As anyone who ever played the classic board game Operation knows, you don’t need to go to medical school to feel like a surgeon. With cannabis capsules, you don’t need an advanced degree to feel like a pharmacist, or maybe just a cannabis apothecary who has found a new way to dose.
But in all seriousness, cannabis capsules are a popular way of dosing weed that is odorless, tasteless, quick, and very effective. Cannabis capsules are also highly versatile. They can be made using cannabis oils, decarboxylated cannabis flower, or even just some leftover kief.
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We believe that the easiest, most straightforward cannabis capsules are made with cannabis oil. Also, just like those non-cannabis capsules at your local pharmacy, cannabis capsules made with cannabis-infused oil make precision dosing very simple.
Why should you make cannabis capsules?
While cannabis capsules will probably never give joints or gummies a run for their money, they definitely have their benefits.
For one, like all edibles, cannabis capsules don’t require any smoking so they’re a good option for people who prefer not to smoke – or have medical reasons not to smoke. In addition, the lack of smoke makes them a very discreet way to dose, including in public.
Unlike many other edibles, there isn’t any unpleasant flavor either.
But perhaps the greatest draw for capsules over other edibles is that they allow for precise dosing. For many medical cannabis patients, the ability to know precisely how much cannabis is in each capsule can really make a difference in their medical marijuana regimen.
What not to do with edibles
Like with any cannabis edibles, capsules must be metabolized in the digestive system. This can create a much more potent and immersive experience, but also means that it can take more than an hour to feel the effects. And this is how people often end up making a classic edibles mistake.
After about a half hour or so, people can get impatient and decide to down another capsule, convinced that they simply didn’t take enough. Instead, they quickly realize that the first dose hasn’t kicked in yet – and now they’ve taken a double dose and have to ride it out.
There’s no physical danger in getting too high on edibles, but it can be an unpleasant experience, and is best avoided.
Another is to forget the next step, which is crucial for making edibles.
Why you need to decarboxylate weed
If you want to get high by eating cannabis, you’ll first need to carry out a process known as decarboxylation. This process involves heating up cannabis so that the cannabinoid THCA converts to THC. When smoking weed, this happens almost instantaneously due to the heat from the flame. For edibles though, you need to carry out this step on your own ahead of time.
Luckily though, it’s quite simple.
To decarboxylate cannabis, just heat up some flowers for 30-45 minutes at around 220-245°F (105-120°C). It’s really that simple.
How to make cannabis oil
Making a batch of homemade cannabis oil is quite easy, and once you have your own infusion, you’re always just one step away from great edibles.
We decided to go with cannabis-infused olive oil, simply because it’s easier to get it inside of the capsules. (Coconut oil solidifies at room temperature)
Here’s what you need to make cannabis-infused olive oil:
- 1 cup or around 7-14 grams of ground, decarboxylated cannabis
- 1 cup of olive oil
- Double-boiler, saucepan, or crockpot
- Storage container
There are three main methods for making cannabis oil:
- double boiler
- slow cooker
With each method, you cook the oil and cannabis together on a low heat for around three hours, though some recipes call for less time or even a couple hours longer.
If using a saucepan, heat the oil and decarboxylated cannabis together for about three hours at a low heat 130-150°F (55-65°C), making sure to stir frequently.
In a double boiler, place water in the bottom portion and the oil and cannabis in the top section and heat for around three hours.
With the slow cooker (or bain marie) method, just place the cannabis and oil in a closed glass jar and heat it in a couple inches of water at the same low heat for around three hours.
Whichever method you use, after about an hour remove the pans from the heat and once the oil cools, strain it through a cheesecloth into a glass container that you can seal tightly. Pro tip: make sure to squeeze the cheesecloth a few times to get all of the oil out.
How to make cannabis capsules
As mentioned earlier, we decided that a cannabis capsule recipe using infused olive oil is the best option. If you would prefer coconut oil, just make sure to warm it up until it becomes liquid before filling the capsules. The following recipe from cannadish calls for ¼ cup cannabis oil and a ¼ cup of CBD oil to make 60 size 00 capsules.
We modified it to use just ¼ cup cannabis oil for 30 size 00 capsules.
- After making your cannabis-infused oil, let it cool completely to room temperature.
- Separate the empty capsules and place the bottom halves inside of an empty capsule holder.
- Draw cannabis oil into the syringe or dropper
- Carefully use the syringe or dropper to fill the capsule bottoms one by one and gently close each capsule.
- Wipe any oil off the outside of the capsules and store for later use.
How many cannabis capsules should you take?
The potency of your cannabis capsules depends on a variety of factors including your tolerance and the cannabis flower you used.
Once the oil is in the capsules though, the dosage is set, unless you decide to empty out a capsule to take a smaller dose.
Regardless, it’s easy to see how capsules allow for precision dosing, just by using some simple math.
For example, let’s say there is 500mg of THC in the ¼ cup of cannabis oil you used in the recipe. There is about .9ml of liquid volume to each size 00 capsule. Considering that a quarter cup has 59 milliliters, that’s a little over 8 mg of THC per capsule.
Your best bet when it comes to dosing though is to try a ml or half ml dose of the oil and see how you respond, and to wait a good few hours between doses.
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