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Cannabis Extracts and Concentrates

What is Kief or Skuff?

What is kief? And what some people call skuff? Is it the same thing or are they different substances? In this article we delve on this cannabis resin concentrate and tell you all about its production and main characteristics.

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Kief is a substance derived from cannabis and consisting – for the most part, as you’re about to see – of glandular trichomes. It’s, therefore, a resin extraction of considerably higher strength (cannabinoid concentration) than the buds used in its preparation. Given its old age and popularity in many disparate areas, it has multiple names like kifi, kif, skuff, dry sift, and of course, kief.

As it often happens with extracts obtained without solvents, you can find different qualities, which depend on a number of factors as varied as the cannabis strains used and the pore size of the sieves with which the plant matter is sifted. Let’s see exactly what is kief and how to obtain it.

Kief or skuff, unpressed cannabis resin

Kief or skuff, unpressed cannabis resin

Kief or skuff: sifted cannabis resin

Depending on the sources consulted, the term “skuff” would designate a bad quality kief or cannabis resin. However, we will stick to a more general use and consider them synonyms. Kief or skuff is obtained from the flowers and leaves of female cannabis plants that are rich in trichomes, what is commonly known as resin, and where cannabinoids and terpenes, as well as all the other compounds secreted by the plant, are produced and stored.

After sifting the plant matter in different ways (that we will see later), you get kief, a yellow/greenish powder containing a large amount of trichomes. You can leave this powder as it is or lightly press it with your hand to stop it from crumbling (which would receive the name of kief or skuff), or you can compress it with the help of heat and an industrial press, what is commonly known as hashish and has a more compact and harder texture, as well as a much darker colour due to the heat and the high pressure.

Hashish or kief? This resin has been slightly pressed by hand

Hashish or kief? This resin has been slightly pressed by hand

As you can see, the main difference between kief and hash is the degree of pressing, as both products are made of exactly the same compounds (trichomes and some or other contaminants such small dust or plant matter particles), and are obtained in the same way, sifting the plants with sieves to separate the resin from the plant debris. Both types of concentrates can have more or fewer contaminants, and therefore offer a greater or lesser quality. Don’t be surprised if you hear someone referring to crumbling resin as “hash” and to what you would normally call hash as “kief”.

Moroccan kief

It’s possible that many of you have already associated the word “kief” from the title with Morocco when you started reading this article. Indeed, Morocco is one of the world’s major producers of kief, where it’s considered to be a traditional product (though as you saw in our article on Moroccan hashish, its hash culture is relatively young compared to other countries).

Origins and evolution of Moroccan hashish

It’s often consumed using long pipes called sebsi, and frequently it’s mixed with a local plant used as a substitute of tobacco. Sometimes, of course, it is also smoked with tobacco or cannabis buds or leaves. It’s widely used throughout the country, although it’s more popular the closer you get to its cultivation and production areas in the Rif region.

In fact, as many travellers know, in Morocco is much easier to get hold of a good kief or hash than purchase quality buds, which tend to be used almost exclusively for the production of this resin, which is easier to export as it takes less space and gives off a much fainted smell. It is also more cost-effective, as the raw material (buds and leaves) is processed in order to obtain a more powerful resin concentrate. The more powerful, the more expensive it will be.

Good quality kief sticks to your hand to the lightest touch

Good quality kief sticks to your hand to the lightest touch

How to make kief or skuff

The process to obtain kief hasn’t changed in several centuries. The plants are dried and sifted with sieves made with different materials, from silk to nylon (and even stainless steel). Depending on the sieves’ micronage, and whether you use one or several of various sizes, you will get a different level of quality. The sieve is tied to a container used for collecting the resin, and the plants are placed on top to start the sifting.0

After a few minutes (in Morocco they cover the plants with a plastic wrap and whip them), the plant matter is removed, and later sifted again to obtain a product of second quality, somewhat lower than the first. The sieves are then removed, and you can collect all the resin glands that are left in the last container. Now you have a good handful of kief!

You can wrap this kief (its own nature will make it become compacted without darkening its colour) and store it as such, after curing if you wish, or you can compress it with heat and a press to get what is usually known as hash. So, kief and hashish are made of exactly the same: cannabis trichomes that have been separated from the plant using sieves, and some or other contaminant, as you will see below.

If you are curious about the details of this process, do not hesitate to consult our article How to make dry sift; we are confident that it will clarify any doubts.

When working the kief with your hands it gains consistency

When working the kief with your hands it gains consistency

On the quality of kief

As you have seen, the kief elaboration process is relatively simple. If you do it right, you’ll get a product of great purity, although unfortunately, and due to commercial interests, this is rare, unless you resort to real artisans or do it yourself.

Much of the kief available has contaminants, usually small particles of plant material that have been grounded during the sifting process and gone through the sieve together with the resin. This explains the kief colour, which sometimes can be more greenish; the higher the presence of plant matter, the greener it will be. And the opposite, the more golden and clear, the fewer contaminants. The producer needs to be very careful during the sifting process, and work with very low temperatures to obtain a high-quality kief, or more and more plant matter will end up contaminating the resin.

In addition to plant matter, kief can also be contaminated with dust (if the plants or the work environment are dirty), pollen from male or hermaphrodite plants, and small insects or their faeces when the processed plants have a pest problem. If the storage conditions are not adequate, it can even develop fungi, although this only happens in very extreme cases.

Another typical test is to apply a flame to the kief to check its reaction to the heat and, this way, determine its approximate degree of purity. If the kief boils, it contains a large amount of cannabinoids and terpenes. If, on the other hand, it hardly bubbles – or doesn’t boil -, this means that it has a lot of contaminants (none of the pollutants mentioned can boil), or that it has lost a large amount of cannabinoids and terpenes due to several factors.

As you continue working the plant matter, it loses quality

As you continue working the plant matter, it loses quality

Kief consumption methods

Kief can be consumed in a variety of ways. We have already seen that in Morocco, one of the world’s largest producers of kief, they tend to smoke it with long and thin pipes, often mixed with tobacco or other plants. You can also mix it with tobacco or cannabis and roll it up in a cigarette, an option which is very popular in southern Europe. Pressing it lightly with your fingers can help to its consumption on some occasions.

Naturally, you can also use a resin vaporizer or e-nail, though in these cases it’s advisable to have high-quality resins with hardly any impurities. And the same applies if you want to turn your kief in a liquid with the help of Wax Liquidizer and create your own psychoactive e-liquids.

Kief is one of the oldest concentrates (and probably the second oldest type of cannabis extraction after “charas”), with centuries of history in parts of Central Asia and the Middle East. And it still is the favourite of many!

Happy concentrates!

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Cannabis Extracts and Concentrates

Advances in Dabbing – cold-start & other innovations

As the techniques for making cannabis concentrates evolve over time, so do the methods used for the consumption of these extracts. In this article, we keep you up to date with all the latest developments and innovations in the world of dabbing as well as two new ways to heat your quartz banger for maximum satisfaction!

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Quartz – the vaporisation surface of choice

As the world of cannabis concentrates evolves, so do the methods of consumption used to enjoy these extracts. The basic principle of vaporising the extract and inhaling it through a water pipe or rig/bubbler made from borosilicate glass remains the same, although the size of these bubblers has, as a general rule, reduced somewhat over time. The main changes have been in the surfaces upon which the vaporisation itself takes place. In a short number of years, we’ve gone from fairly rudimentary methods like titanium skillets or swings, through adjustable nails with glass domes, domeless nails made from ceramic or titanium, right up to the quartz “banger” nails used as a standard by almost anyone who dabs today. Even these quartz nails have evolved in the last couple of years, from the early slanted-top design to the flat-top bangers that are de-rigueur at the session these days, and on to even more creative and functional designs. Who knows what innovations will await us in the coming years?

Various quartz bangers: (l-r) Flat-top with bubble cap; Slanted top with directional cap; Thermal banger with quartz bubble cap

Various quartz bangers (l-r): Flat-top with bubble cap; Slanted top with directional cap; Thermal banger with quartz bubble cap

At the time of writing, quartz is still considered to be the best all-round surface for dabbing, due to the purity of flavour, with no taste imparted by the quartz itself, and also the high resistance to thermal shock, meaning that quartz can be heated up and cooled down quickly in ways that would otherwise crack borosilicate glass. It is also relatively cheap to manufacture, with mass-produced Chinese quartz bangers available for very little cost. Higher-quality bangers made from either German or US-produced quartz can be considerably more expensive, but the prices are representative of the materials and production quality employed and will last for longer if properly cared for.

New Dabbing Techniques

In the most commonly used method of dabbing, the base of the quartz banger is heated with a blowtorch for anything from thirty to 45 seconds, (and often until it glows orange or red) with the help of a digital or analogue timer to count the seconds. It is then left to cool down again for up to a minute, to reach the ideal temperature for vaporisation. Times will vary depending on the type of banger and the thickness of the quartz base and walls.

Comparing a "chazzed" banger with a well-cared for one only used for low-temperature dabbing.

Comparing a “chazzed” banger with one only used for low-temperature dabbing.

This method works well enough but has a couple of disadvantages, primarily that it overheats the banger, which can affect the long-term condition and integrity of the quartz material itself (known as “chazzing” the banger, a permanent blackening of the surface caused by dabbing at too high a temperature) while burning way more butane than needed to heat the banger. Additionally, it can be difficult to gauge the cooling-down time correctly, often resulting in a dab that’s either too hot, with a burnt flavour that causes lots of coughing, or too cold and completely unsatisfactory. As a result, some new techniques for using quartz bangers have arisen with the aim of improving the dab experience and making sure your quartz will last longer without getting “chazzed“! Read on to find out all about them in this article.

The Cold-Start Dab

You’ll need the following items to get this technique to work properly:

This technique is quick, effective and easy to master, delivers very tasty dabs and has the added advantage of not requiring a timer of any sort. As the name suggests, this method of dabbing heats the cannabis concentrate up to vaporisation temperature from a cold start.

The Cold-Start method in action.

The Cold-Start method in action.

  1. Set the rig up with the correct level of water and fit the banger.
  2. Place a dab of the desired size into the base of the banger using the dabber and place the bubble cap on top of the banger. It’s best to use a flat-top banger and a round bubble cap for this method because it relies on a certain amount of balancing while we heat the nail up. With a slant-top banger and a flat carb cap, we’re more likely to drop and break something.
  3. Now heat the base of the banger using the lowest heat setting on the blowtorch, taking care not to point the flame directly at the glass carb cap, which could crack it.
  4. Maintain the heat until you see the extract turn to liquid and begin to bubble (after around 6 or 7 seconds), at which point you can turn off the blowtorch and start to inhale. You’ll soon get the hang of which is the ideal moment to stop heating and get the perfect flavour and a satisfying hit.
  5. After the nail has cooled down below vaporisation temperature, you can reheat it for another 3-4 seconds and get another tasty hit or two out of it, depending on how much extract remains in the banger.
  6. When you’re finished, you’ll notice that the extract may not have evaporated away completely, but as every dab connoisseur knows, you’ve got to waste it to taste it! Remove the carb cap and use a fresh cotton bud to clean away the residue while it’s still warm. Use isopropyl alcohol or DC Glass Cleaner for any stubborn stains.
  7. The Quick-Start Dab

    This technique was inspired by the cold-start method and came about from concerns that pre-heating the extract during the cold-start could lead to certain terpenes being lost before inhalation begins. Terpenes are what bring the aromas and flavours to cannabis and are particularly volatile by nature, having evaporation points considerably lower than those of THC.

    Ready for dabs with a Terpometer and an Aluminium Nitride insert

    Ready for dabs with a Terpometer and an Aluminium Nitride insert (Source: Instagram @papercut.2)

    To avoid this happening, the quick-start method simply heats the banger up for the absolute minimum time possible so that it reaches the ideal vaporisation temperature at the precise moment that we place the concentrate into the nail. This means that there’s no pre-heating of the cannabis concentrate before we inhale and that there’s no need to wait for the nail to cool down before loading the dab and taking the hit. This technique, like the cold-start method, consumes a great deal less butane than the regular technique of heating the nail up and waiting for it to cool down. And because we’re only heating up for a very short time (from 6 to 8 seconds, depending on the individual banger) we can do it without a timer, as it’s relatively easy to just count the seconds out to ourselves: one Mississippi, two Mississippi, and so on…

    You’ll need the same kit as for the cold-start, although with this technique it’s not so crucial to have either the flat-top banger or the bubble cap, because we’re not doing any “balancing” while we’re heating up, unlike the Cold-Start method. If you have a tendency to be clumsy then this method is probably best for you!

    1. Prepare the rig as before and load an appropriately sized dab of the extract onto the dabber. Keep this close at hand, ready to apply at the correct moment, along with the carb cap.
    2. Heat the base of the nail for between 6-8 seconds using the lowest heat setting on the blowtorch. Counting out the seconds while you’re heating it is just as easy, if not more so than using a timer.
    3. As soon as you stop heating, turn off the torch and immediately place the extract on the dabber into the banger and quickly cover with the carb cap and inhale.
    4. You may find that your particular banger needs slightly more or less time to reach the perfect temperature for vaporisation, so a little experimentation is necessary to perfect the method, but once you “nail it” you’ll be able to enjoy quick and tasty dabs anytime!

    Other innovations

    As well as these two alternative dabbing techniques, there have been other advances in the world of concentrate consumption, also aimed at improving the ease and quality of the dab experience. Here we’ll look at a few of them:

    Thermo-chromatic Banger

    Thermo-chromatic Banger

    Thermo-chromatic bangers.

    These are double-wall bangers filled with thermo-chromatic sand, which changes colour according to the temperature, offering the user a visual guide as they heat up the banger, which makes getting the perfect temperature really easy, without having to bother with using a timer.

    A banger insert made from synthetic ruby

    Synthetic ruby banger insert

    Banger Inserts

    Inserts for bangers have become rather popular recently, they can be best described as small cups that sit inside the banger itself, into which the extract is loaded, to provide a superior quality surface for dabbing. They can be made of a range of different materials with unbeatable flavour and heat-retention, such as synthetic ruby or synthetic sapphire, and as a result, tend to be rather expensive. They’re definitely not for the occasional dabber, but for those dedicated fans of cannabis concentrates who spend a lot of money on extracts, they can be a great investment.

    Terp Pearls

    Quartz spheres aka "terp pearls"

    Quartz spheres aka “terp pearls”

    These are small quartz spheres (and sometimes other shapes too) that are designed to be placed in the banger before heating, with the aim of improving heat-retention and to offer more complete vaporisation of the cannabis concentrate. They are best used with “Spinner Caps“, a design of carb cap designed to introduce the air into the banger as a vortex, causing the pearl or pearls to spin around the base of the banger, ensuring an even coating of the extract over the quartz surface and more complete evaporation.

    Terp Slurpers

    This is the name given to a completely new style of banger design which incorporates a lower dish with air-slots as well as one small cylindrical chamber and one large main chamber. The innovative design of these nails offers maximum efficiency and ensures full vaporisation of the extract, as well as delivering what users of this design often describe as a more potent and “heady” high. They also provide quite the visual spectacle, especially when complemented with a couple of terpene pearls and a solid marble carb cap, which really gets the terp pearls spinning like crazy!

    Terp Slurper quartz banger. (Source: Instagram @papercut.2)

    Heating up a Terp Slurper quartz banger. (Source: Instagram @papercut.2)

    Precision Temperature Control

    Another dab accessory that has become popular in recent times is the use of some kind of digital thermometer to ensure the banger is at the perfect temperature for dabbing. These dab thermometers take a few different forms, with most models sitting on the tabletop directly underneath the banger to take the temperature reading. One model, the Terpometer, has even incorporated a thermometer probe into the other end of a dabbing tool, making it possibly the most comprehensive and user-friendly dab thermometer so far!

    As you can see, the trends and tendencies of cannabis concentrate consumption have been in constant motion as more and more stoners decide to leave behind the harmful effects of smoking joints and pick up a rig and blowtorch. Hopefully, this article will help you to enjoy more flavourful dabs and keep your quartz nail in perfect condition for longer. In the comments section below you can let us know your preferred technique or methods for consuming cannabis concentrates, we can’t wait to hear it!

    Happy dabbing!

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Cannabis Extracts and Concentrates

Shatter, a high-purity cannabis concentrate

Shatter is a type of BHO – though as you’ll see in this article it can be achieved by other methods – particularly impressive for its extreme potency and striking appearance, similar to amber glass. In this article, we tell you all about this type of extraction or concentrate and explain the different ways to make Shatter.

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Without a doubt, BHO is one of the most popular resin extractions of the last decade. Thanks to modern extraction techniques and equipment, and the surfacing of high-quality ultra-refined butane brands, this type of concentrates became especially popular a few years ago, since apart from allowing you to process a large amount of plant material in a short time, the final result offers an amazing quality and purity, particularly when compared with the concentrates prior to the appearance of BHO (Butane Hash Oil).

Nevertheless, thanks to this butane extraction process, it’s possible to achieve different textures by changing certain parameters during the purge, like temperature or product agitation. Modifying these parameters will give different results known as Wax, Sap, Crumble, or the one we’re dealing with today, Shatter. Let’s see exactly what it is and how to make it.

Solid and brittle BHO

Solid and brittle BHO

What is BHO?

BHO (Butane Honey Oil or Butane Hash Oil) is a cannabis resin concentrate of great purity that uses apolar solvents (in fact, of very low polarity) to dilute the trichomes content; in this case, refined butane gas. Once you have a mixture of liquid butane and trichomes content, the next step is to purge (remove) the solvent from the mix, something that’s usually done through a vacuum purge with heat, which nowadays is performed in modern digital vacuum ovens.

The result is often a translucent concentrate of a colour ranging from yellow to amber, depending on whether the processed plant material was dry or fresh (the latter will create an extract of a lighter colour and higher terpene content). However, as we’ve previously mentioned, you can change the final texture through different variations of the purging process, like whipping the mixture during the purge or performing it without heat.

Nevertheless, there is another crucial factor: the resin itself. Sometimes, it’s practically impossible to make Shatter from certain plants, since due to the trichomes content, the BHO resulting could be rather molten. On the other hand, some plants produce a translucent and solid BHO called Shatter, which is very difficult to obtain with a more molten texture. The end result will depend on both the extraction method and the post-processing operation, and the resin itself.

BHO Extraction with Herborizer Mini Closed Loop System

How to make Shatter

As we already know, the extract final texture will depend on both the extraction process and the processed plant. On many occasions, in order to obtain a Shatter texture (translucent and brittle) all that’s needed is to purge the butane gas letting the mixture rest at room temperature, without agitating it or applying heat. It’s simply placed in a dark, cool and ventilated area until the gas evaporates (which can take days and be not very efficient). To improve the efficiency of this system, the mix sometimes gets slightly warmed; though the more it gets heated the more terpenes will be lost. In the same way, you can apply a vacuum without heating. The most important thing to achieve this texture is to never whip the mixture during the purge.

The experts purge their BHOs in hoods or vacuum ovens at temperatures lower than 40ºC but higher than room temperature. Without a doubt, and according to all laboratory specialists, this is the correct way to remove the butane from your extract, and it’s much more effective than the previous one. Once again, the process must be performed without whipping or agitating the mix, so once the solvent has been purged, you are left with a solid and very thin amber resin that breaks like glass (hence the name).

The mixture of oil and gas before the purge

The mixture of oil and gas before the purge

This is one of many ways to make Shatter, but there are other alternatives for getting an even purer and cleaner product, free from other compounds that are present in cannabis oil, like lipids, waxes, etc. For these, you can use another solvent, ethanol; if you try it, you’ll see it’s worthy especially in terms of potency!

BHO with ethanol, Amber Glass

This is another method for getting not only a texture similar to Shatter from almost any plant, but also performing a BHO purification (previously purged) with ethanol and subsequent filtering that will remove other substances from the oil and will increase the cannabinoids ratio. In this case, the product obtained is called Amber Glass, even though it’s very similar to conventional Shatter.

Basically, it consists of mixing an already purged BHO with a small amount of ethanol (it must be suitable for human consumption and the purest you can find). Once together, you need to stir the mixture until the resin dissolves completely, at which point you can sift it using lab filters or if you don’t have any, coffee filters.

Just like with the BHO preparation, the size of the filters is very important, and it’s directly related to the look and properties of the end product. If you want to obtain a crystalline texture and the purest possible extract, you should use 25-micron filters, 40 at most.  Filters with larger pore size will provide great returns, but usually at the expense of quality – in terms of cannabinoid concentration.

Bear in mind that this BHO purifying method can be used with other concentrates such as hash and Rosin, with great results by the way!

Shatter breaks at room temperature

Shatter breaks at room temperature

EHO or QWET, Shatter with high-quality ethanol

A while ago we showed you a resin extraction method that uses ethanol as solvent. This process is referred to as QWET (Quick Wash Ethanol), and the final product is often called EHO or Ethanol Honey/Hash Oil. When done correctly, the result is a concentrate with a crystalline and brittle texture or, in other words, Shatter.

This type of concentrates are extremely potent, since thanks to the dilution and subsequent filtering they offer a very high THC content, though the terpene ratio could be lower than that of other types of extracts. The great advantage is that we can obtain a highly potent concentrate similar to Shatter (and free of waxes and lipids) by skipping the step of making BHO with ethanol and bud.

In our article on cannabis extractions with alcohol, we showed you how to make this type of concentrates and also how to purge them using both isopropyl alcohol (QWISO) and pure ethanol (QWET).

BHO can have very different textures

BHO can have very different textures

How to use Shatter

Due to their crystalline texture, the extractions that are similar to Shatter are particularly easy to manipulate, so they can be consumed in various ways. One of the most popular is dabbing, vaporizing a small amount of extract in different ways, from the classic titanium nails fitted in all kind of bubblers to next-generation electronic nails such as the Puffco Peak.

Another interesting option that will delight e-cigarette users is to mix it with the e-liquid thinner Wax Liquidizer, which allows you to enjoy more the concentrate flavour and effect with this type of vaporizers, and it’s very easy to carry when you are on the move. The high purity of the extract allows it to get diluted without problems, and you will be left with a stable and homogeneous mixture.

And for “old school” smokers, the good news is that rolling a joint with Shatter is very easy, nothing to do with the drawbacks of handling certain types of extractions or concentrates.

Happy concentrates!

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Cannabis Extracts and Concentrates

How to make Cannabis Capsules (Canna Caps)

Cannabis capsules are an easy and convenient way of orally ingesting cannabinoids without the distinctive flavour of cannabis. In this article, we show you, step-by-step, how to make your own canna caps from flowers or concentrates, for recreational and therapeutic use.

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How do I make cannabis oil capsules?

Cannabis is a plant that can be consumed orally and form part of a healthy diet, but too often, the characteristic flavour of this plant can be a turn-off, and it’s not easy to find tasty new recipes to which we can add our weed.

Preparing cannabis in the form of capsules allows us to get over these two limitations and orally ingest cannabinoids in a simple and effective way. In this article, we’ll show you how to make your own cannabis capsules, or “canna caps” for therapeutic and recreational use.

Cannabis oil capsules

Cannabis oil capsules or Canna Caps

Recipe to make cannabis capsules with coconut oil

In this recipe, we’ll use coconut oil to extract the principal active ingredients from the cannabis plant. Coconut oil is particularly useful because of it’s characteristic of remaining in a solid form at room temperature; if the capsules are stored at temperatures below 25ºC we can stop the oil becoming liquid and avoid any risk of the capsules leaking. This vegetable oil is also useful because it contains high levels of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which guarantee maximum absorption of the cannabinoids.

The cannabis used to make the capsules

The cannabis used to make the capsules

Material necessary to make approx. 100 cannabis capsules:

  • 10g of dry cannabis flowers (or sugar leaves/resinous trim)
  • 100g coconut oil
  • Empty gelatine capsules, 00 size (if using gelatine-free capsules they will quickly degrade upon contact with the oil, so must be consumed within a short time)
  • Capsule machine (optional, but very useful. Alternatively a shallow dish filled with dry rice will hold the capsules while you fill them)
  • Pipette, dropper or syringe
  • Sieve for filtering
  • Laser thermometer (to monitor the temperature during the extraction)
Cannabis mixed with the coconut oil

Cannabis mixed with the coconut oil

1) Break the cannabis up finely with a grinder.

2) Heat the coconut oil to around 90ºC in a bain-marie (water bath), add the cannabis and simmer gently for about 15 minutes.

3) Remove the mixture from the water bath and cook it on a low heat (120ºC) for 1 hour approx., to ensure a proper decarboxylation of the cannabinoids. Important: avoid overheating the mixture, as from 157ºC the THC will start to evaporate.

Strain the oil from the cannabis with a sieve

Strain the oil from the cannabis with a sieve

4) Return the mixture to the bain-marie and cook for a further 2 hours (approx.) at 90ºC so that the cannabinoids fully infuse the coconut oil.

5) Filter the resulting mixture using a sieve, squeezing it well to extract every last drop of the precious infused oil.

6) Allow the mixture to cool to around 40ºC. Meanwhile, prepare the capsules in the filling machine, which allows us to fill 24 capsules at one time. Place the larger half of the capsule in the bigger tray and the smaller half in the small tray.

Coconut oil infused with the medicinal properties of cannabis

Coconut oil infused with the medicinal properties of cannabis

7) Using a pipette, dropper or a syringe, carefully fill the larger halves of the capsules, leaving a margin of 1mm at the top to facilitate closing the capsules later on.

8) Close the capsules following the instructions for the capsule machine. If not using the machine, close the capsules manually, one by one. This may be easier once the oil has solidified.

9) Remove the capsules from the machine and store them in the fridge. The coconut oil will solidify, meaning you will be able to keep and transport the capsules more easily.

10) Repeat the operation with 24 new capsules and so on until the cannabis oil is all used up.

Filling the capsules with cannabis oil

Filling the capsules with cannabis oil

These cannabis capsules can be stored for several months in the fridge, away from humidity. They can also be frozen for optimal conservation. Where possible, always protect the capsules from light, for example, using a tinted glass jar for storage.

It’s a great idea, where possible, to analyse a capsule with laboratory testing to know the exact cannabinoid content and to verify that they are fully decarboxylated.

Dry rice works great if you don't have a capsule machine

Dry rice works well if you don’t have a capsule machine

What kind of cannabis can be used to make the capsules?

For recreational purposes, we would use varieties that are high in THC, the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. For therapeutic purposes, on the other hand, we would use cannabis varieties containing CBD as well as THC , aiming to benefit from the properties of these two cannabinoids in a balanced ratio.

Those consumers who do not tolerate the effects caused by THC but still want to enjoy the benefits of CBD can make their own CBD capsules with any of the low THC varieties which are CBD-rich while barely containing any THC.

The effect of the capsules will greatly depend on the cannabis used in the extraction. The higher the cannabinoid levels, the more potent the effect will be. To increase potency, we can also choose to infuse our coconut oil with cannabis resin that has already been extracted. This can be any of the solventless concentrates such as Dry Sift, Bubble Hash or Rosin, as well as BHO and FECO/RSO, although for oral consumption we prefer to use resin extracted in a natural way, without the use of solvents.

The oil in these cannabis capsules is solidifying

The oil in these cannabis capsules is solidifying

Proceed with caution when dosing these oils, they will be more potent and should be taken with care. When we made our first rosin capsules here at Alchimia, we used 1 part resin with 20 parts of coconut oil as a ratio to start with, but we later adjusted this to 1:10 to get the desired effect, due to our tolerance being fairly high!

We can also add other types of ingredients to our cannabis capsules to obtain a synergistic action. For example, if we wish to benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of the cannabinoids, we can add some powdered cumin (with a pinch of black pepper) to further potentiate and augment this anti-inflammatory effect.

As usual, when consuming cannabis orally, its effects will appear about 45/60 minutes after ingestion, once cannabinoids have been assimilated into the digestive system and entered the bloodstream. We must be careful, start by taking a single capsule and wait at least 1 hour before consuming a second capsule if necessary, and so on until you find the appropriate dose.

All the best!

The post How to make Cannabis Capsules (Canna Caps) appeared first on Alchimia blog.

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