Tag: Health & Medicine

How to Make Your Own Cannabis Capsules

Cannabis capsules are an easy, discreet, and super effective way to medicate. Taking a pill blends more seamlessly into most people’s daily routine than smoking, vaporizing, or eating an edible.

Making cannabis capsules at home is a simple way to ensure you’re ingesting clean medicine that’s created to suit your individual needs.

A daily low-dose of cannabinoids can help ease a wide variety of ailments, and when you’re treating a chronic disorder it’s important to consistently flood your body with healing cannabinoids.

There are two routes to take when making your own capsules — infused oil or decarboxylated dry cannabis flower.

Some prefer to have an oil base because raw cannabis can be slightly harder for sensitive stomachs to digest. But if you’re looking for speed and ease, raw flower is the way to go and it’s just as effective.

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 To determine potency, let’s do some quick math:

We will be using “0” size capsules which can hold approximately 0.5 grams (weight).

For calculating the decarbed flower capsules, we’re going to assume the material used is approximately 5% THC. This means there is 50 mg of THC for every 1 gram (weight) of plant material. Each pill capsule holds about 0.1 gram (weight) of plant material which is approximately 5 mg of activated THC. By those calculations, each decarbed flower capsule will contain approximately 5 mg of THC.

For the oil-based capsules, you can adjust the potency based on how much cannabis you infuse into the oil. I’ve laid out two options below and if you’d like a stronger pill, simply infuse more flower in the oil. As mentioned above, a size 0 capsule will hold about 0.4 gram (weight), but we will aim to fill the capsule to about 80% of its capacity (400 mg / 0.4 gram in weight which is equal to 0.4 ml in volume).

For the sake of consistency, we will assume that the average gram of cannabis contains 50 mg of THC.

7 grams of cannabis into ¼ cup oil: (7 grams x 50mg THC = 350mg of THC) *¼ cup = 62.5 mL

— 350mg divided by 62.5 mL = 5.6 mg per mL

— 5.6 mg THC per mL x 0.4 mL (per capsule) = 2.24 mg THC

14 grams of cannabis into ¼ cup oil: (14 grams x 50mg THC = 700mg of THC) *¼ cup = 62.5 mL

— 700mg divided by 62.5 mL = 11.2 mg per mL

— 11.2 mg THC per mL x 0.4 mL (per capsule) = 4.48 mg THC 


If you’d like a capsule with an infused-oil base, begin by making cannabis-infused oil — follow these recipes to make homemade oil with coconut oil or olive oil.

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If you’d like raw herbs, begin by preheating your oven to 220 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is preheating, grind up your cannabis finely by herb grinder, coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread your cannabis crumble evenly on top. Bake for about 60 minutes being sure the oven doesn’t rise above 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

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If you’re looking for an extra punch of herbal healing in either recipe, try adding some of the following herbs into the canna-oil or simply mix them with your post-decarbed cannabis powder:

For Calming Sleep Capsules add powdered valerian root, skullcap, lemon balm, or hop flower.

For Nutritious Superfood Capsules add spirulina, chlorella, turmeric.

For Energizing Daytime Capsules add gingko root, astragalus, or maca root.


After the cannabis is decarbed or the oil is infused, it’s time to fill the capsules. Using a capsule machine shortens this process to 5 minutes or less, but it’s possible to fill them without it. I would definitely recommend a machine, they are less than $20 and save a lot of money in the long run if you consistently make a variety of herbal capsules.

Begin by separating the tops and bottoms of the capsules (the bottoms are the longer sides). Place the bottom half of the capsules in the base of the capsule machine.

If you chose the dry herb capsules, pour your herbal mixture into the pill maker. You can do straight cannabis, but I decided to mix some valerian root and nettle into mine for that extra nutritious oomph.

Use a card to evenly spread the herbs across the capsule openings. Use the tampering tool included with the capsule kit to gently press the herbs down, and add some more if there’s room. Fill the lid of the capsule machine with the capsule tops and place on the device. Remove the machine from its stand and press down with both hands until the capsules are joined together. Lift, remove the filled capsules, and voila!

If you chose the oil-based capsules, use a syringe or dropper to carefully fill the bottoms of the capsules. (Note: if you’re using coconut oil it needs to be warmed in order to remain viscous and make the filling process easier, however, if the oil is too warm it can melt the capsules so it’s important to stay in that neutral temperature zone). Once the capsules are filled, place the tops of the capsules into the lid of the machine and place on the device. Move the machine off its stand and press down on the top of the machine with both hands. Lift, remove the filled capsules, and you have some golden cannabis capsules!

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Know Your Medicine: CBDA

Cannabidiolic acid or CBDA is one of the non-intoxicating phytocannabinoids found in the raw unheated cannabis plant. CBGA, cannabigerolic acid, is the parent compound to both THCA and CBDA. As the cannabis flower matures, CBGA is converted to CBDA by the enzyme CBDA synthase, first discovered in 1996 by researchers in Japan. CBGA is also the parent compound to THCA, via the enzyme THCA synthase. Unfortunately, there is very little research on CBDA despite recent studies showing potent anti-inflammatory effects and anticancer potential.

CBDA is a potent anti-inflammatory, working by selectively inhibiting an enzyme in our bodies called COX-2. This enzyme is triggered when you experience injury or infection, and it produces compounds called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins promote inflammation, and although this is a natural response, it can be the source of significant pain and at times, cell destruction. CBDA reduces the production of prostaglandin by blocking the COX-2 enzyme.  Less prostaglandin equals less inflammation.  There is also a COX-1 enzyme, which when triggered, activates blood clotting and protection of the lining of the gut.

Scientists have long sought compounds that block COX-2 without blocking COX-1 — and CBDA does just that. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) work by blocking both COX enzymes — this is why they can cause side effects of bleeding, gut irritation, and ulcers. One particular NSAID, called celecoxib, is also a selective COX-2 inhibitor but has a long list of possible side effects including headaches, abdominal pain, indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, insomnia, and more. There are no reports of these side effects with CBDA use. THCA, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, the precursor to THC, also inhibits COX-2 but is much less potent than CBDA.

ibuprofen for cannabis

Why are you still taking Ibuprofen?

A fascinating experiment wherein volunteers ingested unheated cannabinoids (THCA and CBDA) along with heated cannabinoids (THC and CBD) found that ingesting unheated cannabinoids along with heated cannabinoids resulted in higher CBD plasma levels when compared to heated cannabinoids alone. Unfortunately, the mechanism of this effect is unknown. The authors of this study theorized that unheated cannabinoids “may beneficially affect the uptake and metabolism of CBD and other phytocannabinoids.”

Another study showed that CBDA inhibited highly invasive breast cancer cells (called MDA-MB-231 cells) from metastasizing. These cells are unresponsive to hormonal treatment and considered very difficult to treat. The researchers discovered that CBDA turned off the chemical signals that these particular cancer cells send to each other telling them to spread. Although this study was conducted in test tubes, not in animals or humans, it is quite promising and demands further investigation.   

Research also shows that CBDA is sporostatic (stops mold spores from reproducing) and antibacterial, although these properties have not been studied in humans.   

Patients are taking CBDA by either ingesting juice made from the flowers and leaves of the raw cannabis plant, using a chemovar that has CBD genetics such as AC/DC, Charlotte’s Web, Cannatonic, and others. CBDA is also available in a capsule containing raw ground flower and leaves or in the form of oil- or alcohol-based tinctures that are produced without heat.  

Dr. Raphael Mechoulam has described the plant cannabinoids as a “neglected pharmacological treasure trove.” We desperately need more research on these compounds, and with the promising results seen so far, CBDA should be at the top of the research list. Many common illnesses, including diabetes, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and others, are thought to be a result of chronic inflammation.  CBDA just may be Mother Nature’s cure for all that ails us.  


Sources:

Farkas, J., and E. Andrassy. “The sporostatic effect of cannabidiolic acid.” Acta Alimentaria Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 5.1 (1976): 57-67.

Hunter, Philip. “The inflammation theory of disease.” EMBO reports 13.11 (2012): 968-970.

Kabelik, J., Z. Krejei, and F. Santavy. “Cannabis as a medicament.” Bull. Narc12.5 (1960).

Mechoulam, Raphael. “Plant cannabinoids: a neglected pharmacological treasure trove.” British journal of pharmacology 146.7 (2005): 913-915.

Radošević, A., M. Kupinić, and Lj Grlić. “Antibiotic activity of various types of Cannabis resin.” Nature 195.4845 (1962): 1007-1009.

Takeda, Shuso, et al. “Cannabidiolic acid as a selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitory component in cannabis.” Drug metabolism and disposition 36.9 (2008): 1917-1921.

Takeda, Shuso, et al. “Cannabidiolic acid, a major cannabinoid in fiber-type cannabis, is an inhibitor of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell migration.” Toxicology letters 214.3 (2012): 314-319.

Taura, Futoshi, Satoshi Morimoto, and Yukihiro Shoyama. “Purification and characterization of cannabidiolic-acid synthase from Cannabis sativa L. Biochemical analysis of a novel enzyme that catalyzes the oxidocyclization of cannabigerolic acid to cannabidiolic acid.” Journal of Biological Chemistry271.29 (1996): 17411-17416.

Ujváry, István, and Lumír Hanuš. “Human metabolites of cannabidiol: a review on their formation, biological activity, and relevance in therapy.” Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research 1.1 (2016): 90-101.

 

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Patients Find Freedom From Fibromyalgia Pain With Cannabis

When I first met Vicki, I connected with her right away. Comfortable in her own skin, I knew that if it weren’t for our professional relationship, we might have been friends. She was struggling when I met her, taking several medications and strapped financially as she had no decent health insurance to cover her pre-existing conditions after being laid off. Despite her serious medical conditions, she was very positive with a great attitude.

As a business development consultant and one of the few women in an industry dominated by men, Vicki had sought medical help 20 years earlier for intense pain in her right shoulder and neck as well as constant flu and cold symptoms. She was put on pain medication and eventually diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. She tried a number of different medications but never felt well as the medications had many unwanted side effects. She couldn’t drive on the pain medication, was “out of it” during the day and couldn’t sleep at night. She struggled with the decision to continue taking the medications and suffer the side effects or not take the medications and suffer with symptoms of her conditions. She worried that she wouldn’t be able to go on.

Vicki began reading about cannabis as a natural option to treat her pain and came to my office to learn more. She has found that THC-rich medicine taken in small doses (one to two puffs) smoked in a joint two or three times a day eases her pain and insomnia. It also alleviates the anxiety that is so often associated with these medical conditions. Vicki states that she’s a responsible user and knows what affects her mind and body. She does not drive after she smokes and, while she reports sometimes feeling euphoria, she most often feels relaxed and is able to sleep.

Vicki’s former life of pain prohibited her from really participating in activities with her friends and family. Before cannabis, if she didn’t sleep or had too much pain, she would often stay at home to “ride it out,” and then feel too exhausted to leave. Her friends and family were frustrated with her, insisting that she didn’t take care of herself. “This is what fibromyalgia does. This is how chronic fatigue affects me,” she’d insist. “I have to stay home and take care of myself.” Today, if she feels pain or discomfort, she has a very effective and non-toxic way to treat it. With medical cannabis, she can actively participate in her life.

When I asked Vicki if I could share her story in this book, she replied, “Cannabis has helped me to live again. I can tolerate pain. I sleep now, for the first time, really, in my life. I think I wouldn’t have been able to go on if I hadn’t found cannabis. It has given me my life back.”


Vicki’s story comes courtesy of Dr. Bonni’s latest book. If you want to learn more about how the world’s most misunderstood plant is healing everything from chronic pain to epilepsy, pick up a copy of Cannabis Revealed on Amazon or Create Space today.

cannabis revealed

American Botanical Council 2017 Book of the Year Semi-Finalist

 

Start a Marijuana Business Today: CertificationClinics.com™ offers a comprehensive business model for recommending Medical Marijuana Certifications and/or Dispensary Ownership in your area. The CertificationClinics.com™ Business Support staff will educate you in every of the growing medical marijuana industry, providing you a fully operational and profitable enterprise. Learn More »