Have you ever wondered how to make your own cannabis capsules? These capsules, often called canna caps, offer a safe, easy, cost-effective and efficient way to medicate orally throughout the day without putting empty calories and unhealthy ingredients into your body. Cannabis capsules have become a standard in the cannabis industry and most dispensaries carry some variety of them. Unfortunately, depending on the source, the ingredients and potency of the product can vary. Note that these are NOT ‘CBD Capsules’, we would consider them what we already refer to them as, ‘Canna-Caps’ or ‘Cannabis Caps’ due to the material being used.
Ingredients and Supplies Needed :
The necessary ingredients and basic supplies are somewhat affordable and can be obtained at a local natural food store or they can be ordered online. Exact items needed can vary depending on what is available to you, but these are the basics that will get you by.
- 7-14 grams of ground cannabis flower (kief and trim can also be used)
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup of coconut oil solid or liquid form (organic, extra virgin, unrefined if available)
- 1/2 tsp soy (or sunflower) lecithin
- Oven or slow cooker
- 50 empty gelatin or vegetarian capsules (standard size is 00)
- Capsule Filling Station
- Syringe (any sterile syringe with a tapered tip that will fit inside the capsule)
- 1 cooking pot
- 1 glass bowl that fits inside the rim of your pot 1-2 inches above the softly boiling water
- 1 small bowl
- 1 glass or metal baking dish/sheet
- 2 sheets of aluminum foil
- 1 piece of cheese cloth and 1 rubber band or 1 small fine screened strainer
- 1 spoon or spatula
- 1 small glass jar with screw top lid
- Vinyl gloves
This recipe uses coconut oil and soy (you can use sunflower) lecithin combined, which aids the body in efficiently metabolizing the cannabinoids through the digestive system. The cannabis-infused oil will provide longer periods of effectiveness when compared to smoking and vaping.
Note that a few factors will determine the correct dosing of cannabis capsules. These include:
– Potency of the cannabis (% of THC and/or CBD)
– Proper decarboxylation
– Ratio of flower to coconut oil
There is no standard ratio for determining your ideal dose. It’s a matter of trial and error until you discover what works best for you. This is a basic recipe you can adjust to fit your needs and the materials available to you. It is best to keep a journal of your activities to duplicate the amounts and process you prefer. The only fool proof way to test the potency of your cannabis capsules is by taking them to a laboratory, but it will cost money to do so.
Decarboxylation: Getting the Most from Your Cannabis :
Preheat your oven to 220-240 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures can cook off the cannabinoids and greatly reduce potency. Using your gloved hands, break the flower into small pieces and spread them evenly across your foil covered baking dish or sheet. Place the second piece of foil over the cannabis and pinch foil sides together. This aids the flower in evenly decarboxylating and prevents much of the vapors from escaping. The flower should bake for 30-45 minutes to properly activate all of the cannabinoids. Note that decarboxylation reduces the amount of flower you have by 10%. Make sure to check our guide if you want to get more information on decarboxylation.
Fill ¾ of the pot with water and heat to a soft boil. Add the coconut oil and soy lecithin to the glass bowl and place it in the cooking pot. Once warmed, the oil and lecithin will melt. Then add the decarboxylated cannabis to the bowl and mix together until well-blended. Empty the hot water from the pot then add the oil mixture to the pot. Place the pot back in the oven for at least another 30-45 minutes. Check your infusion frequently and stir if ingredients begin to separate.
Add the decarboxylated cannabis, coconut oil, and soy lecithin to your slow cooker and set the temperature to low heat, which is approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit. You should test your slow cooker with water and a thermometer before attempting to make your cannabis-infused oil.
Cooking the infusion for longer than 45 minutes with either method will affect the potency of the final product and cause further conversion of THC to CBN resulting in a more sedating effect from the finished product.
Time To Strain:
Now you can either use a small, finely screened strainer and the small bowl, or cheesecloth draped over the bowl and secured with a rubber band to strain the finished oil. Use a spoon or spatula to press all of the oil out of the flower material. Straining the oil at least twice should remove all of the flower particles.
Filling Your Cannabis Capsules :
The oil infusion should be less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but not solidifying prior to placing it in the capsules. A homemade capsule filler can be made from a cardboard box you poke holes through with a pen to hold the capsules in place. But, you can get a plastic capsule filling machine for a small amount of money and save yourself a lot of frustration. Follow the instructions on the package to streamline the capsule making process.
Once you have placed the bottom half of your capsules into their holes, it’s time to fill your syringe. Holding the syringe with one hand and pulling on the plunger handle with the other you can dip the tip into the oil and draw your first syringe full of liquid. Carefully place enough oil into each capsule until it is just below the top edge. Spill waste will result if you overfill them. Hand towels or tissues work well to soak up spillage, but you are losing valuable oil each time this happens.
Once filled, place the tops securely on the capsules and put them in the jar, closing the lid securely. Mark jars clearly and store all cannabis products in a cool dark place away from children and animals.
Your ‘final product’ should be your capsules filled with beautiful oil that is colored anywhere from a golden yellow, to a dark, dark green. All depending on the original starting material, and the processes used to reach the end point.