis and EverClear.
  3. Add a mesh strain lined with cheesecloth or coffee filters on top of a mason jar and add the frozen cannabis and the dry ice inside the strainer.
  4. Pour Everclear on top of the mixture of ice and cannabis.
  5. Evaporate the alcohol from the mixture by pouring it inside a double boiler, and slowly heat the mixture up.
  6. The vape oil should look like thick molasses.

Final Thoughts on Making Cannabis Oil for Vape Pens

As you’ve discovered from this article, making your homemade, high-quality cannabis oil which can be used for vaping isn’t as difficult as you may have imagined. To make it successfully at home, you’ll need to follow the exact recipe and, in the end, you can experiment with different types of flavors and colors. Enjoy!

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.