Weed 101: Cannabis Oil – What Is It and How Can You Make It?
How to Make Cannabis Oil
Thanks to Rick Simpson, everyone can make cannabis oil at home with only a few basic kitchen gadgets. Many patients using RSO produce their own at home to save money, and also to maintain full control over the process. Here is how you can make your own cannabis oil at home:
Equipment and Ingredients of RSO
- Large rice cooker – large enough to hold 6 or more cups
- Coffee filters
- 4-6 Large wide-mouth mason jars
- Grinder – Blender will work as well
- Heat gun
- Electric hot plate – do not use any heat source with an open flame
- 190 proof grain alcohol
- 1 Pound of cannabis6 or more syringes
Safety Protocols for Cannabis Oil
Importantly, if you choose to make cannabis oil at home, you should be fully aware of the risks. Because the process combines heat with 190 proof alcohol, there is a risk of fire or explosion if not handled safely.
Never produce cannabis oil in an area with open flames. As examples, never use a heat source with an open flame, and never smoke in the same area as production.
The safest place to do this process is outside, in a well-ventilated area. If you do decide to make cannabis oil inside, ensure all windows are open, and there is more than one fan going at the same time. As the alcohol evaporates, it can build up to toxic and extremely explosive levels if not ventilated properly. The risks are very real, take steps to stay safe.
Step-by-Step: How to Make Cannabis Oil at Home
- The first step is to grind the full pound of cannabis in a grinder, or blender. Even if you have a larger blender, small batches blend better and more evenly. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but try to reach a relatively fine grind. There should be no leftover buds. Other options are to soak the plant material first and then grind it. Do your research and determine what works best for you.
- Once the full pound reaches a perfect consistency, fill a wide mouth mason jar with the cannabis. Fill to just below the rim, and use as many jars as necessary, there is no need to compress the plant material.
- Next, it’s time for the wash. This step removes the vital medicinal resin compounds from the plant including the cannabinoids and terpenes.
- Pour 190 proof alcohol over the top of the cannabis, until it covers the plant matter completely. Its essential to source 190 proof grain alcohol, and not substitute for less, otherwise you might compromise the integrity of the final product.
- Don’t forget to wash out the leftover resin and crystal from the inside of your grinder with a splash of alcohol.
- Seal and shake each jar for at least three minutes each.
- Remove the lid; it’s time to filter out the plant material. Using the rim of the jar lid, push a coffee filter up through the middle. The edge of the filter should peek out from under the bottom of the rim, but only by a few millimeters. The rest of the filter should form a bubble through the middle of the jar rim. When this filtration system is screwed back on to the jar, it allows for maximum filtration area – and dramatically speeds up the process.
- Turn the jar and filter system upside down over another empty wide mouth jar. Once fully strained, the same plant material can be washed using the same technique a second time.
- Once all plant material has been washed twice and fully drained, pour into the rice cooker. Again the more substantial the rice cooker, the better, but you can also work in batches if needed.
- Bring the rice cooker outside or into a well-ventilated space before cooking. Set up the fan in advance to blow air over the top of the rice cooker while it is reducing the cannabis liquid. Use the fan whether you are working inside or outside.
- Set the rice cooker on the cook setting, and leave the lid off. The vapors need to move away from the rice cooker to dissipate as quickly as possible.
- Once the cannabis mixture has reduced as much as possible, its time to move it back inside and decarboxylate it. In order words, cook it down to a thick cannabis oil consistency.
- Keep the fan handy, and place the mixture from the rice cooker on to your hot plate.
- The mixture needs to sit at 180 to 190 degrees Celsius for one to two hours depending on quantity.
- Use a heat gun to maintain an accurate and consistent temperature.
- It is ready to remove from the heat source when there are no longer bubbles forming, and the surface is smooth.
- Use syringes to extract the sticky cannabis oil from the pot. Syringes are also the most efficient and mess-free way to store your cannabis oil.
How to Dose Cannabis Oil
Most experts advise new patients to start off slow when dosing cannabis oil. It’s incredibly potent, and it can take a while to build up a tolerance. Usually, the primary cannabinoid in RSO is THC, which is a psychoactive compound. For anyone new to cannabis, it can take awhile to build up a tolerance.
Mike Wise from OG Labs and host of The Mike Wise Show recommends using an indica heavy strain of cannabis for treating terminal illness and cancers. Indica’s are sedative in nature, and encourage the body to sleep. Wise encourages his patients to rest during this healing process and states that many of his patients sleep during the first three weeks of treatment.
Wise, as well as most other industry experts, suggest the following dose guidelines for cannabis oil:
- Start dosing ½ a grain of rice at a time. Use the syringe to squeeze out a small portion of cannabis oil that is approximately the size of ½ a grain of rice. For those experience with high doses of THC, you can begin with a full grain of rice. One grain of rice is approximately 1 ml of cannabis oil.
- Take the initial dose (either ½ a grain of rice or the full grain of rice) three times a day for four days.
- If you are nervous about getting high, take the initial dose at night.
- After four days, double the original dose. For example, double from ½ a grain of rice to one full grain, or from one full grain to two grains. Again, continue to take this dose three times a day.
- Continue to double the dose every four days, until you reach approximately one gram a day. One gram is approximately 1 ml of cannabis oil.
- The goal is to take 60 grams of cannabis oil over the course of 90 days to benefit from its full medicinal capabilities. Some people may wish to continue treatment after the course of the initial 90 day period.
Some people don’t mind the taste of cannabis oil and take their doses by smearing it over their gums or spread on a piece of toast. For others, this isn’t enjoyable. Wise recommends purchasing gel or vegetable capsules at a local pharmacy to make the experience much easier to swallow.
Instead of doling out the grain of rice on a finger, squeeze it into the gel capsule. Wise also notes that adding a small amount of coconut oil to the capsule increases the medicinal absorption rate of the cannabinoids. Once capped, take it orally or for the most potent medicinal effect, as a suppository.
A Final Word on Cannabis Oil
Part of the reason why people are turning towards cannabis as medicine is because patients can literally grow their own medicine from a seed. Some medications in the U.S can cost thousands of dollars a month, so being able to grow your own marijuana and produce your own cannabis oil can have immediate cost savings.
Plus, people want to know what they are putting in their bodies. Cannabis oil is all natural, yet extremely effective in treating pain, inflammation, and the side effects of chemotherapy. If the preliminary research is anything to work off of, it may also target cancer itself.