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StickMan

Cannabis Capsules – A step-by-step guide

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I know know most of the oil recipes on here call for a much longer infusing time. I just wanted to share what has and does work for me.

I copied this from another Canna Forum a few years back (don't remember now which one).
I have made tens of thousands of capsules using this guide over the years, helping several patients with stunning results.I will be trying some of the recipes on here in the future though.

Cannabis Capsules – A step-by-step guide.

Part 1 - Acknowledgements and thanks.

I’d like to begin with a big thank you to weedhound and sickpup45 who inspired me to experiment with Cannabis Capsules in the first place, and to Opie Yutts who ‘nudged’ me into writing this ‘step-by-step’ tutorial for the forums. Cheers guys!

Secondly, I’ve tried to keep this guide as simple as possible, but, as the box says ‘Some assembly is required’, and therefore, this guide might not be suitable for everyone. It needs some ingredients to be measured (with a teaspoon), and the purchase of a few essential (and some optional) items.

Where possible, I’ll include detailed descriptions of everything you might need, where to get it from and roughly how much it might cost etc.

To give you an idea of the unit cost (excluding the price of the weed), if you made 1000 capsules (enough for 1 person to remain high for a year!) the cost would be around $51 or £25 for the ingredients (oil/butter and capsules). That’s less than $0.05 cents or £0.03 pence each!

Including the cost of the weed (based on an average price of $15 or £7.50 a gram), you’re looking at around $1.30 or £0.65 per capsule (for caps made from hash or kief) or $1.90 or £0.95 pence (for caps made from prime bud).

Still reading? OK, here goes:

Here’s what we’ll be making.

The following ‘step-by-step’ tutorial outlines the tools and techniques needed to convert quantities of bud, hash or keif into tasteless pill capsules that can be swallowed to give a measured dose of potent, active THC to the user.

For simplicity and economy we’ll just be using 1 gram of hash or kief (or, one and a half grams of bud) and making it into 12 cannabis capsules, each containing around 0.08 grams of activated THC.
As a guide:
1 capsule can be taken by medicinal users for strong pain relief.
2 capsules will give a regular smoker an intense 4 to 6 hour trip.
3 capsules (experienced tokers only) a 6 to 8 hour plus ‘wild ride’.

To make larger quantities of capsules simply increase the ingredients pro-rata.
i.e. To make 24 pills just double everything, for 48 double everything again and so on.
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Part 2 - What you’ll need (some essential and some optional items).

The essential cookery ‘Equipment’:

1. A Slow Cooker (see the first picture). Also known as a ‘Crock Pot’ in the States.

Or:

A medium sized pan, a mixing bowl and a lid (see the second picture), and some hot water.

2. A quantity of size 00 Gelatine Capsules. They can be bought from some pharmacies, health food shops or online in quantities of 100+ (see third picture).

3. A teaspoon (hopefully everyone will have one of these).

The essential cookery ‘Ingredients’:

Either: 1 gram of good Hashish (not soap bar).
Or: 1 gram of fine grained ‘keif’.
Or: 1.5 grams of good ‘Bud’ (no stems, no seeds, or pointy leaves).

And: 7 grams (one and a half teaspoons) of Coconut oil or clarified butter*.


The optional cookery items:

A capsule holder to help when filling (see part 3).
A syringe or pipette to fill the caps with a measured dose of oil (see part 3).
A set of accurate measuring spoons (see part 3).


OK, assuming you’ve got access to a ‘crock pot’ (or a least a pan and a mixing bowl), and a little ‘weed’, what else is required?

The other main essential items are the capsules to put your activated mixture in, and (possibly) a few other extras to help in the measuring and filling process, and that’s it.
atta_000379_upload_2016-5-8_8-51-21.png atta_000380_upload_2016-5-8_8-51-35.png atta_000381_upload_2016-5-8_8-51-57.png

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Part 3 - Where to buy what you need, and for how much:

The essential items:

Empty pill capsules come in several sizes, the ones I recommend are 00 sized, as the smaller ones are a little fiddly to make and don’t hold much, and the bigger sizes are a little hard to swallow.
Also, select only the Gelatine variety not the vegetarian ones as they can leak when exposed to fats and oils.
An internet search for ‘empty 00 gelatine capsules’ will no doubt give you a variety of sources. Expect to pay ‘roughly’ $3.00/£1.50 per 100.

Ideally, you’ll also need a jar (or tub) of Coconut oil, or failing that some clarified butter (or ‘Ghee’ as it’s called in Asian cookery). If you’re struggling to find either, don’t panic, it’s easy to make your own Ghee using ordinary butter (I’ll explain further on).

Coconut oil (solid depending on room temperature) can be bought from some health food shops and other specialist food stores.
Go for the ‘extra virgin organic coconut oil’ if you can find it, as It’s one of the safest oils to cook with, contains no ‘trans fats’ (unhealthy fat), is high in saturated fat, and most importantly is ‘digestion friendly’ (unlike certain other monounsaturated or polyunsaturated oils) meaning the THC can be absorbed easily by the stomach and liver, and therefore passed into the bloodstream to do its job without loss of potency.
Expect to pay between $7/£3.50 for a 200 gram jar. Enough for around 336 capsules, plus it’ll keep for years in the fridge.

The optional items:

In addition, there are some items that’ll help in making the capsules easier to measure and fill, but you can get by without them as long as you have a steady hand and some patience. However, for those people who are likely to repeat the process, they are inexpensive to buy and make it much easier and quicker to make regular or larger quantities.

They are:

A) A capsule filler container. The one shown in the picture is a ‘Cap.M.Quik’ model which holds 50 capsules. Expect to pay around $20/£10 for one.
N.B. Make sure it is sized for 00 capsules.
Typically, if you buy one from ebay you’ll be offered it with the capsules bundled together (usually 400/500) for around $40/£20.

B) A syringe or pipette. To siphon off the activated oil and ‘inject’ into the capsules (the one pictured is a children’s liquid medicine dispenser and holds exactly 1 teaspoon (5 ml).
For sale in most pharmacies for around $2/£1.

C) An accurate set of measuring spoons (a ‘nice’ to have). The ones pictured can be used to scrape exactly the right amount of ‘solidified’ Coconut oil or clarified butter out of the jar or tub (assuming it’s straight out of the fridge). Once you’ve levelled off the spoon, you’ll have the precise amount, 5 ml (Useful for dosage control). These can be bought from most household or cookery stores for around $5/£2.50.

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Part 4 - The science bit.

The key to making effective capsules is in the THC extraction process.
In short, the secret is to expose the bud, keif or hash to prolonged, low heat (simmering) in an oil or butter high in saturated fat* in order to thoroughly break down the structure of the resin heads and allow the THC to ‘bind’ to the fat molecules.
If the temperature is too high, you run the risk of losing potency due to the vaporisation/evaporation of the THC (if the smell is strong, you’re doing it wrong). Too low, and you won’t convert the inactive compounds into active, or allow them an opportunity to effectively combine with the oil/butter.

This fat is then added to the capsules, which once swallowed, release the concentrated THC directly into the stomach for maximum absorption into the bloodstream.

*The type of ‘short chain fatty acids’ that are found in Coconut oil and Ghee (clarified butter) are excellent conductors of THC, and much easier for the human digestive system to metabolise. Therefore, where possible, go for an oil or butter high in saturated fats rather than monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. Although they’ll still work, much of the potency will be lost, requiring much greater amounts of weed to eaten in order to achieve similar results. As coconut oil is far cheaper than good weed, you’re better off investing in a jar.
N.B. 1 gram of weed in a firecracker is good for only one hit, 1 gram in this capsule form is good for about 12.


For a more detailed explanation of how to make Canna-butter and the science and techniques involved, check out my other Cannabis cooking thread:

Cannabis cooking made easy – A tutorial and guide.


To make the capsules we’ll be following the exact same procedures, but using smaller amounts of oil/butter. (If you haven’t time to read it, don’t worry, as everything you need to know is contained within this guide).

Part 5 - Now the ‘how to’ bit:

I usually recommend using ‘hashish’ or ‘kief’ over ‘Bud’ when cooking, because it is a quicker and simpler process of conversion, and the effects are (slightly) more predictable. However, if you only have access to ‘Grass’ don’t worry, you can still make them just as easily using the following method.

Grass method:

Due to the difference in THC strength, you’ll need to use 1.5 grams of good quality well cured bud in order to match the potency of 1 gram of hash or kief. Firstly, remove any stems, seeds or obvious leaf material* then grind to as small a grain (powder) as you can manage, then just follow the rest of the steps as detailed below.



The Canna-oil Method: If using a Slow Cooker (Crock pot).

The beauty of slow cookers is you can pretty much switch them on and forget about them.
Typically, a slow cooker will have 2 or 3 settings (low, medium and high).
Due to the size of these ‘cookers’ I recommend placing your oil/butter in a much smaller ‘oven-proof’ container otherwise it’ll just make a thin coating on the bottom of your pan.
In my case I use an eggcup (or a coffee cup when making larger quantities) the shape makes it easier to ‘siphon’ off the oil and to scrape out the residue.

Simply set the cooker to ‘low’ (around 80/90 degrees centigrade), add the ghee/oil and then the hash/kief or bud and leave to slowly simmer for the required time.

2 hour for hash.
3 and half hours for kief.
4 hours for bud.


The Canna-oil Method: If using a Pan and Mixing Bowl

Pour around three inches of boiling water into your cooking pan, then sit the mixing bowl in the water so that it’s floating just off the bottom (very important – see picture), add the oil or Ghee (clarified butter) to the mixing bowl and let it melt, then add your hashish, kief or powdered bud and dissolve slowly while keeping the lid on and the boiling water just barely simmering beneath.

N.B. Floating the mixing bowl in the water and keeping the lid on prevents ‘burning off’ the THC which evaporates/vaporises at high temperatures (around 140 centigrade plus). The boiling water keeps the butter/oil at the perfect temperature of around 100 degrees centigrade (boiling point) to slowly ‘wring’ out every last molecule of ‘spacey goodness’!.

Attached Thumbnails


Part 6 – Filling the capsules:

Now that you’ve made your concentrated THC saturated oil/butter you need to get it into your capsules.

Firstly, wait for the oil to cool down a little otherwise you run the risk of melting the capsules.
Both the coconut oil and Ghee will remain liquid around the 24 degrees centigrade mark for quite a while, therefore it’s easier to add the oil while it’s still in this form assuming you have something to draw up the liquid like a children’s medicinal syringe, pipette or similar.
Just add it in equal measures to the capsules.

Once you’ve added even amounts of the oil to your caps you’ll need to scrape out and add the residue. I’ve found that the handle of a teaspoon or coffee stirrer is ideal for this process, however if you want to take it to another level you can always purchase a laboratory spatula or spoon like the ones in the picture.

N.B. Depending on whether you used hash/kief or ground bud will dictate how easy this process is. For example hash and kief will be mostly oil with a small residue at the bottom, while ground bud will be more like a paste, and as such hard to draw up in a syringe.
In this case (or if you don’t have a syringe), you may want to pour the oil/butter onto a small plate and then put it in the fridge until it sets. Later, using the tip of a sharp knife, cut the butter into twelve equally sized pieces and poke them into the capsules using a chopstick/match etc.

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Part 7 - Master class techniques and tips.

If using bud, remember ‘no stems, no seeds or pointed leaves’.
Anyone who’s grown and studied their plant under a x30 jeweller’s loupe will be able to describe the microscopic thorns that the pointed leaves are covered in. Even when finely ground, some of these thorns can survive and irritate the stomach lining.

Also (contrary to most advice given about eating cannabis), I don’t recommend you take cannabis capsules on a completely empty stomach. Remember, normally when you eat a firecracker or space cake your eating weed that is bound to (and diluted in) some form of food. Therefore by eating something like: a slice of toast, a sandwich or a packet of crisps beforehand, you’re preparing your stomach to digest food and thereby activating the gastric juices which will break down your capsules quickly and efficiently.



Part 8 - Key Recipe Features:

• The ultimate stealth ‘medication’.
• Highly concentrated form of THC
• Requires only very small amounts of bud.
• Great for stealth cooking as the low heat creates virtually no smell.
• Extremely potent due to the type of saturated fats used.
• Simpler to make and keep than a firecracker.
• Incredibly cheap
• They’ll blow your tits off – Guaranteed!


N.B: Effects will start to ‘kick in’ after about an hour and a half, and last for around six to eight hours (depending on how many you took). Should you begin to feel overwhelmed you can shorten the ‘trip’ and reduce its effects by eating sugary foods, or drinking fruit juices rich in vitamin C.



expected results = 24 Canna Caps

BTW, I made mine with homegrow Blueberry..... yum!!

Overview:
20-30 minutes prep time
2 hours cook time
20-30 minutes finishing time

Step By Step:

Step 1: put the oil in the coffee cup, then set the coffee cup in the crockpot, put the lid on the crockpot and set it on High

Step 2: turn on the crockpot and get it warming up as you grind up the herb

Step 3: using the cannbis/coffee grinder, grind up the herb to a fine powder, then carefully scrape it into the warm Coco Oil in the coffee cup and stir the mixture, pushing all of the herb into the oil

Step 4: let the oil and herb cook together for an hour, then return to your oil and stir it for a minute.... then let it continue to cook

Step 5: return after another hour (1+1 = 2 hours total cook time), stir it up and remove the oil from the crockpot... use a pair of oven mitts so you don't burn your hands

Step 6: let it cool for a while but be sure to keep your eyes on the oil as Coco oil will solidify at room temp and you need it to be slightly less than solid to pour it into the caps

Step 7: pour the cooled oil into the gel caps, making sure that they are equal in measurement so they will be equal in dosage... if there is any 'gunk' in the bottom of the cup scrape it equally into the caps

Step 8: put them in the fridge or freezer for a while to set up.. I am not quite there yet so I can't tell you how long


.
____________________________________________________________________

Temperatures

Although the 'boiling' point of THC is around the 200 degree centigrade mark (392 fahrenheit), most experts cite 140 degrees centigrade (285 fahrenheit) as the point that THC begins to evaporate/vaporise, so going beyond this point, even for short periods 'can' affect the potency.
I say 'can' because in some respects the oil acts as a barrier to prevent THC loss by trapping it (some will escape though).

To get even more technical (sorry), here's a guide to what happens to your bud when cooking and at at what temperatures:

a) Between 46 and 50 degrees centigrade (114 to 122 fahrenheit) the inactive THC acid starts to decarboxylate into active THC. (a good thing).
b) At between 50 and 75 degrees centigrade (122 to 167 degrees fahrenheit) the CBD starts to melt (also a good thing).
c) Once you go over 75 degrees centigrade the resin heads start to melt (essential).

The beauty of using a crock pot for this type of cooking is:
firstly, you don't have to watch over it all the time, and secondly, it's a stable, regulated temperature that ensures you get consistent results.

i.e. on a 'low' setting your 'simmering' your bud at around 80/85 degrees centigrade (176 to 185 fahrenheit), which means you'll have converted the inactive compounds into active, melted the resin heads and allowed the THC to bond (at a molecular level) with the saturated fat. But, not 'burned off' any of the THC. Thereby retaining maximum potency.

So, assuming you don't exceed 140 degrees Centigrade, you're fine to cook your bud longer. If it starts to smell strongly however, keep an eye on it.

Lastly, there are some medical and scientific studies that compare the different effects of temperature on the kind of high you'll experience (dependent on the percentage ratios of the CBD, CBN and THC that's left in your oil after cooking), but I'm still working on that element. But as a rule of thumb (for now at least), the lower temperature ranges give more of a head high, the higher temps, more of a sedated, couch lock effect.
____________________________________________________________________

I simplified the above data, and made this word document below and put into my MMJ recipe folder.


The essential cookery ‘Ingredients’:

Either: 1 gram of good Hashish (not soap bar).
Or: 1 gram of fine grained ‘keif’.
Or: 3.5 grams of good ‘Bud’ (no stems, no seeds, or pointy leaves).

7 grams Coconut oil (solid depending on room temperature) can be bought from some health food shops and other specialist food stores.


Go for the ‘extra virgin organic coconut oil’ if you can find it, as It’s one of the safest oils to cook with, contains no ‘trans fats’ (unhealthy fat), is high in saturated fat, and most importantly is ‘digestion friendly’ (unlike certain other monounsaturated or polyunsaturated oils) meaning the THC can be absorbed easily by the stomach and liver, and therefore passed into the bloodstream to do its job without loss of potency.ms (one and a half teaspoons) of Coconut oil

1.5 tsp (teaspoons) of sunflower or soy lecithin



Materials Used

Crock Pot
Oven
Pint Canning Jars, Jam Jars, or a coffee cup.
Spatula
Coffee Grinder
Baking Sheet


The Procedure

Started by preheating the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the oven is preheating, I fill my crock pot with some hot water and turned it on to LOW heat.

I take the buds and brake them apart slightly, removing the larger stems, then placed them on a cookie sheet wrapped in foil.. I decarb at about 240-250 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes for high THC strains, and 60 minutes for high CBD strains.


When the buds are done decarbing, I put them into a coffee grinder and grind them up very fine into powder.

I then add the Cannabis to the coconut oil / lecithin mix.


The Canna-oil Method: If using a Slow Cooker (Crock pot).

1 hour for hash.
1 and half hours for kief.
2 hours for bud. (I usually go for 4 hours)


The beauty of slow cookers is you can pretty much switch them on and forget about them.
Typically, a slow cooker will have 2 or 3 settings (low, medium and high).
Due to the size of these ‘cookers’ I recommend placing your oil in a much smaller ‘oven-proof’ container otherwise it’ll just make a thin coating on the bottom of your pan.
In my case I use 1 pint canning jars, or small jam jars, or you could use or a coffee residue.

Simply set the cooker to ‘low’ (around 80/90 degrees centigrade), add the oil and then the hash/kief or bud and leave to slowly simmer for the required time.
I now have the mixture going on LOW heat in the crock pot and will let it go at this pace for the next 4 hours or so, stirring it a bit on the hour.

After cooking in the crock pot, I then place the oil/bud mix in the refrigerator over night. The oil rises to the top. I then take the oil from the top, warm it up just enough to easily fill the capsules. You don't need capsules though, you can just 'scoop' out enough oil in a measuring spoon. You definitely need to 'test' each batch for potency. It is VERY easy to over medicate.

Peace!

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That is a lot of reading! lol I will read some more.  TY for posting.

One of the things I do with capsules, if you know the dose for your 00 cap is say 40mg, instead of trying to figure half dose, I use the size 1 caps so easy to dose a 20mg. :)

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14 minutes ago, gardenartus said:

That is a lot of reading! lol I will read some more.  TY for posting.

One of the things I do with capsules, if you know the dose for your 00 cap is say 40mg, instead of trying to figure half dose, I use the size 1 caps so easy to dose a 20mg. :)

Yes it is long. One can just skip to down to the bottom of the guide to this section " I simplified the above data, and made this word document below and put into my MMJ recipe folder " for the bottom line.

Believe it or not, I have never even tried to calculate mgs, but I am certainly going to start doing that.

I keep my caps and oil in the fridge and found it very easy to cut them in half with scissors when still cold. I did however 'accidentally' order 2000 size 1 caps a while back. I will have to get the proper sized cap filler for them.

Thank you for your input, and my pleasure in posting this.

Peace

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