We’re back with another tutorial courtesy of John Brown with channel HowToWeed. We’ve covered his channel before, recently with “How To Create Your Own Terpene Profile.” This time, we’ll show you how to mix up distillate, fill vape cartridges with it, and store them. Visit our whole HowTo section for your degree in THC consumption, because we’ve developed a whole plant-to-vape chain of tutorials by now.
With the recent epidemics of untrustworthy cartridges, it’s at least comforting to know that we have this option for vaping. When you brew your own, you have complete control over the ingredients, starting from the plant itself. As long as you can get some quality flower, you’re good for the rest of the production chain.
Below is HowToWeed’s full video. Keep reading on for written instructions.
Filling Vape Carts
Things we assume you have on hand:
- Vials of distillate
- Empty carts
- Syringes and needles
- A hotplate
- A torch (nice to have, not required)
- Empty vials for mixing
Anything you set on the hotplate should be able to withstand the temperature. Distillate tends to have a gooey consistency like honey which gets runny when it heats up. See our guide “How To Make Your Own Oil Pen” for more on distillate and terpenes.
Fill the vials with distillate
You will use empty vials for heating the distillate and adding terpenes to the mix, since pure distillate will be odorless and tasteless. Make a note of how much distillate you’re using, because that comes up during the terpene step.
Heat distillate and add terpenes
Just like working with shatter or wax, you want to heat it up a little bit to get that juice flowing. The hotplate should be set near 100° F (37° C). Heat the distillate until it’s liquefying. Either shake it or use the heat gun (if you have one) to get it runny enough to mix.
If you’re making more than one cartridge at a time, you want to use separate transfer containers for each terpene. This is because cross-contamination is an issue with measures of liquid this small. Syringes are the best bet, but droppers, pipettes, or other precise measuring tools work here too.
The consensus on terpene ratios is 10%, namely 1 gram of distillate to 0.1 1ML of terp to make a 10% ratio. Remember that if you’re measuring by volume (within the syringe), volume changes with temperature. The standard practice is to keep terpenes in the fridge. At the very least, keep them away from excess heat and light.
And now, our terpene sidebar:
Can you mix terpenes?
As you see in this video, that’s the ideal thing to do! Terpenes are already mixed quite thoroughly in the natural plants they occur in, so there’s no reason not to. Just follow formulas and percentages as given. Terpenes in cannabis are like frosting on cake: a little of it goes a long way. But yes, mix and blend to your heart’s content.
How much terpenes do you add to distillate?
The formula is given elsewhere already, but just for the less technical: a drop or two per gram of distillate.
Do terpenes get you high?
Nope! Getting high from THC oil is a matter of THC itself. However, terpenes do contribute to the much-discussed entourage effect, which is like the “full body” feeling of cannabis consumption. Some theories say terpenes contribute to faster absorption of THC. Terpenes are really mostly essential oils, found in many other plants not even related to cannabis.
Shake and fill
You’ll want the mixture to be thin enough that a good shake mixes it. You can apply a heat gun straight to the bottom of the vial to just get it thinned out for that second, which is all it takes.
Once you have your mixture, use the syringe to fill the cartridge. It will still have a gooey texture, but it’s going to settle once it cools off in the carts. Cap the carts off, secure them closed, and then stand them upside down while they cool.
When they’re vape-ready, store them right-side up. If you look up to HowToWeed (we all do here), you can get a fancy storage cylinder from Cartsdom with room for six carts and play “cart roulette,” as he shows in his video. This sounds like a fun game.
If you follow that link from his YouTube to Cartsdom, you get 20% off for dropping his name, he gets an affiliate commission to support his channel, and then we get to keep seeing more informative videos like this one. Also, if you get a new storage canister for your cartridges, you can then give the cookie tin back to grandma so she has someplace to stash her knitting again. Or her own carts.
Do you mix and fill your own cartridges at home?
Tell us how you do it, in the comments below or our own forum.