• 63 Comments

Robert Bergman

March 18, 2019

How do you find a reliable vape pen? Well, first you do your research, then you make your own juice.

Never made your own vape pen juice? Don’t worry, I will show you how.

I’ll also give some reasons why you’d want to make your own juice, as well as an overview of what to look for in a vaporizer. Keep reading to learn about vaporizers and why they are a wonderful way to enjoy marijuana.

One of the best things about marijuana is how adaptable it is. Not only can you smoke it, but you can also infuse butter or cooking oil with it, or condense it into a concentrated form to feel the effects fast.

Why would you choose concentrated marijuana?

In many cases, this form of marijuana is for medicinal purposes. For one thing, the concentrated form can provide rapid pain relief for people who experience frequent migraines. In a similar fashion, it can reduce anxiety and stress to those who need it most. It also is useful for muscle-related issues such as MS or chronic muscle spasms.  

The images of marijuana

Obstacles to success

The problem with marijuana, is that it has been widely misunderstood and misrepresented. Without a doubt, people who don’t know any better envision marijuana users as grungy, irresponsible, good-for-nothing folks, who are going nowhere in life.

This is not the full truth.

The fact is, plenty of people need marijuana to maintain a high quality of life, and they might not even be smokers. Perhaps they have never consumed marijuana recreationally and only use it as needed for their health. This is why it is so useful to have other (more healthy) methods of consuming marijuana. Given that one of the more healthy (and less understood) ways to consume marijuana may be a vape pen or electronic cigarette, it is worth considering.

The vape pen and concentrated marijuana

vape pen

Unfortunately, the rising trend of using vape pens to consume concentrated amounts of marijuana has attracted a lot of unwanted attention. This is coupled with the fact that it is not hard to find news stories of irresponsible drug users inhaling concentrated doses of marijuana to get a more extreme high. Obviously, these attention seekers are portrayed as a plague to society, but they do not reflect most marijuana users.

The problem is:

This image of concentrated marijuana users is not only false, but it is also particularly harmful. For one thing, it discourages those who might benefit from medical marijuana from trying concentrates as a solution to their problems. Obviously, they do not want to end up like what they’ve seen on the news.  The negative image also helps keep concentrates use illegal, making it harder to access for those who need it.  

TIP: Looking to buy seeds? Visit the ILGM cannabis seed shop

Of course, the fear comes from the fact that it is concentrated. It must be remembered, however, that concentrated marijuana has been used for generations, in a variety of forms.

Here’s the deal:

Marijuana is not concentrated so that drug addicts can get a bigger fix. In spite of what viral videos suggest, marijuana is concentrated in order to increase the beneficial effects as quickly and safely as possible.

Plus, there’s more to the story:

The fear may be by design due to encouragement from the pharmaceutical industry. Once people can grow their own marijuana and self-medicate for a variety of health issues, that industry will take a hard hit. Therefore, it’s in their direct interests that growing, distributing, buying, and using marijuana remain illegal.

What is a vape pen?

a vape pen

There are many ways to consume concentrated cannabis, by all means, a vape pen is likely the most popular. A vape pen or electronic cigarette (“E-cig”) is a relatively new technology that heats up cartridges or vials of concentrated marijuana. Many people believe that they are a healthy alternative to smoking, however at the present time there is not enough research to understand the long-term effects.

But guess what?

There are also vaporizers that do not use concentrated marijuana called dry herb vaporizers. The best dry herb vaporizers guarantee easier and safer user experience while vaporizing cannabis compared to smoking weed. While the quality of these vaping gadgets depends on many factors such as battery life, temperature control, the speed of heat-up, the size of the heating chamber, and the material of the vapor path, you can find one that works for you. There are many options in dry herb vaporizers, that’s why the high-quality, full-fledged dry herb vaporizer is costly.

However, you don’t have to buy the most expensive vape.

As I have said, there are many factors to consider, such as where and how you will use it. You’ll also want to remember that there is little regulation around them, meaning you are at risk of purchasing a cheap, knock-off pen with cheaply produced, foreign parts. Even so, that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything cheap has poor quality. If you want to do it right, it’s important to do your research and find the highest-quality vape pen that your budget can afford to ensure a healthy experience.

A vape pen comes in different types and models and it can be challenging to choose between the options, however, on the positive side, there is a basic structure to them. They all include a cartridge, atomizer, and battery.

The cartridge
The cartridge is where the tincture drops (or the vape pen “juice”) are added, one drop at a time. (Some pens do not have refillable cartridges). One end of the cartridge is where your lips touch while inhaling while the other end of the cartridge attaches to the next component: the atomizer.

The atomizer
The atomizer heats up the marijuana, changing it from its liquid form to gas, or vapor. Vape pens use a variety of atomizers that provide different levels of heat, but there aren’t many options to choose from.

The battery
The longest component of any vape pen or E-cig is the battery. Batteries can vary by model and may be manual or automatic. A manual vape pen requires ignition of some sort, such as a button that needs to be pressed before it works. With automatic vape pens, on the other hand, you only need to inhale.

Buying a high-quality vape pen

high-quality vape pen

The best way to ensure you are buying a high-quality vape pen is to do your research beforehand. Make sure that the brand is reputable and well-reviewed. You can easily find this type of information online.

With that in mind, know that you might encounter some overpriced vape pens. Once in a while buyers are tricked by vendors a selling a cheap pen, such as one that should cost just $5, for as much as $75 or $80. You should be able to avoid this so long as you check online and read up on the manufacturer.

I can not say this enough:

The safest way to go about it is to choose a reputable brand, then buy from one of their licensed vendors so you can rest assured you know exactly what you are getting.

Tip: make sure to download my free Grow Bible to learn how to grow your own cannabis

If you’re not particularly concerned about quality, you should be. Seeing that this is a tool that changes and sends something straight into your body, a low-quality product can have a direct, negative effect on your health. By the same token, it could be dangerous because of cheaper, knock-off components or inferior and unhealthy metals.

That’s not all…

Some will burn instead of vape, causing smoke to release instead of vapors. In this situation, it is no different than smoking.

What is vape pen juice?

vape pen juice

As much as the actual device matters, the “juice” itself is important. Given that the juice is what goes into your body, you need to ensure that this “juice” is just as high in quality as the vape pen. Be that as it may, making vape juice generally requires weeks of time. As a a result, most people will not bother to make it.

Download my free marijuana grow guide at this link and learn to grow your own marijuana

So what’s in that “juice”?

Vape juice is a form of oral tincture. That means it is a liquid substance made primarily of either glycerin or alcohol, with herbs infused into it.

Did you know?

Oral tinctures were initially designed to be consumed as drops under the tongue. They are processed differently than edibles because they bypass your liver. This makes tinctures easier to absorb for those with certain metabolism problems that may affect their ability to ingest marijuana via edible products.

Tinctures have a long history.

As a matter of fact, oral tinctures have been around for thousands of years! Using a vape pen or E-cigarette to consume them, on the other hand, is the new part. That is to say, marijuana oral tinctures are perfectly safe, and when made and used correctly they are incredibly effective.

Remember, you have options.

There are some great resources on where to buy your vape oils, but you can also make your own vape juice. More on that below, but first, some reasons why you might.

The benefits of making vape juice yourself

benefits

Why should you spend the several weeks it takes to make the oral tinctures or vape juice? As with any type of consumable product, it is always best when you know exactly where it comes from, and what is in it. That is to say, if you buy it from a distributor or from store shelves, you only can know so much about what actually makes up that product.

On the other hand,

When you make it yourself, you know exactly what went into it, and how that affects your body. Of course this is simply a healthier way to do it.
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How to make your own vape juice

own vape juice

In general, it is not a good idea to make vape juice with non-food grade propylene glycol or glycerin. This is because food grade products must be stored in containers that are safe and non-toxic, as propylene glycol and glycerine both absorb the chemicals from any container it has been stored in. If you use the non-food grade version of these products, it should only be applied externally.

To repeat:

Do not consume or inhale anything with non-food grade propylene glycol or glycerin in it.

For that reason, this recipe calls for only 100% USP-food grade vegetable glycerin. Not only will it ensure your health and safety but using glycerin instead of propylene glycol will also produce more vapor overall. Blends of both are probably best for E-cigarettes that have juices that are nicotine-based.

There are other options as well:

Some people prefer to buy a product such as EJMix, which has a mixture of Propylene Glycol and Polyethylene Glycol in it. These products are both found in commercial vape juice.

DTip: make sure to download my free Grow Bible for more information

This recipe can also work for non-marijuana herbs, depending on your medical needs and taste preferences. Herbs such as lavender, garlic, mint, milk thistle, tobacco, and others can all be substituted for marijuana in this recipe, and they can also be taken as regular tinctures (under your tongue). While the recipes may vary slightly according to which herb you prefer, the process is nearly the same, so this marijuana-based recipe can still be used with other herbs.

The process
The first step is to decarboxylate your marijuana. This is needed in order convert the THCA to THC. The activation process usually occurs automatically when a plant is burned, or smoked but because e-liquid vaporization temperatures may not get hot enough, decarboxylation can be good idea. Read Decarboxylating Marijuana – The Internal Process of THC Formation and find out how decarboxylating marijuana works.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 grams of pure, blonde, powdered hash or 7 grams of high-quality bud (ground by hand)
  • 2-4 ounces of high proof alcohol (180 proof or higher; must be drinkable alcohol; 100 proof is the absolute minimum) — vodka is preferable, for its flavor neutrality
  • 2-4 ounces of 100% USP-food grade vegetable glycerin
  • 2 sterile canning jars and lids
  • 1 cheesecloth

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put the marijuana into the sterile canning jar. Add alcohol until it covers marijuana by at least one-quarter inch. Place lid on the jar and shake vigorously. If the plant matter absorbs the alcohol and increases in size, add more alcohol.
  2. Place the jar (still tightly closed) in a dark location for 10-14 days. At least once per day, shake it up vigorously.
  3. After 10-14 days, strain the mixture through the cheesecloth, and pour it into the second sterile canning jar. Mix in your 100% USP-food grade vegetable glycerin. Put the lid on and shake vigorously for a minimum of two minutes.

If you want to remove more of the alcohol, this can be done by straining the mixture more or simply adding more vegetable glycerin to make the mixture thinner. Keep in mind, some of that alcohol will naturally evaporate.

Adding flavor to your vape juice
The key to safely adding your preferred flavor is never to use artificial coloring. It will likely change color anyway, because of the natural plant coloring, so just leave it as is so that you will not be inhaling any dangerous chemicals.

You should also avoid any store-bought flavorings because they also will contain harmful chemicals — including non-food grade propylene glycol, which you just spent so much effort keeping out of your mixture. Don’t ruin it now by adding these harmful ingredients. One big health risk of inhaling oils that have been improperly cured and vaporized is lipid pneumonia, so be very careful.

TIP: Looking to buy seeds? Visit the ILGM seed shop

Some people prefer to use essential oils for their flavorings while others go for the tincture blending route. For this recipe, we will just discuss the method for mixing together different tinctures to create a desired flavor.

One way you could mix tinctures for flavoring is to use:

  • 3 parts tincture of Cannabis, and 1 part tincture of wild blackberry;
  • 3 parts tincture of Cannabis, and 1 part tincture of chocolate mint;
  • 3 parts tincture of Cannabis, and 1 part tincture of garlic;
  • 3 parts tincture of Cannabis, with 1 part tincture of tobacco; or
  • 3 parts tincture of Cannabis, with 1 part tincture of just about anything.

The flavoring depends solely on your personal preferences. In general, when using a vape pen, you will only need about half as much as you would take when using tinctures sublingually. A common dosage for under the tongue is between 3 and 5 milliliters of juice.

Shopping for a vape pen can be hard, but at least you have some control over the quality of what you put in it. If you take the time to learn how to create your own vape juice you can have a convenient way to enjoy rapid delivery of medical marijuana.

Thanks for reading! If you want to know more about growing your own marijuana for your vape juice, make sure you check out my free marijuana grow guide.

Robert

Frequently asked questions

How do you sterilize your jars? To sterilize most jars, you need to apply heat. Many canning jars can be sterilized by simply rinsing them under very hot water. You can also place them in boiling water for a few minutes.  

How can I evaporate alcohol out of my tincture? There are many ways to this. The fastest involves heat. However, be careful with heat as it could evaporate your THC as well. Simply exposing the tincture to air a bit is enough.

Is there a difference between tinctures and concentrates? Yes. Tinctures are a specific type of concentrate. They are oils mixed with a liquid base. There are also thicker concentrates with no added bases, such as hash oil.

Do you need to decarb your weed before making a tincture? Decarboxylation helps with potency. Some concentrate recipes do not need to decarb because they are still smoked. For a vape pen or oral tincture, it is a good idea.

The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing... [read more]

62 Comments

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      1. By shemmon lucas

        ,20 May 2018
        what do u mean Mix in three parts of your 100% USP-food grade vegetable glycerin.
  1. By William Lyons

    ,06 Mar 2016
    How do you get the alcohol out of the ejuice
    1. By Jennifer ILGM

      ,07 Mar 2016
      Alcohol is used often in e-liquids to dilute. A tip is to leave the bottle open for a while so the alcohol can evaporate a bit.
    2. By Pam

      ,09 Feb 2018
      I’d like to know that too. I don’t want to vape or ingest alcohol!
  2. By Make Your Own Vape Pen Juice | Daily Dank Deals

    ,21 Mar 2016
    […] By Robert Bergman, ILoveGrowingMarijuana.com […]
  3. By Kentucky Weed Radio | Make Your Own Vape Pen Juice – Kentucky Weed Radio

    ,22 Mar 2016
    […] By Robert Bergman, ILoveGrowingMarijuana.com […]
  4. By Catherine Hoffman

    ,30 Mar 2016
    Dear Robert, Is there any way I can get a few seeds, the $35 is a little bit too much for me to spend. I have schizophrenia and carpel tunnel syndrome both of which I use marijuana for. I am […]Read More
    1. By Liz

      ,30 Mar 2016
      Hi I too have health issues Insomnia anxiety and phobias I tried to grow Too but they always grow long and thin like yours Any help please Thankyou
    2. By Skip

      ,20 Feb 2017
      They are reaching for light, if your growing inside, lower your lights. If your growing outside, put them in more direct sunlight and don’t over nute them.
    3. By Scott

      ,25 Oct 2018
      Sounds like you do not have enough light. Dirtweed Seeds are the easist to grow. Work on a good grow area and my friends and I will see what we can do.
      1. By teri johnston

        ,29 Oct 2018
        Wow I really think that’s awesome that you guys are willing to help out somebody in need just makes me know that this is my go-to site, I’ve tried others I found you, now you’re stuck with me lol
  5. By Tim

    ,03 Apr 2016
    Your plants, unless genetically terrible, are not receiving enough light. I am using the CFL lights and am flooding a 10sq.ft. space with (16) 150 Watt lights = 2400 watts of light (equivalent wattages). The plants remain short and squatty. […]Read More
    1. By Me

      ,01 Oct 2017
      Tim.. It’s the “Breeze” that hardens the stalks so that they do not fall over, not water!
  6. By Tim

    ,03 Apr 2016
    Robert: I have read the vape juice article and it seems that it would be helpful to add in the step for Decarboxylating Marijuana (with link) prior to using it in the alcohol mixture. I kind of deduced it, but […]Read More
    1. By teri johnston

      ,29 Oct 2018
      I too am anxious to try making my own vapor oil since my Harvest was massive, and lots of kief OMG lots and lots and lots and lots of kief I would like a more step by step clarification, links […]Read More
  7. By latewood.ILGM

    ,05 Apr 2016
    Catherine, Join our forum. There are many compassionate members there. 🙂
  8. By latewood.ILGM

    ,05 Apr 2016
    Tim, Water evaporates. Period. Let us know how your process goes!
  9. By Peter B Ali

    ,12 Apr 2016
    Would love to try this but I am to scared to use alcohol because I am a recovering alcoholic and don’t want to be near alcohol again, is there no other way of doing this,?.
    1. By J

      ,17 May 2016
      There r other ways of doing this Google it .I have tried the many different ways and they work
    2. By Tim Harris

      ,20 May 2016
      Peter, I make E juice and found a method that uses just The USP food grade Vegetable Glycerin. Having said that I recommend using the alcohol. If using a vape pen any alcohol will be burned off during the vaping […]Read More
  10. By latewood.ILGM

    ,14 Apr 2016
    Peter B Ali, You need a catalyst. Purity is an important factor in creating a safe product. Only harsher alternatives would create the same potency. These alternative options would involve more dangers than being exposed to a bottle of pure […]Read More
  11. By Abbott

    ,18 Jun 2016
    In step 5 of Directions, you say add 3 PARTS of glycerine. Do you mean 3 OZ?
    1. By ilene

      ,12 May 2018
      good question I was thinking myself?? how much
  12. By What Is Marijuana Kief? – I Love Growing Marijuana

    ,28 Oct 2016
    […] you have an e-cigarette or are interested in getting one, you can turn your kief into vape juice. You will just need to get vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol (at a 1:1 ratio, easy to find […]
  13. By Guy

    ,10 Nov 2016
    Abbot, I measured my ETOH solution first, then measured out 3 of that measurement in VG; then combined. 3:1
    1. By Chino

      ,16 Mar 2017
      So you use 1 part of your ETOH solution with 3 parts of VG, or 3parts of ETOH with 1 part of VG ??? And what about Blazing question: “Is it necessary to decarbox if vaping ..wouldn’t vaping turn the […]Read More
  14. By Guy

    ,10 Nov 2016
    Although, I had a question on keeping the Juice – I have it in dark, cool location; Should it be refrigerated or such? Thanks!
    1. By Roy ILGM

      ,11 Nov 2016
      Hi Guy, dark and cool should do it just fine 😀
      1. By John

        ,25 Oct 2018
        You actually don’t want cold – it will slow the process of dissolving the good bits in the alcohol.
  15. By Guy

    ,26 Nov 2016
    Thanks Roy! I didn’t see a concentration estimate on the above recipe proportions. I understand it’s pretty hard to estimate a Vape Puff, would the tincture produced be in the 1/2 to 1 gram / ml? fl.oz.? … yeah, per […]Read More
    1. By Roy ILGM

      ,28 Nov 2016
      Hi Guy, I’d go with trial and error. It’s the best way to get a feeling of what you’re preparing and when trying to get the perfect dosage for you.
  16. By Nick

    ,31 Jan 2017
    Did not decarbox the marijuana before storing away. It is not day 11, what should I do? If I leave in container for a month will it have greater effect? Is there anyway I can avoid the Decarbox part / […]Read More
    1. By Roy ILGM

      ,01 Feb 2017
      Hi Nick, no worries, you will heat the vape juice when you vape it 🙂
  17. By Blazin

    ,03 Feb 2017
    Is it necessary to decarbox if vaping ..wouldn’t vaping turn the thca to thc ???
  18. By John

    ,04 Feb 2017
    Is there fire danger in vaping the alcohol based juice? I made some,but sublingual use was not very effective. So it would be awesome if I could vape it. I hate smoking my weed and trying to vape dry weed […]Read More
  19. By Flarb Glorp

    ,30 Mar 2017
    I legally get medical marijuana but in my state it’s very restricted and the options are limited. No edibles, nothing that can be smoked. I get vape cartridges which deliver 90 doses of 2 mg of THC per dose. Very […]Read More
    1. By Roy ILGM

      ,31 Mar 2017
      Wow.. Not sure if you’re pulling my leg or not 😀 But a nice guide this is!
    2. By Mike Hunt

      ,18 Apr 2017
      This was the best guide, ever. Thank you so much! Does this summarize the ingredient list correctly? 2.5 oz plant material 1 liter moonshine 1 liter VG 1 liter PG
    3. By kaptnkoz10

      ,12 Jun 2017
      This is very good stuff, thank you. I would not have reduced the tincture and I definitely would not have had concentrated enough goods. How much less VG and PG would you recommend? 1/6 instead of a 1/3? And what […]Read More
    4. By Phalu

      ,24 Jun 2017
      Did you use your MFHI with 190 proof alcohol? I read that they only recommend 150 proof, so i’m still not sure if i should go down to 150 proof from my 190 proof alcohol.
  20. By Flarb Glorp

    ,31 Mar 2017
    Since cannabis is still a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, health insurance doesn’t cover a penny of the cost A lot of very sick folks can’t afford it and those who can are forced to pay over $550 […]Read More
  21. By Tom

    ,16 Jul 2017
    I have been vaping for years and would never vape something that had significant amounts of alcohol in it. There are much better methods. Decarb first. Then do a QWET or QWISO extraction (plenty of methods on the internet), which […]Read More
  22. By Nathan Hendrix

    ,01 Oct 2017
    If you have access to high quality concentrates, like some shatter or any type that’s been winterized that’s fairly transparent then you can use terpene blends specially created to turn hard shatter BHO into a liquid that can be used […]Read More
  23. By Dave

    ,18 Jan 2018
    Robert, I’ve just made some tincture from an Everclear recipe and have about a quart. When I spray or drop it the alcohol is quite potent, suggestions? Also, to use this in a Yocan Hive or similar could I dilute […]Read More
  24. By Dave G

    ,18 Jan 2018
    Robert, I’ve just made some tincture from an Everclear recipe and have about a quart. When I spray or drop it the alcohol is quite potent, suggestions? Also, to use this in a Yocan Hive or similar could I dilute […]Read More
    1. By latewood_ILGM

      ,22 Jan 2018
      Dave G, You cannot burn or vape the coconut oil. We use organic coconut oil ofr our infusion but that is edible and topical. You can use it for cooking but, not in a vape pen. I suggest you join […]Read More
    2. By Christopher W

      ,15 Apr 2018
      Cook out the alcohol. The thicker the product, the less the solvents. I make mine without propylene glycol (which is an ingredient in car antifreeze), isn’t it?
  25. By Marty

    ,07 Feb 2018
    How do you sterilize the jars? Or can I just buy and use off shelf?
    1. By John

      ,25 Oct 2018
      Canning jars are rarely “sterilized”. If you wash them in hot water and detergent, and rinse well, you’ll be OK. A high-temp rinse in a dishwasher would also be good, but avoid the overly caustic dishwasher detergent. Just rinse.
  26. By Marty

    ,07 Feb 2018
    Also How fine does it need to be ground up?
  27. By Kenani

    ,29 Jul 2018
    I’m unable to open the website to receive this free offer, what’s up?
  28. By Lowell Prince

    ,08 Oct 2018
    I do believe that this recipe will not work…..not certain but the fact of not decarboxylating and the extent of 10-14 days has me under the suspicion that this will not do the trick
  29. By Lowell Prince

    ,08 Oct 2018
    my bad, jus seen the decarbing section
  30. By Jessica Silva

    ,17 Oct 2018
    I found this liquidizer on Ebay nice and affordable lol! https://www.ebay.com/itm/183466190861
  31. By Tom

    ,01 Feb 2019
    Made my first batch of vape juice. After 14 days of shaking, strained out the liquid from the weed. Weighed the liquid and then added an equal weight of VG. Found that it was too diluted and very thick. Next […]Read More
  32. By Jennifer

    ,25 Feb 2019
    What do you mean by Mix in three parts of your 100% USP-food grade vegetable glycerin? What about burning off the alcohol?
  33. By Jennifer

    ,25 Feb 2019
    DO NOT USE THIS METHOD!!! The Author is missing the step of evaporating the alcohol! Also, the ingredient List 2-4 ounce Vegetable Glycerin. In the instructions “Mix in three parts of your 100% USP-food grade vegetable glycerin.” That does not […]Read More
    1. By Kay

      ,26 Feb 2019
      If you evaporate it too far down it turns into hash…you can evap it under a regular fan for 24 hours, but the recipe works the way it is written too as long as your weed is good and your […]Read More
  34. By Andrea

    ,19 Mar 2019
    Could you use a tincture from the Dispensary and use cartriges?

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