How to Make Vape Oil
Step 2: Flavoring
If our base cannabis oil is distillate like we used in step one, we’re starting with a blank canvas and going to need to flavor our oil with terpenes. Like many other aspects of the cannabis industry, terpene sources come with a fair amount of controversy.
Flavoring sources can be divided into two categories: Cannabis derived terpenes, and non-cannabis derived terpenes.
Cannabis derived terpenes are obviously the most desirable, but are also the hardest to isolate and scale to mass production without significant investment (Co2 extraction). To flavor vape oil with cannabis-derived terpenes, you’ll need the ability to produce a high terpene full spectrum extract (HTFSE). HTFSE’s can be produced with butane, Co2, microwave, steam, and with skilled extractors using advanced processing techniques when working with high quality starting material (fresh frozen/live resin).
On the other hand, Non-cannabis derived terpenes are sourced from other plant sources exogenous to the cannabis plant. This makes non-cannabis derived terpenes much more affordable and easier to scale. They do not require the large upfront equipment cost that comes with extracting cannabis-derived terpenes. Non-cannabis derived terpenes can be simply purchased. Click here for our favorite all natural, food grade, organic, non-GMO, terpenes from True Terpenes.
Cannabis-derived terpenes can also be purchased, though the cost is much higher. To put it in perspective, cannabis-derived terpenes can cost anywhere between $100-$600/ml compared to non-cannabis derived terpenes costing roughly $2-$5/ml.
We like to use terpenes from both cannabis-derived sources, and non-cannabis derived sources. Connoisseurs prefer cannabis-derived terpenes such as live resin sauce in a vape pen. However, the majority of vape pens are flavored with non-cannabis derived terpenes that taste like strawberry and banana, lemons, or other citrus flavors.