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How to Extract THC from Trimmings

By Last updated on March 21, 2023No Comments

Out of the 113 cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the only one with psychoactive properties. Due to THC, weed users get a euphoric feeling, making it ideal for recreational use. 

People who cultivate and sell cannabis know the importance of every part of the plant. Most people discard cannabis plant trimmings, but you can easily turn them into THC concentrates. Next time, you don’t have to throw away the trimming during harvest because you can convert it into something useful. 

Here is how to extract THC from trimmings! 

THC Extraction Process from Trimmings 

Extracting THC from trimmings is easy if you have the right tools and materials for it. Here is how you can do it at home:

Things You Will Need

To extract concentrated THC from cannabis trimmings, you will need the following: 

  • Cannabis trimmings 
  • Isopropyl alcohol (Rubbing alcohol)
  • Baking tray 
  • Pyrex dish
  • Fine cheesecloth 
  • Dark glass jar 
  • Razor blade or scraper 

Step-by-Step Method

how to extract thc from trimmings step by step

Follow these steps to ensure you extract all the THC from the leftover trims and buds of the plant:  

Step #1: Decarboxylate the Trimmings 

Decarboxylation is an essential step to activate the THC in the cannabis plant. This process requires heating the trimming in an oven. To decarboxylate the plant, spread the trimmings evenly on a baking tray and bake it at 240°F for 30 to 40 minutes. 

The heat will turn the THCA into THC, making it easier to extract the psychoactive cannabinoid. Once the THC is activated, take the trimmings out and allow them to cool. 

Step #2: Soak the Trim in Alcohol 

Transfer the activated trims to a jar and pour isopropyl alcohol till the trims are completely drowned. Allow the trims to soak in the alcohol for 15 minutes. Then tightly close the jar and shake it vigorously. 

It will help the alcohol extract the THC in the most effective way. Keep shaking the jar for three minutes to properly incorporate cannabis with the isopropyl alcohol. Once the trichomes break down, they will release the THC present in the plant. 

Step #3: Strain to Purify 

Next, you need to purify the alcohol and cannabis mixture. Using a cheesecloth, strain out all the solids, leaving you with a slightly yellowish liquid. At this point, the smell of cannabis will be quite strong. 

Make sure to strain the mixture in a pyrex dish so you can later expose it to direct flame. If you see any specs of cannabis trims in the solvent, you can strain it twice or thrice to obtain complete purity. 

Step #4: Evaporate the Alcohol

Now that you have THC-incorporated isopropyl alcohol, it is time to extract the concentrated THC from the solvent. Place the pyrex dish with the mixture on direct low flame to slowly evaporate the alcohol. 

Alcohol is quite easy to evaporate, so this step won’t take time. If you use a double boiler to evaporate the solvent, this process might be a bit longer. Once the alcohol dries off, it leaves behind a sticky, resinous substance. This substance is THC. 

Step #5: Gather the Concentrated THC

Allow the sticky residue to cool in the pyrex dish to prevent burning your hands. Once the substance reaches room temperature, scrape it off the dish using a knife or a blade. However, it can be a bit tricky to properly take the concentrated THC off the dish. 

Store THC in a gooey consistency in a dark bottle. Exposing it to direct sunlight can degrade its potency. Moreover, avoid dehydrating the THC extract to maintain its quality. 

Step #6: Incorporate THC into Different Products 

You can use concentrated THC in products like oils, snacks, drinks, teas, salads, and more. You can also add some THC to your skincare products to soothe your skin and relieve inflammation. 

This concentrate will stay fresh for up to a month. You can elongate its shelf life by keeping it cool and dry. However, concentrated THC starts losing its potency over time. 

Do’s and Don’t of THC Extraction

If you have never extracted THC before, there are a few Do’s and Don’ts of extraction that you need to consider. 


  • Opt for slow heating methods to evaporate the alcohol. It will avoid burning the THC concentrate. 
  • Make sure to wear gloves during the entire process to prevent transferring contaminants to the product. 
  • Use 95% isopropyl alcohol for effective extraction. 
  • Utilize all the trims, buds, and leftover soft stems of the plant for THC extraction. 
  • Use a fine cheesecloth to ensure no impurities in the strained cannabis and solvent mixture. 


  • Do not use PVC or other plastic materials that can react with THC or isopropyl alcohol. 
  • Avoid using direct flame over the alcohol. Use a heat-safe dish during the reduction process. 
  • Don’t use open-source extraction methods like the butane extraction method to prevent deadly damage. 
  • Refrain from rushing the process to ensure a high-quality product and prevent severe accidents. 
  • Do not taste the product during extraction, as it can be hazardous to health. 

Follow Your Local THC Laws

The consumption of marijuana has been legalized throughout the US, as mentioned in the Farm Bill 2018. It is allowed for medical and recreational purposes if the THC content is below 0.3%. 

However, some states have different laws regarding THC consumption, possession, and distribution. So, make sure to understand your local THC laws to avoid any legal trouble. 


THC is one of the most important cannabinoids of the cannabis plant. It is highly demanded due to its psychoactive properties that allow users to have an elated feeling. Now that you know how to extract THC from cannabis trimmings, you don’t have to waste any part of the plant. 

With these leftover small buds and cuttings after harvesting, you can extract THC for personal or commercial use. This THC is also high-quality and provides the same benefits as the THC extracted from the main parts of the plant. 

So, follow these steps for some extra THC in your stash!

The Sanctuary Editorial Team

Our writers use a combination of research and personal experiences to eloquently tackle these topics. The research process utilizes multiple levels of information. We reference informal channels for details relating to casual topics such as describing slang or how to create a bong out of fruit. We also examine scientific publishings for up-to-date research. The accuracy of our articles is crucially important to us and they are written with the idea of inclusiveness for readers of all walks of life.