Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a component found in the cannabis plant in upwards of 40 percent of the plant’s dry weight. Smoking, or ingesting CBD oils in any form or fashion will not impart the “high” that is typically thought of when one considers the effects of cannabis.
Five thousand years of cannabis burning and use merits some clear-eyed examination of its benefits. Once upon a time, there were landraces, pure examples of Cannabis Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis. Each was unique in both genotype and phenotype, with varying percentages of CBD, THC (delta-9-hydrocannabinol), along with up to 100 other lesser-known components.
THC, thus far, has been found to be the main psychoactive ingredient in weed. THC imparts the “high” so familiar, and so sought after, by many users. But that’s not what this story is about.
Okay, most are wondering why the emphasis on CBD? It has been discovered through research that CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory. And just about every illness has its origin in inflammation of a certain organ or body part.
Recently, there has been a relative flurry of studies into the properties of CBD. What those studies reveal is that CBD has wide-ranging benefits for the most basic of metabolic functions. Example, it is widely known that cannabis is great at handling nausea and vomiting spells. But did you know that CBD can inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells by not allowing these cells to survive? Very important stuff.
With that in mind, and the proliferation of perfectly legal CBD products on the market, we thought you may be interested in how CBD is concentrated into oils, pastes, butter and tinctures.
First, the big-boy methods. These methods require either expensive equipment or a steep learning curve so as not to blow one’s self up, or both. I won’t be going into this extensively because most users wouldn’t opt for the more tech-heavy methods.
- Supercritical CO2 extraction. This method requires a lot of expensive equipment and a very steep learning curve. But the results are worth it as the extract is pure and clean – not even chlorophyll can be found. This method uses both temperature and pressures to get an excellent extract and doesn’t require explosive chemicals to achieve its end.
- Butane, or BHO. This method uses dangerous solvents to extract THC and CBD from the cannabis. But these solvents are a necessary chemical for the successful extraction of cannabis oils as these oils are lipids, fat soluble, meaning they won’t dissolve in just water. A good knowledge of the solvent properties is necessary as anything less could be deadly for the cook. This type typically yields dab oils. Beware, may contain residues irritating to one’s lungs. Just saying.
Okay, so this particular method is safe if you are patient and mindful. Home extraction of cannabis oil is quite do-able as long as the proper protocol is followed. First and most important is the decarboxylation process. What? In a nutshell, decarboxylation is the chemical removal of a carboxyl group from the cannabinoids to activate the psychoactive and physical qualities for which all users expect.
That being said, decarboxylation is a Necessary Step in creating your infusion masterpiece to maximize the medicine inherent in your weed. So really, decarbing is easy as long as you maintain your common sense and patience. Here we go:
A good idea is to use an oven thermometer to ensure accurate temps.
Too high and a bit of carelessness will result in a burnt crispy useless pile of crap. Break your weed down into manageable pieces; some rub the buds between their hands.
Place cannabis on a sheet pan that has short sides, like a cookie pan. Toast for 20 minutes, then check at ten-minute intervals.
Hopefully you can do this without opening the door. Mix pieces every so often, don’t leave space in between nugs. When your cannabis is a golden brown, toasted color, remove from heat. You now have activated cannabis.
Store in a tight, dark glass container or at least in a place without light. There you have it. Speedy and efficient, I won’t waste your time. Good luck!