Making Full Spectrum Cannabis Oil

90 points

Whether you are using cannabis recreationally or medically, for THC or for CBD, one of the best ways to use it is through full-spectrum cannabis oil. Cannabis oils contain all of the ‘entourage chemicals’ in the Cannabis sativa plant. These are the terpenes, flavonoids, and alkaloids that evolved alongside the cannabinoids, and have their own effects on our body. They are the reason why different strains of cannabis yield different effects, and also what gives the various strains their unique aroma and flavor.

By using full spectrum cannabis oil, you can take advantage of everything the cannabis plant has to offer, without the negative side effects of smoking. Many users believe this to be superior to taking more refined extracts or combusting the flowers. In this article, we will tell you the fastest and easiest method to make cannabis oil at home, which will also save you a lot of money compared with buying it commercially.

What you will need

  • 2 x large mason jars
  • 1 x cheesecloth or coffee filter
  • 1 x rice cooker or crockpot
  • Ground cannabis flower – the concentration of THC or CBD in your starting flower will determine the type of oil you produce
  • Ethanol (grain alcohols such as Everclear works well, the higher the proof the better)

Step 1 -Decarboxylation

The night before you want to make the oil, you should put your ethanol in the freezer so that it will be cold and ready to use.

In the morning, get your ground cannabis flower and put it into a mason jar. The quantity used will not affect the procedure, but the best results are achieved when 20 or more grams are used. Next, vent the jar, either by putting a small hole in the lid or by not screwing the lid on all the way. This will make sure air can escape as the jar is heated. Next, preheat your oven to 115°C (240°F) and place the jar on its side, on the oven rack.

Leave it for 1 hour, shaking occasionally to ensure even heating.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour. While that is cooling, you can place your cheese cloth or coffee filter over your second mason jar so it is ready for step 3.

Before making the cannabis oil, you must heat the ground flower

Step 2: Extraction

Once the cannabis in the mason jar has cooled, remove the ethanol from the freezer and pour the cold ethanol into the mason jar, ensuring that all the cannabis is covered in the liquid. We use cold ethanol as it absorbs less of the plant lignans.

Quickly secure the cap on the mason jar (a new cap if yours has a hole poked in it) and shake the jar vigorously for 3 minutes. This will exposé most of the trichomes to the ethanol, and put the CBD and THC into solution.

Adding ethanol to the cannabis flower

Step 3: Filter

Pour the ethanol-Cannabis mixture into the filter placed over the second mason jar. Once the ethanol is separated from the cannabis, add the cannabis back to the mason jar and repeat step 2 and 3 one more time.

Filtering the ethanol

Step 4: Evaporation        

The next step will produce ethanol vapors, which are extremely flammable. For this reason, step 4 should only be done outdoors, and in a rice cooker or crockpot, or another flameless heating source. Never perform this indoors or with any flame sources as it can lead to fires or explosions.

Once you are outdoors, fill your rice cooker about halfway with water, and set to ‘simmer’ or ‘keep warm.’ This will heat the water to the boiling point of ethanol, and allow you to evaporate much of the liquid to leave behind the cannabis oil.

Place your mason jar containing the filtered liquid (ethanol and cannabinoids) into the cooker with the lid off, to create a double boiler. The ethanol will soon begin to boil off, a process which can be expedited by placing a fan to blow air across the top of the mason jar.

Evaporating the Ethanol in a double boiler

Step 5: Storage

You have two options as to how you want to store and use your full-spectrum oil. If you want to make a tincture, which can be stored and administered using a dropper bottle, then allow the ethanol to evaporate until it is about 90% gone. You will still have a liquid mixture that you can then put into dropper bottles and use as needed by administering under the tongue or adding to food and drinks.

For a denser oil that you would store in an oral syringe, evaporate the mixture until there is no ethanol left, when you no longer see any bubbling or smell any alcohol vapors, and then use an oral syringe to suck up the warm oil from the bottom of the mason jar and cap the syringe.

For both methods, it is best to store your full spectrum oil in the refrigerator where it will not be exposed to heat, light, or oxygen. In this way, the oil should retain its potency for several months or years.  

The cannabis oil can be stored as a tincture or as an oil

How to use the oil

If you evaporate all of the ethanol and add it to an oral syringe than you have multiple ways that you can use it. The cannabis oil is already decarboxylated, so you can just put some on your tongue, but it will have a bitter taste that many users do not like. For this reason, it is best to consume it by adding to foods or drinks, preferably those containing fat sources or oils to improve absorption.

Alternatively, you can put the oil into empty pill capsules, which facilitates simple, quick, and discrete dosing.

However, you decide to use the oil, remember that it is quite strong, start with a small amount (no more than about the size of a grain of rice), and wait at least 1 hour before taking more (preferably 2 hours).

Do not feel that the procedure can only be done as outlined above, this is a very simple procedure which can be varied depending on the materials and resources you have available to you. Let us know your experiences with this procedure on our facebook page.

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