Vape juice (e-juice or e-liquid) first became popular with the introduction of e-cigarettes. Vape juice refers to a liquid that contains nicotine and is used as a replacement for smoking cigarettes. THC juice is slightly different as it is typically a highly concentrated marijuana extract that contains no nicotine. Like other forms of vape juice it can be ingested using a vaping device, and it can be taken orally.
With THC juice, the vape pen converts the juice to a vapour at low temperatures, giving the user all the benefits of regular cannabis consumption, but with higher potency.
An introduction to THC vape juice
Similar to vape juice, THC juice is water (sometimes alcohol), flavouring, and PG or VG and THC concentrate. The major difference between the two is that THC vape juice contains a THC concentrate.
PG (propylene glycol) is added to many foods and beverages to encourage the even distribution of flavours. VG (vegetable glycerin) is a clear, odourless liquid that is extracted from plants such as coconut, soy and palm.
VG has a thicker consistency, and a natural sweetness that may affect the flavour of your juice. It can leave a residue in your pen and produces a larger vape cloud. Conversely, PG has a thinner consistency, is tasteless, leaves no residue and produces a thinner cloud.
VG and PG are often used as a base for THC vape juice and make up as much as 90% of the end product with THC and flavouring making up the remaining 10%. The most commonly used forms of THC concentrate are from CO2 extraction, liquid THC or a THC tincture.
How THC juice is made
There are several different methods for making THC vape juice, the three most popular are:
Long-Term Extraction THC Vape Juice
This method starts with decarboxylating your cannabis plant matter in the oven, then adding high-proof alcohol. It is then stored in away from sunlight in an opaque jar for a month to two months.
Short-Term Extraction THC Vape Juice
This method is similar to the first, with the only change that when you add PG/VG to the cannabis, you put the mixture in a pot with water and slowly extract the THC from the cannabis using heat.
Rosin Extraction THC Vape Juice
This is the most straightforward method and allows you to control the potency of the end result. Start with the cannabis plant matter that you press into your Rosin press to create a wax (or purchase Rosin). This is then added to your juice mix and gently heated to allow the two to mix.
How to gauge your THC juice dosage
Buying THC vape juice from a local dispensary, such as is possible in Canada, makes it easy to gauge the correct dosage. The label will include instructions telling you the correct dose to use and how much THC you will get in the dose.
It’s a lot more difficult if you make your own THC juice as you can’t accurately gauge how much THC you are getting. If you’re using this approach, you’ll need to start with a small amount and take it slow as it is usually more concentrated than dried cannabis.
Why it’s used
THC juice is essentially concentrated CBD so you can expect to experience similar effects as if you were to smoke a high-THC strain. The intensity of the experience will be different for everyone and depends on a host of factors including your metabolism, body composition and your sensitivity to THC.
Common effects can include:
- Increased receptiveness to stimuli
- Distortion of time
Benefits of using THC juice rather than smoking cannabis
Vaping THC offers several benefits, including:
The high concentration of THC means that you will need less to achieve the same effects compared to smoking cannabis. This makes it an appealing option for people that need a higher dose.
There are many reasons that you may not wish to advertise your cannabis use, especially in the UK. Vapes produce no smoke, and the flavours are very different to that signature marijuana smell, so others won’t even know that you’re ingesting THC.
There are many factors that affect the quality of marijuana, such as inadequate storage that can cause toxic substances to find their way into your dried marijuana. Low-quality rolling papers can also contain harmful substances. Then, once the joint is lit, these toxic elements are burned and inhaled into your lungs. Vape juice that has only a marijuana extract ensures that there are no harmful ingredients in your juice.
Studies show that the hot smoke from smoking cannabis can irritate the lungs and, over time, cause long-term irreversible damage. Vaping THC juice happens at a much lower temperature as the liquid is converted into vapour, thereby causing less damage. Also, because it is more concentrated, you will need fewer inhalations to get the same effects.
The flavour profile of marijuana can be very off-putting for some. THC juice allows you to ingest marijuana and experience the effects in a flavour of your choosing. Popular options include apple, peppermint, apple and banana.
Vapes are cheaper because you only need a small amount of the highly potent THC juice and the vape device itself can be reused many times. There’s also no wastage because the liquid can be stored for use at a later stage.
There’s no need to stockpile or travel with large amounts of cannabis. A reusable vaping device means that all you need is the vape juice and you’re good to go.
Vape pens mean that you don’t need to consume the liquid in one go, unlike smoking marijuana. You can take one hit initially, then come back a few minutes (or hours) later for another. This method can dramatically reduce the amount of cannabis you use and protect you from the harmful and addictive effects of tobacco that is often mixed in with the dried cannabis plant if you smoke it.
What are the side effects?
Similar to all products that contain more than small traces of THC, there is the potential to experience extreme anxiety and paranoia, vomiting, and unconsciousness.
There is also the potential to cause short-term and long-term damage to your physical and mental health.
THC Vape Juice in the UK
THC vape juice is illegal in the UK. While it’s theoretically possible to get a prescription for medicinal marijuana, very few doctors are willing to actually do it. Recreational marijuana consumption remains illegal, so it won’t be readily available here for the foreseeable future.
Although it’s possible to prepare THC juice at home, the chances of making a good-quality, great-tasting batch is very low. It’s much better to stick to a commercially produced THC vape juice for quality, consistency and flavour and this form of consumption is generally preferred by cannabis veterans.
Unfortunately, if you live in the UK and want to try THC juice, this is all a moot point as marijuana and THC are likely to remain banned substances for the foreseeable future.