BadKat's Medical Grade Carboxyl-Intact
Cold Oil & Tincture
THCA, CBDA, CBNA, CBGA, CBCA, CBDVA, Terpenes'and more'
A tutorial for bioavailability, with none of those
dratted 'recreational side-effects'!
Carboxylic acid intact cannabinoids are sometimes referred to as 'inactive' by both the medical and mainly the recreational communities, but don't be misled by that title; when taken correctly, carboxyl intact cannabinoids can be INCREDIBLY medicinally powerful and therapeutic. You'll also notice that you can increase your dose dramatically, without feeling so much: drowsiness, anxiety, or the 'high' and 'stoned' sensations.
The process relies on reducing or eliminating as much heat as possible during the extracting, purging and liposomal encapsulation phases, in order to prevent unwanted decarboxylation.
The process also benefits from the 'solvent transfer' technique; ie. the cannabis alcohol wash is added to a pre-measured quantity of oil, giving the cannabis the opportunity to cling to and begin the bonding phase as evaporation occurs. The solvent transfer process is MUCH easier than dissolving a finished concentrate into MCT oil, glycerin, or even into more alcohol, especially when you're making a quite concentrated finished product nearing the point of saturation. In that case, transferring before the purge especially saves time and effort. Considering that the actual cannabinoid contents of concentrates do vary quite a lot, using the flowers as your dosing guide rather than finished concentrate is generally not an issue. But if you feel strongly that you require a precise amount of concenrate with each dose, regardless of the variation in its cannabinoid and overall medicinal content, then you may feel free to purge and weigh out your resulting concentrate, before moving on with the MCT oil.
You will need:
- Alcohol, 90+%; enough to cover your starting material well
- Flowers, hash, trim or even roots; @ '30 doses'.. desired dosage varies!
- 20ml-22ml MCT oil; utilize a 1:2 - 2:3 "predicted concentrate" to oil-lecithin ratio
(1oz flowers will generally make 4g - 6g concentrate)
- 4g - 6g lecithin; granules
- Small pyrex or ceramic dish, or double boiler (for preparing the oil/lecithin)
- Lidded Jar
- Cheesecloth (for straining & evaporation.... we use a firm screen with a cheesecloth cover)
- Spatula Scraper
- Optional Coffee Filter (good for removing smaller debris and trichome cutucles or 'husks')
As an example, if your needs are equivalent to one third of a gram of concentrate per day, you will want to begin with 9.9 (roughly 10) grams of concentrate, in the form of 1.75ozs - 2ozs of flowers depending on what you can determine of their quality. Early on, your guesses on the concentrate contents of your herb may not be very accurate, meaning your tincture may come out a ml over or under your projections. But as you progress you'll get a good sense of how many grams you'll get from X-amount of Y-quality cannabis.
After the initial extraction, add the 15ml MCT + 5g lecithin to the alcohol wash now containing 10g cannabis concentrate and continue processing according to the directions below. With a dose this size or smaller it's easy to make a total of 30ml bioavailable oil or MCT 'tincture', good for one full month with a 1ml dose.
Once your needs surpass a third of a gram each day, the number of total mls required (for the most effective absorption) per dose will also begin to increase. However, if your needs are lower than one third of a gram per day, you do not need the 'excess' carrier oil and your daily dose may be smaller than 1ml!
Again, keep in mind every patient requires a slightly different dose size, and that each patient has slightly different expectations and needs. For instance a gram-plus per day adult cancer patient may need a much larger starting dose than a small child suffering with seizures.
The method is important, while the ratios may be personalized for best effect. When the patients needs vary, it means the amount of initial solvent will vary, as will the required amount of starting material, the amount of lecithin and oil, and the potency of the finished product.
By keeping your needs in mind, the simple notes in the above list should help you determine how best to start and how much of each ingredient you will need to begin.
Beyond the guidelines mentioned above, the quantity of oil, and even the ratio of lecithin to oil, does not 'need' to be exact! Making oral plant based medicine works best if you remember that digestion and absorption are unique and individual processes.
" But what if I wind up with a weird amount of finished bioavailable oil, how do I dose it out?"
If you mess up while measuring, or when you use plant matter that has a varying glandular content, your only concern is a little math. Just use a little simple division at the end, using the final volume of oil, and the number of doses you added to it!
If you end up with less volume than required to fill 30 capsules, then simply measure and cut in or add the required amount of additional oil and blend well, before capping!
These are tried and tested guidelines that can give virtually 'anyone' a high quality end product and good medicine; but with tweaking you can produce meds that are geared specifically to your needs!
(The numbered paragraphs are directions, so if the below seems overwhelming, just skip any paragraphs without numbers, and only continue reading the unnumbered paragraphs if you need something clarified!)
Part I -Alcohol extraction & glandular breakdown
1 - Pre heat the MCT oil and lecithin granules at roughly 200 f, for 15 - 20 minutes. It takes between ten and fifteen minutes to dissolve. Set aside. This oil-lecithin blend will be COOL once you begin working with your cannabis.
2 - Freeze plant matter or hash, and alcohol, separately, for minimum 6 hours. ( As a guide, one cup loosely ground plant matter whether leaf or flowers, works well with one to one and 1/4 cups of alcohol.
The better the starting material, the more you will extract per cup, and the greater your final yield. Rest assured that even with a much lower ratio of alcohol, you would not be able to over-saturate the solution with glandular material with plant matter in those forms, but rather you would risk being unable to strain the majority of the liquid and as such what it contains, reducing your final yield, due to the amount of stronger solution (smaller amount of alcohol = more-potent) left behind after straining. With hash and concentrates, however, always use a volume of 2 : 3 / hash : alcohol for the best results to avoid over saturation, using more or less if needed with a sifted hash versus a concentrate.
3a - Mince/grind & combine plant matter, soak and shake for one minute, then place in the freezer for 20 minutes.*
3b -* Alternately, rather than a single 20 minute soak, you may perform several fast 'runs' using fresh alcohol each time, similar to an alcohol hash extraction, for a cleaner end product.
The final run/s will be a bit dirtier, in other words they will contain more inert and unecessary properties that can negatively affect the taste of edibles. These final runs may be set aside to make oil for less delicately flavored edibles, or it can be used in capsules so that the 'clean' oil may be used in delicate or lightly flavored food products or edibles. If capsules are the ultimate goal, the impurities are a non-issue.
Glandular oils are easily and very readily extracted by alcohol within a matter of minutes and even seconds.Chlorophyll, and alkaloids and certain plant salts in cannabis are all good for the skin, for neurological health and for digestion among other things, and with an extended soak you pull in more of these elements... but they can negatively effect the flavor of your finished oil or tincture. It's up to you to decide, based on your needs. (In my mind, particularly if it's going into capsules... you may as well pull all the benefits you can!
4 - Strain and, if making an ALCOHOL ONLY tincture, place in the freezer for AT LEAST one week, or the refrigerator for six to eight weeks*. Allow to stand at room temp for one month. Then, you're done!
Remember, alcohol tinctures also benefit from the addition of lecithin; if making an alcohol tincture rather than an MCT oil, try heating and dissolving lecithin into your solvent; sonication is required to cause encapsulation, but the presence of cell-priming lecithin will still aid in absorption, albeit to a far lesser extent, without that action.
* While technically you can sample your medicine sooner to some effect, clumps of cannabinoids too small for the eye to detect, but still plenty large enough to interfere with absorption, are present for quite some time after extraction. They will slowly divide and separate from one another during this sitting time, improving bioavailability! This improves the rate of delivery, as well as the total amount of absorption!
By now, your material should begin to become relatively bioavailable within the alcohol solution for many people... if their digestion can handle alcohol delivery. Which, oddly enough (or not so much), many patients can not! Some people can not take alcohol period, and others simply do not absorb the therapeutic components it contains, their cell walls act as a sort of 'filter' leaving behind active components, straining them from the alcohol as it's absorbed into the tissues.
If you have previous experience indicating that 'active' oil hits you faster, and harder, than an 'active' alcohol tincture.... That's a good sign your body is in a way fractionating the solution on contact, and removing, or straining out a lot of the good stuff, during the faster absorption rate of the alcohol. This is ultimately sending much of that good stuff down the remainder of your tract, where much of it only may or, more likely, may not even be absorbed in time before 'evacuation'. And the same will happen with an inactive alcohol based tincture!
In other words, if your body has even a subtly difficult time absorbing cannabis glandular material, your cell walls will almost certainly absorb the alcohol too rapidly, while straining out, and leaving the larger and more resistant cannabinoid molecules behind.
And if that is the case, or if you simply do not care for alcohol, then a more medicinally sound method is to transfer your glandular material to an oil-lecithin solution, which for more people is a much better vehicle for absorption.
Oils and phospholipids are used in everything from pharmaceuticals, to supplements and vitamins, to enhance the bioavailability of their ingredients...
Part II - OPTIMAL BIOAVAILABILITY of Cannabinoids
Transferring to MCT Oil Without Heat
*** 1a - An ultrasonic jewelry cleanser will save you a LOT of time, and is required for true liposomal encapsulation without the use of heat: simply combine the alcohol extract and lecithin oil blend, then run your oil in the cleanser after the alcohol has evaporated off (+ as decribed below), in three to four separate 40 - 60 minute sessions, and allow to rest for one day; if you notice layers of the oil settling out of place, anything beyond obvious inert sediment, repeat.
It's as simple as that, which is fortunate knowing that this is already a lot of information for many of you to absorb (pun intended) and knowing that most of you will not have access to lab grade sonication equipment; these are simply average run times for several cleansers, although modern and pricier digital units and of course lab grade sonication units will let you select specific run times and strengths.
A water bath in the unit with cloth base, to cushion the glass, and lab or wide mouth canning jar may be used to contain the oil. Ideally however a unit of the size you will work with most frequently should be purchased, some are rated for direct contact with solvents and oils, others may be lined with an oven bag for most directa nd ideal penetration of sonic waves.
+ You may evaporate the alcohol off by using a fan near an open window directly in the jewelry cleanser, just cover the top with a screen and/or cheesecloth as you would any other container, but don't begin timing the sessions until after you are faily certain it's gone in order to begin and complete the process properly. It's a good idea to give your machine a break in between sessions, giving you the opportunity to add one or more freeze cycles. If yours has a 'high' setting and it is a decent machine, you will be done in as little as four hours, not counting any rests in between sessions. If you have an older or weaker unit, expect a minimum of 6 hours or longer to make the same progress.
*** 1b - However, the process may be performed WITHOUT a cleanser, but you'll need to follow the steps below with a little patience....
1 - Combine your strained alcohol solution with the oil/lecithin in a large bowl or a wide and shallow dish (increased surface space increases evaporation speed).
2 - Place a screen on top, and cheese cloth or a clean and lint free t-shirt on top of that, to prevent dust, hair and debris from entering your mixture. Allow to evaporate near a vent/window.
3 - Aim a fan at your covered dish.
4 - Check periodically, and blend & stir thoroughly each time it 'halves' in volume... If you had a cup of solution to begin with, blend well at half a cup, then a quarter of a cup, then an eighth and so on until the alcohol has fully evaporated, and you have a (to the naked eye) well-blended oil, without many (or with a 'fast wash' before the strain, without any) visible solids. Remember to scrape down the sides.
The rate of evaporation relies entirely on: the starting quantity of solution; the amount of air that can pass through your screen; the humidity and temperature of the room. It's not unusual for the total evaporation of the same volume of liquid to occur in only a day, or in as long as several days or even a week, depending on the conditions it is kept in! The important thing, is not to fret much over the speed. A few cups in a wide dish will usually evaporate at room temp in under a day.
5 - Once you are satisfied that all the alcohol has evaporated, freeze the final blend overnight. (If producing in volume, add a 24hr period in the freezer for every cup of finished oil if the cups are not stored individually... storing portions individually allows for faster freezing).
6 - Allow to sit for AT LEAST two to three weeks at room temp; why the difference? If you keep your home warm, bioavailability will improve more quickly. But if it's cool, and especially if it's quite cold in your house where you plan on storing your oil during this time, wait at least three weeks or longer before sampling!
During the last few days of sitting, you may choose to pour your oil into a common kitchen blender for making smoothies and crushing ice, then give your oil a 10 minute blend on the highest setting... if your blender is prone to overheating, as most non-industrial units are with such use, this may require pausing to allow the unit to cool. For smaller amounts under a few liquid ounces, this is not recommended as retrival is difficult. Instead get creative during the last week of sitting; to give it some good motion, try keeping the jar in a padded pack while you exercise or mow the lawn for instance. Before you know it your jar has experience hours of jostling vibration which will aide in blending and loosening up any last resistant cannabinoid clusters.
Once finished, store in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent/slow further activation from occurring, and use as-needed.Kept under the correct conditions, it should take virtually years for an inactive oil, to become noticeably active.
Enjoy and be healthy!