Wednesday 17 August 2016

Coconut-Cannabis Alchemy~ Apartment Style

**** the oil from this process was fairly weak.  If you have been ingesting Cannabis or oil made with it for a while, you may want to increase the amount of product used.  If you are a brand new user or are planning on feeding this to your pet, this recipe is a safe place to start.

All Cannabis used was cured and stored using Boveda technology.  To read more about how
this salt-water slurry and the process of osmosis can keep your buds fresh & pungent, read here.

Infusing Cannabis into a fat is a surprisingly straight forward process.  It involves two distinct steps that rely on strict heat control and timing.  There are a bazillion different methods and for small batches I've come up with this one.  Mainly, you need to set aside about 4 hours of your time and voila ... you just made your own medicine.

Cannabinoids bind to any fat, I prefer coconut oil.  I made some oil a few nights ago in my small apartment.  It yielded me about half a cup of medicine that I take sublingually (under the tongue).

I used:

2 grams Cannabis buds
1.5 grams Cannabis trim
1/2 cup Coconut oil

You will also need:

Heat-safe gloves/mits
A double boiler or a crock pot.
medium sized mason jar (not needed if using a crock pot)
ceramic dish with lid (optional--helps keep odor in for apartment dwellers)
thermometer that goes over 200F
cheese cloth

The first process is called "decarboxylating" or "activating" your Cannabis:

To put it simply, in their natural form many of the medicinal cannabinoids in Cannabis are like jigsaw puzzle pieces that don't fit into our body's receptors.  Everything from sea sponges to humans have an endocannabinoid system~ a naturally-occurring system of receptors that accept this plant's compounds.  By burning or heating the Cannabis, you break off an excess piece of the jigsaw so now it easily fits.

For my fellow cooks, you're basically roasting here.  Pre-heat the oven to 250F.  While it heats, the Cannabis will exude an herby, almost onion-y scent.  Wrapping it in a little pouch of parchment paper definitely reduces the smell and also ensures even heating of the buds.

Break the buds apart with your fingers to cranberry sized pieces.  Many recipes tell you to grind, but there's a new train of thought suggesting that the cannabinoids leach out of the Cannabis more easily left intact than when ground into the organic material.  Halfway through the Coconut oil simmer, the buds easily mash up with pressure from a wooden spoon.

Place the parchment pouch inside a ceramic or glass baking dish with a lid (or foil in a pinch).
Roast for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, melt 1/2 cup Coconut oil in a mason jar.  If using a crock pot, you'd melt the oil in there first.  Watch the temps on crock pots as they can get pretty warm even on the 'keep warm' mode. Ideally, we don't want our oil to rise above about 200*F or we risk losing some of our active compounds.

Add your "activated" Cannabis.  At this point, I took the mason jar out of the
water and placed it into the ceramic dish so that if any buds fell too quickly,
they would be in that dish and easy to scoop out. Obviously, much easier if 
using a crock pot.

Halfway through, remove the oil from the double boiler and gently mash the
buds around to allow for effective leaching.

Simmer for 3 hours being careful that water doesn't boil dry underneath (kept
at #5 on my stove-top burner.)
Use a thermometer and ensure that the oil doesn't go above 220F.
The double boiler is a control measure as it's difficult to get the oil above 210F
or so.  At this point, the Cannabinoids need more time than heat to leach out into
the fat.

Strain when oil is cool enough to ring out with hands.
I always keep the bud in a waste-not-want-not fashion.  I usually add it to
my next batch.  It keeps for a long time in your fridge in a baggie.

And ... voila!  All you need now is a dropper/syringe measuring ml's.
Start low and go slow.  Dose on a full or partially full stomach.
Start by taking .25 ml held under the tongue and held for 30 seconds, then swallowed.
Wait 2 hours and judge how you feel.  Wait 4-6 hours before re-dosing at this point.

You can start increasing often when needed by .05 intervals until you reach the
proper dose.  This could take several days.  Go slow!  Each of us must find that
sweet spot.  If you cannot stand the taste,  gelatin caplets can be purchased online
or at any health food store.

As always.... comments, questions, and suggestions welcome in the comment section!

"It's home-made, so it'll be better!"--my 13 year old niece & future Masterchef, Madelyn.

Tuesday 2 August 2016

It's Time to Unite the Two Worlds: Western Medicine & Cannabinoid Medicine

**This post was published on the site "Cannabis Life Network" here.

There's a side effect to this thing we see happening in healthcare today.  People are learning that Cannabis is medicine and the doctors aren't all so eager to agree.  It's no wonder, who is teaching them?  The thing of which I speak, is the growing distrust or animosity between doctor and patient. This bad relationship makes the patient lie to the doctor.  I know of hundreds of patients who started ingesting cannabis and didn't tell their doctors.  Until tumors started shrinking, and vomiting subsided.  When the tests start coming back showing improvements, it's not easy to keep calm and quiet.

The side effect is healing and this healing comes from the conjunction of these two amazing forms of medicine:  western medicine and cannabinoid medicine.

I believe as so many do, that the relationship between a healer and their patient should be sacred.  It should be gut-wrenchingly honest and truthful.  It should always and only be for the good of the patient where he or she takes part in deciding every single aspect if they can, and the healer should be eager to comply.

This relationship transmutes over time to teacher and student as the healer must advise and instruct us;  help us understand why our bodies are doing this.  But they should be eager to listen, to learn, to know how the medicine made us feel.  They also learn from us.  We at times are the teacher and they the student.  Or at least it was like this at one time.

Of course, many of we patients are tired of the pills and have disclosed our cannabis use to our doctors.  What I think has happened is that many medical doctors haven't then disclosed to Health Canada that their patients admitted to using cannabis, leaving us with a health ministry that has no idea how many illegal medical cannabis users Canada really has.  Should that question be part of the census?  It pertains to our health after all.

I wonder how many doctors there are who have success stories tucked away in personal files in their office?  Have they ever told Health Canada about the patients who swear that cannabis heals?  Or would the patient-doctor confidentiality thing hinder the transfer of this crucial information?  This is confusing because I keep hearing about all of these success stories and you think, surely that doctor has enough clout with Health Canada to get them to study it!  One doctor, two doctors, three doctors, four.

Thing is, we're having great success when cannabis oil is consumed during cancer treatments. It goes above quelling nausea and raising appetite, cannabinoids are protecting the body from the chemo. Cannabis has been shown in studies and in anecdotal evidence to make opioids work better, allowing the patient to lower their dose.  Crohn's patients are being put into remission every day.  Certain cannabinoids lower inflammation so the medicine can get to where it needs to be.  I have friends with MS and Fibromyalgea who simply would not be able to live the active life that they live if it weren't for cannabinoid therapy.  These are all people who have tried the gamut of pharmaceutical options and found that they didn't work for their biology,

I know of a little boy named Liam whose Dravet's syndrome is managed today with cannabis oil alone.  He's one of our youngest legal MMPR patients.  Mommy makes the oil with cannabis grown by the legal growers.  Oh what this little boy's experience with pharmaceuticals alone, could teach the medical industry.

I know of little girl named Mykayla whose Lymphoblastic Leukemia is in remission today because her parents started giving her whole plant cannabis oil alongside her chemotherapy.  She went into remission a mere six days after her first caplet of this dark and gooey concentrate.

If I could have every healer's ear for a moment I would say this:  You're missing out on miracles!!

You're missing out on watching plant compounds annihilate cancer cells.  You're missing out on watching cannabis oil stop seizures in their tracks by simply rubbing it on kids' gums.  You're missing out on chronic pain sufferers and trauma sufferers regaining the ability to feel emotions again with Cannabis when they stop or lessen opioids and anti-anxiety meds.  You're missing out on Crohn's patients going into remission for the first time ever.

And yet ... Health Canada still doesn't recognize Cannabis as medicine.

Calling all doctors, surgeons, shamans, nurses and nurse practitioners too ... hurry up, you're missing out on miracles.