Medical Cannabis Preparations
- 1. Juicing
- 2. Simple Cannabutter
- 3. Water-Cannabutter method
- 4. Tincture – Cold method
- 5. Tincture – Hot Method
- 6. Glycerine Method (Alcohol free)
- 7. Rick Simpsons process of making hemp oil
- 8. Phoenix Tears on Dosages
- 9. Epilepsy Specific
Preamble – January 2014
Here are some recipes for medical use cannabis preparations. Some are from the internet, where you can use the Google search engine to find information regarding medical cannabis and particular medical problems, whether it might help or not, and how.
Read more than one source as there can be disagreement among advocates as to “best practice”.
Current thinking is “cold “ tinctures retain the THC-A and the neuro-protectant quality needed for epilepsy, myalgia, fibromyalgia, spasticity, and other nervous system ailments. The cold tincture is also the least “intoxicating”, usually giving a “clear stone” or no “stone”.
A “hot” tincture, one where the cannabis is heated for a while prior to oil extraction is “intoxicating” and better for pain mitigation, as in cancer cases.
Here are some recipes for medical use cannabis preparations.
Cannabis clinician Dr. William Courtney recommends drinking 4 – 8 ounces of raw flower and leaf juice from any Hemp plant, 5 mg of Cannabidiol (CBD) per kg of body weight, a salad of Hemp seed sprouts and 50 mg of THC taken in 5 daily doses.
“If you heat the plant, you will decarboxylate THC-A (acid) and you will get high, you”ll get your 10 mg. If you don’t heat it, you can go up to five or six hundred milligrams & use it as a Dietary Cannabis. . . and push it up to the Anti-oxidant and Neuro-protective levels which come into play at hundreds of milligrams,” stated Dr. William Courtney.
“The amount of Cannabinoids we need would be difficult to get through smoked Cannabis without feeling the intoxicating effects,” said Kristen Courtney.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) maintains our biological systems by regulating each cell tissue. It uses Arachadonic acid/Omega 6 to make Endo-Cannabinoids: fatty molecules that communicate harm between cells. Dietary Cannabis mimics the ECS by providing Cannabinoids when there is an Arachadonic acid deficiency or Clinical Cannabinoid Deficiency.
Patients suffering from end stage Cancer need to eat buds whole.
Plants sprayed with anything shouldn’t be juiced, but some pests are edible, such as Spider mites.
To prepare leaves for a juicer, avoid rinsing – soak them in water for 5 minutes.
Masticating juicers are efficient for leaves, buds and sprouts; a centrifugal juicer may need additional vegetables to chop fibers.
To preserve juice fill containers so that air is minimized; a dose of juice frozen in an ice cube tray retains medicinal value.
2. Simple Cannabutter
An easy, quick way to infuse cannabis into butter on your stovetop. Be sure to use salted butter since it has a higher smoke point, and don’t leave your saucepan unattended! You can make this cannabutter relatively quickly, and use it in any recipe.
(Cookies? Remember, only try quarter or half a cookie at first to gauge effect.)
1 stick salted butter
¼ ounce of cannabis buds, finely ground
Melt the butter on low heat in a saucepan. Add the ground buds, and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring frequently. Strain the butter into a glass dish with a tight-fitting lid. Push the back of a spoon against the plant matter and smash it against the strainer to squeeze out every drop of butter available. When you’re done, discard the plant matter. Use your cannabutter immediately, or refrigerate or freeze until it is time to use. Be sure to remove all plant matter, otherwise it can get mouldy if stored in the fridge for a while. You can easily scale this recipe up for larger batches of cannabutter. One pound of butter (4 sticks) can absorb a whole ounce of cannabis, but you may want to simmer for up to 60 minutes.
For medical patients, I would recommend using two ounces of cannabis for each pound of butter, effectively making a double-strength cannabutter.
Drizzle this cannabutter over freshly cooked pasta or popcorn for instant satisfaction. Reserve large batches in the fridge or freezer for use in recipes.
3. Water-Cannabutter method:
Note: This recipe contains cannabis. Cannabis strength varies and there is no “standard” so quantities may not be given or be approximate. Please use your own judgement when measuring based on your knowledge of the cannabis you’re using.
Ok, this is the way to make cannabutter, to be used in your everyday cooking…
Carefully bring the water to a boil, and add the butter. Once melted add your weed. Slowly boil off all the water in the butter. The secret is to get the mixture up over 300 degrees. This converts most of the THCA (which doesn’t get you high) to THC which does get you high.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT LET IT GET OVER 350 DEGREES
Once the water has boiled off let the mixture simmer for 3-4 hours total.
Next, using a cheesecloth or similar (knee high stocking even!), strain out the spent plant matter, squeezing all the butter out of it, and put the liquid in the fridge.
A few hours later, the mixture is cool enough that the cannabutter has solidified on the surface. It looks kind of scummy, but it’s just enchanted butter.
Scoop it out and retain it in a bowl or a jar. Any remaining water can be thrown out.
Use the bud butter in any recipe that calls for butter. Remember, only try quarter or half a cookie at first to gauge effect.
4. Tincture – Cold Method (recommended)
Here is the recipe for highest quality tincture. This method does not use heat so keeps the integrity of the cannabinoids intact.
- Fill jar ¾ full of herb
- Fill rest of jar with alcohol; leave some room at top, stir.
- Shake jar [vigorously] one or two times a day for 2 weeks [or leave it until there is no green colour left in the plant matter]
- Strain through metal tea strainer or silkscreen.
You can use whatever kind of clean glass, not plastic, jar you have with a tight lid. One-quart mason jars are ideal. Grind the herb thoroughly in a blender. It should be well ground but doesn’t have to be a powder. You can use leaf, bud, shake, joint leftover, or stems. Too many stems will wreck your blender and a weaker tincture. Leaf work fine but for higher potency use shake or bud. Fill the jar ¾ full of herb; it does not have to be exact. You can use anywhere from ½ to 2/3 part herb but ¾ will make a full strength tincture. Use the highest proof alcohol you can, like Polmos Spirytus Rectified Spirit is 95% from Dan Murphy’s, otherwise just use the highest proof Vodka you can find. If you are making this to ingest rather than smoke then extra sugars won’t matter. Pour alcohol over the herb, filling the rest of the jar. Leave just enough space (an inch or so) at the top so that you will be able to shake the jar. Stir the mixture; the herb will absorb some of the alcohol so you may need to add more. Put the lid on tightly; label the contents and the date you started. It takes two weeks for the alcohol to extract all the active elements from the herb. Shake the jar once or twice a day for 2 weeks. The alcohol will rise to the top and a deep green/red colour will develop. After 2 weeks of aging you can strain the tincture through a metal tea strainer or a silk screen into a small tincture bottle with a dropper. You can leave the rest in the jar if you want, it will age and mellow in flavour and you can strain off as much as you want at a time. Alcohol is a strong preservative it will hold for a long time, be careful when handling the tincture, it stains and will turn everything it comes in contact with green. Use anti-bacterial dish soap, the orange kind, to clean the glass, metal or other ceramic utensils, (do not use plastic) sinks and counter tops works best at dissolving THC residue.
Dosage varies per individual but start with half a dropper dissolved in hot tea or water. Hot tea will dissipate some of the alcohol and activate the THC a bit. It can be taken straight but may burn the tongue and has a very strong herbal taste. [If you cut it with equal parts water, you can hold the dosage under the tongue without burning. Takes effect in seconds.]
5. Tincture – Hot Method
Green Dragon method:
1. Chop the cannabis—more surface area gives means a faster and more efficient extraction. [You can literally chop it into a powder.]
2. Bake the cannabis (decarboxylate).
In whole-plant cannabis, THC content is expressed as THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) prior to decarboxylation into THC, which takes place when cannabis is heated during cooking, and smoked or vaporized ingestion. THCA is a mild analgesic and anti-inflammatory but does not have good affinity with our CB1 receptors, so in order to make a THC-rich tincture that has many of the same therapeutic effects as smoked ingestion (including rapid absorption, quick relief and ease of self-titration), we must convert the THCA in the plant matter into THC prior to extracting it through an alcohol soak.
THC vaporizes at about 380°F. We want to heat the cannabis to convert THCA to THC, but keep the temperature under 380°F. That is why 325°F is used. Between four and five minutes your oven (and house) will start to smell very strong. This the time to remove the cannabis from the oven.
Notice also that there is considerable misinformation regarding heating the cannabis. It is true that you don’t have to heat it to extract both THC and THCA, but the amount of THC in whole plant preparations is relatively small compared to after decarboxylation of the THCA. So if you want to maximize the strength of your tincture you must heat the cannabis prior to extraction.
3. Use the highest proof alcohol available. In my area this was Bacardi 151. The more alcohol the more efficient the extraction will be.
4. Simmer the mixture.
This is one of the areas that seems to be most debated. Many recipes call for placing the cannabis (unbaked of course) into the alcohol and waiting 2 – 6 weeks. The main concern with heating the alcohol is that it is “explosive” (not exactly true…it is however flammable).
The purpose of the simmering is to heat the alcohol mixture to improve extraction rates and efficiencies. Heating during extraction increases the motion of the molecules (basic physics/chemistry) and drastically decreases extraction times. The boiling point of pure ethanol is 173°F (78°C). We will use the water bath to heat the rum/cannabis mixture to just below the boiling point of ethanol.
Heating the alcohol mixture can be done very safely using a hot water bath. You will need an accurate candy or quick read thermometer. Place about 1 inch of water in a wide, vertical-edged pan (9” wide x 3” high). Bring the water to a low simmer. The rum/cannabis mixture should be in a small (1 pint) mason jar. Do NOT cover the jar.
Put the thermometer into the mason jar and place into the simmering water bath. Bring the temperature of the rum/cannabis mixture to about 165°F (I maintain it between 150°F and 165°F). You want the alcohol mixture to be just barely moving (not boiling, but showing active convection within the mixture). If the mixture starts to bubble too much, just turn down the water bath.
You should have the oven fan on high. You will notice that any alcohol fumes are mixed with water vapour from the water bath and vented out the fan. This combined with the fact that you are trying not to boil the ethanol makes the process quite safe.
5. Strain, titrate, and store.
When you are finished with the extraction you will be left with about 1oz of green dragon tincture. Note that one ounce of the alcohol has evaporated.
Now you should test your eyedropper. In my test 34 full droppers equalled one ounce of liquid (this is a little less than one gram of liquid per dropper full as 29g equals 1ounce).
The liquid should be dark green and smell like cannabis. 1/8oz of good cannabis yields about 30-34 doses of tincture.
6. Glycerine Method (Alcohol free)
Glycerine – also known as glycerol – is easy to find. You should be able to get it at your local health-food store. Then you simply soak some high-quality cannabis shake and kif in the glycerine for 60 days.
I like to take the high-quality shake and bud and grind them up well, then place them in a two-quart glass jar. Then I add five to seven grams of kif (i.e. unpressed trichomes) to the jar to increase the medicine’s potency. Remember that this preparation will be ingested, so keep all your tools sterile and use good-tasting shake, not waste leaf.
Once the jar is 90 percent filled with ground weed and kif, slowly add the glycerine until the weed is covered and the jar is full. Make sure to rotate the jar for about three to five minutes per day, mixing the contents of jar well. (I like to flip my jar upside-down each day and let the weed float to the top of the glycerine.) After 60 full days, use a 190-micron Bubblebag to strain out the weed. At first I found this part of the process extremely difficult, and I think that using a French press or some type of fine kitchen screen to strain the shake from the tincture would work much better for most people.
7. Rick Simpsons process of making hemp oil
I generally work with a pound or more of good grade hemp starting material. You can use just one ounce. An ounce will usually produce 3 or 4 grams of oil. The amount of oil produced per ounce of hemp will vary from strain to strain, but it all has that wonderful healing power.
1 – Place the completely dry starting material in a plastic bucket.
2 – Dampen the material with the solvent you are using. Many solvents can be used. You will require about two gallons of solvent to strip the THC off one pound of dry starting material. 500 millilitres of solvent should be more than enough to strip the THC from one ounce of starting material. (Editors note: For more information about which solvent to use visit the Facebook group Cannabis Oil Success Stories)
3 – Crush the plant material using a stick of clean untreated (chemical free) wood or some such device. Even though the starting material has been dampened with the solvent, you will find that the material can be readily crushed.
4 – Add solvent until the starting material is completely covered.
Use the stick to work the plant material. As you are doing this, the THC dissolves off the plant material into the solvent.
5 – Continue this process for about 3 minutes.
6 – Pour the solvent-oil mix off the plant material into another bucket. You have just stripped the plant material of about 80% of its THC.
7 – Second wash – again add solvent to the plant material and work it for another 3 minutes to get the other 20%.
8 – Pour this solvent-oil mix into the bucket containing the first mix that was poured off previously.
9 – Discard the twice-washed plant material.
10 – Pour the solvent-oil mix through a coffee filter into a clean container.
11- Boil the solvent off. I have found that a rice cooker will do this boil off very nicely. The one I have has two heat settings – high and low – and will hold over a half gallon (2.5 litres) of solvent-oil mix.
12- Add solvent-oil mix to the rice cooker until it is about ¾ full.
Make sure you are in a very well ventilated area and set up a fan to carry the solvent fumes away. The fumes are very flammable. Be sure to stay away from red-hot elements, sparks, cigarettes etc. that could ignite the fumes.
13 – Plug the rice cooker in and set it on high heat.
14 – Continue adding solvent-oil mix as the level in the rice cooker decreases until it is all in the cooker.
15 – Add a few drops of water to the solvent-oil mix as the level comes down for the last time. The amount of water added depends on how much starting material you had in the beginning. If I am producing oil from a pound of good bud, I usually add about ten drops of water.
16 – When there is about one inch of solvent-oil-water mix left in the cooker, put on your oven mitts, pick the unit up and gently swirl the contents.
17 – Continue swirling until the solvent has been evaporated off. The few drops of water help release the solvent residue and protect the oil somewhat from too much heat. When the solvent has been boiled off, the cooker that I use automatically goes to low heat. This avoids any danger of overheating the oil. At no time should the temperature of the oil go over 290F degrees (140 C).
18 – Put on your oven mitts and remove the pot containing the oil from the rice cooker.
19 – Gently pour the oil into a small stainless steel container.
20 – Place this container in a dehydrator or put in on a gentle heating device such as a coffee warmer. It may take a few hours but the water and volatile terpenes will be evaporated from the oil. When there is no longer any activity on the surface of the oil the medicine is ready for use.
21 – Pour the hot oil into a bottle; or suck it up into a plastic syringe body. Putting the oil in a plastic syringe makes it very easy to dispense the medicine.
When the oil cools off it has the consistency of thick grease. Some strains will produce very thick oil and you may have trouble squeezing it out of the syringe. If this happens, place the syringe in warm water a few minutes prior to use.
Consuming the Oil?
The oil can be put into glycerine capsules to avoid the taste. If the oil was made with alcohol, that may cause the capsules to go soft over time, so prepare only as needed.
8. Phoenix Tears on Dosages:
It takes the average person about 90 days to ingest the full 60 gram treatment. I suggest that people start with three doses per day, about the size of a half a grain of short grained rice. A dose such as this would equal about ¼ of a drop. After four days at this dosage, most people are able to increase their doses by doubling the amount of their dose every four days.
It takes the average person about 5 weeks to get to the point where they can ingest a gram per day. Once they reach this dosage they can continue at this rate until the cancer disappears.
By using this method it allows the body to build up its tolerance slowly, in fact, I have many reports from people who took the oil treatment and said they never got high. We all have different tolerances for any medication. Your size and body weight have little to do with your tolerance for hemp oil. Be aware when commencing treatment with hemp oil that it will lower your blood pressure, so if you are currently taking blood pressure medication, it is very likely that you will no longer need it.
When people are taking the oil, I like to see them stay within their comfort zone, but the truth is, the faster you take the oil the better the chance of surviving. At the end of their treatment most people continue taking the oil but at a much reduced rate. About one gram a month would be a good maintenance dose. I do not like to see people overdosing on the oil, but an overdose does no harm. The main side effect of this medication is sleep and rest which plays an important role in the healing process. Usually, within an hour or so of taking a dose, the oil is telling you to lay down and relax. Don’t fight the sleepy feeling, just lay down and go with it. Usually within a month, the daytime tiredness associated with this treatment fades away but the patient continues to sleep very well at night.
The only time I would recommend that people start out with larger doses would be to get off addictive and dangerous pain medications. When people who are using such medications begin the oil treatment, they usually cut their pain medications in half. The object is to take enough oil to take care of the pain and to help the patient get off these dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. Taking the oil makes it much easier for the patient to get off these addictive chemicals.
I simply tell people the oil will do one of two things; it will either cure your cancer or in cases where it is too late to affect a cure, the oil will ease their way out and they can at least die with dignity.
9. Epilepsy Specific:
THCA Tinctures for Seizures/Epilepsy – The Simple Way
To start you will need the following.
1 ounce good fresh dried bud from any high THC strain. (1 oz)
1 Litre of rectified spirit (95% alcohol)
2 x one litre glass mason jars.
1 Pyrex/glass Oblong Baking Dish 4.5L
Preparation for Extraction
1) Take 1 ounce of dried bud (preferably frangible) from any high THC-strain and crumble it all up (by hand) and place in glass mason jar. (Tip – to make buds dry enough to be frangible/brittle, lay buds on a tray and leave a cool fan blowing air directly on to it for an hour or so.
2) Place a piece of nylon stocking across the mouth of the mason jar holding the crumbled buds, and tie with a rubber band or piece of string. Place in freezer overnight.
3) Place two containers of 500 ml spirit in the freezer (or one litre – you measure out 500ml when the time comes). Freeze containers of alcohol overnight to -17 or -19 degrees Celsius or 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now, the idea is to work very quickly to do two, perhaps three, quick rinses before the buds thaw. The freezing process prevents picking up water soluble contaminants from the plant material during the rinse.
4) Pour 500 ml of the frozen spirit onto the frozen buds, slush it around for a bit. After about 90 seconds pour off the liquid through the nylon stocking, and then also through a coffee filter * (to remove small particulate matter) into the glass collection dish.
(*The second mason jar has a coffee filter secured to it, so you pour the alcohol/resin solution through the filter into the second mason jar, then pour that into the glass collection plate)
5) Fill jar again with the remaining 500 ml of alcohol, swish around again, and then pour off the liquid through the nylon stocking and then through a coffee filter into the second mason jar, and then into the glass collection dish.
Sometimes a third wash is possible before thawing so try and do the first two rinses quickly. If you do a third wash you will need additional alcohol.
What is poured into the plate is all the resin without the plant material. This contains your THCA as well as other cannabinoids.
6) The collection plate should now hold about 1 litre spirit and resins. Place a household fan near the plate and blow cool air over the plate for about 24 to 48 hours or until all of the alcohol has evaporated. There is no hurry here ok.
7) The collection plate once evaporated should have a thin film of resin sticking to the glass. It helps to have a flat razor blade or putty knife to scrape up the resin. It’s very sticky, like tar, and it’s easier to work with when very cold (you can pop it in the fridge to harden it).
One ounce should yield about 3 to 5 gms of resin. Keep this stored in the fridge to keep cool and easier to handle.
Making a THCA Tincture from that resin..
8) Weigh the resin, and put 1gm of THCA resin into a 100 ml bottle and fill with spirit. You will find the resin easier to handle if it is frozen.
9) Test your final result at a lab so you know exactly what you have. Results should show high amounts of THCA a small amount of THC (through natural decarboxylation in the drying/curing process of the buds).
10) Per Canna, “Each patient is taking roughly 2ml/day of the tincture I make. This is broken down into 4 drops 3 times daily, and 1ml before bed. The results speak for themselves.” “One ounce of high grade bud produces 3 to 5gms of resin. That is enough to make 3 to 5 100ml bottles. Each patient is only using 2ml per day, so each bottle last 50 days.”
This is NOT for sublingual use. It is designed to go down a feeding tube, or be incorporated in juice or custard, etc.
WARNING: DO NOT CEASE CONVENTIONAL AED’s WITHOUT MEDICAL SUPERVISION. IF YOU DO SO YOU CAN LIKELY EXPECT A RECURRENCE OF SEIZURES. Once you commence a THCA therapy there needs to be a period of time for the cannabinoids to fully become effective. If you wean conventional medicines too quickly the patient has high chances of seizures recurring. It is not recommended that reductions in conventional medicines be made within a month of starting a THCA treatment.
Method 2. Alcohol Tincture
Both THC and its ll-OH metabolite exhibit phenytoin-like anticonvulsant activity in animals. Like the cannabinoids, phenytoin decreases voltage-gated sodium current.
You will need;
½ an ounce of cannabis heads (Find cannabis that doesn’t smell bad. Quality over quantity)
1 Litre Alcohol (Clear Alcohol with as few additives added as possible, like Vodka)
Break the Cannabis Heads up and add them to a jar with the Litre of Alcohol.
Seal the jar and shake 3 to 4 times a day for 2 to 3 days. Shake for 30 seconds per time and store in a cool place. Excessive shaking is not required.
If the Alcohol starts to turn green pour off the Alcohol. It is the cannabinoids which are required not the products of the breakdown of the fibre. When the Alcohol starts to turn green the fibre is being broken down.
Pour the mixture through a filter to remove the solids from the Alcohol. If some solid material is still left in the Alcohol leave the jar to stand until the solids settle and then pour the Alcohol slowly from the jar until only the solids and a small amount of Alcohol is left.
This method makes a Non-Psychotropic Ultra Low dose THC/THCA Cannabinoid Tincture.
Store in the refrigerator or a cool spot.
Start with 5 drops of the filtered Cannabinoid Tincture 4 times a day and increase the number of drops until the seizures stop.
This should be enough Cannabinoid Tincture to last many months.
Inform your doctor/neurologist of the use of the Ultra Low Dose Cannabinoid Tincture to maximise the benefits of your treatment. Never stop taking other seizure medications without consulting with your doctor/neurologist.