Exploring Quick Wash Isopropyl Extract (QWISO) and How to Make It
As enthusiasts of cannabis concentrates, we’ve seen everything from solventless varieties like kief and hash to solvent-based extracts like shatter, wax, live resin, and terp sauce. Producing each type of concentrate can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, especially when it comes to solvent-based extraction.
While solvent-based extraction can involve solvents like butane, propane, carbon dioxide (CO2), ethanol, and even isopropyl alcohol, there’s a unique extraction method called Quick Wash Isopropyl Extraction (QWISO) that can efficiently make the most out of your cannabis flower or other plant matter in just minutes or hours.
Unveiling the Quick Wash Isopropyl Extract (QWISO)
During the Quick Wash Isopropyl Extraction (QWISO) process, we use an isopropyl wash to separate the resinous trichome glands found on flower buds from the rest of the plant. These trichomes are responsible for producing compounds such as cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
The entire QWISO process can vary in length. Some of us choose to do a speedy wash, while others prefer to do a bigger batch that takes longer to extract. The quality of the QWISO extract depends on the quality of the flower and the extraction process.
Choosing QWISO Over an Extended Soak: Why?
Many of us, including home amateurs and extraction professionals, prefer the QWISO method because alcohol is a highly polar solvent. Alcohol is soluble in water and easily removes compounds like trichomes. Other extraction techniques can extract chlorophyll, alkaloids, and waxes, requiring extended post-processing techniques. QWISO offers a quick way to produce potent extracts without impurities, making it an attractive option for those who want to experiment with cannabis concentrates.
Creating QWISO: A Step-by-Step Guide
Making cannabis extract with isopropyl alcohol has never been more straightforward. Here’s a list of equipment we’ll need for a proper QWISO extract:
- Cannabis grinder
- Cannabis (between 10 and 20 grams)
- Isopropyl alcohol (food grade 99 percent; about 100 to 200ml per 10g of cannabis flower)
- Mason jar
- Microscope (optional)
We can make QWISO extract from cannabis flower buds, trim, leaves, and stems, but high-quality flower buds offer more cannabinoids and terpenes. Small batches of five grams of cannabis can also produce a decent amount of QWISO extract.
Additionally, it’s recommended to use properly dried and cured marijuana to minimize the amount of chlorophyll in the final extract. Some of us even choose to dry the cannabis material further in an oven for a few minutes at 200ºF.
Remember, do not use rubbing alcohol or ethyl alcohol, which can be harmful if consumed. Only use food-grade isopropyl alcohol during QWISO extraction.
First, we need to grind up our flowers using a weed grinder and place the material inside the mason jar. Some of us opt to place cannabis and alcohol in separate containers in a freezer overnight to freeze the resin glands and improve trichome separation.
Next, combine the alcohol and the flower in the mason jar, ensuring there’s enough alcohol to cover the cannabis. Close the lid tightly and shake the jar for about 30 seconds. A single shake is technically a QWISO since the alcohol separates a decent amount of trichomes from the cannabis.
Some of us like to use a microscope to get a better view of the mason jar. A microscope can help us determine if enough trichome heads have been removed from the plant material and stems.
After that, pour the cannabis material and isopropyl alcohol solution into a sieve with a container below to catch the liquid. We can also add an unbleached coffee filter on top of the mason jar to filter the liquid back into the jar.
Once we’ve collected the filtered liquid, it’s time to remove the alcohol from the solution. Pour the liquid in the mason jar into a plate or container. Leaving the mixture alone and uncovered will evaporate the alcohol on its own.
Some of us choose to blow cold air with a fan over the container to speed up the evaporation process, but this leaves the material exposed to dust. No matter what methods we choose to purge the solvent, always ensure we’re doing so in a well-ventilated area to reduce the risk of explosion due to the flammable fumes.
Alcohol can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours to evaporate, but a quick wash typically takes between a few minutes to a few hours. We’ll know we’re done removing the isopropyl alcohol when there is no liquid left in the plate or container. Use a sharp object or razor blade to scrape the QWISO extract from the bottom and sides.
Enjoying Your QWISO
Now that we have our QWISO extract ready, we can use it in a variety of ways. For instance, we can take a dab with our QWISO extract. We can use a glass dab rig, e-Nail, or portable vape pen to vaporize the extract and inhale a potent and flavorful dab.
We can also add a bit of QWISO extract to our smokeable flower. Add a finishing layer of QWISO on top of our packed bowl or inside our joint or blunt. The lighter’s high temperatures can degrade some of the extract’s terpenes, but it delivers an elevated level of potency compared to smoking flower alone.
For experienced cannabis users like us, we can also make potent edibles using QWISO extract. Infusing QWISO extract into butter and oils can help make any meal a high experience.
QWISO extracts are easy and fun to make if we have at least five grams of cannabis matter on hand. Making a QWISO extract requires careful planning, a safe environment, and plenty of experimentation to ensure the extract is both flavorful and free from impurities.