The Complete Guide on Vaporizer AVB & How To Use It
If you love vaporizing cannabis, you most probably already noticed that as a by-product of vaporizing you get a brown-looking, toasted version of the herb you were vaping. This material is commonly referred to as AVB (Already Vaped Bud), or ABV (Already Been Vaped) by the vaporization enthusiasts. Some may even call it vape poo. No matter how you call it, for no reason should you throw away your AVB.
AVB is not the stinky ashes you get from combusting; it is a super versatile material, still rich in cannabinoids, that can live a second life if you know what to do with it. Read this guide to learn all the secrets of AVB and how to upcycle it.
What exactly is AVB?
AVB stands to vaporization as ashes stands to smoking. In other words, AVB is what’s left of the herbs after the vaporization process. During vaporization, the cannabinoids, the terpenes and other elements in cannabis pass from a semi-solid state to gaseous state – the vapour that we inhale. But, regardless of how powerful your vaporizer is, and regardless of how efficient the vaporization process is, a percentage of the cannabinoids will not transform into vapour.
At the end of the vaporization session, what’s left in the oven of your vaporizer is AVB. So, we could say that AVB is a sort of toasted, semi-spent cannabis, low in terpenes but with still a decent content in cannabinoids. Before you throw your AVB in the trash can, read the paragraphs that follow. AVB is capable of living a second life if used correctly, and it does indeed pack a punch in terms of power! Furthermore, the heat during the vaporization session decarboxylates cannabinoids (the process that makes cannabinoids psychoactive), which means that you can use AVB to make some extra potent edibles.
How do I store my AVB?
Thanks to its low humidity content, AVB can last a very long time without spoiling or producing mould. The best way to store it is in glass jars, but plastic containers will do the job. In a nutshell, any container can be used to store AVB. We prefer to store our AVB in medium-sized glass jars, closed with their lid, and then stored in a cupboard away from light and air. Stored in this way, AVB can last for a very long time, even one year or more, without losing its potency.
How many cannabinoids are left in AVB?
Vaporization is an extremely effective way of extracting cannabinoids from weed. However, despite being much more efficient than combustion at extracting, preserving and delivering cannabinoids, even the most efficient vaporizer is unable to deliver 100% of the cannabinoids contained in weed. Let’s say, for example, that you are vaping a strain that contains 25% cannabinoids. If you do a thorough extraction with your vaporizer, you might have around 5% cannabinoids left in your AVB. This means that you will be able to extract approximately 1 gram of pure cannabinoids every 20 grams of AVB, which is not bad at all.
Some people vape at low temperature and finish the session way before the AVB reaches its characteristic brown colour. In general, the greener the AVB looks, the higher the quantity of cannabinoids left in it. Green AVB is a prime quality raw material for extractions and edibles.
What to do with AVB?
So many things can be done with AVB. Vaping enthusiasts are constantly finding new ways to use it, and mentioning them all would require an encyclopaedia. We’ve selected and tested for you what, in our opinion, are the best ways to use AVB; the ones that best preserve the cannabinoids.
AVB is decarboxylated, this means that the cannabinoids contained in it are active even when consumed orally. You could literally eat a spoonful of AVB and get baked. Anyway, there are better, tastier alternatives to eating raw AVB. Check out some of our favourite ways in the paragraphs below, and feel free to experiment with your own recipes.
Doses and effects
AVB can hit surprisingly hard when eaten. We suggest starting with a small quantity first, approximately one teaspoon, and then increase if needed. The effects of AVB start to kick in roughly one hour after ingestion, and last for three to four hours. Edibles tend to have a slightly trippier effect than joints and vaporizers. It’s important to use a fatty substance as a vehicle for the cannabinoids: fats increase cannabinoids bioavailability.
If, at any stage, you feel overwhelmed by the effects of edibles, remember that eventually the effects will wear out. Don’t panic! Sugars and vitamins can help reduce the high; something as simple as freshly squeezed orange juice can quickly bring you back to planet earth.
PB & chocolate Bongify-style firecrackers
- Spread some 100% natural peanut butter (it’s the one where the oil separates) on a shortbread cookie or butter cookie
- Sprinkle one teaspoon of AVB on the peanut butter
- Put a square of chocolate on the second cookie
- Make a sandwich with the cookies
PB & honey firecrackers
- Same thing, but with honey instead of chocolate
PB & jelly firecrackers
- Same again, this time with your favourite jelly
Straight peanut butter firecrackers
- Straight peanut butter and AVB on a cookie/cracker
- Add one or two teaspoons of AVB to full cream natural yogurt or kefir
- Stir well
- Add a sweetener (honey, sugar, brown sugar) or a flavour (jelly, syrup) to the yogurt
- Mix well
- Take a milk chocolate bar of your favourite brand and count the squares in it
- The idea is to aim at having one teaspoon of AVB per one or two squares of chocolate (for example, if your chocolate bar has 10 squares, put five to 10 teaspoons AVB in it)
- Melt the chocolate in bain-marie, adding a teaspoon or two of butter
- When the chocolate has melted, add the AVB and stir vigorously
- Pour the mix in silicon moulds for chocolate
- Put in the refrigerator and let it cool overnight
Make butter/infused oil
A great way of upcycling your AVB is to make infused butter or oil out of it. You can then use the butter or oil for cooking, just as you would if you were using the regular version. In this case, it’s a little bit harder to find the perfect proportion between AVB and butter/oil. As a rule of thumb, aim at infusing 1 gram of AVB per 10-20 grams of butter/oil.
Infused coconut oil
Coconut oil is one of the best fats around when it comes to cannabutter and AVB butter. The procedure to make it is fairly straight forward:
- Put the coconut oil in a pot with AVB (follow the proportions mentioned above)
- Warm up everything using a bain-marie technique (place a big pot with water on the stove, with inside a smaller pot of AVB and coconut oil)
- Warm up until the water in the bigger pot boils
- If too much water evaporates, add some more (pay attention not to pour water in the oil/AVB mix)
- Simmer for 2 hours
- The coconut oil should now have a brownish-green colour and a distinctive smell
- Take out from the fire and pour the mix through a metal kitchen strainer and into a glass jar
- Let the jar cool down, then store in the fridge
- Use within one month
Infused EVO oil
You can use the technique mentioned above to make some AVB-infused extra virgin olive oil.
You can use the same technique also with traditional milk butter.
Making extracts and tinctures with AVB
Extracts and tinctures are a great way of using your AVB. The main advantage is that you’ll have a more concentrated final product that will be easier to store and preserve. Concentrates and tinctures tend to be very stable in time, they don’t spoil and occupy a fraction of the space in the fridge compared to butters and infused oils. Extracting cannabinoids from AVB takes a little bit of practice but it’s not a hard process, and the results will be well worth the effort.
QWISO and QWET (or QWET)
QWISO stands for ‘quick wash isopropyl oil’; QWETO/QWET means 'quick wash ethanol oil'. Ethanol and isopropyl are both alcohols, and alcohols have an amazing ability to extract cannabinoids from AVB. QWISO and QWETO techniques are typically used to extract cannabinoids from pop-corn buds (the little buds that grow on the lower internodes of the plant) and trim. The result is a shatter-like oil that is very potent, albeit not super flavourful. When it comes to extracting from AVB, though, flavour is not too much of a problem, so these techniques are perfect. This oil can then be used in edibles or even dabbed.
Ethanol vs isopropyl
We recommend using ethanol. Ethanol is the alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, so we can pretty much say that it is 100% food grade. It can be bought in supermarkets and liquor stores, as it is the alcohol used for limoncello and other infusions. Do not use denatured ethanol, as it contains poisonous chemicals. Isopropyl is much cheaper than ethanol, but we don’t recommend using it.
The extraction process
The idea behind QWETO and QWISO is simple: be quick enough in the extraction process not to have too much wax and chlorophyll in your oil. The aim is to leave behind everything that’s not cannabinoids to obtain a final product that is pure enough to be dabbed.
If you plan to use your oil mostly orally, then we recommend using a different technique. You will learn everything about it later on in the article.
- high-proof ethanol
- A metal strainer
- A rosin bag or a coffee paper filter
- A fridge
- Two jars
- A plate (the ceramic ones, for eating)
- A razor blade
- Rosin or parchment paper
- Put the AVB in one jar and alcohol in the other. Start with a small quantity of AVB (for example five or six spoonfuls). You should have enough alcohol to cover all the AVB and to be one inch above the AVB level when you mix
- Put the two jars in the freezer overnight
- The next day, pour the alcohol into the AVB jar and shake for 30 seconds
- Let sit for one minute, then shake again for 30 seconds
- Repeat this process three to four times
- Quickly strain the solution from the plant matter using a metal strainer (the kitchen ones work just fine) and pour it in a clean jar. The idea is to quickly filter most of the plant matter; you'll refine the product later
- Press the plant matter with your fingers to squeeze out as much liquid as you can
- Filter the obtained liquid (at this point you should have a greenish looking liquid) with a 30micron rosin bag, or with a coffee filter
- Pour the filtered liquid on a ceramic plate, cover with another plate or something to keep light and dust out while letting air in
- Be patient for a couple of days; the alcohol will completely evaporate
- At this point, you should have on the plate a thin film of a sticky greenish-brown substance. You are ready to start scraping
- Use a razorblade (be careful) to scrape the sticky oil from the plate
- Put what you collect on the piece of parchment paper
- Leave the oil in the folded piece of parchment paper at room temperature, for one or two days
- Then, put it in the fridge for medium term storage
- Extracts can last for a year or more without losing potency
Don’t worry too much of having ethanol residues in the oil. If you follow our procedure, should be minimal. If you will be dabbing your oil, tiny leftovers of ethanol will evaporate as soon as the oil hits the banger. So, just wait a couple of seconds before inhaling from the moment you see bubbles in your concentrate.
FECO and tinctures
FECO stands for full-extract cannabis oil. In this case, the procedure is meant to produce an extract that has as most of the goodies contained in cannabis, included some of the waxes and chlorophyll. Rick Simpson Oil is an example of FECO, a full spectrum oil meant to be used orally. Due to the high content in waxes and chlorophyll, FECO extracts are generally not suitable for dabbing.
Follow the same procedure described above to make QWISO and QWETO, but this time let the AVB sit in alcohol for up to seven days. Store in a dark, cool place. Shake the jar every one or two days for 30 seconds or so.
If you like a shot every now and then, you’ll appreciate the extra kick given to your drink by infusing it with some AVB. Follow this simple procedure:
- Buy a bottle of good quality vodka, rum, schnapps or similar
- Open it and pour it in a bigger bottle or jar
- Add one gram of AVB per 50-100 ml of liquor
- Add a couple of cloves, a stick of cinnamon, fresh mint leaves…or any flavour you like
- Let the mixture sit in a cool dark place for approximately one month
- Strain everything and pour in a clean glass bottle
Bonus: Water-curing AVB
AVB has a distinctive roasted aroma that some may find unpleasant. We don’t mind AVB smell at all, on the contrary, it is quite delicious. However, if you are one of those users that doesn’t like the taste of AVB, you can water cure it to remove most of its taste and obtain a much cleaner final product. Follow these steps to water-cure your AVB:
- Pour mineral water (avoid using tap water to avoid contaminating your AVB with chemicals and calcium) in your AVB jar
- Use one full jar of water per every half jar of AVB
- Let everything sit for one week
- Strain the mixture and throw away the liquid part
- Let the AVB dry evenly spread on a flat surface, protected from sunlight and dust
- Check your AVB daily for signs of mould, break up the lumps if needed
- Once the AVB is dry, you are ready to use it
If you want to make the best possible and most efficient use of your herbs, combining a vaporizer with a bong makes it possible to use your weed more than just once while limiting the amount of harmful substances that you inhale. Depending on the type of vaporizer you use, you may also be able to collect reclaim (dabs) from your vaporizer.