How to Make Cannabis Oil from Trim

Cannabis Oil from Trim

How to Make Cannabis Oil from Trim

Growers, tenders, trimmers, producers and distributors all take different risks, skillsets and roles. Working with cannabis insiders operating on both sides of the law gives insight into the process of cultivating these plants and turning them into profit. Utilizing trim is one such way.

The strain of cannabis grown doesn’t matter as much as the process you use to grow, harvest and prep the product for sale. Fruit and vegetables bought in a store aren’t just ripped from the ground and sold as is – they’re gussied up and made presentable. Cannabis is no different.

The types of nugs most dispensaries look for are indoor grown nuggets. A proper farmer can trim an outdoor nug to look like an indoor nug, but it takes the careful removal of all water leaves and stems from the product.

The trimming process is the variable that determines the value of your cannabis. A haphazard trim shaves valuable crystals off the buds while leaving crow’s feet and stickers in the product. To inspect a dispensary’s inventory quality, pick up a nug and rotate it to check the trim job.

A properly-harvested and trimmed plant leaves a large amount of trimmings. These are the water leaves, sugar leaves and unformed nugs left on the stems and stocks that have been harvested for nugs. This product now needs to be trimmed again and sorted through, stem-by-stem, in order to clean the stems and stalks out, which can be discarded.

Water leaves (leaves without crystals) are often left in the trim to be extracted. Although THC isn’t extracted from them, the leaves contain a variety of terpenes and other valuable nutrients that round out the plant’s capabilities and the extract’s flavor. By the time the trim is ready to blow through an extractor, what will be left will look like the trimmings from mowing the lawn. The extraction from this will be as good as anything one would get from extracting nuggets.

The Four Grades of Cannabis Trim

We generally classify trim into four grades based on a standard set of criteria, such as resin, trichome density, and several other factors used to determine its quality. We will discuss these criteria in more detail below.

Grade 1 Trim for Extract Oil

  • Origin: Small leaves that are attached to the flower and buds that are too small to sell
  • Resin Content: 15%
  • Nug Content: 10%
  • Cannabinoid content: High
  • Trichomes: High density
  • Sticks: None
  • Fan Leaf: None
  • Typical value: High
  • Typical extract oil output: High
  • Debris: Free from foreign debris
  • Mold and mildew: Visually free from mold and mildew

How to Make Cannabis Oil from Trim

Grade 2 Trim for Extract Oil

  • Origin: Small leaves that are attached to the flower
  • Resin content: 10-12%
  • Nug content: 1-3%
  • Cannabinoid content: High
  • Trichomes: Medium density
  • Sticks: None
  • Fan Leaf: None
  • Typical value: High to medium
  • Typical extract oil output: High to medium
  • Debris: Free from foreign debris
  • Mold and Mildew: Visually free from mold and mildew
How to Make Cannabis Oil from Trim

Grade 3 Trim for Extract Oil

  • Origin: Small leaves that are attached to the flower that have greatly reduced trichome content.
  • Resin Content: 5-10%
  • Nug content: 1-3%
  • Cannabinoid content: low
  • Trichomes: Low density
  • Sticks: None
  • Fan Leaf: None
  • Typical value: High to medium
  • Typical extract oil output: High to medium
  • Debris: Free from foreign debris
  • Mold and mildew:  Visually free from mold and mildew

Grade 4 Trim for Extract Oil

  • Origin: Fan leaves and branches
  • Resin content: 1-5%
  • Nug content: 1%
  • Trichomes: Low to no density
  • Sticks: Yes
  • Fan Leaf: Yes
  • Typical value: little to no value
  • Typical extract oil output: Low
  • Debris: Typically will have refuse
  • Mold and mildew:  Visually free from mold and mildew

Buyers Beware When Purchasing Trim for Extract Oils

When learning how to make oil from fan leaves and how to extract oil from plants, it’s important to note that there are many unscrupulous sellers of trim on the market. This is because there are many uneducated buyers on the market. A popular way to downgrade the extract oil content from Grade 1 and 2 trim to Grade 3 is to tumble the trim with dry ice to knock the trichomes off of the plant.

Notice that the resin content can be high, but the cannabinoid content is low. This is why measuring output by weight only is fraught with potential misjudgments on the quality of the extract. The degraded material looks like high-quality cannabis trim, but is, in reality, poor-quality trim.

Grade 4 material is nearly worthless, as the cost to extract the material can be greater than the cost of the material itself. In general, materials with less than 5% resin content should not be considered for oil extraction.

Sampling Trim for Extract Oil

Sampling is an important part of the grading exercise. For example, when a truckload of trim is purchased, Grade 1 and 2 is presented to the seller who typically makes the decision on whether the trim is “good” or “poor” quality by rubbing the material on his fingers to gauge the resin content. This method of determining good vs. poor is not objective and is very prone to mis-grading.

However, the point is not necessarily the method here. The question is, “Is the sample representative of the truckload?” The answer to that question is where the science of statistics enters.

First you must ask, “Is the sample a random sample?” Second, you must know, how many times you must sample the truckload in order to be certain within a degree of error that the sample is representative of the truckload. Third, you must have an objective analytical tool with an established accept/reject criteria on which to accept or reject the samples.

If you are just rubbing the material between your fingers to determine the grade, you have already lost and you will lose money. The method involves squeezing and rolling the material in between your fingers. Then the plant material is let go and some resin remains on your fingers.

Ways To Make The Most Out Of Cannabis Trim

Make Cannabutter

Cannabutter is an essential ingredient for many edible recipes. From dressings to baked goods, even bulletproof coffee, it’s always handy to have some cannabutter at home. And if you enjoy the experience that edibles has to offer, you’re in luck because cannabutter makes excellent use of trim.

Make Cooking Oil

Just like cannabutter, cooking oil is a key ingredient in many edibles. Trim can be used in exchange of flowers to make cannabis coconut oil or olive oil, which you can then use to cook and bake edibles.

Cannabis Topicals

Cannabis topicals are effective ways to medicate for skin conditions as well as pain. Applying topicals such as creams, lotions, and salves provide localized relief and are absorbed immediately by the endocannabinoid receptors in your skin. The good news is that topicals are so easy to make at home! And now you can use your excess trim for skin care and pain relief.

Make Cannabis Tea

How to Make Cannabis Oil from Trim

Trimmings can be used to make cannabis tea to give you the medicinal benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids. It won’t get you high, but you’ll still enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the plant when you consume it as a tea. On the other hand, if you want to get high from tea, there’s also the option of decarboxylating it first.

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