How to

Make Your Own Cannabis Concentrate

By Penny Barthel

When it comes to growing cannabis, Penny Barthel has got the goods. A certified cannabis horticulturist, trained nutritionist, recipe developer and blogger, she demystifies cannabis for the home gardener and anyone curious about getting their hands dirty, digging in, and learning more about this glorious plant.

You can find this recipe and more in Penny's book, The Cannabis Gardener.

The Basics

A cannabis concentrate is an oily liquid composed almost entirely of the cannabinoid and terpene-rich resins made by the cannabis plant. Concentrates are usually made by soaking cannabis bud and/or sugar leaves in a solvent to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes, then driving off the solvent; what remains is almost pure resin. Because she values safety, Penny uses food grade ethanol as the solvent to make her concentrates and uses an herbal extractor to safely evaporate and recover the ethanol for future use. This dark green/black concentrate is loaded with cannabinoids to use in topicals that are safe for the skin. High in quality, this concentrate is also known as cannabis oil, consumed in tiny quantities for a powerful impact. To make it, she uses a Source Turbo extractor, which is a tabletop device that helps to preserve the integrity of the concentrate by keeping the temperature at or below 100 degrees F, while evaporating and recovering ethanol with vacuum pressures. It is important to note that to achieve the best results, use only 100 percent pure food-grade ethanol. If you are unable to find food-grade ethanol, you may substitute a high-proof neutral spirit such as Everclear. Do NOT use isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol for this recipe; those are not food-grade products.


1 pint food-grade 100% (200 proof) ethanol

60 grams dried decarboxylated cannabis bud, chopped


Place the cannabis in a wide-mouth glass container with a lid. Pour the ethanol over the cannabis and close the container. Allow the cannabis/ethanol mixture to rest for an hour. Gently agitate the container every 10 minutes to facilitate the movement of the cannabinoids into the ethanol.

Using several layers of cheesecloth or a nutmilk bag, strain the cannabis from the liquid into a glass measuring cup big enough to hold the liquid. Strain the liquid again through a coffee filter for optimal clarity of the final concentrate.

Follow the extractor manufacturer’s instructions to evaporate off the ethanol, reserving it for a future extraction. Store airtight in a cool, dark spot. It will remain potent for a year or longer.

Reprinted from The Cannabis Gardener Copyright © 2021 by Penny Barthel. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Erin Scott. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House.


Your guide

Penny Barthel
Founder of Let's Sesh and Author of The Cannabis Gardener

Penny believes that cannabis belongs in the garden. A certified cannabis horticulturist, Penny is the author of The Cannabis Gardener and teaches all things cannabis at Let’s Sesh Workshops. Penny's Bay Area kitchen and garden pursuits flow directly from her nutrition education, love of the table, and constant experimentation with her garden's bounty.


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