Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) extraction can be done using a variety of solvents. While it is recommended by Rick Simpson himself that you use pure light aliphatic naphtha for extraction, he also claims that 99% isopropyl alcohol will produce excellent results. Other solvents that may be used include ether, butane, olive oil, and even water—though they may not manufacture a high-quality product like naphtha or IPA.
Why Isopropyl Alcohol?
IPA has proven to be a great solvent for all types of cannabis extractions—it is safe, cheap, and efficient–but is especially useful when it comes to creating highly concentrated RSO. Here’s why:
- Solubility. Cannabinoids have excellent solubility in certain alcohols with low water content, like isopropyl alcohol. This means that they are easily removed from the cannabis flowers, making the process extremely efficient.
- Accessibility. Isopropyl alcohol is found in many common household items like cosmetics, disinfectants, lotions, and rubbing alcohol. Since it is so common in everyday life, it’s easy to obtain.
- Efficiency. IPA has a high vapor pressure and a low surface tension which allows it to evaporate and distill quickly.
Steps for Extracting RSO with Isopropyl Alcohol:
Before beginning the process, you will need a few supplies. A comprehensive list can be found here.
After gathering the needed supplies, RSO production can be completed in just a few steps:
- Place the dried material in a clean, 20-liter plastic bucket.
- Moisten the bud with IPA and use a meter length of wood to crush the product.
- After the cannabis has been crushed completely, add IPA until the bud is completely immersed.
- Use the wood to further crush the cannabis for three or four more minutes. This will help the THC separate from the flower and collect in the IPA.
- Pour the solvent into another container, leaving the cannabis in the original bucket so that it can be washed again.
- Add fresh IPA to the bucket and repeat step 4.
- Add the solvent from the second wash to the container holding the solvent from the first wash. Discard the plant in the bucket.
- Pour the solvent through coffee filters into clean containers.
- Boil the solvent off the cannabinoid oil. A large rice cooker works well for this step, as it can protect the product from overheating and burning. Avoid sparks, open flames, cigarettes, and stovetops as the fumes produced are extremely flammable. Place a fan towards the rice cooker to blow away fumes as it cooks and keep the appliance cool.
- As the liquid level decreases, add more solvent mix until you have nothing left. When the level finally decreases, add a few drops of water to help release the solvent residue from the oil.
- When there is about one inch of liquid left, pick up the container and swirl the contents until all solvent is dissolved.
- Pour the remaining oil into a stainless-steel measuring cup.
- Use an oven, coffee warmer, or dehydrator to rest your measuring cup and evaporate whatever water may be left. When the oil stops bubbling, it is ready for use and can be drawn up into plastic syringes for easy dosing.
Looking for IPA or Extraction Solvents?
Extraction Grade Solvents can supply you with the solvents needed to make your own RSO. Contact us here for more information.