Cannabis capsules made from dry cannabis or canna butter are a great alternative to consuming medical marijuana edibles.
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It’s probably not a big secret to my readers that I smoke a lot of reefer. I have been a toker for over 30 years and after all those bong hits, my lungs are not what they used to be. cannabis is an amazing medicine, and unfortunately for many smokers, many of it’s benefits can only be taken advantage of by actually eating the cannabis.
Many of the important chemicals inside cannabis are simply burned off in a joint and not transferred into the body where it can do some good. There are many ways to consume cannabis without smoking it. You can make canna-butter and make baked goods with it, or you can create a tincture using glycerin, but this process can take up to 2 months to complete.
I take my meds at night in the form of canna cookies, but MzJill has very sensitive taste buds and cannot stand the taste of eating weed. Even in chocolate, the taste of cannabis almost makes her sick, so just eating one cookie takes her 30 minutes.
I simply love the high of eating cannabis. It is an all-over body buzz that completely makes my knee pain go away, allowing me to sleep a full six hours while my knee rests up and gets better each night. So while I get to enjoy a great canna buzz each night, MzJill is stuck smoking late at night. That’s just not good for your lungs and make her cough more during the night.
My solution for her was to make some cannacaps so that she can simply take two when she has pain and not bother with eating cookies. My other concern is, while I am not over weight at 180 pounds, eating two cookies every night is added calories everyone could probably do without. Plus, how cool would it be to simply take a cannacaps when medication is needed in a public place without having to light up, attracting attention just to get some pain relief?
I have read a good bit about the preparation of cannabis capsules, and I wanted to add my guru touch and pass on the info. We will be making two types today, one dry consisting of mainly kief and high quality shake in a dry filled capsule. The second method will be actually cooking ground bud and kief in coco butter and adding the oil to the capsules allowing the oil to solidify.
Lets get started.
All cannabis has a different profile (or buzz) and for the capsules we are going to use two strains that are very good for treating joint and muscle pain. I have found that generally Indica’s are better for pain and Sativas for treating nausea, but this is not set in stone and through lots of experimenting we have found certain strains that are much more effective than others.
My favorites for pain are Jack the Ripper for its analgesic properties and ability to numb pain at the source, and Vortex as it has a slight motivating buzz, some pain relief and a lot of anti-nausea effect. When I mix the two in consumables it makes great medicine.
The first thing we want to do is grind the cannabis and remove all sticks and larger hard pieces. Using a screen, I slowly work my hands across the weed until the finest dust falls though. I then use a kief box to collect some resin heads. I mix about three grams of ground cannabis and two grams of kief to a ½ gram of red pepper and ½ a gram ginger.
There is a product on the market that includes other additives that help the absorption called Canebrex, but I am pretty much a hands on kinda guy and I wanted to see what kind of results I could get myself. I am sure there system has more science behind it, so it wouldn’t hurt to give a product like there’s a try if you have the extra cash.
Once all this is done, I placed both piles in a pan lined with foil. The mixture is baked at 225° for 20 minutes. This activates the medicine as well as removing CO2. It's important not to overheat the weed or heat it for to long. The goal here is just to activate the THC and other cannabinoids present in the oils inside the cannabis.
I purchased a capsule making kit from a health food store and some 00 size gel caps to fill with the mixture. Once the pan is dry, I place the capsule filling kit in a glass pie pan to catch the over spill and use a plastic card to work the mix into all the capsules. Seal the capsules using the instructions on the capsule filling kit and voilà, your dry cannacaps are ready for consumption.
This next method is more work, so unless they knock us out, this is the only time we will use this method. Not to mention, I used a pile of dry dank JTR and Apollo-13 top shelf unseeded buds! I wanted to make sure these are as potent as possible in case the dry capsules are a failure, so I even added some of the kief.
Again, be careful not to over heat the mix as the THC will degrade at temps over 220° and you can ruin your medicine if you rush it. I sautéed the oil/weed/kief mix for about 10 minutes, then removed it from the heat and poured through a tea strainer. I then used a eye dropper to suck up the warm coco oil and fill each cap.
Now, I have to warn you that the coco butter melted and I started stirring and warm the mix it produced a simply horrid smell. You’d think it would smell nice, but the warmer the oil got the worse it became and I had to open a window fast—so be prepared for this if you try this method.
I was worried the oil would melt the gelatin capsules, but there was no problem. I popped the capsules out into a dish and placed it in the refrigerator to cool off and congeal back to coco butter. Coco butter stays solid up to about 75° degrees, so they're pretty easy to transport and, of course, the dry caps can be carried in a pill bottle anywhere.
Jill and I both had two dry caps last night after dinner. The effects came on very fast and hard but seemed to back off after just a few hours, so we each took one more just before bedtime. I slept like a baby and had a slight hangover. The buzz was all body and as far as pain relief, I can't imagine a better delivery method.
I normally take my meds every other night to let my tolerance go down, but I was anxious to try the coco caps and the very next night we made some hot chocolate and took two caps each. I don’t think I have ever had the throb in my knee go away so fast, even though I don’t think I ever felt high from just two pills. I am positive it reduced my pain level while allowing me to function normally.
Jill also noted a good deal of relief from her hip pain. The next day, I noticed she had a harder time waking up. MzJill can out smoke any person I have ever met (other than me), so if she had a weed hangover, these things are potent as hell.
Give these extraction methods a shot if you have some left over shake around, or if you have old stoner lungs like me or if you need to medicate without firing up!
I need to insert a warning here though about consuming baked goods for medicating. One of the best medicinal properties of smoked cannabis is the ability to titrate the dose, meaning take the exact amount of medication (puffs) to elevate the pain without getting wasted.
When you consume cannabis orally, it takes much longer for the drug to reach the blood stream. It can take as long as 30-45 minutes before the effects come on. With potent edibles, it can come on quite strong and most first timers eat to much and get sick and never try it again.
It takes your body time to get used to consuming cannabis, so start with very small doses and wait a full hour before increasing the dose. This will prevent any unpleasant episodes of being so high you can’t even talk. It may sound fun, but trust me, it is not!
Enough cannabis eaten can actually make one slur their words like being drunk so watch it.
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Monday, 15 August 2011
Article by Subcool, on Aug. 15th 2011