Cannabis oil, a form of marijuana different from CBD and hemp oils, refers to a thick and viscous liquid rich in cannabinoids that are extracted from its plant. It acts as a potent therapeutic ingredient for healing a variety of medical conditions.
Cannabinoids are a complex blend of natural chemicals, which have grown with time within the cannabis plants. At present, more than 100 unique cannabinoids are found in the cannabis plant. It is predicted that more are likely to be found as research continues.
The oil has gained much attention after a Canadian patient of cancer, Rick Simpson, made it at home to cure his own cancer of skin. Rick first recognized the oil’s benefits 20 years ago after a critical head injury and before facing skin cancer.
His victory over cancer has prompted many cancer patients around the world to look for how to make cannabis oil at home for treating the chronic disease. Yes, it is better to make at home than to look for it in a retail medical store or in a dispensary offering medical programs, as it proves to be costly in both cases.
Further, even if you manage to get the right dose in a clinic, there may not be any evidence to prove the authenticity of the oil. Less potent cannabis oils are now, sadly, common. Therefore, it is better to make it yourself. As a motivational point, it is easier than your imagination to make this medicine at home.
Caution: Cannabis oil is available for use in states that consider medical marijuana as legal and regulate its sales and production. Even if it is for medicinal use, ensure that your state in which you live permits using and making the oil. This is essential to ensure before buying the tools and materials to make the oil. For making the oil, a relatively large amount of THC rich cannabis is indispensable. Well, this is still prohibited in many nations.
What Actually Medicinal Cannabis Oil Is?
Cannabis oil is actually different from other marijuana or CBD oils usually found in medical marijuana clinics. While CBD oil is rich in cannabinoids, the cannabis oil is rich in both CBD and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
This is a vital point of distinction, as THC is the source of robust therapeutic effect including the anti-cancer one. Thus, not everyone selling CBD oil or Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) online or offline may be offering a medical quality oil, as online sale of these products is yet to be legalized.
Of all marijuana forms, the cannabis oil is valued for its potency and healing effectiveness. It is consumable orally, ingestible topically, or is infusible into edibles.
The oil has a high concentration of cannabis extract. This extract has been found useful in treating not only cancer but also many other conditions such as multiple sclerosis, mental trauma, accident-induced chronic pain, and epilepsy.
Whether you wish to have relief from chronic symptoms or simply a cool going buzz, learning how to make cannabis oil is worthy of your time and efforts. Well, the efforts are not significant, as it takes only a few steps to make it in a well-ventilated workspace.
How Cannabis Oil Functions?
Cannabis is the abode of over 100 individual CBD compounds. These compounds, when inhaled, ingested, or applied topically, react with our internal systems. Of all cannabinoids, only CBD and THC have rich medicinal benefits.
Of the two, the most copious one is THC, which is a strong medicine to trigger psychoactive. However, CBD, although medicinal, is non-psychoactive. When taken, THC binds with the cannabinoid receptor portions present in cancer cells.
This binding makes the cells capable of destroying themselves by accelerating the process of ceramide synthesis. When THC steps inside the receptor site, only cancer cells generate this compound. As only cancer cells damage themselves, no other cells in the body face any damage. Thus, this anti-cancer mechanism is safe apart from being effective.
Each person and a medical condition react differently to dissimilar types of cannabis. For instances, types of cannabis plants having high THC and CBD are ideal for seizures, depression, cancer, or PTSD treatment. However, those with low THC and high CBD are ideal for treating cancer.
Thus, genuine cannabis oil with its composition of pure THC and CBD is extremely potent. The process of extracting concentrated oil from cannabis flowers usually discards all plant materials. This gives only pure oil due to which it is possible to use a larger quantity of the medicinal compounds than via vaping, smoking, or chewing the whole flower.
Why Knowing Cannabis Oil for a Medical Treatment is Essential
THC is valuable for its capability of high psychoactivity and triggers an ecstatic effect. A few strains, especially those of cannabis sativa family produce more THC than other strains such as cannabis indica. CBD is also a primary phytocannabinoid with wide medical applications without triggering any side effects.
A mammal’s brain has an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a cluster of endogenous cannabinoid receptors. The ECS is involved in different physiological processes such as immune, memory, pain, mood, appetite, and even in arbitrating the cannabis’ psychoactive effects.
Thus, it makes sense to instill more cannabinoids in a human body that already has its own one such system. Further, the CBD binding sites spread across the central and peripheral nervous systems. They usually comprise of neuro modulatory lipids and receptors. This is the significance of medical cannabis oils.
When learning how to make cannabis oil, it is vital to note that cannabinoids work in collaboration with each other. Although raising the availability of CBD in a few breeds provides a broader spectrum of choice for making the oil, research concludes that it is unwise to segregate any specific cannabinoid.
According to research, cancer patients benefit from the full cannabinoids profile in a better way than with isolated ones. Comprehending the differing effects of CBD and THC helps in selecting the strains useful for the extraction process. Strains and solvents both are essential ingredients of the oil making process.
Strains and Solvents: Essentials of How to Make Cannabis Oil
Cannabis plants have unique characteristics, which are conveyable based on a number of factors. These characteristics make up a marijuana strain or type. Natural techniques allow making different marijuana types as per the desires such as tall or short and slow or fast, as well as the consumable effects.
For example, the sativa plant grows tall and appears like a vine (desire). It uplifts cerebral simulation and relieves clinical depression (outcome).
Similarly, the indica plant is usually short and bushy, and generates more quantity of THC resin. It is known for its pain relieving, sleepy, and sedative effect. Of the two, indica marijuana is more widely available, as it grows more easily and has a heavier yield than what its sativa counterpart has.
Which strain you choose for making cannabis oil depends on what you prefer or what is the purpose. A few prefer sativa strains, as they heal mental disorders such as depression. However, the soaring effect of sativa is unbearable for some who do not prefer ‘get-up and go’ approach.
Similarly, those who want a remedy for pain and strong sedation, pure indicas are their choice. These people are likely to stay on their couch for hours. These strains are not ideal for socializing, as it triggers a snoozing effect.
If socializing is your purpose, sativa plants are ideal. Unless you are a medical marijuana patient, speaking with a professional to choose the right strain is wise before using cannabis for a medical purpose.
Another point to consider while selecting a strain is THC content. A few strains have a genetic tendency to have more amount of THC than others do. Irrespective of the quantity or ratio of THC and CBD in a strain, minor cannabinoids shall be there. This assorted mix is evident in the resulting extraction while making the oil.
As per the genetics, the resinous trichomes in female flowers of a cannabis strain shall mainly generate CBD and THC in different quantities. A cannabis strain bred to have higher CBD quantity shall form cannabis oil that reflects the CBD profile of a plant in use for extraction.
Rightly produced cannabis oils are likely to have as high as 90% THC but the CBD content of oil differs significantly. This is due to the fact that makers use an assortment of solvents, strains, and strategies.
Research indicates that strains with a 1:1 (THC/CBD) profile are ideal for making oil of medical grade, especially for treating cancer. Producing cannabis oil generates a highly concentrated extract from dried flowers of cannabis, which have herbal properties. The cannabinoids present in the flowers, when dried and heated, faces a chemical reaction in which carbon dioxide leaves the plant material.
After this reaction, the oil is extracted using solvents. A solvent is typically a liquid although it may be a gas or solid substance. After filtering the blend with the help of filter papers and then allowing the solvent to evaporate, a thick viscous oil is left that is full of cannabinoids from the plant.
Choosing a Strain: It is beneficial to make cannabis oil using only the cannabis buds of highest quality. Whether you opt to buy dried flowers or grow the strain plant in your backyard, the chosen strain should be organically grown with natural water and should have higher THC than normal. The higher the THC, the more powerful the oil shall be.
It is essential to choose an organic plant, as any chemical added as a pesticide or a fertilizer will also reflect itself in the outcome. While growing the plant, consider using water only from a natural source. This is because tap or municipal water often is rich in chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride.
If there is no specific reason to use sativa, consider indica strain, as it triggers a potent sleep-inducing effect. After all, sleep is the best time for a human body to repair and rejuvenate.
Digging More About Solvents: There are many solvents useful for oil extraction. They are broadly of two types namely polar and non-polar. Polar solvents like alcohol tend to extract unwanted water-soluble substances such as sugars and chlorophyll. Non-polar solvents such as chloroform and benzene do not extract these constituents and consequently give a more potent oil.
A critical aspect of solvents that play a role in making the oil is the boiling point. It decides the evaporation speed while finishing the last stage of making the oil. A low boiling point is below 100 °C, medium is between 100 °C and 150 °C, and high is above 150 °C. Solvents that have a low boiling point tend to evaporate at room temperature. On the other hand, those having a high boiling point evaporate at a higher temperature.
Setting You Fear Free
Most people hesitate to make cannabis oil at home. This is because of two fears that tend to bring down their enthusiasm namely, of explosion and of impurities in the outcome. The former fear is rational, as it is a fact that many commercial makers of the oil implement the highly combustible extraction process that involves butane. The latter fear is again related to leftover butane, which smells bad.
Many experts, therefore, do not advice to use butane as a solvent at home. Rather, they suggest using a high-proof alcohol, which is less combustible than butane. Further, it does not exist as a residue, giving a pure and potent oil, provided you follow the safety precautions. These precautions are as follows:
- Conduct the process in a ventilated area with windows open and fan running.
- Remove clutter from the counter and make it clean.
- Keep safety goggles, hot pads, and a fire extinguisher ready.
Ingredients and Procedure to Make the Oil
Following are the essentials for making the Cannabis oil:
- One ounce of organic, medical cannabis
- Everclear alcohol (190 proof)
- 1 medium glass bowl
- Rice cooker or double boiler (stainless steel, no non-stick)
- Clean nylon stocking
- Silicone spatula
- Big spoon made up of wood
- Sanitary oral syringes
- Cooking thermometer
- 2-quart mixing cup
- Fans for ventilation (if indoors)
- Parchment paper
Here are the Steps to Make Cannabis Oil:
Make Your Counter or Workspace Ready: Learning how to make cannabis oil is a bit tricky. This is because you will be heating alcohol although it is less inflammable to make a nutrient-dense oil safely. Thus, to get started, ensure to do the following:
- Choose an outdoor workspace so that combustible items do not buildup during the process.
- Keep all windows open and turn on a fan for consistent air circulation if the place chosen is indoors. This is essential for safety.
- Workspace is clean by wiping counters with water to remove anything that can meddle later.
- All ingredients and tools are well arranged and within your quick reach.
- Keep hot pads and gloves of non-latex material ready, as they can defend you from burns during splash back.
- Wear glasses or goggles for protecting eyes from vapor.
Extract Solvent: A high-proof alcohol discards all carcinogens. It also burns completely in the cooking process. This gives pure and highly concentrated oil. To extract using this solvent:
- Put cannabis into the glass bowl.
- Add alcohol to the bowl such that it covers all, just enough to cover cannabis.
- Stir the mix using a wooden spoon for a few minutes to blend the compounds with alcohol.
Strain: Now, you drain the solvent to get cannabis. After straining this plant material, it is essential to go through the process of solvent extraction again to get the most from the plant. Perform the following steps here:
- Use the nylon stocking for covering the measuring cup.
- Now, pour the mix on its top to separate the plant from the alcohol. Ensure that you get the strained material well.
- Now, add the cannabis blend on your stocking to pack it another container.
- Squeeze the left out liquid.
The resulting dark green liquid is still a blend of extracted cannabis resin and alcohol. Thus, it is time to go for one more round of soak. The first one extracts most cannabinoids, while the second one extracts the rest.
Second Soak: Put the strained plant material again into the glass bowl and add more alcohol to it such that it submerges completely. Now, stir using the wooden spoon for a few minutes. Finally, repeat the process to strain and empty the alcohol into the additional container. With this, the process of basic extraction is over. It is now time to isolate the solvent from the cannabis resin.
Heat the Solvent: To separate the cannabis resin, you now heat the solvent. This is where you have to ensure utmost safety. You need to do so by ensuring maximum air circulation to keep mishaps at bay. Ventilation is essential to push all vapor and fumes out. In case of indoors, consider placing your fan on the cooking vessel/rice cooker and direct all gasses coming out toward an open door or window. This shall keep explosion away. To heat the solvent:
- Pour the canna-alcohol mixture to fill 3/4th area of the rice cooker. Consider adding more when the current level falls at the time of cooking.
- Turn on the cooker.
- Do not close the lid. Consider adding some cloth over the cooker to prevent any dust from mixing with the oil. However, ensure that the cloth does not touch the mix.
- Apply the White Rice setting.
- Heat it high so that the solvent boils well. Supervise the oil throughout the process.
- Take away the cooker from the heating mechanism using your oven mitts once the oil is dark.
- Stir the blend.
- See the bubbles.
- Remove the oil from the pot using silicone spatula once the bubbles decelerate in their process of coming to the top.
- Gently rub off some oil on the parchment paper with the help of a toothpick once it cools.
Apart from a rice coocker, you can use a double boiler and a stovetop for this heating process. In case of a boiler, fill its bottom with water and pour the mix into the pan at its top. On high heat, let the solvent boil. Upon noticing bubbles, turn off the stove. Let the blend bubble for up to 20 minutes in the top pan. Once the thick oil is visible, the procedure is over.
Fill Syringes: After the oil has cooled, take a syringe and fetch cannabis oil into it for proper dosing. The same syringe can be useful for filling new capsules to have your own pills.
The resulting consistency may differ, as per the quality and type of cannabis flower or strain in use. As a rule of thumb, do not allow the oil to remain out for a long time prior to storing it. If this rule is ignored, the oil can get stickier than expected.
Planning to store the oil in syringes is ideal for quick dosing. In this case, fill them early before the oil becomes too sticky to use. In case of other storage mediums such as silicone jars, time is insignificant. However, the more time the oil is left for cooling, the more likely it shall take in dust or other filth. This is something that anybody would avoid.
The Taste of Cannabis Oil
Whether you buy a readymade or prepare at home, the taste of cannabis oil is likely to differ depending upon the process of extraction. An RSO will taste differently from what a homemade quality. Still, it is not wrong to conclude that the generic taste of this oil is bitter and earthy, which is much analogous to chlorophyll.
If taste is a problem, consider ingesting it initially by applying it on the lower gum line and allowing it to dissolve in some minutes. Then, increase the amount with the passage of time, as you get more familiar with the flavor.
It is easy to learn how to make cannabis oil at home. With some safety precautions, it is easy to make it too! Just try once and see for yourself!