Have you been thinking about making your own medical marijuana oil? Well, there are many ways to turn homegrown buds into medical marijuana. The most popular method is cannabis extract oil, also known as hash oil or Rick Simpson Oil (RSO).
The good news is, cannabis extract oil is extremely easy to make. You can even do this from the comfort of your home.
Why would you make it yourself? Well, making your own medical-grade oil, instead of buying RSO, lets you know precisely what is in your oil. Companies can use a variety of substances to make marijuana oil. For those using marijuana therapeutically, knowing the ingredients before you consume is extremely important.
The oil isn’t the only thing to be concerned about. For the best results, when making medical marijuana, it’s a good idea to know what went into your plant as well.
Making Medicinal-Grade Marijuana Oil
The only way to do this is to grow the plant yourself. a Pot for Pot makes this easy with their complete grow kits for weed. Once you select your seeds, simply provide water, sunlight, and love. In just a few weeks, you can have pesticide-free marijuana to make into oil.
Related: Grow Weed Starting From Seed
Defining Medical- Grade Marijuana
What is medical marijuana? Marijuana is considered medical when it is used to treat a particular medical condition. CBD is often used to treat medical conditions and can be found in certain strains of marijuana. It can help with anxiety, nausea, inflammation, and may even inhibit cancer cell growth.
Any strain of marijuana can be used to make medical-grade marijuana. However, THC and CBD percentages vary from strain to strain. Therefore, when making cannabis extract oil for medical purposes, choose the strain with the highest concentration of CBD.
Hash oil isn’t the only way to consume medical marijuana, but it is an excellent choice because it is highly concentrated. The oil is easy to store and dispense in small amounts.
It’s also very versatile since it can be used in edibles or smoked. Creating it is easy as well since it can be made using ordinary kitchen equipment, though you can use specialized devices to automate the cannabis extract oil-making process.
Related: How to Dry and Cure Weed Fast & Easy
Type of Alcohol to Use When Making Hash Oil
For the highest potency, you should use alcohol to create your oil. However, if you make cannabis extract oil using alcohol, you must use the right alcohol.
Any high-proof alcohol fit for human consumption will work. That means isopropyl (aka rubbing alcohol) is not a good idea.
Instead, use food-grade alcohol. The different types of food-grade alcohol include ethanol, Everclear, Spirytus, and grape alcohol. If you do not want to use alcohol, you can also use coconut oil or butter.
How to Make Cannabis Oil at Home
To make cannabis oil at home using alcohol, you will first need to prepare your workspace by:
- Ensuring the room is well aerated by opening the windows and turning on the fan.
- Ensuring you have a fire extinguisher close by since the alcohol you are using is highly flammable.
- Ensuring you have a place to plug in your device.
Next, you need to gather your cooking equipment. Do not waste time looking when you have already started the extraction process.
- A ceramic mixing bowl
- A large wooden spoon
- A straining bag made of material such as muslin, cheesecloth, chai sieve, grain steeping, or a coffee filter made with a mesh strainer.
- 1 container to strain the mixture into, such as a 2-quart measuring cup.
- A silicone spatula
- A rice cooker or a turbo extractor, depending on whether you are using manual or automated methods of extraction.
- Stainless steel jar
- Candle warmer
- Plastic oral syringes
- 2 gallons food-grade high-proof alcohol, such as Everclear
- 1 ounce of marijuana
Since the process of making medical marijuana can be dangerous, consider using protective gear such as non-latex gloves, an odor respirator mask, oven mitts or heat pads, and safety glasses.
When you are making medical-grade marijuana, you do not need to decarb your weed as you usually would. This is to preserve the THCA, which is nonpsychoactive and does not get you high. When cannabis is decarbed, the THC that gets you high is activated. Below is the method of making medical marijuana, both manually and through automation.
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Making medical-grade marijuana oil manually
You can make marijuana tinctures without many tools. For this manual method, you’ll need 2 mason jars, weed, food-grade high proof alcohol (190 or higher), and coffee filters.
Making the tincture:
- Place your alcohol and weed in a freezer overnight. This helps the alcohol absorb unwanted materials such as chlorophyll.
- Place your weed in a mason jar big enough to hold all the weed.
- Pour in the cold alcohol to completely cover your marijuana. The alcohol helps strip marijuana of THC and other cannabinoids. You will need about two gallons of ethanol to fully dissolve one ounce of marijuana.
- Allow the mixture rest for 20 minutes and then crush it. As you are crushing it, the ethanol dissolves off the THC and other cannabinoids.
- Continue crushing the mixture for about 2-3 more minutes.
- Place the coffee filter on top of your mason jar and pour the mixture through the coffee filter into a bowl. Here you have stripped your weed about 80% of its THC and other cannabinoids.
- Again pour enough solvent (ethanol) over the cannabis and lightly crush it for 1-2 minutes to get the remaining THC.
- Filter your mixture with a coffee filter again into a bowl and combine your solvent oil with the previously strained.
- You can do the third round of wash, but the solvent from this should be set aside and used for topical applications. The first and second round of the solvent oil can be ingested.
- Leave the solvent to rest as you recycle the leftover weed matter into your compost pit. Once turned into manure, you can use it organically to grow more marijuana.
- Select a clean bottle and funnel. Layer it with a coffee filter paper. Pour the solvent oil through the coffee filter, taking care to strain out any remaining plant matter.
Do this several times until you get pure, good quality oil. You do not want your cannabis oil extract to contain pieces of the marijuana plant.
The color of the solvent oil at this point should be dark yellow. This is because of the resins dissolved in the alcohol. The smell of the solvent can be skunky and earthy or sweet and fruity due to the dissolved terpenes and alcohol.
The final step is reducing the amount of alcohol until the only thing left is cannabis resin. To do this, you can let the mixture rest until the alcohol evaporates. This process can take many days.
The manual method is designed for those that have plenty of time to wait. If you’d like to speed up the evaporation process, you can use a rice cooker.
Using the Rice Cooker Method to Evaporate Your Alcohol
Apply low heat because you are using alcohol, and you don’t want it to end up inflamed.
Caution: Never try this on a gas cooker nor open flames, because you are using flammable high proof alcohol.
- Set up a rice cooker and a fan in a well-ventilated room.
- Add your solvent into the rice cooker. Do not fill it more than ¾ full. Turn on the rice cooker and set it to ‘white rice’ setting.
The alcohol in your tincture will evaporate. Continue adding the tincture until it is all in the rice cooker. When an inch of solvent oil is left, using your heat pads or oven mitts, pick up the rice cooker and swirl the oil in the cooker gently.
- Use the fan to help carry the fumes away, and help prevent solvent formation on the outer part or under the cooker. Since the fumes contain alcohol, they are very flammable. Therefore, you should stay away from anything that might cause a spark. You may want to wear a respiratory mask to avoid inhaling the fumes. Ensure the oil is heated below 290 F to prevent vaporization of the cannabinoids.
- Before you remove your oil from the rice cooker, make sure that all the solvent has evaporated. Use your heat pads to remove the pot with the oil from the cooker and pour it in the stainless steel cup or container.
- Place your stainless steel container on a candle warmer. Let it heat up for the CO2 to evaporate. When there are no bubbles on the surface of the oil, it is ready. This takes anywhere from 3-24 hours since the candle warmer is a slow heating device. It is important to note that the longer the oil is heated using gentle heat, the more effective it will be.
- Finally, after the oil has cooled, you can use a plastic syringe to suck it up. Storing your medical-grade marijuana oil in a syringe makes it easy to dispense. Alternatively, the oil can be stored in a stainless steel jar, or put in empty pill capsules. You can find syringes and empty pill capsules at most stores.
Using an Extraction Machine to Evaporate your Alcohol
While making RSO is easy using a rice cooker, it is even more convenient when using a machine.
An herb extractor is a machine that can extract alcohol from the solvent oil. There are many benefits to these machines, including:
- Automated extraction removes 95% of your alcohol, ensuring you can use it again and again.
- This method is safer because the machine creates a vacuum, removing the potential for flames to ignite. It also does not get hot enough to produce fumes.
- Compared to a rice cooker, an extractor machine is easier to use because you theoretically could just set it up, and go on with other things, then come back when it is done. However, it is a good idea to stay until the process is complete.
The major downside to using a machine is that it can be costly. However, the device is worth every penny because the hash oil made from this machine is 100% pure.
For this method, you will need your solvent oil and an extraction machine. Most machines will have specific instructions on how to use it, and it is a good idea to follow those precisely. However, below are some basic instructions:
- Place your device on a flat surface, making sure that all the parts are level.
- Place your solvent oil in the machine and place the lid on top.
- Plug in the device and turn it on.
- Your oil will continue cooking, changing from oil to a sludge-like substance, then finally to wax. Stop cooking when you get your desired texture.
- Let your oil cool and then collect it using a syringe.
- Collect your alcohol from the extractor and store it for reuse.
Regardless of the method you use, some oil residue is bound to remain. You can use a piece of bread to soak it up and eat it later.
Alternatively, you can use a small amount of ethanol to rinse and apply the mixture as tincture oil. Tobacco is also a great way to absorb excess marijuana oil.
Cooled oil will appear dark brown in color, but when it is spread on a piece of white paper, it appears golden in color.
When you use different strains of marijuana, you will notice that some strains produce a very thick oil, which does not come out when it is squeezed out of the syringe. To soften it, place the syringe in warm water.
Related: The Costs of Growing Weed
How to store your cannabis oil
To store medical-grade cannabis oil, make sure your storage area is at room temperature. Keep the oil away from light and humidity to keep it fresh. Please note that the oil can go rancid if there is any residual moisture remaining.
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FAQ for How to Make Medical-Grade Marijuana Oil
How should I prepare my workspace when making Cannabis oil at home
Your working space should be well prepared before starting out. You should ensure that the room is well aerated-open the windows and turn on the air conditioning system or the fan. Ensure that the fire extinguisher is functional and in close proximity.
What are some of the necessary ingredients and equipment used to make medical-grade marijuana oil?
You need to have a number of equipments namely: ceramic mixing bowl, large wooden spoon, straining bag, empty container, a silicone spatula, rice cooker/ turbo extractor, stainless steel jar, candle warmer and plastic oral syringes. For the ingredients: 2 gallons food-grade, high-proof alcohol and 1 ounce of marijuana.
What are the various ways of storing cannabis oil?
To store your extracted medical-grade cannabis oil, ensure you keep it in a tight container away from light and humidity. Also ensure that the storage area is at room temperature. There is a high possibility that the oil can go rancid if placed in a room with excessive moisture.