Table of contents
- The Extraction Process:
- Related Links:
IntroductionThe 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 regarding potency:
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.
Items you need:1. A Slow Cooker. Also known as a ‘Crock Pot’ in the States. or A medium sized pan, a mixing bowl, a lid 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+.
3. A teaspoon (hopefully everyone will have one of these).
4. Appropriate amount of hash / kief / bud (i usually aim for a 1:7 ratio)
5. Coconut oil or clarified butter
The optional cookery items
- A capsule holder to help when filling.
- A syringe or pipette to fill the caps with a measured dose of oil.
Getting The essential items:
Gelatine CapsulesEmpty 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.
heres some amazon links:
Capsule Connection 1000 Bulk Wholesale "00" Empty Gelatin Capsules
500 Gelatin Capsules Size 00
Coconut oilIdeally, 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 (google it).
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 Extraction Process: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.
1 gram of weed in a firecracker is good for only one hit, 1 gram in this capsule form is good for about 12.
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.
A good strenght to aim for is 1:7 (1g kief to 7g oil) but you can experiment with it.
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.
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.
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.
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 1-2 hours. (less for hash/kief, more for bud)
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.
The Canna-oil Method: If using a Pan and Mixing BowlPour 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.
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’.
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.
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.
• 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!
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.
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.