3-minute Quick Wash Ethanol Extraction (QWET)

3 minute QWET extraction

 Ethanol is an excellent solvent for extracting cannabinoids. There are multiple methods of extraction using solvents, here we are going to focus solely on the “short soak” or “quick wash” method using Ethyl Alcohol (Ethanol). Another popular quick wash extraction, QWISO, uses Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) instead of Ethanol.

In the traditional long soak process, alcohol (and water) stays in contact with the plant material for up to months at a time. As alcohol is a polar solvent, this technique also extracts water soluble materials like chlorophyll into your final product.

Using a quick wash involves only brief contact with the solvent. Cannabinoids are quickly separated from the plant material while leaving behind most of the water-soluble materials. This keeps the majority of the yuck out of your final product. The quick wash method will still extract some impurities, but they can be quickly and easily filtered off.

Advertisement

To achieve the most pristine extract, you can first prepare your flower by water curing it. This process will remove most (if not all) of the green coloring as well as the undesirable taste before you extract. Water curing adds quite a bit more time to the process but the end results are simply delicious.

Alcohol – The Higher Proof the Better

A quick note on alcohol: The higher proof alcohol that is used, the lower amount of water-soluble materials will be pulled into your product. Everclear, a 190-proof grain alcohol, is 95% alcohol and 5% water. Properly cured and stored cannabis will have between 10-15% water content as well.

Advertisement

That’s already 20% water by weight, so if you use a lower proof alcohol your water content rises dramatically helping absorb more unwanted impurities, making your final product a bit “dirtier” because of the water solubles. If you are making oils by evaporating the alcohol off: the more water also means a longer the evaporation process.
0
What different types of alcohol have you tried?x

Amazon sells 100% Ethyl Alcohol (200 Proof Ethanol) if you truly want the best extraction, but be forewarned: using 200 proof alcohol can get a little pricey if you are evaporating it off without recovering.

Reclaiming your $

If you use the good stuff, I highly suggest investing in an alcohol reclamation device like The Source Turbo by ExtractCraft would allow you to reclaim and reuse the alcohol, dramatically reducing costs over time. Alternatively, you could construct a simple vapor distiller with parts from your local chemistry supply store.

Unless you are going for the utmost purity you can get from a home extraction, there’s no real need to spend that much on pure ethanol. Most people will be quite satisfied with their results using Everclear or something similar.

Advertisement

Burn Notice

Just a heads up – if you put 200 Proof alcohol under your tongue it WILL burn. If you plan on using this tincture sublingual, you may want to dilute it a bit with some distilled water first to cut down on the sting. Adding water will decrease the potency, so make sure you take that into account. 

In regards to Washes

There are those who advocate processing these 2 washes separately to achieve products with 2 different effects. Feel free to explore this method if desired, but here we will be combining them into a single product.

The cannabis used in this process will still contain some cannabinoids after the 2 soaks.  Simply dry it out and use it to infuse some coconut oil for topical balms or salves or for cooking purposes. You can also grind the dried herb and put into gelatin capsules to ingest.  Waste wan’t, want not!

Ready to go?

 To perform a QWET extraction, start with fresh decarbed cannabis that has been dried in a slow oven (180-200* F.) until it easily breaks apart with your fingers. There are numerous time/temperature combinations on the internet for decarbing, feel free to chose the method you prefer.

I like to keep the temperatures nice and low for an extended time. In addition to decarbing, the secondary goal of the oven is to purge as much water as possible from your material.

There is no need to grind your material into a powder, that just makes filtering 1000 times harder. Simply break up your buds a bit by hand until they are pea sized. If using shake or trim, just use it as is. Place the cannabis into a clean dry mason jar and put it into the freezer along with the alcohol you will be using until they both reach zero degrees (overnight will be sufficient).

The freezing process will help to tie up any additional water as ice which can be filtered off.

The Next Day

Once the correct temperature has been achieved, working quickly pour alcohol into the jar of cannabis until covered by an inch or so. Screw on the lid and gently swirl for a few seconds. Place both back into the freezer immediately. For the next 3 minutes, gently swirl the jar of cannabis once a minute, keeping in the freezer until complete.

After 3 minutes, remove the lid and pour the cannabis / alcohol mixture through a quick draining stainless steel mesh strainer into another jar. Cover the cannabis with more alcohol and place everything back into the freezer. Repeat the previous 3-minute process, straining the alcohol into the same jar you used to collect the first wash and place that jar back into the freezer.

Filter

Loosely attach a coffee filter to top of a second jar with a rubber band so that it can sag in a bit. Remove the jar from the freezer and pour the contents into the jar with the filter. If the liquid has not been left out of the freezer for more than a few moments, any remaining water will be removed by the filter in the form of ice crystals.

Remove the filter and put a lid on the jar. This is your extract! Now this mixture can be kept as-is and used as a tincture or further refined by evaporating off the alcohol. This leaves a very high-quality extract that can be both dabbed as well as eaten.

Final Thoughts

If you plan on doing this often or in large quantities, look into the available methods of alcohol recovery in order to keep your price down.

You can easily make a quick cannabis tincture like this one with this by simply evaporating off some of the alcohol until your desired potency is reached.

I want to discover more about the QWISO method – Show me!

How did your extraction turn out? Let us know in the comments below!

4.5 4 votes
Article Rating

Author: Allan

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
20 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Chance
Chance
2 years ago

Nice tutorial, thanks! I made my first batch yesterday and its amazing. I didnt recover the alcohol, maybe ill look into getting one of those recovery things soon.

admin
admin
Reply to  Chance
2 years ago

Glad you enjoyed it!

Christian Gabriel Silvera
Christian Gabriel Silvera
2 years ago

Can I use 95° ethanol?

MIKE G
MIKE G
Reply to  Christian Gabriel Silvera
2 years ago

You can buy 100% ethanol on amazon. I buy that and use it for everything

shortstoppirate
shortstoppirate
Reply to  MIKE G
1 year ago

be careful. 95% ethanol has 5% water but 100% used to have benzene added as a drying agent

admin
admin
Reply to  shortstoppirate
1 year ago

Good point, always know what you are buying!

admin
admin
Reply to  Christian Gabriel Silvera
2 years ago

You certainly can. I normally use 190 proof when making the strongest tinctures. Be advised that it does sting a bit under the tongue!

MIKE G
MIKE G
2 years ago

This comes out fire if you water cure first. I make some snap and pull that will put you out. I get about 5grams from a oz of popcorn nugs.

David Desorcy
David Desorcy
Reply to  MIKE G
1 year ago

What is water cure? Thanks much. I recently got the Source Turbo and am learning. I just got my Buchner so I will use the vacuum port on the Source. My end result is very sticky, brownish but very strong. I get 4 gram of very thick sticky from oz of buds. 4 gram is not much but you do not need much for the effects. 1-2 hits and you are off and running.

Jack
Jack
Reply to  MIKE G
2 years ago

Send to me!!

Joey
Joey
1 year ago

Can you use this to make edibles? Like can you evap the alcohol and use whats left in a recipe? Thanks, Joey

Lil weedhead
Lil weedhead
1 year ago

Ok I tried to make a tincture with this quickwash method but my friend told me it will be stronger if I grind my buds first and i dud it but it came out like mud i let it settle and poured off the top but that means I cant gef all the alcohol out. I still have the mud in a jar as well as my dirty tincture. Can i do something to clean it up i tried coffee filters but its still not very clean and has tons if sedimint. I learnt my lesson and won’t grind anymore… Read more »

dave
dave
Reply to  Lil weedhead
8 months ago

Tell your friend he’s a dumbass

Tom Skelter
Tom Skelter
1 year ago

Is it possible to use this method with kief collected from a grinder? Reading some of the comments it seems logical that I could shake up the two and then strain it through a few coffee filters and then use one of those syringe filters to finish cleaning it? Have you ever done this before? I don’t mind experimenting but I don’t want to ruin anything. Thanks your site is very helpful!

admin
admin
Reply to  Tom Skelter
1 year ago

Yes, you can do this with kief and yes, I have done it before. Your process will work just fine

Tom Skelter
Tom Skelter
1 year ago

Another question how can I recover the alcohol from this process? I bought some pure ethanol from Amazon and it’s pretty expensive. I want to evaporate this into an oil but I don’t want to lose all that ethanol. I did look at the source machine but it’s bloody expensive, is there a cheaper alternative?

By the way your links to the ethanol and to that Source machine are not working.

admin
admin
Reply to  Tom Skelter
1 year ago

Thanks for pointing out those broken links! I have repaired them.

You can recover the alcohol using cheaper recovery stills like this kind: https://amzn.to/2xxa1Ma or this kind: https://amzn.to/2FSIhGI

The Source Turbo (https://amzn.to/2XOnSg3) is a great device and will do a much better job with way less work – its does have a higher price tag, but if you make oils often, the Source is well worth the money!