Its probably not a big secret to my readers that I smoke a lot of reefer, I have been a toker for over 30 years and after all those bong hits my lungs are not what they used to be. Cannabis is an amazing medicine and unfortunately for many smokers many of its benefits can only be taken advantage of by actually eating the Cannabis. Many of the important chemicals inside Cannabis are simply burned off in a joint and not transferred into the body where it can do some good. There are many ways to consume cannabis without smoking it. You can make Canna-butter and make baked goods with it or you can create a tincture using Glycerin but this process can take up to 2 months to complete. Now I take my meds at night in the form of canna cookies but MzJill has very sensitive taste buds and cannot stand the taste of eating weed. Even in chocolate the taste of cannabis almost makes her sick so just eating one cookie takes her like 30 minutes and she simply hates the taste. Now I simply love the high of eating Cannabis it is an all over body buzz and just completely makes my knee pain go away allowing me to sleep a full 6 hours and this allows my knee to rest up and get better each night. So while I get to enjoy a great canna buzz each night MzJill is stuck smoking late at night and thats just not good for your lungs and make her cough more during the night. My solution for her was to make some Cannacaps so that she can simply take 2 when she has pain and not bother with eating cookies. My other thought is while I am not over weight at 180 pounds eating 2 cookies every night is added calories everyone could probably do without. How cool would it be to simply take a cannacaps when medication is needed in a public place without having to light up attracting attention just to get some pain relief?
I need to insert a warning here though about consuming baked goods for medicating. One of the best medicinal properties of smoked cannabis is the ability to titrate* the dose, meaning take the exact amount of medication (puffs) to elevate the pain or condition like spasms without getting wasted. When you consume cannabis orally it takes much longer for the drug to reach the blood stream and it can take as long as 30-45 minutes before the effects come on. With potent edibles it can come on quite strong and most first timers eat to much and get sick and never try it again. It takes your body time to get used to consuming cannabis I believe so start with very small doses and wait a full hour before increasing the dose. This will prevent any unpleasant episodes of being so high you cant even talk, it may sound fun but trust me it is Not! You cannot die from consuming weed but I have wished I could once after eating to many cookies and being sick to my stomach all night and all day while also not being able to open my eyes.
Enough cannabis eaten can actually make one slur their words like being drunk so watch it.
I have read a good bit about this preparation and I wanted to add my guru touch and pass on the info while I am at it. We will be making two types today, one dry consisting of mainly kief and high quality shake in a Dry filled capsule. The second method will be actually cooking ground bud and kief in coco butter and adding the oil to the capsules allowing the oil to solidify.
Lets get started.
All Cannabis has a different profile or buzz and today we are going to use two strains that are very good for treating joint and muscle pain. I have found that generally Indicas are better for pain and Sativas for treating nausea but its not set in stone and through lots of experimenting we have found certain strains that are much better for pain relief. My Favorites are Jack the Ripper for its analgesic properties and ability to numb pain at the source. The other strain I like to eat is Vortex as it has a slight motivating buzz some pain relief and a lot of anti nausea effect. When I mix the two in consumables it makes great medicine. So today we will be using mainly these two strains to make these capsules. Since I produce seeds I have a good supply of both samples that has been deseeded and is a bit harsh for smoking not good but great for extracting medicine.
Ok the first thing we want to do is grind the cannabis and remove all sticks, and larger hard pieces using a screen I slowly work my hands across the weed until the finest dust falls though. I then use a kief box to make collect some resin heads ( kief). I mix about 3 grams of ground cannabis and 2 grams of kief to ½ gram of Red Pepper and ½ gram ginger. There is a product on the market that includes other additives that help the absorption called Canebrex but I am pretty much a hands on kinda guy and I wanted to see what kind of results I could get myself. I am sure there system has more science behind it so it wouldnt hurt to give a product like theres a try if you have the extra cash. Once this is done I placed both piles in a pan lined with foil the mixture is baked at225 for 20 minutes, this activates and removes c02 as well. Its important not to over heat the weed or heat it for to long the goal here is just to activate the THC and other canabanoids present in the oils inside the cannabis.
I purchased a capsule making kit from a health food store and some 00 size gel caps so to fill with the mixture. Once the pan is dry I place the Capsule filling kit in a glass pie pan to catch the over spill and use a plastic card to work the mix into all the capsules.
I will save the time of the capsule making instructions there spelled out on any kit you will buy you simply fill and press together. They pop out the other side and walah! You have easy to transport herbal medication ready to consume.
Now this next method is more work so unless they knock us out this is the only time we will use this method. Not to mention I used a pile of dry dank JTR and Apollo-13 top shelf unseeded BUDS! I want to make sure these are as potent as possible in case the dry capsules are a failure so I even added some of the kief in. Now I have to warn you as the coco butter melted and I started stirring and warming the mix it produced a simply horrid smell, youd think it would smell nice but the warmer the oil got the worse it became and I had to open a window fast so be prepared for this if you try this method. Again be careful not to over heat the mix as THC will degrade at temps over 220 very fast and you can ruin your medicine if you rush it. I sautéed the oil/weed/kief mix for about 10 minutes and then removed from the heat and poured through a tea strainer. I then used a eye dropper to suck up the warm coco oil and fill each cap again using the standard capsule making kit. I was worried the oil would melt the gelatin capsules but there was no problem. I popped the capsules out into a dish and placed it in the refrigerator to cool of and congeal back to Coco Butter. Coco butter stays solid up to about 75 degrees so there pretty easy to transport and the Dry caps can be carried in a pill bottle anywhere.
Jill and I both had 2 dry caps last night after dinner the effects came on very fast and hard but seemed to back off after just a few hours so we took 1 more each just before bedtime. I slept like a baby and had a slight hangover. The buzz was all body and as far as pain relief I can’t imagine a better delivery method. I am sure that the absorption of the dry product could be enhanced with other herbs and such so this report is more my experience with this method and not a definitive how to by any means.
I normally take my meds every other night to let my tolerance go down but I was anxious to try the Coco caps and the very next night we made some hot chocolate and took 2 caps each. I dont think I have ever had the throb in my knee go away so fast and even though I dont think I ever felt high from just 2 I am positive it reduced my pain level while allowing me to function normally. Jill also noted a good deal of relief from her Hip pain and the next day I noticed she had a harder time waking up and MzJill can out smoke any person I have ever met other than me so if she had a weed hangover these things are potent as hell.
Give these extraction methods a shot if you have some left over shake around or if you have old stoner lungs like me or if you need to medicate without firing up!
*Titrate Chemistry, determine strength of, or analyze, etc., by finding the smallest amount of the substance that will produce a given effect
I wish I could take pictures like you do Sub is a statement I see more than any other. I have no formal training and everything I have learned I taught myself. If I can you can! Since my very first opportunity to look through a macro lens I have been hooked. Cannabis is such an amazing subject and through a powerful macro lens it can take on an almost Alien appearance. While I would not begin to try and teach anyone about Photography technique ( I am still learning myself) I think I can offer some pointers to greatly improve the pictures most of you take of your favorite plants.
The basics people often forget are to use a well-lit white room, no incandescent lighting its produces yellow hues. No toilets, buckets, brooms moms or dog turds in the background take the time to clean up a bit or you might end up with a shop vacuum in a Cannabis magazine with your favorite plant.
The next thing is the one that is going to upset you hydro growers. You cannot take proper pictures under a HID light. While white balancing and editing with photo software can make a picture taken under HID better you will never achieve the results I do until you use a properly lit area to photograph in. Without spending a fortune on fancy lights and reflectors you can still take amazing shots with a very in expensive Light Tent.
I set mine up by using some white sheets and several CFL bulbs mounted in painters reflectors you can buy at any hardware store in the painting section.
Cut the sheets or cheap white fabric into 4 foot wide sections and select a bright corner of a room to hang 3 sections to form a box open on one end. Once the cloth is in place position your CFL lamps on the outside of the tent facing the cloth so that the light is deflected in an even pattern. I like to use a combination of natural sunlight type bulbs and bulbs that lean to the blue side of the spectrum. Try placing the bulbs in different locations to see what effect they lend. Experiment till you get the best even lighting but do not take this lightly if you do not have enough external lighting your pictures will not be as sharp as you would like.
Next on the list is a good back drop to contrast your subject. You dont have to spend a fortune here either cheap cloth is 1-3$ per yard and even fine crushed velvet is only 5-7$ per yard. Two square yards is plenty to shoot against and over the past few years we have collected some 2 dozen different ones to compliment either the color of the bud or the festive time of year like Christmas or the Skull cloth I use for Halloween shots. Invest in a few but make sure Black and Purple Velvet are among the ones you collect first. We hang the back drop and position the plant in front but at least 12-16 distance between back drop and subject. You want focus on Bud not backdrop.
Its finally time to talk about cameras! You might think you need some ultra expensive DSLR to get great close ups and it does help but my Cover shot of Sputnik on the cover of Big Book of Buds 3 was taken with a Nikon Coolpix Digicam. How was I able to achieve this with a simple point and shoot camera with a fixed lens? I used a Tripod! This is the one thing so many amateur photographers take for granted. When taking close up shots everything has to be perfectly still and even the steadiest of hands will waver as the shutter opens and closes. So what ever type of camera your using mount it on a tripod. When researching a point and shoot digital camera for use on close ups the only important factor is the minimum focal distance. This will be in the specifications of the camera. The Nikon Coolpix 5400 has the ability to focus as close as 1cm from the lens although 2cm is more common with most point and shoot cameras today.
If your camera wont get closer than that with a fixed lens your close ups wont be as sharp or as close as you want. The final aspect of close up photography I employ is a lens mount ring flash. This is critical to get really close and still have proper lighting on the subject. While I now shoot with a professional rig and a Sigma Ring flash when I started I simply built my own using this great online tutorial.
Without a lens mount lamp or flash your camera body or even the barrel of the lens itself may block the external light and cause shadows. Using a ring light is the easiest way to prevent this and also provide enough illumination to capture a close up shot in a crisp clean form. Led lights really make trichomes stand out and it’s pretty easy to fashion a home made light using a few of these inexpensive bulbs.
Once I learned a few things and I was able to sell a shot to Big Book 3, I decided to buy a SLR camera and a nice macro lens. I took it out of the box and my first 100 pictures were terrible. It is amazing how many settings a point and shoot camera figures out for you, automatically and when its left up to you some education is required. What I am saying is it is much easier to get good close ups with a point and shoot macro camera than it is with a SLR until you learn a few basic settings. As I said I wont try and teach photography but I wanted you to understand unless your willing to put in the time a Digital camera may be a better choice than a full blown SLR.
Photography is an amazing and addictive hobby and there is always a better lens to buy or a better tripod or something exotic like Macro Rails, but that doesnt mean it cost a lot to get started, I bought my first Nikon on Ebay for under 400$ with a Nikon SL-1 ring lamp included.
Several months later a photograph taken by me with that camera was featured on the Cover of Big Book 3. It went on to take many pictures for many magazines and books!
While I now shoot with a Nikon D-50, D-80, a Sigma 105 MM Macro Lens and a Sigma EF-140 Ring Flash it all started with that simple Digicam. Dare to dream and there are no limits to what you can achieve.
I think I got my moneys worth out of my first set of Bubblebags. I couldnt guess how many runs went through my first set. Since they first appeared, I have wanted a 90 µ bag, but I knew eventually my bags would wear out and I would need a new set. That day finally came and I ordered a new eight-piece one gallon set from Aqualabs. Unlike other places I have ordered from in the past, the bags were in my hands in four days so I think we cleared up where to order.
My favorite thing on earth to medicate with is Tiny Bubble. Apollo-13 Red Crumble is more potent, but nothing hits as smooth as Tiny Bubble. It comes out the color of white beach sand and dries looking like caramel.I If made properly, it completely disappears leaving less residue than any strain I have seen. Unlike Apollo-13 bubble, which will cave both your lungs and your head in, this strain makes much more appealing bubble to the taste and aroma senses and is easier to actually smoke without coughing your head off.
I taste a great deal of Bubble hash and, in all my travels, I can easily remember each time I have tasted exceptional water hash. Once it was made by a friend of mine using an early harvested ECSD that had gone hermaphrodite on him. This bubble was made based on one of my tutorials, but it was almost white in color and looked like a crack rock rather than something natural, organic and not man made, just man collected.
The other was some made from Bubba Kush that was absolutely amazing as well. What I have learned is that while technique is a huge part of this, the type of resins collected can make a huge difference in the end product. This Bubble made from Tiny Bomb leaf turns almost clear when heat is applied and bubbles until its simply gone. It leaves very little residue.
In this section, I will detail the steps I use to make a large batch:
I need to discuss the collection of your sugar leaf first. This is where I think many people fall short, mainly because of the way the product is marketed. While it may turn trash to stash, if you want Full Melt Clear Dome Bubble Hash, take care when collecting your leaf material. I treat mine like a food grade ingredient basically. If I had bugs or mildew or even just a not perfect harvest, I simply wont make Bubble with that type of material.
When trimming, I do so with two stages. In the first, I remove all the fan leaves and trim the tips off of all the trichome encrusted leaf. I leave only heavily coated leaf on the buds and then I proceed to the second trim. I take a clean pan and slowly and deliberately trim all of that remaining leaf from the buds. I like to chop up any lowers not larger than my thumb as well, but again this is after cleaning off the raw leaf. I then make sure this pan is kept sanitary and allow it to reduce over night. I dont call this drying because we do not want the leaf to be dry or it will crumble and contaminate your end product. Larger producers may want to separate and do their trash separately for marketing, but for head stash this is the only way, in my opinion.
I would also like to note that material harvested just a bit early tends to make better melt than plants left to full maturity. As the heads develop and turn amber, it seems more residue chemicals are formed.
After collecting, I store the leaf material in the freezer. That way, I can use it to make fresh Bubble anytime.
Next, I clean the three one-gallon buckets I bought from a paint store and I get my Sham Wow out. (The only thing these POSs are good for is making Bubble.) Ice choice is more important than youd think. I like to use square cubes and I break these up into shards using a hammer handle. Take your time and do this thoroughly. Its important.
Place the work bag (marked 220) in the bucket, folding the top over so it will fit it the refrigerator shelf when done mixing. Place about 3 of the crushed ice into the bottom of the work bag, then about 2 of reduced leaf which is about ½ sandwich bag stuffed full, another layer of crushed ice, followed by a second layer of leaf, topped off with ice.
Next, we need to add water, but not just any water. It must be chilled so that is does not melt off the sharp edges we created by busting up the ice. I take a tray of cubes and mix it into the water, mixing well until its ice cold. Then, I pour it into the bucket carefully.
The bucket, now full, is shaken slightly to evenly distribute ice and plant material and then placed in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes. I then remove it, place it in the sink, and fold the sides of the bag upwards. Taking a steel spoon, I briskly stir the mix for five minutes. When I get close to the end, I raise the bag concentrating the ice and material in the bottom of the work bag so that I make sure to get all those yummy resin heads broken off. Once this task is complete, I allow the mix to settle for 20 minutes more.
Now, we strain it all through the first bag by lifting slowly and allowing it to drain. I will rinse the ice with a splash of water from my sink sprayer to flush the last bits downward. Once drained, we start the process of filtering the water through the different bags. The 160 µ bag removes large contaminants and I dont even clean it out until I am done making all the runs I am going to make that day. The 120 µ bag surprisingly catches some amazing product with Tiny Bomb, a large resin head bearing plant, so this is actually quite good. Using the new 90 µ bag for the first time, I can already see why its revered already since the color of this wet Bubble has a nice clean look and light color. The final step I take on the first run is the 73 µ bag, which before the 90 µ came along we considered the cream of the crop.
I do not use any other bags at this time, but I reuse the water in the next run and use the 45 µ bag to filter the water just before I am done using it. This low quality hash is used to put in cookies or tincture.
Now, I scoop the sand out of each bag and onto the pressing screen, but I do NOT press them at all. I blot the water out using a dry paper towel on top and on the bottom of the pressing screen. Do not smash with weight, but simply press and let the moisture absorb outward. Then place the pressing screen into the freezer. This is the only way to work with resin this fresh, and it would almost be easier to make Bubble in a walk-in cooler. Someone should try it sometime. It only takes about 5-10 minutes and to be frozen solid and then you can remove the hash if you work fast. I like to place the product onto paper plates with a small piece of wax paper to prevent sticking. Now, wait until the piles both dry and cure. Do not touch them since theyre incredibly gooey and messy.
Some strains take longer to dry and remain tacky for days, but this Bubble will only take a few days before it will start to crumble. After some time, I try to peel up the edge of each piece and once I can do so I then flip it over so the bottom can dry. Eventually, it will lose is elasticity and crack when bent. This tells me its ready to place inside small open glass jars to finish curing. Unlike bud, this will only take a few days and I personally prefer fresher Bubble than when its turned to dust and powder. After a few weeks, it loses its melt the longer it sits. Bubble does not sit long around me.
Last but not least is clean up, and by that I mean: Take care of your bags! Dont leave them wet or sticky and a make sure theyre clean before storing them. I have seen dirty, moldy bags affect the taste of primo Bubble. I immediately pour a few inches of 91% rubbing alcohol into one of the buckets and turn each bag inside out rinsing the screens thoroughly until all debris is removed. I then wash the bags and dry them by hanging them separated overnight.
If quality is your goal, this is the best way I know to achieve it. I have had some really fine Bubble made by machines and with larger bags but I have never smoked anything as pure as this concentrate. The one downside is that when I run out, it takes a few days before plain bud tastes good to me again. While smoking pure resin like this, I simply have no taste for bud and this lasts for a few days after I run out.
Call me Mr. Bubble, what can I say?
Throughout my life as a grower and toker I have always loved the fruity flavors and incredible terpine profiles of Sativa’s. I have never really been a Kush fan but only because I never really liked the taste and because being a Hash Man most Indica’s have much smaller resin heads and the outer cover of the tricome seems thicker and more volatile to me. Hash made from Indica’s are generally darker and it’s rare when you can make real full melt, there are exceptions. As I have grown older my super potent Sativa’s really do a number on me at night and I have to actually be careful not to over indulge on my favorite Vortex because it can actually bring on an anxiety attack if I over medicate. This has lead me to take a second look at Indica’s in particular the one that makes really nice night time Hash, Bubba Kush. Over the last year I have sampled about 15 assorted Kush cuttings and by far my favorite is the one they call Pre-98. Dioxide the creator of Chernobyl and Qrazy Train is an amazing strain hunter and he reminds me of myself when I was young. The cat is relentless in his search and acquisition of rare genetics and he has a library of gear most people only dream of. If you remember I turned to Dioxide for the cutting of Jack Herer(Pronounced Like Terror!) that I gave to Jacks son Mark. He has been running the Bubba Kush Per-98 cutting for some time and has already made some new hybrids with her. He brought me a nice healthy cutting and I ran her through my grow room. As I write this story the plant is at day 54 of flowering and almost every single pistil is a vibrant orange color and the plant looks finished to the nakid eye. I asked Dioxide and he informed me that the plant finishes about day 60 and suggested I wait a few more days. So the best way I know to determine if a plant is ready is to study the trichomes so I set up my trusty Nikon d-50 and got as close as I could to Bubba Kush. When I was a young man I could just stare hard and see the heads but at 50 I can’t see nearly as good and those scopes are cool but for me there is nothing like a macro shot with a 105 MM lens and zoom in with adobe on my 22″ monitor. THis not only looks bad ass but leaves no doubt about what stage a plant is at. I use just side lighting and a very shallow depth of field generally an very low f-stop like 3.5. I use my ring flash mounted directly to the lens and in the low light the plant appears to float with no background. In reality there is a black back drop hanging but its a good 4 feet behind the plant so there is no reflection from the lights or the flash. The results are some pretty amazing pictures and if you study the shots you will see that indeed there are no amber heads and the plant clearly needs more time to complete its journey. For a plant I never liked the flavor of it sure smells amazing to me maybe I just needed to grow it myself. So we wait till day 60 and do this again. Look for my start to finish Youtube video of this same plant I am just waiting for harvest to mix up the clips.