Polishing a turd with DE and Charcoal

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Eskander

Eskander

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I was never happy with the filtration rate or efficiency on my old ceramic Buchner funnel so I bagged a porous glass one:


To take that to the next level and to make cleaning easier, I grabbed some Celite 545 (refined diatomaceous earth). You slurry it up in liquid and pour it in and run the pump and it settles into a cake that acts as a filter. I'd played with it just to get a feel for it but while harvesting yesterday I was soaking my scissors in 190 proof and periodically washing the resin off my glove fingertips. That eventually became this:

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This got too gross to clean up with so periodically running it through the funnel got this:

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Really good clarity and gets pulled through the funnel in just a few seconds. Looking at the color I kind of assume that this is going to taste like ass so why not try out some charcoal?

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Tossed teaspoon full of charcoal into the filtrate and spun it up on the string plate. After a minute I ran it through the filter again (used the same filter cake the entire time) and got this:

IMG_4001.jpeg

I'll rotovap this down later today. Curious to see how much ended up in there. It should be mostly resin so I'm not sure anything will come out in winterization. I'll run TLC on it for shits and giggles too.

In retrospect, I should have saved some of the pre-charcoal filtrate to do a taste comparison but I suspect there will be plenty of opportunities to unfuck second QWET washes.

-Eskander
 
Eskander

Eskander

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IMG 4012


Evaporated down into some decent looking oil actually that tasted relatively clean. Yield was 1.2g of THC so nothing to write home about but it is slightly funny to get that from just a scissor washing bath.

-Eskander
 
Ponky

Ponky

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View attachment 1187865

Evaporated down into some decent looking oil actually that tasted relatively clean. Yield was 1.2g of THC so nothing to write home about but it is slightly funny to get that from just a scissor washing bath.

-Eskander
My buddy said you can recycle roaches into clear. I would assume charcoal and some strong acid. But imagine turning a bag of roaches into a clear thc gel in a home lab. The clear he made was always good.
 
Eskander

Eskander

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My buddy said you can recycle roaches into clear. I would assume charcoal and some strong acid. But imagine turning a bag of roaches into a clear thc gel in a home lab. The clear he made was always good.
So this article does more or less that. Clean extract from a fucking ashtray lol...


Skip down to the bottom on the section labeled "Alcohol/Hexane wash" and read through "Hexane/Saline water wash" as well. I do wonder if it would work just as well with something like refined coconut oil so you wouldn't have to purge it afterwards. Obviously the extract oil would be too thick without being thinned down in something but the basic polar/non-polar interaction should work more or less the same. Might give it a run both ways if I have some terrible output to try and salvage.

-Eskander
 
Ponky

Ponky

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So this article does more or less that. Clean extract from a fucking ashtray lol...


Skip down to the bottom on the section labeled "Alcohol/Hexane wash" and read through "Hexane/Saline water wash" as well. I do wonder if it would work just as well with something like refined coconut oil so you wouldn't have to purge it afterwards. Obviously the extract oil would be too thick without being thinned down in something but the basic polar/non-polar interaction should work more or less the same. Might give it a run both ways if I have some terrible output to try and salvage.

-Eskander
Yeah we never used any Hexane. It was always a quick BHO and then purge. Distill. And then recombine. And the recycling projects tended to create more waste than it was worth. But that guy seems to have a decent system. I personally don't do a lot of lab time. Not for me. I just like recycling. I mean some of my buddies shovel up the trichomes that come off the racks and toss it in the garbage by the pound. It kills me not running it for shatter at least. But it's just so much time and effort to run batches. It's just easier to run premium flowers. It's crazy.
 
C

cronicoldguy

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My buddy said you can recycle roaches into clear. I would assume charcoal and some strong acid. But imagine turning a bag of roaches into a clear thc gel in a home lab. The clear he made was always good.
That is a project/experiment I have had on the back burner. I have about 0.25lb or more of roaches just for that. I was (and still am) very curious as to how well they can be cleaned up. If there is interest, I wil do exactly that and post the process and results.
 
Ponky

Ponky

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That is a project/experiment I have had on the back burner. I have about 0.25lb or more of roaches just for that. I was (and still am) very curious as to how well they can be cleaned up. If there is interest, I wil do exactly that and post the process and results.
It's more of a fun project than a money maker. But apparently you can get clear gel.
 
W

WannaBeGreenThumbz

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I can make "wax" off of flower resin in a pipe or a bong who how where whatever with thc I'll extract using a super perfected over the years amature quick wash I love iso washes pretty uch I smoke for free just reclaiming my brother and roommates bong for them ✌️(theirs is wax just saying I've used actual weed pipes resin to extract thc resin wax that is definitely GNARLY nasty brown Town but haha funny shit)
 
C

cronicoldguy

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It's more of a fun project than a money maker. But apparently you can get clear gel.


Exactly. I was going to give all the oil to a buddy if he took the time to tear apart all the roaches. I just want to do it to see. I got better shit to consume. LOL
 
Eskander

Eskander

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Exactly. I was going to give all the oil to a buddy if he took the time to tear apart all the roaches. I just want to do it to see. I got better shit to consume. LOL
I think you are to the point with roaches where tossing them in a blender with solvent isn't really going to hurt anything. You are going to filter the hell out of it anyway. The hexane saline thing works great but I wouldn't recumbent that approach unless you have a fume hood to work in. You also need to scrub the hexane out with repeated ethanol washes and then a purge chamber so it is a shitload of extra work. Still, if the goal is to get the best thing out of complete garbage it might be fun for shits and giggles.

Back in college my roommates approach to roaches was the "generation joint"in which ten roaches were rolled into a joint for the next generation. They would then collect ten more of the next generation and proceed from there. I seem to recall them getting up to a 4th generation joint. Art students...
 
Eskander

Eskander

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Doing a fairly large trim run and after washing several pounds of trim in iso, the result was so dark green that it appears black in the pic. The cake of activated charcoal is about a quarter inch thick on top of a 1/8" cake of celite. Filtering was frankly painfully slow and I'm definitely buying a larger funnel the next time I do a batch this large but the results are hard to deny. The layer of colorless at the bottom of the flask is the iso I used to form the DE and charcoal cakes.

This is by far the darkest wash I've ever played with so I'm going to see how clean I can get it. Once I reduce this to a manageable volume (about three gallons currently) I'll salt out what I can with a NaCl brine, run that through a sep funnel, go back to anhydrous with MgSO4 and then rotovap it down to dry. Dissolve in 95% EtOH and then winterize. Back to the rotovap and then finally to the stirrer/hotplate to blow off the remaining EtOH and decarb.

@Moe.Red Any suggestions on my approach?

-Eskander
 
IMG 5215
Moe.Red

Moe.Red

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TLC test the black stuff then the gold stuff. I think you will find that charcoal is not a targeted filter on just the contaminants you don't want. I think you will measure significant cannabinoids lost in the process to the charcoal. And terpenes. I'll wager more than half.

I would use a distillation process like a short path if I was serious about this. That way you are separating based on boiling points which can be highly specific and targeted. If you are just playing around, good job on cleaning that up. Visually looks great.
 
Eskander

Eskander

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TLC test the black stuff then the gold stuff. I think you will find that charcoal is not a targeted filter on just the contaminants you don't want. I think you will measure significant cannabinoids lost in the process to the charcoal. And terpenes. I'll wager more than half.

I would use a distillation process like a short path if I was serious about this. That way you are separating based on boiling points which can be highly specific and targeted. If you are just playing around, good job on cleaning that up. Visually looks great.
Good idea on the TLC. I have a bit still left to filter and can do exactly that. Looking around a bit, literature is all over the place on canabanoid binding on activated charcoal. Some say up to 50% loss in THC while others seem to indicate less than a percent. Not sure if that comes down to differences in the charcoal, technique or what. Saw one paper that suggested pH might effect the adsorption rate but then didn't have data for it...

Terpene loss I'm not hugely concerned with. I tend to think it is minor canabanoids that differentiate effects from strain to strain rather than terpenes. Time (and receptor binding studies) will tell though.

-Eskander
 
Moe.Red

Moe.Red

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Good idea on the TLC. I have a bit still left to filter and can do exactly that. Looking around a bit, literature is all over the place on canabanoid binding on activated charcoal. Some say up to 50% loss in THC while others seem to indicate less than a percent. Not sure if that comes down to differences in the charcoal, technique or what. Saw one paper that suggested pH might effect the adsorption rate but then didn't have data for it...

Terpene loss I'm not hugely concerned with. I tend to think it is minor canabanoids that differentiate effects from strain to strain rather than terpenes. Time (and receptor binding studies) will tell though.

-Eskander
I was following a guy on youtube that was selling short path and rotovap and other extraction devices when I first started doing this. Can't even remember his name now, but he had hours of video of all these methods. He devoted a lot of time to trying to make activated charcoal work in his process. His results were exactly what I describe - charcoal stripped a significant amount of cannabinoids along with chlorophyll. After months of messing with it, changing things, temps, vacuum, pretty much all the set points, he determined that charcoal is only good for - as you put it - polishing a turd. Has no real place in a proper extraction plan if efficiency is an important factor.

My take away was that if you consider the source trash already (i.e. roaches) then you can't lose. that may be the case here with what you are doing. Getting something out is better than nothing.
 
Eskander

Eskander

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I would use a distillation process like a short path if I was serious about this.
Been thinking of going to short path but I'm not sure my volume of throughput would make it worth the effort. What is the smallest run you would bother with? Offhand, I can't see doing it with less that 100ml of crude. Also, do you distill the terpenes off separately or collect them in the same flask as the THC? Lastly, given your THCV interest, does that and other minor canabanoids distill off with THC?

-Eskander
 
Moe.Red

Moe.Red

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Been thinking of going to short path but I'm not sure my volume of throughput would make it worth the effort. What is the smallest run you would bother with? Offhand, I can't see doing it with less that 100ml of crude. Also, do you distill the terpenes off separately or collect them in the same flask as the THC? Lastly, given your THCV interest, does that and other minor canabanoids distill off with THC?

-Eskander
I think I have $1500 in my short path because I use the vacuum and chiller from the rotovap for both systems. So that’s the first hurdle does it make any kind of financial sense? Probably not for this purpose.

Smallest run will depend on system size. But yes the larger the input qty the better overall your run will be. But you can put all the left over crap from lots of processes in at the same time. Pressings, roaches, wash up, etc the short path doesn’t care.

Terpenes are separated out based on boiling points of molecules. You end up with 3 flasks the middle one is just cannabinoids. The first one is anything with a lower BP than cannabinoid and the last one is the stuff with higher.

Minor cannabinoids will also be separated based on BP. So if the BP is similar you are good. If not they will end up in waste.

1669202045654


So assuming you have thc and thcv you want to keep you will need to run your mids from 311 to 428F. That’s fine as long as nothing in your source also boils in that range. Unlikely, so you will need to pick which one you want to recover. You can run the tail thru a second time tho and recover the thcv separately. So run everything with the mids catching thc and then rerun the tail catching thcv.

This is all academic because it probably makes no sense for you on such small quantities.
 
Eskander

Eskander

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I think I have $1500 in my short path because I use the vacuum and chiller from the rotovap for both systems. So that’s the first hurdle does it make any kind of financial sense? Probably not for this purpose.
Good info. Handy chart for sure. Which short path did you end up with? There are a surprisingly wide range of prices for gear that looks pretty similar...

I'm not sure most of the equipment I have actually makes financial sense since I don't sell anything. Still fun to play with and satisfying to make good drugs for friends who would otherwise be stuck with either mystery crap or the known crap that is the local medical dispensary.

I realize that the lower BP terpenes can be fractioned off to separate them from the THC dominant fraction but if you want to retain the flavor profile of the strain, is there a reason to?

In other news, my normal vacuum pump was tied up so I used a weak vacuum pump and ran a few gallons of the iso wash through the rotovap. Ended up with a bath of 75C which is way higher than I usually run but the end result was that quite a lot of the protein (RNAses and HSPs can take that temp) denatured and precipitated out in the flask. Never seen anything like it.

IMG 5221


I'm going to do a brine wash next to try to get rid of proteins and sugars I'll be curious to see how much comes out in that step. I'm guessing that winterization will rain shit out too. Will be the first time doing it with an ultra low freezer so I'm looking forward to it :)

Good lessons learned trying to turn crap into something useful.

-Eskander
 

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