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Cannabis Capsules are rapidly growing in popularity – but what are they, what makes them so useful, and how can you make your own? Read on to find out everything you need to know.

What Are Cannabis Capsules?

Cannabis capsules are made from cannabis resin dissolved in oil. The resin/oil solution is then portioned carefully into medical-grade capsules (usually made from gelatin, although vegetarian options can be found), which can be stored for several months and used as necessary. They are rapidly growing in popularity, as they are easy to make, simple to use, and they offer a controlled way to take your cannabis medicine in fixed doses.

How & Why To Use Cannabis Capsules

One problem with using cannabis as a medicine is the difficulty of establishing exact dosage. In particular, if you smoke or vape cannabis, it can be very hard to know what quantity of useful cannabinoids your body is absorbing.

 

However, if you take your cannabis in the form of capsules, you can be a little more consistent with dosage. If you are able to buy cannabis capsules from a reputable medical cannabis dispensary, the dose of cannabinoids should be clearly indicated.

 

Recently, there have been concerns raised about the validity and consistency of testing practices in many US labs, so make sure you find out as much information as possible about the testing procedures used at your dispensary.

 

But what about capsules you make at home? If you don’t have access to a cannabinoid testing kit (you can also purchase simple kits online, although their accuracy may not be the highest), you can’t be sure about how much is in your capsules in absolute terms.

 

But as long as your capsules all contain the same amount of oil, each capsule should contain a relatively consistent dose – at least, more consistent than you can achieve if you smoke or vape. Why is this? Well, when you smoke or vape, you can’t be exactly sure of the quantity of cannabinoids you are receiving, for several reasons. The cannabinoids may not combust or vaporize fully, you may not inhale all of the smoke or vapor, you may have picked a bud with a higher or lower covering of trichomes, and so on.

 

But if you dissolve a quantity of cannabis into oil, and make sure that the oil is well-mixed, then you are distributing the cannabinoids much more evenly through the oil. So if you then measure out, say, 1ml doses of oil, you can be fairly confident that each 1ml will contain a roughly similar dose of cannabinoids. Again, that’s not an exact method, but it’s a lot more controlled than smoking or vaping.

 

Cannabis capsules may be useful for a wide range of conditions – essentially, any condition that can benefit from cannabis taken in an oral form. This covers most of the conditions that cannabis is useful for, except those that specifically need a different method of administration. For example, conditions treated topically such as dermatitis or psoriasis may not benefit from cannabis taken orally. Conditions such as asthma, which can be relieved by use of a medical cannabis inhaler, also may not benefit greatly from cannabis taken orally.

 

Furthermore, cannabis capsules are an ideal choice for children’s medicines, as they are easy to swallow, with no unpleasant taste.

How To Make Cannabis Capsules

Ingredients & Equipment

Dried cannabis buds/trim OR cannabis extract

Such as BHO, QWISO or Clear CO2 concentrate. Amount will vary according to requirements/potency. Use 7-14 grams of cannabis or 1-3 grams of extract as a starting point.

1-4 cup (60 ml) of high-quality, extra virgin coconut oil

Preferably organic! Bonus points for fair trade.

Empty gelatin capsules

These are easily found online; cellulose capsules are available for vegetarians.

Capsule filling machine

Cheap and incredibly useful!

10 ml syringe

With tapered reach

Crockpot

Or heating pad with pyrex container

Non-stick spoon or similar tool for mixing

If you’re making your capsules from cannabis extract, that’s all you need. If you’re making them from dried cannabis buds or trim, you’ll need a few extra items:

A grinder or food processor

To break down the cannabis

Cheesecloth or similar

To strain the cannabis mixture

Non-stick baking tray

Can also be silicone

Convection oven

For decarboxylation

Method One – Straight From Extracts

This method is super simple and quick – if you already have some cannabis extracts ready, decarboxylated and waiting!

 

Interestingly, if you use this method along with an ethanol extract, you can produce capsules that are high in chlorophyll. Ethanol pulls out chlorophyll and various other compounds from cannabis when it is left to soak for some time.

 

This is often undesirable for extract makers who are trying to create a product high in cannabinoids and terpenes and low in everything else – but chlorophyll actually has health benefits of its own, and patients prescribed it may not need to purchase separate supplements if they use cannabis capsules made in this method. Of course, you should consult with your doctor if you feel that this could apply to you.

Gently warm the oil.

Using the crockpot or heating pad and pyrex container, gently warm the oil until it reaches around 50C / 122F. This step isn't 100% necessary, as cannabinoids will dissolve in oil at room temperature, but a little bit of heat will speed up the process considerably.

Mix the cannabis extract into the oil.

Using your non-stick tool, scrape up the cannabis extract and mix it into the warm oil. Mix thoroughly until blended.

Add cannabis oil to capsules.

Using the syringe, add consistent doses of cannabis oil to each capsule. Depending on the size of the capsule, you'll probably be adding around 0.5-1ml per capsule. Use the capsule-filling machine for quicker processing.

Method Two – Simple Infused Coconut Oil

This method is slightly more time-consuming than the first – but if you don’t have any ready-made cannabis extracts lying around, then it may be the best option for you!

Break up your cannabis.

Using the grinder or food processor, break down your cannabis into small pieces. You can also use your hands for this step.

Decarb your cannabis.

Using the convection oven (heated to 93-105C / 200-220F) and the baking sheet, decarboxylate your cannabis for a maximum of 30 minutes.

Warm your oil.

While you're decarbing, you can also warm the oil in the crockpot (heated to 93-105C / 200-220F).

Add cannabis to oil.

Add your decarbed cannabis to the oil and mix.

Leave for 2-3 hours.

Leave the crockpot to work its magic for 2-3 hours, after which the oil should have completely dissolved the cannabinoids.

Strain mixture through cheesecloth.

Strain the cannabis and oil mixture through the cheesecloth to separate out the unneeded plant material from the cannabinoid-infused oil. Allow cannabis oil to cool to room temperature or slightly above.

Add cannabis oil to capsules.

Using the syringe, add consistent doses of cannabis oil to each capsule. Depending on the size of the capsule, you'll probably be adding around 0.5-1ml per capsule. Use the capsule-filling machine for quicker processing.

So that’s it! Our handy and simple guide to making your own cannabis capsules. If you have tried this method, let us know in the comments how it worked for you and what you use your capsules for!

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