No one forced you to eat that pot brownie at that party, all those years ago...
But, the damage was done.
(The propaganda didn't help.)
That's a common tale by many, and a major reason most people are unwilling to even try ingesting cannabis as remedy. The true culprit was a lack of education or correct information that kept you from discovering the plant's full potential.
If the butter in the in brownies is infused with a good amount of quality plant material (recipes, plants vary), that's been decarboxylated (THC activated via low heat) prior to infusing, chances are you are ingesting a sizeable dose of highly activated, concentrated THC. Add alcohol at a party, and you might as well have dropped a half a tab of LSD.
But THC is supposed to be good for me?
Titrating up slowly to the proper dose needed for what ails you is key, with the mantra, "start low, go slow" mandatory, in order to get used to THC. If you don't start with an extremely small dose of a concentrate (brownie or tincture), you will have a bad trip, no two ways about it. (See blog on titrating.)
I was ignorant to the many benefits of plants for most of my life. It was the seemingly miracle of cannabis that enlightened me to just how important all plants are to our survival on this organic planet. They were put on this earth for us. Not just for our consumption, but for our physical and emotional well being.
There were more than 250 remedies available with cannabis in the mix up until the late 1930s.
Apothecary, the practice of formulating plant-based concentrates as remedy, is what most of the pharmaceutical companies we know today were founded on.
If you know your way around the kitchen, you can make a plant-based concentrate. Most remedies are a matter of steeping, soaking, simmering, or cooking down an alcohol base - likened to a reduction, in culinary terms.
I always have something steeping in the cupboard, in the sun, on the stove; or brewing in one of my medicine-making-machines.
When practicing kitchen apothecary, a rice cooker becomes an alcohol reduction unit; a crock pot is just another way to steep the essential oils from a beneficial plant into a medicinal base.
THC vs. THCA
You don't have to get high to heal with cannabis.
THCA is the compound THC, prior to heat activating its psychoactive properties. The benefits are still in there, with or without the high.
Alcohol is a traditional base for tinctures, but you can also use apple cider vinegar (ACV) or a light oil in a cold steep, with no psychoactive properties.
Basic Recipe: Add 1/4 c. ground plant material to 1 liter of alcohol, oil or ACV; steep in cool cupboard up to two weeks; shake occasionally; strain and decant into bottles with droppers, or take by teaspoon as tonic. Cold process does not activate THC.
Sharon's Favorite Cinnamon-Orange Tincture
Non-psychoactive, cold steep method, THCA
1 liter bottle sugar cane liquor
Strips of orange peel from one orange
1/4 c. ground cannabis (whole plant)
1 stick of cinnamon
Can use orange liquor and omit orange peel; or can add a few strips of peel to orange liquor.
ACV & Chamomile Tincture
1 liter of apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. chamomile flower
Dosing: 1 T. per half glass of water or juice, daily
(can substitute cannabis, if desired)
See Chamomile page for its many benefits.
Nearly mimics CBD, the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis.
Chamomile is good for those who would rather not use cannabis, or for children and adults on the spectrum, specifically for ADD, anxiety, and depression - per studies, see "Chamomile" page.
Chartreuse is made by the Carthusian Monks of La Grande Chartreuse, near Grenoble, France. It's made from 130 Alpine herbs according to a formula created in 1605. The recipe is proprietary, held by three Carthusian brothers.
Chartreuse Tincture or Tonic
Non-psychoactive, cold-steep method, THCA
1 liter Chartreuse
1/4 c. ground cannabis
Can be used as tincture by the dropper, in cocktails, or by the teaspoon as a tonic.
If you must partake of a cocktail or two, infusing flavorful herbs and spices to alcohol can minimize the negative effects of the alcohol; i.e. inflamation/infection.
Cold Steep Recipe:
Same process as with tinctures, add ground plant material to base liquor, steep, strain, decant.
No psychoactive properties in a cold steep, THCA active compound (THC is only activated by heat).
Ganja Spiced Rum
1 liter dark rum
1/4 c. ground cannabis
1 whole cinnamon stick; 5-6 cardamom pods
4-5 whole star anise; 4-5 whole cloves
1 t. vanilla
Shown here with coke & lemon on the rocks.
1 liter vodka; 1/4 c. whole chamomile flower;
Citrus zest (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit)
Ganja Grapefruit Cocktail:
1 shot vodka; Juice from one grapefruit
Fill with sparkling water or grapefruit soda
Serve with a lime wedge, over ice.
Note: Can also be infused w/cannabis, or half cannabis/half chamomile (as shown).
Honey infused with cannabis is a good dose on its one by the teaspoon, or can be added to nightly tea for a good night's sleep.
Made with chamomile, it's a good supplement for kids, calming for the whole family. See Chamomile page for its many benefits.
Made with a heated process, the THC is activated, and is psychoactive.
1 liter honey
1/4 cup ground cannabis (or chamomile, or half cannabis/half chamomile)
optional: 1 stick cinnamon (cinnamon reduces blood sugar)
Crock Pot Method:
Add all ingredients to crock pot;
Steep on low approximately 3-4 hours;
Stirring often, keeping mixture from burning, as crock pots heat levels vary. If it gets too hot, turn it off, let cool-down, and start again. If your crock pot has a warm setting, that's better, but stirring is still recommended. Option: Use a rice cooker on the warm setting.
Strain with a cheesecloth (or use a loose cheese cloth bundle to steep - shown in photo above)
Dosing: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon to mug of tea. If using cannabis, start low, go slow.
The remaining plant material and honey from the recipe above makes a great tea.
Waste not, want not!
Add the strained honey and plant material from infused honey recipe to six cups of water in a large pot.
2 whole cinnamon sticks
10-15 whole cloves
10-15 cardamom pods
1 T. vanilla
5 black or green tea bags
Cover and bring to boil, then let simmer for 30 minutes
Strain and enjoy on its own or add a little milk
Note: Since this is a secondary soak for the plant material, it will not be as strong, or as highly activated with THC. But it is a nice additional daily dose, and a good use of the leftovers, which still have beneficial material.
Check List: Strainer, lables, jars, crock pot, bowl w/pour spout, coconut oil (solid), cheese cloth
This base of coconut solid salve can be used topically on its own for pain, infection, bug bites, cuts and bruises.
A simple coconut base can be mixed in skin lotions; and used in cooking and baking, replacing butter or oil. Note: high in fat
Crock Pot Method:
One part plant material;
three parts or more of coconut solid (equivalencies depends on desired strength).
Add all ingredients to crock pot
Simmer on low heat for 3-4 hours, stirring often to insure it won't burn.
Cannabis Coconut Suppositories
Made with simple salve recipe and reusable molds.
There is no head high when using THC activated suppositories, as the delivery bypassed the liver.
Chamomile Coconut Solid
Infusing cooking oils adds another delivery to your daily dose. shown here is olive oil, used in a fresh herb dip.
1/4 cup ground cannabis
One liter of olive oil
(can use any oil)
Simmer in crock pot for 2-3 hours, stirring often.
Fresh Herb Dipping Sauce
Fill mason jar with chopped fresh herbs: oregano, basil, thyme, parsley;
One head of chopped garlic
Two parts cannabis infused olive oil; one part red wine vinegar.
Sea salt & group black pepper, to taste
Juice of one lemon, 2-3 strips of lemon zest
Steep in glass jar until ready to use. Keep refrigerated. Sserve room temperature
Cannabis leaf, juiced and frozen in ice cubes for future use. The fresh, dry leaf will also keep in a crisper bin in the refrigerator for several weeks.
Photo: Sharon Letts
...of leaf in your favorite smoothie is a powerful remedy and preventive against inflammation and subsequent pain; infection, digestive issues, and more, with no psychoactive properties.
Note: There are many juicing machines to choose from. Be mindful of any machines that may heat up in the process, as this will cause the THC to be activated and the juice to be psychoactive.
Making Concentrated Oil from Plants
The following recipe is an alcohol reduction, which leaves only the essential oils of the plant in a strong concentrate.
Shown here, using 96 percent alcohol, available in Mexico.
Short soak, strain, cook down in a rice cooker, using the warm setting.
Two cups of alcohol will cook down in about three hours.
Shown here using Everclear grain alcohol at 150 proof, currently legal in California.
1. Alcohol reduction begins with a high-alcohol content - otherwise, you will have water in the final product.
2. Fill a glass container with plant material (whole chamomile flower or ground cannabis).
3. Cover plant material with alcohol and let sit.
Note: I do a short steep, less than 15 minutes, as the essential terpenes come off quickly. Any longer and you'll get chlorophyll causing it will to be greener, lessening the strength of the beneficial compounds needed. This was shown to me from tests in a laboratory. Long steep, 47 percent activated THC; short steep, upwards of 90 percent activated THC - what's needed to kill cancer cells.
4. Strain and pour into rice cooker, set to WARM, keep lid open and cook by an open window (alcohol is flammable, follow these directions exactly.)
5. Keep an eye on it. If you must leave, shut it down, then start again. When it gets to a cup or so, transfer into a silicon mold in the bottom of the rice cooker to finish. The product will be sticky, with less waste remaining with the silicon.
6. When all alcohol is reduced, add one of two tablespoons of coconut and scrape sides to mix.
7. Uptake oil with a syringe and fill capsules or suppositories, using molds.
8. Keep in refrigerator. Use while fresh, though they will keep for some weeks.
Use an old (clean) sheet to strain plant material.
Place a silicone pan in the bottom of the rice cooker to finish off remaining oil, as it will be extremely sticky.
1. After thinning with coconut oil, use syringe or capsule filler to fill capsules to desired amount.
2. Syringes or capsules can be used as suppositories.
Note: The alcohol must be cooked down, with oil slightly cooled or the caps will melt.
Note: Color will change as coconut solid solidifies. Color of oil should be golden brown.
Using a capsule maker allows you to fill many caps at a time.
Pills & Suppositories
This capsule holder allows you to fill up to 100 capsules (size 00). Note, reusable suppository mold above.