Make THC-Rich Medical Marijuana Extracts From Your Excess Leaves

Posted by Lee G. Leissett | 35366 views
By Lee G. Leissett


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Marijuana extracts harvest every last drop o THC from your crop.
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" Don't toss valuable THC in the trash! "

After the painstaking process of trimming, a medical marijuana grower is usually left with a substantial amount of leaf material. These trimmings should never go into the trash but instead should be recycled and turned into quality hash, kief, tinctures, or extracts for use in edibles. Growers are often surprised at the amount of usable medicine they acquire, with minimal effort, by recycling trimmings. Here are a few different uses for that sometimes undervalued trim material.


Bubble Hash

Getting its name from the hash’s bubbling effect as it is heated, bubble hash is a very popular way to process trimmings into a potent concentrate. Wet trimmings can be used  to make bubble hash so the process can begin immediately after the trimming process.

Essentially the process involves agitating the leaf material in extremely cold water (trichomes become brittle when cold and break off their stalks more freely) and then straining the remaining liquid through a series of different sized screens. The screens are large enough to allow the trichrome heads to fall through but small enough to strain out the other plant material. The last screen catches the majority of the concentrated trichomes and should be set aside so the water can evaporate. After evaporation, the substance that remains is a highly potent medicine. Bubble hash kits can be purchased online or at some hydroponic retail stores.



Kief is another form of concentrating trichromes but differs from bubble hash in that this process is done “dry.” After the trimmings are completely dry, place them in the freezer to help make the trichromes brittle. The trim material is then sifted through a screen that allows the trichromes through but catches the remaining plant material. Kief boxes or pollinators are designed for this process and can be purchased online or at your local head shop.


Glycerin/Alcohol Extract

A botanical extract can also be made with the resinous trimmings. Slowly cook the glycerin or alcohol and fully dried leaf material at a low heat (100-120°F) for an hour or more, stirring regularly. Strain through a cheesecloth, hash screen, or coffee filter. The remaining liquid is a powerful extract that can be taken orally. Extracts made from glycerin can also be used as a topical treatment.


Butter or Oil Extraction

THC is fat soluble, so some of the best extracts are made with butter or an oil with a high fat content (I prefer coconut oil). Start by boiling water in a large pot. Add the butter (unsalted) or oil to the boiling water and reduce the heat to low. After the butter or oil is completely melted add the leaf material. Cook on low heat for 8-12 hours, stirring every half-hour or so.

Strain the material through a hash screen or cheese cloth into a large bowl. Place the large bowl (now containing the liquid mixture of water and butter or oil) in the refrigerator overnight. The butter or oil will separate from the water and can be removed the next day. The butter or oil can be used to make medical edibles. Like with glycerine, extracts made with coconut oil can be used as a topic treatment.

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