Always remember that water should NEVER be used when making canna oil or butter!!!
It certainly used to be common practice in our culture, but we've come a long way since the old wives' tales and urban myths of the 60's concerning canna oils, and butters.
The long story on old-fashioned Water-Butters.....
When taking even just a slightly scientific approach to making canna oil or canna butter, a pure edible solvent, one that is free of any and all potential water contamination, is clearly the best choice you can make!
This is simply based upon the idea that the cannabis glandular material we're after is highly oil soluble, while very insoluble in water... water hinders and freezes up the process, causing clumping and persistant clustering that does not occur, under the same termperature conditions, with a pure oil or solvent and that same glandular material.
It's not a trick question; which will produce faster results? Is it A.) a pure solvent, or B.) one diluted with something that the solute or the material you're actually after, is not considered to be soluble in?
You'll make more progress, in less time, requiring less energy and as a result causing less degradation of cannabinoids by choosing a pure edible solvent, such as coconut oil, clarified butter, or in the case of tinctures a pre-heated glycerin or high proof alcohol.
But there are several other drawbacks to relying on water for purposes based only on myths, perpetuated during our prohibition!
Adding water to the mix, was originally thought up as an old-fashioned (and somewhat ill conceived) attempt at controlling temperatures and avoiding over exposure to heat, when the material ultimately still comes into contact with the heat source directly from below! It won't 'burn' or char down there, but it's causing excessive and unnecessary degradation during a process that already takes longer than it should due to the water contamination.
Another old myth, is that adding water so early in the process somehow makes the resulting canna butter/oil 'more clean' by separating off more of the 'green', and to many patients unpalatable, inert plant matter components and their flavors.
But here's the kicker; especially if a clean butter or oil is your goal, a water-butter actually requires more work* to clean away the worst-tasting elements, ultimately requiring more effort, more heat exposure, and more time to truly complete the process, because it is the water that is predominantly responsible for pulling in the majority of
all those additional and unwanted water-soluble elements,
in the first place.... elements that would otherwise largely be left behind, when beginning with a pure edible solvent. It dirties the resulting oil, to such an extent, that the water soluble components are easily left behind to contaminate the separated and finished oil, inside of the oil itself and in the water content that many don't realize gets left behind in the oil or butter, which requires additional cleaning or washing cycles, just in order to be on par with an unwashed pure canna oil or pure clarified canna butter, that was made more potent and performed a more efficient (and more useful) extraction, in less time.....
(* More work, ie. the water-washing steps, that many folks seem to neglect and leave out these days, when following the older water recipes... the steps for washing a finished oil or butter are similar to repeating the end of the butter making process, or making a clarified butter, in that clean water is added to the separated and solidified butter or oil, after the first and dirtiest water is removed, it's reheated and mixed allowing the water to pull out remaining inert components, the mix is allowed to settle and cool, and the dirty water is again replaced with clean water, and the process is repeated until the desired results are achieved. A properly made water-butter, heated for adequate time to compensate for the water contamination, not only starts out 'dirtier', but when washing enters the equation these butters also often require up to three or four additional wash cycles, just in order to become as clean as a finished oil after just one single wash).
If you're just looking to control your temps, and that's why you've considered using water in the past, a MUCH better option is to use your oven, or even a simple double boiler. To make a double boiler, two pots are all you need; one larger that contains a few inches of heated water, one smaller pot that floats inside, on top of that water.
That smaller pot contains only your oil or clarified butter and your herb or hash. This provides an actual buffer between the heat source and your materials, protecting them better, and all without diluting your edible solvent with water. You can even decarb or pre-activate your cannabinoids in that smaller pot, simply by adding your ground herb 30 minutes prior to adding melted oil or butter... always be sure to cover your smaller pot well, for odor control and more importantly to preserve all those medicinal terpenes and flavanoids!
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"But water lets me add more weed to a smaller amount of butter =-/ "
If you want a more powerful outcome, and you wish to do so by using more cannabis, with a smaller amount of butter, diluting that butter with water is just plain silly and counter productive!
Rather than risking hours upon hours of additional time compensating for that water contamination, just for a lackluster end result that is missing the potency you desired, why not instead spend the 15 - 20 minutes it takes shaking your herb in a screen, over a bucket, to make a dry-sifted hash or kief!
Even if your screen is of an overly large micron/size and it allows a lot of derbris to pass through, you'll still likely cut down the bulk of the plant matter you originally had to work with to at least a third or less, meaning your oil can now easily turn out at least three times or more, as potent.
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In summary, the water being present in the first place, is what is most responsible for pulling the majority of that water-soluble inert stuff into your oil or butter! It also gives folks too much peace of mind, and a false sense of security when it comes to concerns over degradation and the premature destruction of cannabinoids.
Bitter plant salts especially are left behind, where they are very small and very water soluble... some will stay with the water, but when you invite excessive salts into the mix, during the cooling process many of those salts are left behind to 'free-float' in your oil in little clusters and pockets, similar to all the trichomes and even free-floating cannabinoids you can lose in your water bath, by adding water to the oil blend before the cannabinoids have been properly extracted and bonded with the oil and before the inert plant matter has been strained off.
You get not only more potent oil, but also a cleaner tasting oil with less effort in the end, without using that water in the first place!
And if you'd like it even a hair cleaner, just water-wash it, just like you would with the old water-butters by adding a portion of water, heating, mixing and separating, as I've described in the paragraphs above.
Another **RISK** when using water to begin the process
One of the best, and easily the most convincing argument for the stubborn, against adding water too early in the processing, becomes visually apparent when it comes time to drain away all the 'waste water' leftover at the end of making a water-butter.
Unlike washing a water-butter, when you wash a well made canna oil or clarified canna butter, after the cannabinoids have properly bonded with a good oil without all that water contamination interfering, you can much more safely go on to wash out water-soluble and other inert debris, without risking breaking the bond (or separating) the cannabinoids and oil molecules, without risking the loss of any remaining free-floating active components where they should already be fully bonded, and without needing to worry over the loss of depleted trichome cuticles or 'husks'.
Besides making a butter or oil with a reduced bioavailability when water is allowed in the oil or butter too early, and besides pulling in all the extra salts and waxes and chlorophyll that a pure oil wouldn't.... that waste water you toss out at the end, if you check the bottom, after it's settled?
You will notice a hash sediment.
Especially without a good day-long-minimum cook, with a water butter these are not the same depleted trichome 'husks' that you'd have after a proper oil, alcohol, or other more 'pure' extraction, often even if you've spent adequate time heating in your water-butter.
They still contain a huge amount of potency, particularly if you've only heated for a scant few hours with all that water present!
The REAL water butter recipes of the old days, relied heavily on spending at least 15 - 24 solid hours heating, just in order to satisfactorily extract most of the potency from those glandular husks, due to the reduced efficiency of the extraction method.
And with a water-butter, if extraction has not yet occured, then it's just like making a 'poor mans ice-hash' with a single bag and a collection res..
All those still-potent glands sink below the water, and rest on the bottom!
So many people, especially with the brief heating times recommended for water-butters these days, unwittingly pour out the equivalent of hash almost every single time they make canna butter!
In the end....
Why do all the most successful edible experts recommend clarified butter?
SPECIFICALLY to avoid water contamination!
Better Extraction - More Bioavailability - Cleaner End Product
Long story short, however much or little time you have you will make
the most progress, by using a pure solvent, rather than one so diluted with water.
And if you don't want to invite water-soluble components into your oil or butter during extraction, well, don't add that water when they are present, to be extracted! Simply wait to water-cleanse your oil, until AFTER you've strained and separated the excess plant matter, otherwise you're just making things worse!
The water is not responsible for stripping the components you want: it only pulls excessive salt, chlorophyll and other inert properties into the mix, while at the same time hindering the oil and its ability to break down your cannabis glandular material. Besides external contact interfering, the inert plant matter soaks up additional water via passive capilary action before it can absorb the oil, and overall prevents the oil from gaining as solid access and contact as it otherwise would have, ultimately preventing the oil that you're relying on, to perform the extraction, from doing the job or making the progress that it otherwise could. This leads to extended cooking requirements, including the 24-hour to several-day-long canna butter and oil recipes of the past, causing your cannabis to undergo unneeded degradation and excessive heat exposure.
Hope this helps clear things up, good luck and have fun!
Why You Should NEVER Add Water
When Making Canna Oil or Butter
" Whether you're in a rush, or you just like something 'done right', in the case of cannabis glandular material a pure edible solvent is the way to go! "
Reading Material by Kat on:
Cannabinoid Liposomal Encapsulation
Follow the links below for basic information on
Cannabinoid Liposomal Encapsulation
And for help improving
Link to Original Post 1
Link to Original Post 2
Link to Original Post 3
Link to Original Post 4
Link to Original Post 5
Link to Original Post 6
The information contained in the above links may seem repetitive for those who understand the process and concepts right away, but also understand that for many others, reading the same or similar information repeated somewhat differently, in succession, can be the key to a more complete level of understanding!
The Medical Grade Oil tutorials found here at the CannaPharm, each facilitate the liposomal encapsulation that allows Kat, and many other 'edible immune' patients, to medicate with great ease and efficiency.
Excerpts from the above links:
"Liposomal encapsulation is considered by the pharmaceutical industry, to rival intravenous delivery.
Coconut oil and, for most people, lecithin will provide the most rapid and reliable absorption medium for cannabis glandular material.
This is due to the high MCT and saturated fat contents of the coconut oil, and due to the highly bioavailable phosphlipids within the lecithin which, in conjunction with the same caprylic 8-carbon acids found in coconut oil, are now being utilized in the most modern and efficient pharmaceutical/prescription grade medications to aid in and enhance the bioavailability of both water soluble and insoluble chemicals when taken orally, and to enhance even the transdermal absorption of both oil and alcohol based solutions! " - Kat Smiles
" It's also worth mentioning that palm kernel oil is virtually equal in MCT and saturated fat content, not palm oil from the fruit/flesh, but specifically the kernel oil. I don't often bring palm kernel oil up though, because palm kernel oil, especially of the food grade variety, is not only a bit less common and more difficult to find than coconut oil, but many people mistakenly purchase palm flesh oil, which is more readily available and no better than most kitchen oils, and while it's often a red-orange color it can be clarified or bleached, making it appear very similar to the kernel oil they are actually after.
When making a good edible oil, or topical, we're replicating the same liposomal encapsulation process utilized by the pharmaceutical industry, to facilitate the passage and delivery of specific chemicals through our cell walls. We use the specific bioavailable and edible solvents we do, not just to strip the glandular material from the plant matter, but so that they may bond at a molecular level with the individual components of that material, to facilitate their absorption." - Kat Smiles
Additional excerpts from the above links on Cannabinoid Bioavailability
"Liposomal treatment can allow for instance in the case of vitamin C, amounts sometimes up to fifteen times smaller than originally required, to deliver the same chemical load to the bloodstream. It's why untreated ascorbic acid (sometimes called vit. C powder) requires that you take 3,500% - 4,500% of your daily value, while liposomally treated ascorbic acid will usually only require that you take 150% - 500% of your daily value depending on the quality of the treatment and individual digestion and absorption. The below is from a website that sells their own liposomal vit. C.
- 1,000 mg plain vitamin C tablet or capsule
Absorption 19% = only 190 mg enters the blood stream
- 1,000 mg liposomal vitamin C (1 tsp)
Absorption 93% = 930 mg enters the blood stream
In the case above, the same sized dose, when treated, delivers nearly ten times the active ingredient to the users blood stream.
This is why it's so important NOT to just take cannabis concentrates straight and as they are! Recreational users learn quickly that in order not to waste their "buds", they have to make a heated canna butter... how you go about making that butter or oil, and the edible solvents you choose, makes a dramatic difference in the efficiency and effectiveness of the end product.
Understand that you will absolutely become medicated if you eat enough of a pure cannabis concentrate, however, your body will benefit just as much, if not more, from a mere fraction of your original dose size when your medicine has been prepared and administered properly using a bioavailable oil source. You get much more 'bang for your buck', when most of your potency isn't simply going 'in one and and out the other', through your tract, without absorption." - Kat Smiles
Solar hits, with a magnifying glass... check out the fish!