Over the years, cannabis users have come up with a number of clever ways to consume the active compounds in the herb.
Extracts, as opposed to straight up buds or flowers, are a highly potent form of marijuana, and widely consumed for not only their powerful euphoric highs but also medicinal benefits.
With so many tried and true methods for extracting key cannabinoids like CBD and THC out of cannabis plants, it’s fair to say that the marijuana extract world is practically a rabbit hole.
QWISO is one such method, which can give great yields, even from relatively small amounts of cannabis flowers. In case you’re wondering, the abbreviation stands for ‘quick-wash in isopropyl’, even though among everyday consumers, it’s often called ISO oil or quick-wash hash oil.
What is QWISO?
Isopropyl hash oil is a kind of cannabis concentrate. It is made via an easy process in which trichomes from mature flowers are extracted with the aid of isopropyl alcohol – which is among the least-selective solvents currently known and given its makeup, it is easily water-soluble and has high polarity. It also allows for a very potent way to experience the euphoric effects of cannabis without actually requiring a lot of plant material to begin with.
A key thing to remember early on is that ethyl (consumable) alcohol or rubbing alcohol is never a substitute for isopropyl – because the end product can be dangerous to consume and also quite harmful to your health.
In the cannabis community, there are many ways to make a QWISO concentrate. For example, you can try the ‘soaking’ approach which could take anywhere between a few minutes to a few hours – depending on the kind of concentrate you seek. But that’s not the only deciding factor – it could also depend on what the cannabis quality is like at the start of the process.
In any case, we’d always recommend a flower that’s been dried and cured properly because we want to do our best to minimise the amount of chlorophyll and moisture that will inevitably be pulled from the plant material.
MaximumYield explains Isopropyl Hash Oil (QWISO)
There is a myriad of production methods used in the medical marijuana industry. One that is used to extract the trichomes from cannabis flowers and create hash oil is isopropyl extraction, or stripping. Sometimes called quick-wash hash, or QWISO, isopropyl hash oil is a concentrated version of what is usually obtained from marijuana by smoking the nug (flower or bud).
It’s important to understand that only isopropyl alcohol should be used in this process. Any other type of alcohol, including grain alcohol meant for drinking, will result in an unsafe situation.
In the quick wash ISO method, you’ll need several pieces of equipment. Items needed include a glass coffee pot, a metal screen or filter (a permanent coffee filter works well), paper coffee filters, and a clean glass bowl. You will also need a splash guard, as well as a mason jar, a plastic storage container, cutting utensils, and access to an electric oven.
The process of creating isopropyl hash oil is relatively simple. Both the alcohol and the cannabis trimmings or nugs should be frozen for several days ahead of time. Then, the trimmings are placed in the mason jar and alcohol is added until the jar is almost full. Close the lid and shake the jar for about a minute.
The mixture is then strained, with the plant matter going into the plastic container. The alcohol mixture is then strained multiple times through paper filters into the coffee carafe, and then left in the sun to evaporate. The mix is then scraped from the Pyrex dish, cooked in the oven for several minutes, and then blended.
Equipment You’ll Need For QWISO Cannabis Extract
Before even picking up the tools to start this process (which you’ll find is relatively simple), you’ll need to first grind up and freeze your cannabis several days in advance. The flower material you use can be either trimmings or nugs.
In order to make quick-wash isopropyl, you’ll need the following equipment:
- Bud, at least five grams
- Coffee grinder
- 1 glass coffee pot
- 1 metal screen or filter (or a permanent coffee filter)
- Paper coffee filters
- Clean glass bowl or dish
- Splash guard
- Mason jar
- Plastic storage container
- Cutting utensils
Here’s How To Make QWISO Cannabis Extract
- Once your material is frozen, place it into the Mason jar and pour the alcohol over it, making sure all the bud is completely immersed.
- Then, close the lid and lightly shake the jar for at least 30 seconds. This agitation helps the cannabinoids extract by the process of the material being shaken and steeped. The longer you agitate your mixture, the more cannabinoids will be extracted. However, there will likely also be traces of chlorophyll, plant alkaloids and waxes.
- Depending on how long you let the solution sit, the next step is draining the solvent into a glass dish, where the solid plant matter will be flushed into a plastic container. Here, the coffee filters will come in handy, because you’ll use them to strain the mixture several times to ensure all solid plant matter is removed, before placing the clear, greenish liquid that’s left behind under the sun for up to several days to further evaporate the alcohol.
- Next, the mixture is cooked in the oven for a few minutes until it reaches boiling point, at just under 181 degrees Fahrenheit, leaving you with a potent and THC-rich oil.
- Let the concentrate sit until it reaches room temperature, before slicing with a razor and placing in a storage container, ready for consumption.
Please note that the time it takes to allow the cannabis to soak in the alcohol will vary from several minutes to several hours, depending on what kind of product and what type of flower you start out with.
It’s important as always to consult and crowdsource your cannabis community (whether via an online forum, local dispensary, business association, etc.) for what strategies worked well and what methods totally failed. You may be surprised, but most of all, you’ll be well-informed of how to tackle making quick-wash isopropyl for the first time.