By Aarr Kellz
It seems like the tipping point has finally arrived. Handheld vaporizers and vape pen have gone viral. So I thought it would be a good idea to talk about how to make your own Vape Pen Juice.
Back in 2009, I would attract many onlookers upon busting out my trusty ol’ Ce4 Clearomizer. People wanted to know if it worked, and most of all, how it worked. “You put this juice in the chamber and click this button 5 times…”
Being a soap-maker by trade it is my natural mentality and modus operandi to immediately break down ingredients in any product I enjoy, and attempt to make it for myself. Such was the case with Vape Juice.
Below, you will find a recipe and process for making your own amazing, and safe, glycerine based tincture, that works wonderful as a Vape Juice in any of the juice based pens on the market. We are not talking wax or honey oil pens here, even though those are great as well. We are talking “juice” based vaporizer pens or e-cigs.
An electronic cigarette is made up of several pieces. Some models have more, some have less, and there seems to be lots of new ones coming out every week. But the basic components of a Vape Pen or E-Cig are: the cartridge, the atomizer, and the battery.
The cartridge is where you insert your tincture drop by drop. One end attaches to the atomizer, the other end to your lips. The atomizer is the heated element that turns your liquid hash tincture into vapor. The battery is the longer portion of the electronic cigarette. Some of these are manual, while some are automatic. Manual pens require some sort of ignition, like a button push, while automatic pens merely require the draw of your breath.
Vaporizer pens are a fairly new technology, and there is a lot of research and study that still needs to be done to determine the long term effects of using them. There are several types of pens available, however, there are some that are better made than others.
A lot of vaporizer pen’s components are manufactured overseas in countries like China. Don’t go thinking you need to avoid foreign parts, because it can’t be helped. What you need to be aware of, is certain vendors, who may be selling you a $5 pen for $80. It’s best to check the manufacturer to be sure of what you are buying.
Do your research. My suggestion would be to find a reputable brand, and use one of their licensed vendors. Buying from an unlicensed vendor can get you cheap knock-off vaporizer pens and e-cigs. Some of them may certainly be healthy and functional, but there are many copies that look almost exactly like their legitimate counterparts, only are manufactured with inferior (i.e. dangerous) metals and components. Components which can burn and emit smoke, rather than exclusively producing vapor from your Vape Juice.
What is Vape Pen Juice?
The Vape Juice that we will be making is, in fact, a vegetable glycerin based oral tincture and it will take a few weeks to make it correctly. Great tinctures take good, quality ingredients and time.
Great tinctures take good, quality ingredients and time.
An oral tincture is a liquid that is usually alcohol or glycerin based and has been infused with herbs. They were originally intended to be taken sublingually, absorbed into the blood stream via an artery located under the tongue, using a dropper. Ingesting cannabis via oral tincture this way avoids the liver and first pass metabolism issue that some folks have when medicating with cannabis based edibles. Oral tinctures have been around for thousands of years. They are very safe and effective if made correctly.
Why make your own Vape Juice?
Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are both used together and independently in many traditional e-cig liquids. I would not recommend ever using non food grade propylene glycol or glycerin. Why? Both propylene glycol and glycerine absorb chemicals from any container that they are stored in. So, in order for it to be labeled food grade, it has to have only been stored in only non-toxic food safe containers since its creation. Non-food grade propylene glycol and glycerin are intended for external use only, and should not be vaporized or taken internally.
For this Vape Juice recipe, I use only 100% USP-FOOD GRADE VEGETABLE GLYCERINE. In my experimenting, I find that it produces a superior amount of vapor compared to propylene glycol. Although, blends of propylene glycol and glycerine are appropriate for nicotine based e-cig liquids and juices.
How to Make Vape Pen Juice:
The following process can be used for any herb, including lavender, garlic, mint, milk thistle, tobacco, and more. You can even make different tinctures and blend them together to make your own custom-flavored juices based on your needs or ailments.
Taking tinctures orally and vaporizing them is an excellent way of effectively getting these herbs into your body. Different herbs, of course, will require different recipes, though the process is for the most part the same. For this recipe we will use the herb cannabis.
Step 1: If you haven’t yet, take a look at my article “How To Make Dry Ice Hash” and get yourself 3.5 grams of the pure blonde powder. Using a flower tincture is great, but I would really recommend a hash tincture for vape pens, as it’s generally much more concentrated and contains fewer plant waxes and chlorophyll. If you do decide to use flower instead of hash though, then I’d use seven grams of the highest quality bud you can find. Grind it up by hand, about to the consistency of how you would break it up to go into a joint. Avoid a grinder though, if you can, as I find more chlorophyll can be absorbed if the buds are ground up too fine.
Step 2: Next, you will want to get 2-4 ounces of the highest proof alcohol that you can. We’re talking 180 proof or higher. This is easier in some places than others I realize, so just get the safest, highest proof that you can. Make sure it’s drinkable alcohol though, not isopropyl or rubbing alcohol.
If you are unable procure a bottle of high proof grain alcohol then make sure that you at the very least get something that is 100 proof or 50% alcohol. Preferably vodka, as anything else will affect the flavor. Thirdly, you will need 2-4 ounces of 100% USP-FOOD GRADE VEGETABLE GLYCERINE and 1 sterile canning jar with a lid.
Step 3: Place the hash or herbs into the canning jar and add alcohol until all of your herbs are covered at least by a ¼ inch and put the lid on and shake well. Sometimes the plant material absorbs the alcohol and expands like a sponge. It may be necessary to add more alcohol at this point. Now comes an exercise in patience.
Step 4: Put the jar in a dark place away from light and let it sit and soak for 10-14 days, checking on it and shaking up the contents very well at least once a day. After 10-14 days (I usually wait 13 days), strain the hash or plant material away from the alcohol using a cheesecloth. Place the filtered alcohol tincture in a new sterile jar and mix in 3 parts food grade glycerine. Put the lid on and shake well for at least 2 minutes.
Flavoring your Vape Pen Juice:
The best flavors you can use, have no artificial or added coloring besides the color that occurs naturally in the plant itself. I would avoid coloring and store bought flavorings, as a lot of them have not only harmful chemicals, but non-food grade propylene glycol in them as well. I have been told that some essential oils can be used, but I have not experimented with this yet myself.
At this point I find the best way to flavor my Vape Juice is to blend different tinctures together. For example:
- Mix 3 parts Tincture of Cannabis with 1 part Tincture of Wild Blackberry, OR
- 3 parts Tincture of Cannabis with 1 part Tincture of Chocolate Mint, OR
- 3 parts Tincture of Cannabis with 1 part Tincture of Garlic, OR
- 3 parts Tincture of Cannabis with 1 part Tincture of Tobbaco (if you wanted “Spliff Juice”)…and so forth.
The possibilities are endless. If you do choose to use store bought flavoring or juice however, one should use those flavors with oil, at his or her own risk. Lipid pneumonia is one of the very real consequences of inhaling improperly cured, vaporized, oils. When done right, 3 – 5ml of this tincture taken under the tongue sublingually will work very well, but when vaped via an electronic cigarette or vape pen, I find it takes only about half that amount. Finally, you’ll want to take a syringe, or a pipette, and suck up a few ml of your freshly a made Vape Juice (tincture) and fill your pen according to the manufacturer specifications.
In conclusion, I would just like to reiterate that making your own oral tinctures and vaporizing them is a very effective way of getting the components that are in herbs, into your body. This can be a very good thing if you wish to heal yourself using the plants and herbs given to us by mother nature and take full advantage of the bountiful Farmacy here on Spaceship Earth. Experiment with different flavor combinations and stock your medicine cabinet with your very own hand made tinctures!