Have you heard about a powerful plant medicine called FECO, also known as full-extract cannabis oil? Did you know it is easy enough to make at home? Yes, even for beginners! Here, you will find step-by-step instructions for making your own at home, followed by all of my favorite ways to use this powerful cannabis plant as a potent tincture, topical, or edible final product.
Table of Contents
- Why You Will Love This Guide
- What is Full-Extract Cannabis Oil?
- FECO vs. RSO
- What You’ll Need
- Step #1 – Decarboxylate
- Step #2 – Make a Tincture
- Step #3 – Evaporate
- Step #4 – Prep for Storage
- Step #5 – Dose & Consume
- Full-Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO) Recipe
- Frequently Asked Questions
- A powerful plant medicine that can be made at home
- Two ingredients needed: cannabis flower & alcohol
- Want to make it easy? Skip the work and have my premium cannabis products shipped directly to your door – now shipping across the United States!
Why You Will Love This Guide
For many people in my Well With Cannabis Community, FECO is the holy grail in the world of cannabis extractions.
Full extract cannabis oil, also known as FECO, RSO oil, or Phoenix tears, is a cannabis extract made by soaking the cannabis in a solvent like alcohol.
Are you excited and ready to get started?
My best advice is to read this entire guide first before getting started.
Then follow my step-by-step instructions for making FECO at home with helpful tips for how to do it safely so you end up with nothing but the purest plant medicine in the end.
What is Full-Extract Cannabis Oil?
Before jumping in, let’s break down a few important things about full-spectrum oil before starting.
If you’re already familiar with cannabis oil, you know that regular cannabis oil is an oil infusion made by soaking the cannabis plant in oil.
The fat in the oil helps attract the cannabinoids we want, like THC or CBD.
This process is different.
When we are making FECO, we use alcohol as a tool to remove the cannabinoids from the plant material.
We then remove the alcohol, leaving behind the cannabinoids in a concentrated full-spectrum extract.
Alcohol is very efficient at extracting not only the major cannabinoids but also minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemical compounds.
These constituents come together to produce a full-spectrum, whole-plant extract, which contributes to what is known as the entourage effect.
When we consume FECO, this is a powerful concentrated cannabis extract that interacts with our endocannabinoid system.
The resulting oil can be extremely potent, making FECO an excellent choice to be used for medical purposes.
Members of my Well With Cannabis Community report using cannabis for chronic pain, managing symptoms through cancer treatments, and managing certain medical conditions.
FECO vs. RSO
One important thing to note is that many people confuse FECO with RSO – also known as Rick Simpson Oil.
RSO is FECO.
Both FECO and RSO have the same final characteristics and appear very dark, thick, sticky, and tar-like consistency upon successful completion.
Both utilize alcohol as the solvent for extraction.
- The main difference between FECO and RSO is the type of alcohol used for the extraction process.
FECO utilizes food-grade grain alcohol, which is considered a safer solvent than isopropyl alcohol or naptha used in the RSO method.
- Isopropyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol, like the kind you would find in your medicine cabinet, IS NOT SAFE TO INGEST.
In this guide, we are making full-extract cannabis oil with a tincture made with food-grade grain alcohol, which is safe for human consumption.
If you are having problems finding high-proof, food-grade grain alcohol, check out this guide to help you access safe products.
Quick FECO Instructions
In a hurry? Do you just need a quick overview of the process?
- Decarboxylate your cannabis in an oven or Instant Pot
- Prepare a cannabis alcohol tincture like the Green Dragon or Golden Dragon
- Evaporate the alcohol using our safe evaporation methods
- Store your medicine in a glass syringe or other container
- Consume your medicine as an edible, topical, sublingual, or in a capsule
Find detailed instructions for each step below.
What You’ll Need
- Cannabis: Choose THC, CBD, or CBG flowers. You can purchase them from my online shop. You can use many plant material types here, including flowers, trim, sugar leaves, and kief. The amount to use is up to you, but understand that many factors will affect the final potency. It is recommended to weigh your starting material now in grams if you want to calculate the final dose.
- Alcohol: Do not use rubbing alcohol. You need high-proof grain alcohol. You want at least 150 proof, but ideally 190 or 200 proof. Lower-proof alcohols, like vodka, are not as powerful. Be sure to check out my guide for how to order high-proof grain alcohol.
Note: The recipe card below has a complete list of ingredients with amounts and printable instructions.
Step #1 – Decarboxylate
Before jumping in and pouring alcohol over your cannabis flower, you must ensure you don’t forget this crucial step – decarboxylation.
Without decarboxylation, you may not experience the full range of effects from activated cannabinoids like THC or CBD.
When we decarb, we heat the cannabis flower at a low temperature over a specific period of time to allow for complete decarboxylation without destroying the other beneficial compounds, such as terpenes or flavonoids.
Use this guide to decarb at the right temp for the type of flower you have:
- THCA → Δ9-THC – bake at 240°F/116°C for 40 minutes
- CBDA → CBD – bake at 240°F/116°C for 90 minutes
- CBGA → CBG – bake at 220°F/105°C for 60 minutes
- Δ9-THC → CBN – bake at 240°F/116°C for 180 minutes
Step #2 – Make a Tincture
The second step is to prepare an alcohol-based cannabis tincture. Using alcohol is a very common way to make herbal tinctures at home.
Either option works. I ran lab tests to compare the efficacy of each method, and the results are posted here.
According to the results, the Green Dragon method produces a more potent tincture. However, this method produces a stronger-tasting tincture with more residual plant matter like chlorophyll.
Some people believe chlorophyll is an important part of a full-spectrum extract, while others don’t appreciate the taste.
Your Next Steps
Once your tincture is made, you have many choices on what you want to do with your tincture.
You can stop the process here, not evaporate, and enjoy an alcohol tincture to be used in cocktails like sangria.
You can also move on to step three, where we evaporate off 95% of the alcohol to make our cannabis oil.
Step #3 – Evaporate
Remember when I said at the beginning of this guide that we were going to use alcohol as a tool?
By now, the tool has served its purpose, extracted the medicine we want, and now it’s time to get rid of the alcohol.
By evaporating the alcohol, we are getting rid of the dreaded burn, concentrating the volume, and creating a high-potency, full-spectrum oil that contains all of the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
But before getting started, there are a few safety concerns to keep in mind before evaporating the alcohol from your tincture.
- We are using high-proof alcohol, which is EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE.
That is why we want to be careful about how we evaporate the alcohol.
If you introduce high temperatures to an open flame while trying to evaporate the alcohol, you risk starting a fire or, even worse, having an explosion.
- I never recommend evaporating the alcohol over an open flame or gas-burning stove. This is dangerous and unnecessary.
Thankfully, I have safe evaporation solutions outlined here and have shared the two most popular methods below.
Evaporation At Room Temperature
You can allow the alcohol to evaporate just by allowing the tincture to sit at room temperature uncovered.
It is the safest option but can take a very long time.
Below is a picture of a shot glass I filled with 1 ounce of tincture. It took around 3-4 days for the alcohol to evaporate completely.
The black oil you see left behind in the glass is the FECO. If you use this method, use glass whenever possible.
I recommend adding a coffee filter or other breathable material to the top of the jar to prevent contaminants from getting in.
If you prefer this method of evaporation, you can also use it to make easy tincture-infused gummies.
Evaporate Alcohol With Heat
To help speed up the process, we want to introduce heat to help evaporate the alcohol faster – but without an open flame.
My favorite safe and easy solution is to create a water bath with this mini-warming crockpot.
This is a perfect solution because the mini-crockpot does not heat above 160° F, meaning it won’t destroy any cannabinoids.
You want to ensure you do not have the lid on the jar during this process, as this will prevent any of the alcohol from evaporating.
I recommend doing this in a room with good ventilation, keep the windows open, or use a fan to keep the airflow moving.
The evaporating alcohol has a strong odor that may be unpleasant in a small, confined space.
If you don’t have or want to use a mini-crockpot, I have many more ideas in my guide for safely evaporating alcohol from tinctures.
What You’re Looking For
The evaporation process is how you get from a liquid tincture to your final FECO oil end product.
When you have successfully evaporated all of the alcohol, you will be left with a small amount of very dark, thick, sticky, molasses-like oil.
This is your FECO, full-extract cannabis oil. Only a very small amount of this oil will be left at the end.
Many people think they may have done something wrong the first time, but this is normal.
Remember, we are concentrating only on the things we want – plant medicine compounds – and getting rid of what we don’t – plant matter.
At the end, when you have evaporated all of the alcohol, you will be left with a small amount of concentrated cannabis oil.
- Note that the alcohol will leave the container through evaporation, and your volume will drop significantly.
Don’t worry; this is normal. The good stuff is what is left behind.
A rough guesstimate expects to use 1 cup of tincture and collect only approximately 3 milliliters of FECO.
Step #4 – Prep for Storage
From here, there are many ways you can collect the FECO and store it for long-term use.
Properly made and stored FECO should last at least six months, often longer if kept refrigerated.
One of the most simple ways to store it is to keep it in an airtight glass vessel of your choice.
However, FECO can be sticky and hard to work with, which is why I recommend using these reusable glass locking syringes to collect the small amount left behind.
Not only are they a great way to store your medicine without making a mess, but they contain mL labeling, which helps make dosing easier.
Keep in mind collecting FECO may be difficult due to its sticky nature. Be sure to collect the oil while it is still warm.
If it is too thick to draw into the syringe, add a few drops of either more alcohol or carrier oil of choice, like MCT oil, to thin it out, as outlined below.
Mix with a Carrier Oil
Many people prefer to mix in a carrier oil because of the sticky, molasses-like texture of FECO products.
This step will help to dilute the FECO and make a more viscous, tincture-like oil.
One of the most popular carrier oils to mix FECO with is MCT oil, a form of coconut oil that is liquid at room temperature.
If you want your final product to be more like an oil-based tincture, I recommend mixing 1mL of FECO with 29mL of oil for a 30mL infusion.
Note: You may need to heat them together slightly to get them to combine.
If you do have to heat them together, do NOT heat them in the microwave.
Combine the oil and FECO in a double boiler or use one of the gentle methods suggested here.
Put into Capsules
Another way to consume FECO is to put it into capsules that can then be swallowed or used as a rectal or vaginal suppository.
Check out my guide to making and filling cannabis capsules to make FECO capsules that can be swallowed.
Step #5 – Dose & Consume
At the end of this process, depending on how much cannabis you started with, you may only have a tiny bit of FECO, so small it needs to be measured in milliliters.
This is normal, but you must keep in mind that all of the same mg of THC are now concentrated into one very small amount.
Typically, you will hear people say to take a rice-grain-sized dose.
This is because even just a little bit of FECO, the size of a grain of rice, can be very high in THC.
These higher concentrations mean you only need a very low dose to get the desired effect.
- The most important thing when working with FECO is to follow the golden rule: start low and go slow.
You don’t want to accidentally take a higher dose than your body can handle and end up feeling unwell.
Even just a single syringe of RSO or FECO can contain upward of 900mg of THC, so be careful.
The most common side effects of overconsumption include fatigue, anxiety, and hallucinations.
While I don’t want to scare you, I want you to be aware that there are different concentrations for different types of products, and this is one of the most potent.
If you wrote down how much cannabis you started with in grams at the beginning of the process, you can use the edibles dosage calculator to calculate the potency of your final product.
How to Use FECO
Okay, now, finally, the fun stuff.
Once your FECO is prepared, it can be used in many different ways and application methods.
It can be as simple as adding a drop to your favorite lotion to make a potent topical or adding a drop to your favorite food recipes like brownies.
If you are new to using a concentrate like FECO in recipes and edibles, check out my guide to making edibles with cannabis concentrates.
Full-Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO)
- 14 grams cannabis *your desired amount
- 8 ounces high-proof grain alcohol
- If you haven't already, weight and decarboxylate your cannabis according to its dominant cannabinoid. Click here for a decarboxylation tutorial, if you need it.
- For the Green Dragon method, place the decarbed cannabis at the bottom of a pint-sized mason jar. You do not need to grind the cannabis.
- BEFORE you pour the alcohol over the cannabis, know that you only need to add enough alcohol to cover the plant matter completely. Cover the cannabis in alcohol, add the lid to the mason jar, screw the cap tightly and shake gently.
- Place the mason jar in a cool, dark location like a cupboard or closet and leave to sit for 24-hours to 30-days, as desired.
- After your desired soak time, remove the lid and strain the tincture through a coffee filter or cheesecloth into a clean mason jar, separating the plant matter from the alcohol.
- Place the strained tincture mason jar in the bottom of the mini-crockpot. Carefully pour water into the crockpot, BUT around the jar, creating a water bath. Turn the mini-crock pot on warm and allow the water to heat up.
- Make sure you do not have the lid on the jar, as this will halt the evaporation process. Additionally, I recommend doing this in a room with good ventilation to keep the windows open and airflow moving.
- The time it takes to evaporate all of the alcohol will depend on the starting volume of your tincture. More tincture will take longer, and less will be shorter. For example, 1 cup of tincture will take approximately 4-5 hours to evaporate down into FECO, where a ½ cup of tincture will take approximatley 2-3 hours or less.
- The alcohol will evaporate during the cooking process, reducing the volume of the tincture significantly. This is normal. You will be left with a small amount of a thick, black, sticky substance. This black oil is your FECO medicine.
- If this black oil gets too sticky or hard to work with, add a few drops of alcohol or carrier oil to the jar and mix well to create a more viscous oil.
- Store your FECO in a glass syringe, capsule, or another airtight glass container. Store in a cool, dark place like a medicine cabinet. Be sure to dose appropriatley, as FECO can be very potent.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it is very easy to make different types of FECO by changing the type of cannabis you start with. To make full-spectrum CBD oil, you must start with a high CBD flower. A high CBD concentration must be present to extract CBD. Then, follow the exact same process outlined here. Once made, you can make a variety of CBD products.
Yes, FECO itself is an oil, but it can also be mixed with a variety of carrier oils to make many types of cannabis oils.
We cannot and do not say that here because no clinical evidence supports this statement. While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from those who claim that FECO can kill cancer cells or cure cancer patients, we are simply sharing the process of how to make this recipe at home.
Each strain has its unique own mg of THC, terpene profiles, and more, meaning that different strains will produce different effects. Each strain has its own potential benefits, meaning it’s worth experimenting with different types to find an end product that is right for you.
Yes, but using the right machine for the right steps is important. You do not need to use an infusion machine like the LEVO, Adrent, or MBM to make a tincture. You can, however, use a machine like the Source Turbo to help with the extraction process and reclaim the alcohol. This is a great next step if you want to take your FECO-making seriously.