I’m afraid to ingest. How will it make me feel?
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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.

Why did the brownie affect you so badly? The psychoactive properties of the THC, or compound, tetrahydrocannabinol, causing the high are very real. The plant didn’t start out that way, we as a species hybirdized the THC compound up to the levels we have today.

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.

When they told us to eat our fruits and vegetables, they should have told us it was a matter of life and death, because it is.

Vintage Medicine

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.

The medicinal properties of beneficial plants are found within the scent or fragrance of a plant, called terpenes. Plants have scents because we have noses. It’s a symbiotic relationship. These beneficial plants are found readily all over the world, because humans everywhere need them.

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.

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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.

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Tincture

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.

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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.

Apple Cider Vinegar is an age-old preventive tonic with many benefits; infuse with cannabis and it’s a double-duty remedy. It can also be used in salad dressings, marinating sauces, and more for micro-dosing throughout meals.
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Chartreuse

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.

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. inflammation/infection.

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is activated by heat. There are no psychoactive properties to speak of by using a cold-steep method.
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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).

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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.

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Calming

Chamomile Nightcap

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).

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Ganja Honey

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.

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Ganja Chai

The remaining plant material and honey from the recipe above makes a great tea.

Waste not, want not!

Ganga Chai

Add the strained honey and plant material from infused honey recipe to six cups of water in a large pot.

Add:

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.

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Ganja Caramel Sauce

1 c. packed brown sugar

1/2 c. half-and-half or heavy cream

4 T. infused cannabis butter

Pinch salt

1 T vanilla extract

Mix the brown sugar, cream, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat.

Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until it gets thicker.

Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further.

Turn off the heat, cool slightly and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold.

Note: For a micro-dose version, half the butter to two tablespoons infused butter and two tablespoons plain butter.

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Simple Salve

Check List: Strainer, lables, jars, crock pot, bowl w/pour spout, coconut oil (solid), cheese cloth

Always label your infused products, noting any psychoactive properties. Keep all products up and away from pets and children.

Coconut Salve

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

Dogs love to eat this coconut mix right off your finger, making it easy to dose them.

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.

OR… I use a Magical Butter Machine to infuse oil, butter, and numerous other infusions.

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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.

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Chamomile Coconut Solid

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Cooking Oils

Infusing cooking oils adds another delivery to your daily dose. shown here is olive oil, used in a fresh herb dip.

Recipe:

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

Juicing the leaf of cannabis is the best way to get the full spectrum of beneficial compounds from the plant, with no head high.
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Juicing Leaf

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

Only the fan leaves are needed to juice; it does not matter what stage of growth. Diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus have been documented as being put into remission, by juicing the leaf of the plant.
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One handful...

...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.

Beside a hot water infusion, alcohol extraction is the oldest method we know of for making concentrates out of beneficial plants.

Chamomile 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.

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Cannabis Concentrate

Shown here using Everclear grain alcohol at 150 proof, currently legal in California.

Note: This mix is very green, as there was more trim with leaves than bud, presenting with more chlorophyll, causing the bright green color.

Step-by-Step

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.

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Straining Hack

Use an old (clean) sheet to strain plant material.

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Oil Hack

Place a silicone pan in the bottom of the rice cooker to finish off remaining oil, as it will be extremely sticky.

Filling Capsules

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.


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Capsule Makers

Using a capsule maker allows you to fill many caps at a time.

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Pills & Suppositories

This capsule holder allows you to fill up to 100 capsules (size 00). Note, reusable suppository mold above.