Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 6, 2023

Every cannabis user has a favorite cannabis consumption method. Some prefer smoking a joint, others enjoy vaping, and some look forward to hitting the bong with a bunch of friends or even making cannabis edibles. Dabbing high THC concentrates is another method of cannabis consumption that’s slowly becoming very popular, maybe even as popular as vapes, and that is the cannabis consumption method we’ll be focusing on in this article, or more specifically, we’ll dive into making the cannabis concentrate from the comfort of your own home.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a medical marijuana user or a recreational user, these next few recipes will help you make homemade concentrates that will be much cheaper than if you were to buy them from the local dispensary. So, let’s get started.

Cannabis Concentrates

Before we get into the specific recipes, we need to define what cannabis concentrates are for all the readers who aren’t familiar with this popular cannabis product. Concentrates are a condensed accumulation of trichomes which contain all the cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant without the excess plant material. 

Compared to the cannabis flower, concentrates are much more potent. In fact, THC levels in concentrates can vary between 30% to 90%. You can consume them on their own, top your joint off with them, incorporate them in a batch of edibles for an extra kick, or simply use concentrates in a vaporizer or a dab rig.

Extraction Methods

There are two general methods for making concentrates – solvent-based and solventless. The solvent extraction processes, also called liquid solvent extractions, use a solvent to remove the trichomes from the plant matter. Commonly used solvents include propane, ethanol, butane, and even supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2), which make products such as Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), Butane Hash Oil (BHO), and cannabis extracts such as budder, shatter, and others. To safely produce these products and be able to control the temperature and the pressure during these processes, technicians generally use closed-loop extractors like the vacuum system.

The solventless extraction method, also called solvent-free or physical separation, includes mechanically removing and gathering the trichomes from the cannabis starting material that contains all the terpenes and cannabinoids (THC, CBD, and others), by shaking or pressing the cannabis flower, which results in the final product. The solventless method produces dry sift, rosin, kief, and other cannabis products.

How to Make THC Concentrate?

Now that you know the basics when it comes to cannabis concentrates, let’s get into how you can make them yourself.

Extracting Cannabis Concentrates With Solvents

As we’ve mentioned above, there are a few ways you can make cannabis concentrates with solvents, and we’ll give you more information on the most popular methods below.

Hydrocarbons (Butane, Propane, and Others)

This method produces hydrocarbon-based cannabis oil which can be done either with an open loop or a closed loop extraction equipment. As this is a rather complicated procedure which requires special manufacturing and safety equipment as well as a special license, we don’t recommend trying it at home. Manufacturing BHO or other cannabis products with volatile solvents is illegal and can result in you getting a 6 figure fine or even jail time, so leave this method to the pros and simply purchase your butane hash oil from the local dispensary.

Supercritical CO2 Extraction

Another method that is best left to qualified professionals is the CO2 extraction method that produces cannabis concentrates. This process breaks down the cannabinoids in high-pressure closed-loop extractors that operate under extreme pressure and temperature which results in the CO2 fluctuating between gaseous, liquid, and solid phases. 

Alcohol Extraction

When people think of solvent-based cannabis extraction, they generally refer to using alcohol to make Rick Simpson Oil. However, this is another method that poses a health as well as a fire risk if you aren’t careful as isopropyl alcohol is highly flammable, and the vapor that’s produced when the alcohol is removed from the final product can even damage your lungs. A safer option would be to make a homemade cannabis tincture by decarbing the cannabis flower in the oven, mixing the decarbed weed with high-proof alcohol like Everclear, leaving it to sit for a few weeks and shaking it once a day, and finally straining the final product through a coffee filter. 

Opt for one of the following, safer methods if you want to make a THC concentrate at home.

Non-Solvent-Based Cannabis Concentrates

While the methods we mentioned above aren’t recommended for making homemade THC concentrates since they aren’t very safe for people who aren’t trained and don’t have the right equipment and conditions, the following methods are commonly used by a lot of cannabis users who have a thing for DIY cannabis products.

Collecting Kief

If you’ve been using a grinder for grinding your weed, you’ve already collected kief before. Kief is in fact the glittery and crystal-like material that collects at the bottom of the grinder after you grind your dried cannabis flower. Kief can be collected and used as a topping on joints, it can be added to bowls, cannabutter, or even added to your weed brownie recipe to make the most potent weed brownies ever.  

Apart from collecting the residue from your grinder, you can shake the plant material through a silk screen machine, or even a hashish drum. Whichever method you chose, make sure that the screen is fine so you collect as much pure kief as possible. The collected kief can then be pressed into hash, or used as a topping to the different cannabis products that we mentioned above.

Ice Water Extraction

This solventless method helps you collect the kief which is then pressed into a bubble hash. While this method has been around for about 40 years, its popularity is increasing in the past few years because it’s a method that enables you to get pure hash without adulterants in a clean and safe way. 

To make ice water hash, you need a few ingredients such as a large bucket, bubble mesh bags, dry ice, and a credit card (or something similar). First, you need to place your ice in the bucket and then add the weed. Next, you need to stir both the ice and the weed to enable the trichomes to separate from the plant material. Follow by pouring everything inside the bubble bags and shaking the bucket until all the dust is collected. Scrape the end product with a (credit) card and if you have a pollen press at home, you can even turn your kief into kief coins.

Rosin Press

The final solventless method of making cannabis concentrates involves owning a rosin press which removes the trichomes and terpenes from the cannabis buds by using heat and high pressure. There are machines at various price points, so you can find a rosin press for a few hundred dollars, while the industrial rosin press costs a couple thousand dollars. 

Rosin is similar in appearance to other solvent-based extracts but it doesn’t contain any adulterants. It can range in color from a light honeycomb color to a darker color which is more viscous. You can use it as is, or even convert it to other cannabis products or include it in tasty treats.

Final Thoughts

There’s an ideal and versatile cannabis product for both recreational and medical cannabis users, and that includes THC concentrates. You can use them in your vape pen, add them to a dab rig, top your joint off, or take advantage of their butter-like consistency and add them to your edibles.

While it’s best to purchase cannabis concentrates such as live resin, BHO, shatter, wax, and others that include solvent-based extraction methods, there are a number of products that you can safely make from the comfort of your own home. These methods won’t cost you much as you probably already have the necessary equipment at home. Try collecting kief, making rosin, and even hand-rolling some hash to enjoy the psychoactive effects of these potent concentrates.

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.


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