Cannabis users have come up with many different ways to consume the active constituents within the herb. Extracts are a potent form of cannabis and offer powerful highs to both recreational and medicinal users. The extract world is a rabbit hole within itself, and many different methods exist for pulling THC and CBD out of cannabis flowers.
QWISO, meaning quick-wash isopropyl, is one such method, known to give good yields—even off of small amounts of flower.
What is QWISO?
QWISO is a cannabis extraction method that utilizes an isopropyl wash to remove trichomes, the glands that produce cannabinoids, from cannabis flowers.
The flowers can be soaked in the alcohol for varying amounts of time to manipulate the quality and potency of the end product. What is left is a resinous, dark amber substance that features high concentrations of cannabinoids.
How is QWISO made?
The following equipment is needed to make QWISO extract:
- Unbleached coffee filters
- Cannabis (10–20 grams for best results)
- Isopropyl alcohol (food grade 99%, 100–200ml per 10g of flower)
- Mason jar
- Glass measuring jug
- Small razor blade
- Air-blowing fan
1. To begin making the extract, you will need to place both your ground flowers in the mason jar and the bottle of alcohol into the freezer (separately) for at least several hours or overnight. By freezing the flowers, it allows the trichomes to be much easier to separate from the plant material.
2. When time is up, take the mason jar and alcohol out of the freezer and pour the alcohol into the mason jar with your flowers. Close the lid and shake the jar thoroughly for 30 seconds. This short period of time defines QWISO as a “quick wash” extract. This is just enough time to extract the trichomes whilst leaving most of the harsh-tasting chlorophyll behind.
3. Next, pour the mixture through a sieve into the glass measuring jug, separating the plant material from the extract. Proceed by placing coffee filters over the mason jar and filtering the extract into the jar. This process can take some time, so be patient.
4. Now that your crude extract has been separated, it’s time to purify it further by removing the alcohol from the cannabinoids. Pour the extract onto the plate or into any container with a flat surface. Because isopropyl alcohol is quite volatile, it will simply evaporate on its own.
Use a fan to assist this process by placing it on the lowest setting to blow cool air over the extract. Conduct this process within a garage or well-ventilated space as these fumes are flammable and slightly toxic. This process can take 12–24 hours.
5. After the evaporation process is complete and no liquid remains on the plate, use the razor blade to scrape the extract from the plate. Use a toothpick to remove the sticky extract from the blade and drop it into a storage container of your choice.Related ArticleHow To Store Cannabis Concentrates
How to use QWISO
QWISO extract can be used just like many other forms of extract. The strain used will determine the strength and taste of the extract.
Many vaporizers are only compatible with extracts, whereas others use exclusively flowers, and some can accommodate both. QWISO extract can be placed into vapes just like other extracts and ingested either at home or on-the-go with ease. Vaping is known to be safer than smoking and the lower temperatures maintain the taste and offer smoother hits.
QWISO can be used on dab rigs. Heat the nail up with a blow torch until it’s red hot. Use a dabbing tool to place some QWISO onto the nail and inhale from the rig. Dabbing offers an intense and fast-acting high.
As s joint dressing
The joint is perhaps the most iconic way to smoke weed. It’s both ritualistic and relaxing. Joint rolling is becoming more and more creative, with users dressing the outside of papers with extracts—a process known as twaxing. Heat up QWISO slightly and paint it onto the outside of a rolling paper after rolling a joint for an added kick.
First of all, what is a QWISO (Quick-Wash ISOpropyl) extract? Cannabis buds consist of two main parts – plant material and, what I like to call, “effective material”, which gives all the desired effects from consuming it. In other words, plant material is more or less useless. An extract (also called concentrate, shatter, wax, oil, budder) basically contains only the desired “effective material”, and is intended for many uses, but mainly for vaporizing.
Making extracts isn’t as difficult as you may think, just requires some patience. There are several different methods for making high-quality extracts (other popular being BHO, but it is way more dangerous and complex due to usage of highly flammable butane, so I will stick to QWISO method).
ITEMS YOU WILL NEED:
- Buds, at very least 5 grams of it, though the more the better (10-20 grams is optimal).
- A grinder.
- Coffee filters (unbleached).
- Isopropyl alcohol, the purer, the better, 99% recommended. Isopropyl alcohol is also called rubbing alcohol. You can get it from hardware or electronics stores. You will need around 100 – 200 ml of it per 10 grams of buds.
- A sieve (for filtering chunky plant material). Or 2 sieves – one smaller and one as large as possible, if you’re making over 10 grams.
- A plate or other flat ceramic or glass surface (note: it must be quite deep, since you will be pouring quite a lot of liquid there).
- 1 small jar (up to 0.5 litre) and 1 larger jar (0.5-1 litre should be enough).
- A small razor blade for gathering the extract.
- (optional, but highly recommended) a simple air-blowing fan.
PREPARATIONS TO BE MADE AT LEAST 3 HOURS BEFORE THE EXTRACTION:
First of all, make sure all containers (both jars and a plate) are really clean and totally dry (you want them totally clean, since the unwanted material might get into the extract, causing you problems later trying to remove it, and you want them dry, since water evaporation takes way longer than alcohol).
Firstly grind up all your buds into the small jar (ground buds have larger surface area, so it is easier to extract all the goods from them that way). Then put that jar and your alcohol into a freezer for a few hours or just overnight to make sure they’re as cold as possible (don’t worry, isopropyl freezes only at -89 C). Freezing is necessary, since trichromes fall off the leaves of the bud way more easily at low temperatures, making the extraction significantly more successful. Extracting without freezing results in smaller amounts of the final product.
You may also want to prepare your larger jar to save time later: take 1 coffee filter and put it onto your jar making sort of a bag (note: I used some thread to make sure the filter doesn’t fall into the jar), or, if you are making lots of extraction, cover entire surface of your larger sieve with filters and place smaller sieve on top of it.
ONCE ALCOHOL AND MATERIAL ARE BOTH AS COLD AS POSSIBLE:
Pour alcohol into the small jar till all the ground buds are submerged in it. Close the lid very tightly and shake it as hell for exactly 30 seconds (more might result in more chlorophyll extracted, making the final product taste not as good, less might result in smaller amounts of the extract).
Then pour everything through a sieve and through a filter into a jar (you may press the ground material in the first sieve to make it sieve though a bit faster). Yes, this part will be very slow, you will need patience, filtering might take 20-60 minutes. Pour a little extra alcohol into the small jar to make sure there are no left-over trichromes remaining in it and pour that though the filters as well.
How does this work? Cannabinoids dissolve in alcohol (for example, it doesn’t dissolve in water, so we can’t use that) leaving behind “powerless” plant material of buds. Sieve filters the chunky plant material and filter further refines the liquid by removing the tiniest bits of remaining plant (you have to use sieve for chunky parts, since using only a filter will cause it to clog very fast and filtering process might take hours). Since all cannabinoids are dissolved, they are in a liquid state at this point. Coffee filter allows all liquids to pass through it but stopping any solid particles.
Once filtering is over, you will be left with a jar containing a clear liquid with a green tint. You might ask, where the hell is my concentrate then? It is dissolved into that alcohol, we need to remove the alcohol now.
Pour jar’s contents into the plate or any other flat-surfaced container you have chosen. Pour a little extra alcohol into the jar to again make sure you don’t leave any trichromes in it. If you have a fan, then set it to blow into the liquid at lowest setting. Important notice: make sure you leave the evaporating alcohol in a garage/basement/a ventilated area, since you will be evaporating all the alcohol you used, which is flammable and slightly toxic. The evaporation might take between 12 and 24 hours.
Once the evaporation is complete (there are not even the slightest traces of any liquid on the plate), grab your razor blade and a chosen container for storing the concentrate and gather up from the surface. I used a toothpick to remove gathered material from blade into a container.