Crude Method for Cannabis Extraction

in #cannabis2 years ago

This is a crude butane extraction process.

I have started some crude extractions to experiment with some variables to see what makes a quality product. I'm also waiting for the farm owner to make a decision on a proper extraction system. For now, here is some pictures showing the process.

This is the start of the process. The extraction columns are filled in a tote to catch trim because filling can be messy.


A rod is used to lightly pack the material down in the column. Just a couple handfuls at a time with a light pack.

Here is the column full and ready to install the screen over the end. The column is upside down. When the screen and stand are attached, the column will be flipped over.

These columns are ready to blast with butane. A stand is installed to the column and a glass container in place to catch the extract.

Each one of the columns takes a bunch of extract. For each of these columns, about 16-18 cans of butane were used.

Some of the butane will evaporate in the column and will make the column icy during the process.

The extracted material is full of butane and needs to be removed. The glass container is then put into a heated water bath to gently warm and evaporate the butane. Further processing will be needed to further extract all the butane.

Note: As butane is very flammable, this process is done outside. A fire extinguisher is on hand and all non- essential electrical items are removed from the area. Electrical chords are taped and zip tied so they can not be disconnected to prevent any electrical arcs.

I will show the final process to extract the rest of the butane on a later blog.

Thank you for reading. Please leave questions and comments below.


How do you know if you're butane is getting to all of the material? And what kind of finished product are you going for? Wax? Shatter?


That is s great question. I have been taking samples of the drips of butane during the process and letting them dry. It takes a few seconds for a drip to dry. If it leaves a residue, then it is not ready.

It is a qualitative measurement and is not a good way to measure, however, I did a sample test to quantify if my method was leaving behind material. I ran a sample batch using 6 cans (after one of the runs). I collected the material and boiled off the butane. The extract was 3 grams. Considering the cost of butane and my time, it was not cost effective use the extra butane to extract beyond my verification method.

Oh ok, I was wondering how you ended up using 16-18 cans. How much material did you have to process? I used to run through a couple different tubes so I know how some of the variables correlate. Usually you are only going to get the THC percentage out of the material. So from trim I would only expect 10-18 percent yield. The age of the material can alter your finished product too. I ran some old trim for a guy once and it didn't turn out at all, super dark and didn't have a sellable taste.

What kind of system is your grower going for?

I didn't weigh the initial material (trim). The tube is 3 by 24 inch. Sometimes 16 cans was sufficient, and one time 24 cans was needed. It was usually at 17. I looked at it as a cost benefit basis. The initial can will extract a huge amount and will need several cans just to get butane to flow out the other end. The quantity of extract will become less with each can until the point at which it doesn't make sense to continue using cans.

The grower wants a 10 lb active system with chillers instead of dry ice.

I feel that's a lot of butane for what you got out of it. It's good to weigh it before hand so you know what you're yielding. Example, if you get 10 grams out of 2 cases of butane, then you aren't profiting, just turning it into something else. I was only running 1/2 pounds of nugs, so I found using a 12" glass tube was best for me. I could see inside to make sure everything got touched and stopped after 3 cans when the butane flow started to clear. I don't think running the extra butane was worth it at 5$ each. When it was close to clearing I would just use my mouth to blow air through to push some of the remaining butane out and call it good. Not ethical but it's open loop tech lol

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Very interesting, I am glad you are doing this outside and taking safety precautions...... You dont want to go “ up in smoke 😎”

It was dangerous. I really didn't like that method. I felt like I would end up like Michael Jackson with my hair on fire.