Cannabis Alchemy – Let’s make some hydrosols and terpenes!
The cannabis plant is fascinating! Take a seed – put it in the ground and allow it to grow. A few months later, you have the ability to harvest one of earth’s most powerful medicines. Once you’ve gone through the process of drying and curing – you have the option to turn it into concentrates or oils or perhaps infuse it with butter and bake your own edibles.
Check out this video!
Additionally – growers of cannabis always have the option to take the sugar leaf and convert it to hash or a tincture or something of the sort.
But what if you could turn all that extra sugar leaf into something a bit rarer. Something that today is probably not the most sought-after cannabis product, but will grow in popularity as the cannabis industry firmly establishes itself.
I’m talking about terpenes, essential oils and hydrosols. Where with Rick Simpson Oil – you separate the cannabis oils from the plant with an alcohol-based solution – when it comes to these essential oils we use a process of distillation.
Granted – this is not something the average cannabis use and probably the vast majority will not venture in making these – but the medical benefits of hydrosols and essential oils are plenty.
What can I do with hydrosols and other distillates?
These terpenoids and hydrosols can be used for a number of applications including making lotions, aromatherapy essential oils, flavoring agents, oils for nebulizers, and much more.
Terpenes and other cannabinoids you obtain from this process provides a plethora of medical benefits including;
Reduced inflammation [Ocimene]
Reduce Stress & Anxiety [Limonene]
Mood Enhancement [Terpineol]
There’s plenty more of that and it seems that every year we discover more terpenoids, flavonoids and understand better the “entourage effect”. If you want to get your hands on these essential oils – you’d pay anywhere between $50-$80 per ounce, which can be quite expensive.
Fortunately – If you would like to use this as a form of therapy, you can make it at home with buds or even trim (if you’re a grower).
Let’s take a closer look at what we’ll need.
Vacuum to help the steam move through the condensation tube
We’re not currently after THC oils or CBD oils and so for this all you need is water. You can buy all of the gear on amazon for roughly $250 right here – making the entire process far simpler. If you want to rig it yourself – go ahead, but I’d definitely rather just buy all the gear ahead of time.
The Distillation Process [Alchemy]
The way this will works is by placing your buds or trim inside of a flask and heating it up to about 100º C. Some people place water on the bottom – [on the heating plate] and let the vapor steam through another flask that contains all of the leafy-greens.
You’ll notice In the Amazon link how it’s set up. The bottom of the flask will contain the water or solvent [in the case you want to use ethanol] – the top flask will have the greens in it – effectively creating a filter for the vapor to pass through.
As the gas moves up through the system – it enters a cooling chamber that will start condensation. This will condense the hydrosols and the terpenes in the bud and turn it back into liquid that will fall into a collector.
Once the liquid reaches the collector – it will stay there for a bit and the oils and the water will separate. You should easily be able to see the separation occur.
Stash these liquids in separate droppers.
How long does it take?
It’s not a quick process I can tell you that. This process can take hours to complete – and you’ll immediately know why people charge $80 an ounce. Obviously, these commercial processes are all automated and most definitely, you could probably Arduino this process as well – but for the first few times be prepared to make a day of it.
Is it worth it?
That really depends on whether you believe terpenoids and hydrosols can help you. For people suffering from asthma for example, having these terpenes in a spray bottle can help to alleviate blocked breathing passages or provide a quick release for treating anxiety and elevating moods.
It’s definitely not something that the average consumer would do – however, I do think that it’s worth it Being able to turn trim into isolated-terpene mixes is fantastic and I’m always in favor of being able to experiment more with cannabis. Thus for me – cannabis alchemy will definitely be something I’ll adopt in the future.
Right now – I’m still building my lab for extracts and cultivation – but once it has been established trust me that Distillates will be my next big thing.