For patients concerned with the possibility that smoking medical marijuana may have harmful effects on the lungs, and for those who require a maximum dose of medicinal compounds, oral ingestion of marijuana is preferred over smoking or vaporizing. However, some patients have had unstable or unsuitable results, so we offer this detailed explanation and simple recipe.
When marijuana is eaten rather than smoked, the human liver produces natural cannabinoid metabolites that enter the bloodstream, creating a stronger effect than when cannabis smoke is absorbed by the lungs. The common technique of baking marijuana in brownies or other foods is effective, but unpredictable. The medicinal cannabis compounds are melted into the food when cooking, so the absorption of the herb is complicated by digestion of the food. Therefore, the optimum medicinal benefits are easier to predict and manage when marijuana is cooked with coconut oil and packed into gelatin capsules.
THC, the most powerful medicinal compound in cannabis, is available by prescription from licensed physicians. But most patients who try Marinol discover that it is far too psychoactive. THC is only one of a handful of cannabis compounds that work together harmoniously. For example, it is known that Cannabidiol (CBD) has sedative effects that offset the stimulative effects of pure THC. That is a part of why pure THC pills are known to overpower the senses. In order to get the optimum medicinal benefits without unwanted side effects, all of the natural cannabis compounds should be taken together as nature intended. Thus these homemade "Mari pills" are far superior to pharmeceutical Marinol. Plus, at a cost of up to $12 per tablet, Marinol is much more expensive than pills made from the natural plant.
Commonly, patients use marijuana leaf for cooking and flower tops (buds) for smoking. This practice is often based on frugality, as marijuana leaf is usually too harsh to smoke, yet too valuable to waste. But, as explained above, cannabinoid compounds such as CBD are more of a sedative than a stimulant, and because marijuana leaves usually contain a higher percentage of CBD than THC, eating cannabis leaf can make one especially drowsy. This recipe calls for the use of quality cannabis buds and leaves mixed together. Patients must experiment with different quantities of bud versus leaf to discover the ratio that works best for their specific conditions.
One of the drawbacks of eating marijuana leaf is the common complaint of stomach irritation. The top side of cannabis leaves are coated with thousands of microscopic thorns, and these sometimes cause minor intestinal irritation, even after grinding. For some patients, the use of leaf in Mari Pills is not tolerable, and in such cases, the use of buds alone, without the addition of leaf, is preferred. Note: the small leaves found in the marijuana flower tops are not as difficult to digest as the large "fan" leaves that grow from the stems. Also, the small bud leaves are far more potent than the larger leaves required for photosynthesis. As a general rule, the smaller leaves growing closest to the flower tops are closest to the plant's resin glands, and therefore have the greatest amount of medicinal compounds.
The ratio of bud versus leaf used in these pills affects the values of the recipe, I.E.: leaf tends to grind down to a more powdery consistency than bud, and leaf tends to absorb less oil than does bud, and so the exact details of this variation must be determined by personal experience. The quantities recorded below will fluctuate with differences in the type of marijuana used.
Especially for those with tender digestion, all marijuana must be ground to a fine consistency before cooking. A new coffee grinder that does not contain coffee residue is preferred. First, using scissors or by hand, remove as much of the stem material as possible. Stems have NO medicinal value, and eating hemp stalk is likely to irritate the stomach. If the marijuana contains seeds, they may be included, as hemp seeds are highly nutritious, but again, they do not contain THC, CBD, or any of the other medicinal compounds found in marijuana. All material must be dry. Grind the herb to a fine consistency.
Cannabis compounds are oil-based and do not mix with water, but they boil at 392 degrees F. Cannabis compounds bond with fatty compounds when heated. While many types of vegetable oils may suffice, we find the best results are obtained using coconut oil. Coconut oil has been shown to have powerful anti-viral and anti-fungal properties
One half ounce of dried and cleaned marijuana ground to fine powder in a small coffee grinder equals about one half cup of powder. Set the half-cup of green powder by the stove. Use a very small saucepan. Add 3 or 4 tablespoons of unprocessed virgin coconut oil. Set burner on medium, and use a candy thermometer (up to 400 degrees) to bring the oil to a temperature of 250 degrees. Note: the temperature of heated oil generally rises about 25 degrees after being removed from medium stove heat, so remove from stove at about 225, then wait a moment until the temperature peaks and begins to fall. When the oil reaches 250 degrees add the entire half-cup of powder all at once. The oil will sizzle slightly as the reaction takes place. Stir thoroughly, making sure that the powder and oil are completely mixed. (Do not use thermometer for stirring because it might break.) If the mixture is not pasty, then carefully add more green powder or oil. (Only use enough oil to saturate the green powder to a dark green paste. Too much oil makes messy pills-too little, and the cannabis compounds will burn instead of bonding to the fat content of the oil.) Mix thoroughly, then return to burner on medium heat. Watch the temperature. Continue mixing until the paste looks more oily at about 200 to 225 degrees. Those who have used non-smoking marijuana vaporizers will recognize the smell of vapor trails that rise at 200 to 225 degrees. As soon as the vapor trails appear strongly, remove from heat and mix, then set aside to cool. (Accurate temperature control is most important. After heating, the paste should still be about the same color. If the paste has turned rich brown instead of dark green, the product was overheated and the majority of medicinal compounds were lost.) Let the paste cool below 100 degrees before packing into gelatin capsules using standard herbal gel cap machines available for under $20 at most health food stores. This recipe makes about 50 of the large size gelatin capsules. Do not use vegetarian gel caps that can melt from exposure to vegetable oils. Pills stored in a freezer will maintain potency for many months.
Common doses are in the range of 2 to 5 pills, depending on the quality of the marijuana used and the patient's personal use. We find the most appreciable results are obtained when the pills are taken just before dinner as therapeutic effects manifest more fully during periods of relaxation and limited activity.
Step By Step Directions On How To Make Your Own THC Pills
- Spread the bud out to dry for 24 hours.
- Grind in a coffee grinder or good quality food processor.
- Dry another 24 hours, and grind again in a coffee grinder.
- You will have a very fine and somewhat sticky powder.
- Make a tinfoil bowl, folding the foil to the outside. (Or use any container of your choice.)
- This is surprisingly effective, the ground bud does not stick and slides easily.
- Weigh the 'bowl'.
- Pour in the ground bud and weigh again.
Calculate the amount of oil needed:
- .48 tablespoons x grams
- That's pretty much it.
- That will give you the amount of oil you will add to the medication/bud.
Handy little table to have:
4 TBS. =1/4 cup
5 1/3 TBS. = 1/3 cup
8 TBS. = 1/2 cup
10 2/3 TBS. = 2/3 cup
12 TBS. = 3/4 cup
In this instance:
71.5 = bud + bowl
-4.5 = bowl
67.0 = bud alone
x .48 = oil
therefore, approximately 2 cups of oil
Pour the oil and bud into a pot, you want something good sized to heat in
Heat over a low temperature. Stir constantly, do not leave your bud alone, no matter what. Use a candy thermometer and heat to 250 plus, and nothing over 350! Pay attention to your oil also, for instance at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, flax seed oil is foaming over the rim of the pot. Some oils can take more heat than others.
Cool the mixture.
Next set the Cap-M-Quik up on the little blocks.
(This device and empty capsules may be found at many health food stores. Do not use the vegetarian capsules, they will melt.)
Insert the bottom half, the big half of the empty capsules into the holder.
Stir the mixture every time you fill the syringe.
This syringe has a relatively large hole. Liquids, even thick liquids move easily thru this. It came from a pharmacy, and is used for risperdal, a liquid form of an antipsychotic med. This syringe makes doing this task relatively easy. Stirring every time, fill the syringe and use it to fill all the capsules to the rim. Gently set the top half of the empty capsules onto the filled capsules in the Cap-M-Quik. Turn the blocks and lower the tray holding the capsules. Push down firmly on all the tops of the capsules so that they snap shut. 315 capsules were made with this material. I believe this is just over .2 grams per capsule.
Less oil can be used and a thicker mixture will result. I am unsure how much less oil can be used without the mixture becoming too thick for the syringe. The reason we use this method is because using less oil and trying to insert the mixture into the capsules results in more waste than we can tolerate. This is the most careful way to make capsules with the least waste. One other obvious note on that issue, every single thing this medicine goes into must be very cleanly scraped. We have a small spatula that can tolerate high temperatures for this chore.