What Are The CBD Effects On A Creative Flow

 

Written by: Chele

Description: Do CBD products affect the creative flow? CBD usage has several medicinal attachments, but what about enhanced creativity? Read on to learn more.

If you believe that CBD might boost your creative juices flow, you should probably maintain a steady supply of the supplement. It’s believed that the legendary Beatles may have penned down some of their greatest hits high on marijuana.

It’s not a surprise either that modern artists, musicians, sculptors, painters have kind words to share regarding the use of CBD for a creative boost. But the pertinent question still lingers – does CBD affect creative flow?

For one, creativity is subjective and devoid of actual empirical data as a means of measurements. However, previous studies have indicated the direct and indirect linkages between CBD’s usage and CBD effect for creative flow.

But how does CBD oil work on creative flow? Let’s find out below.

What Is CBD?

Before we can even look at CBD’s studies and relevance to creatives, let’s first define CBD. Cannabidiol is a natural compound derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Together with Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the more prevalent cannabinoids.

Cannabidiol is legal in most states and some places worldwide because of the distinguishing factor from Tetrahydrocannabinol.

You do not get a euphoric high with Cannabidiol usage, but the opposite is true with THC. This is one of the reasons regulations have been loosened on CBD.

How CBD Helps Creativity

Creativity can harness the power of imagination to develop or create something valuable. Creativity extends to critical thinking –it’s not confined to the creative arts – even solving mundane tasks such as organizing your home requires creativity. Scientists refer to brain activities that utilize the frontal lobe of the brain as divergent thinking.

In 1992, a study was conducted by Jasen Talise and subsequently published in the Berkley medical journal found that blood flow to the brain increased after cannabis consumption. A follow-up study done a decade later found the same reactions.

CBD Strains for Creativity

The study used low and high dosages for measurements. This means that the dosage is critical.  The amount you take may veer you off the path of conscience entirely – you know when you get stoned.

What’s more, is the fact that the studies found increased impulsiveness. On the surface, impulsive behavior has negative connotations; however, it is associated with spontaneity and risk-taking.

There is a science that extrapolates the relationship between impulsive behavior and creativity. That said, does CBD help creativity?

Is CBD Good for Creativity?

If we analyze available data, you notice that the answer is not clear-cut comparing CBD and THC. The latter seems to have a higher impact on the brain and not just on the euphoric highness front.

The study conducted in 2012 divided a group of people between high creativity and low creativity while sober. However, after consuming cannabis, the high creativity group frontal lobe activity remained constant, but there were increased cerebral activities in the low creativity lot.

In real sense, the study shows that there is not much cannabis will do for the already creative individual. But it can boost your writer’s block or lack of creativity if you feel like you’ve hit a wall.

There are positive testimonies from people who use cannabidiol to increase their creativity. While this might not be pushed as a conclusive study, it has a real appeal, albeit indirectly in the medical realm. They call it the entourage effect.

It is noted that when users take CBD for calming or anxiety, it will have additional effects such as improved or even fast-paced creativity. Taking CBD dosage in the right amount as CBD oils or best CBD cigarettes is suitable for enhanced creativity. 

Indirect Benefits Of CBD For Creative Flow

If you are looking for CBD’s benefit as an artist, performer, or even for critical thinking, then these two benefits are welcomed:

  •       Sleep: perhaps one of the studies that link better sleep with creativity is conducted by the University of California. The study linked better sleep cycles with improved pattern recognition. They relied on REM (an essential factor in creativity). Those participants that had REM showed better recognition patterns than the second group.
  •   Reduced anxiety:  again, there is some reservation even on the data available on the subject. First of all, the studies are not directly linked to creativity and even seem somewhat contentious. This indicates that creativity may also help to reduce anxiety. On the other hand,  cannabidiol is thought to reduce anxiety, subsequently increasing creativity.

The Best CBD Products For Creativity Boost

Cannabidiol users are spoilt for choice as far as cannabidiol product varieties are concerned. However, we’ll highlight a few that we feel offer maximum potential for creativity. How to take CBD for creativity?

  •   Vaping: CBD vaping is typical for any regular cannabidiol consumer. The fact vaping goes direct to your lungs through inhaling means that it’s an instant factor. You can set your planned CBD dosage.
  •   CBD edibles: think of CBD gummy or CBD flower for creativity. What CBD edible makes you feel special? It may be a brownie or delicious gummies. Whatever the choice, you can quickly improve your creativity by eating CBD edibles. However, remember that edibles tend to be the slowest to metabolize of the bunch.
  •       Ultimately, cannabidiol products have higher and unadulterated concentrations of CBD for enhanced creativity.

All in all, the natural cannabidiol product you settle on will offer the desirable creativity-enhancing effect. 

Final Thoughts

There’s no doubt that artists from far as a century ago have attributed a boost in creativity from the use of cannabis. Of course, it contains both CBD and THC, not refined but still significant. From a medical perspective, scientific studies have provided a glimpse of cannabidiol products’ benefits directly and indirectly.

Nevertheless, no single study is biased towards the direct linkage between creativity enhancements and cannabidiol product usage. Furthermore, the studies emphasize the dosage. Cannabis consumption, especially with THC, is known to create a light effect on the users. When it’s in a small dosage, it will help you achieve the desired creativity bossing effect.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Have you ever used CBD products to boost your creativity? Share your comments below.

 

Author’s Bio: Chele, a therapist, is in her mid-twenties and occasionally suffers from joint pains. She has been using CBD, and it has helped, so now she’s advocating for its use.

 

Introduction

In this step-by-step we will learn how to infuse coconut oil with cannabis concentrates.  Any type of wax, shatter, budder or crumble will be effective in this formula.  To figure out the potency of our formulation, the percentage of total THC in the wax needs to be accounted for. (This will include the total amount of both THC-A and THC in the concentrate)  We will learn how decarboxylate, or activate the THC-A by removing the acid later in this guide. For example, if 1 gram of concentrate is 70% total THC, then there is approximately 700mg THC in the gram. (1 gram = 1000milligrams.  1000mg x 70% THC = 700mg THC)  ½ gram of concentrate with 60% total THC would contain 300mg THC.

This coconut oil infusion can be used in place of coconut oil in a cooking recipe. Coconut oil is also a substitute for butter in baking recipes.  The coconut oil made will be extremely versatile. We chose coconut oil in this procedure because coconut oil contains a large amount of saturated fat. Cannabinoids in cannabis bind well to this kind of fat, making the infusion more bioavailable and potent.  

Concentrates work excellent in edibles because increasing the potency doesn’t sacrifice the flavor of the ingestibles. Whereas when making edibles with cannabis flower, the infusion can taste like marijuana, which may not be the desired flavor. When using wax, the taste is hardly noticeable in the edible because the cannabinoids added are highly concentrated.  Both flower and concentrates are effective when making edibles.  With that being said, the potency per gram is increased when making edibles with concentrates rather than flower.

 

Materials Needed   

  •  ½ cup coconut oil
  •  1 gram decarboxylated concentrate (budder,crumble, shatter etc.)
  •  coffee mug
  •  microwave
  •  oven mitts

 

 

Decarboxylation

Before we learn how to make the cannabis infused coconut oil, we must decarboxylate the concentrate.  Decarboxylation will activate or ‘prime’ the cannabis wax to make it bioavailable when ingested. Decarboxylation requires heat to remove the acid from the THC-A, CBD-A and CBC-A, among other cannabinoids—what is left is THC, CBD and CBC, respectively.  When the acid is attached to cannabinoids, the cannabinoids are not bioavailable and don’t provide the desired effects. We manually decarboxylate cannabis concentrates when dabbing, with the heat source being a nail, removing the acidic molecules when vaporized.  Prior to preparing any form of ingestible cannabis, decarboxylation is necessary.

Follow these steps to decarboxylate cannabis wax:

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Once preheated, line an oven-safe dish with parchment paper.  Create a crevasse for the concentrate to sit in. Spray the parchment paper with canola oil. (this will prevent the wax from sticking to the paper)
  3. Place concentrate in the ‘valley’ of the parchment paper.  Cover dish with tinfoil. Put the dish in the oven. (Making a ‘valley’ in the parchment paper is stressed in this step because when the wax melts it will tend to ‘run’ off the paper if not contained properly)
  4. Let the cannabis wax decarboxylate in the oven for 30 minutes
  5. Take the dish out of the oven.  Allow the freshly decarboxylated cannabis concentrate cool down for 30 minutes (The wax will be liquid at this point.  To speed up the cooling process the concentrate can be placed in a freezer)
  6. BAM!  That’s it.  Now your cannabis concentrate is activated and ready to infuse into ingestibles.

 

 

Now back to the cannabis coconut oil infusion!

 

Prepare by following these steps:

 

  1. Fill coffee mug with ½ cup of coconut oil.
  2. Heat up coconut oil in microwave for 1 minute (or until fully liquified).  Wearing oven mitts, take mug of coconut oil out of the microwave.
  3. Add 1 gram of decarboxylated cannabis concentrate to the coconut oil.  Stir thoroughly until evenly mixed.
  4. That’s it!  Let the coconut oil infusion cool down. (Store in a refrigerator or freezer for longer shelf-life.  The coconut oil is ready to be added into edibles immediately)
  5. Enjoy!!

 

Conclusion

The coconut oil is now cannabis infused and ready to be incorporated into a cooking or baking recipe.  Enjoy responsibly! Don’t forget that edibles can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to produce effects, due to being absorbed via the digestive system.  Start with a small dose and observe the effects.   Do not eat another serving until waiting at least 2 hours. Edibles are just one way of using cannabis.  Smoking, vaporizing, tinctures and topical solutions are other administration methods of cannabis.  The preferred method varies from person to person, and from situation to situation. The beauty of cannabis is in the eye of the beholder! (PS don’t forget step 5)

 

Introduction

In this step-by-step guide we will learn how to make cannabis butter with flower. Cannabis butter can be made with extracts as well. We will discuss this type of mixture in a future post, but today we are focusing on infusing butter with dry herb cannabis.    The cannabis butter made can be used as a substitute for regular butter in any cooking or baking recipe. Butter is used in a wide variety of foods so this infusion will be extremely versatile.  

And as a word of advice, always be cautious not to overindulge when ingesting edibles. Start small and wait about an hour and a half before you think about eating more. Overindulging can ruin the experience, perhaps causing paranoia.  Begin using lower dosages and increase incrementally to find the serving size right for you. A 5-10 mg THC dose is effective to use as a baseline to hone in on your ‘sweet spot’.  Everybody reacts slightly different to edibles due to diet, metabolism and genetics—among other reasons.

Edibles take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to be digested, but the duration of the effects may last upwards of 8-12 hours.  The length of duration depends on the serving size and the individual. The guide today will provide a potency figure for the batch. But remember, once the ingestible reaches the digestive system there is no turning back. With that being said, as long as the proper dosage is taken, the ride will certainly be enjoyable.  

 

Materials Needed:

 

  • 1 oz. of coarsely ground, decarboxylated cannabis (we’ll discuss the decarboxylation process)
  • 2 cups of butter (4 sticks)
  • Crockpot
  • Cheesecloth
  • Strainer
  • Baking dish (deep enough to hold the plant material and butter and small enough to fit in the crockpot)
  • Glass bowl
  • Oven Mitts

 

 

Decarboxylation

Before we learn how to make the cannabis infused butter, we must decarboxylate the plant material.  Decarboxylation will activate or ‘prime’ the cannabis to make it bioavailable when ingested. Decarboxylation requires heat to remove the acid from the THC-A, CBD-A and CBC-A, among other cannabinoids—what is left is THC, CBD and CBC, respectively.  When the acid is attached to cannabinoids they are not bioavailable and don’t provide the desired effects. We manually decarboxylate cannabis when smoking it, with the heat source being a lighter, removing the acidic molecules. Prior to preparing any form of ingestible cannabis, decarboxylation is necessary.

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Once preheated, spread finely ground cannabis evenly across a baking tray lined with parchment paper in the oven (make sure the cannabis is spread out—the more surface area of flower the heat can reach the better off)  
  3. Let the cannabis decarboxylate in the oven for 30 minutes
  4. Take the tray out of the oven and let the freshly decarboxylated cannabis cool down for 15 minutes (the ground cannabis should be dry and brown in color)
  5. BAM!  That’s it.  Now your cannabis is activated and ready to infuse into ingestibles.

  

 ***Pro Tip:  Save all your vaporized flower.  With ingestibles it can be used in place of fresh cannabis that is decarboxylated.  Heating the bud in a vaporizer is very similar to decarboxylating in an oven. The THC-A loses its acid and becomes THC, which is then psychoactive.  THC starts to change to CBN at 215℉. When the THC is overheated it transforms to CBN. CBN is the ‘great value’ version of THC. It is mildly psychoactive and excellent as a sleep aid.  Differing ratios of THC/CBN will determine the effects provided. Vaporized marijuana is recyclable with edible infusions.

 

 

Now back to the cannabutter!

 

Prepare by following these steps:

  1. Preheat the crockpot to the lowest setting, roughly 200℉ (low and slow is the most effective method)

 

       2. Place decarboxylated flower and butter in  the deep baking dish and then set in                 the crockpot.  Put the lid back on the crockpot.

 

       3. Let the dish heat in the crockpot for 6-8 hours.  Mix every hour to maximize the                 surface area that the fat molecules of butter can bind to. (If cooked longer, THC             transforms further to CBN, which creates a sedative effect—this may be the                         desired result)

 

       4. Now we’ll need the cheesecloth, strainer and glass bowl.  Lay two perpendicular                 sheets of cheesecloth in the strainer.  Then set the strainer over the glass bowl.             (make sure no holes are wide enough in the cheesecloth for the flower to pass                   through)

 

       5. Once the time is up give the butter and herb mixture one last stir.  Wearing oven             mitts, take the dish out of the crockpot.  Pour the liquified butter and bud mixture             into the strainer.  Let the butter drip through the cheesecloth and strainer into             the glass bowl. Press down onto the herb with the flat end of a spoon to maximize the butter drained from the flower.

 

        6. Leave the the strainer over the bowl for 20 minutes.  After the soaked cannabis is              cool enough, bind all four ends of the cheesecloth as one and twist at the top                so no herb falls out.  Squeeze this cheesecloth-sack over the glass bowl. This will take some patience and effort to seep the liquid butter out of the cloth.  The extra butter strained will make the infusion more potent(There is more liquid butter remaining in the cheesecloth ball than expected—keep on squeezing!).

 

         7. That’s it! Cover the glass bowl with tin foil.  Once cooled, the butter will be                       ready to  cooked or baked with immediately.  Store the butter in a                         refrigerator for a shorter lifespan and freezer for an extended expiration date.  Each fourth of butter will contain ≅1050 mg THC/CBN  (one fourth of the bowl is equal to 1 stick  of butter)

 

           8. Figuring out the potency in an infusion will require some math.  Divide the mg                 content of the butter by the serving size of the recipe to arrive at the potency of THC/CBN per each portion.  [For example if a brownie recipe calls for 4 sticks of butter and yields 84 servings, each brownie will contain 50  mg THC/CBN.  4,200mg (four sticks of butter) / 84 servings = 50 mg/serving]

 

            9. Enjoy! (Start with an extremely small serving—5 mg to 10 mg—and move up  incrementally from there once familiar with the effects received)

 

Closing Remarks

Above is a simple crockpot method of making cannabutter.  Edibles are another way to administer cannabis. It utilizes the digestive system to release the cannabinoids into the bloodstream.  Whereas when marijuana is smoked/vaporized, the lungs are responsible for the entrance of cannabinoids into the circulatory system. The onset of effects when marijuana is smoked or vaporized is 5 to 15 minutes.  On the contrary, edibles take 45 minutes to 2 hours to produce an effect. The effects also last for much longer. Due to digestion, the effects may last anywhere from 8-12 hours. Find the serving size that works best for you! 

Background

Author of “Beyond Buds: Marijuana Extracts”, Ed Rosenthal, is a leading cannabis horticulture authority, educator, social activist and marijuana legalization pioneer.  The laws and progression in the world of cannabis would not be what they are today if it wasn’t for this man.  He works diligently to eliminate the negative stigma attached to the marijuana plant. Ed Rosenthal believes in cannabis wholeheartedly, and makes his voice heard across the world.  Mr. Rosenthal has written a multitude of cannabis-related books.  In 1985, he published “Marijuana Grower’s Handbook: Your Complete Guide”.  With his expertise in the field, Ed shares to the reader how to grow a perfect marijuana plant.  His guide is conveyed in such a simplistic, yet thorough way, and can be utilized by an experienced grower as reference—and also for individuals with novice knowledge who desire to grow his/her first marijuana plant.  From seed to harvest, Ed will walk the reader through the necessary steps to cultivate a flourishing cannabis plant, tailored to an individual’s needs and growing situation.  Hence why Marijuana Grower’s Handbook is a required textbook for Oaksterdam University, America’s first cannabis college.  We will delve deeper into the concepts of this book in a separate narrative, but that is beyond the scope of this analysis.

Recently in 2018, Ed Rosenthal published another book, “Beyond Buds, The Next Generation: Marijuana Concentrates”.  This piece of literature ‘piggy-backs’ the information and topics discussed in Beyond Buds: Marijuana Extracts”—the book in which we will go into detail on today.  “Beyond Buds: Marijuana Extracts” was written in 2014.  As the “Marijuana Grower’s Handbook” discusses the marijuana flower (buds), Mr. Rosenthal proceeds his examination of the plant, going a step further beyond buds.  If an individual is eager to learn more about the cannabis plant and its wide variety of administration capabilities that extend beyond combusting the plant material, then Beyond Buds is the go-to piece of literature.  Beyond Buds will give the answer to all of your marijuana extract questions, as we will learn by the end of this analysis.  “Beyond Buds” by Ed Rosenthal explains in-depth a range of topics pertaining to marijuana extracts—including but not limited to—hash, dabbing, and edibles.  He provides an abundance of applicable information on these complex subjects, in an extremely thorough, yet simplistic manner.

Ed breaks the book up into five major sections: Hash, Vaping, Dabbing, Edibles and Medicines.  Before we go further, it is imperative to understand that most of the the effects provided by the cannabis plant are not due to the plant material, but from the glandular bulbs encompassed inside of and surrounding the plant matter.  Fan leaves possess 1% to 3% of the THC content in the whole plant, and trim leaves hold 2% to 6% of the total THC content. Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, is the main psychoactive cannabinoid present in marijuana. THC is what induces the ‘high’ feeling when marijuana is smoked, vaporized or ingested.  These glandular bulbs in cannabis—also known as trichomes, kief or resin glands— are used by the plant as a defensive mechanism from pests. They contain THC, other cannabinoids and terpenes—the compounds responsible for the effects produced when consuming marijuana.

 

What is Hash?

Hash is the resin collected from the flowers of the marijuana plant.  When heated, hash is more potent than smoking marijuana flower Ed walks the reader through various forms of separating kief from the flower, beginning with proper selection and collection of plant material.  He then describes in detail three methods of engineering hash: Kief/Dry Sift, Water Hash and Advanced Hash.  “Kief, also known as ‘Dry Sift’ is composed of the unpressed glands scraped from dried mature flowers using a screen.  It is very popular because it is easily gleaned from leaves and trim. Kief is the easiest marijuana product you can make.” (Beyond Buds p. 13).  Mr. Rosenthal presents meticulously three dry sIft techniques: Manual Screening, Machine Screening and the Dry Ice method.  Following the exploration into kief/dry sIft is the water hash approach. “Water hash is a favorite method of making concentrates all over the world.  Its name comes from the efficient process that is used to collect glands from the trim, leaf, and bud bits.” (Beyond Buds p. 31).  In this section, he discusses the water hash basics, various methods of making water hash, and how you can make it at home.  Advanced hash is detailed next in Beyond Buds.  “Concentrated cannabis may be the future of marijuana as a medicine and as a recreational substance.  You’ve read about how water and ice can be used to mechanically separate trichomes from the plant, and filters can concentrate the glands into unpressed hash.  Now you’ll see these processes are further refined using machinery and tighter control of temperature and humidity to yield the strongest nonsolvent concentrates.” (Beyond Buds p. 49).  These latter techniques are geared toward more astute individuals in the world of cannabis, but certainly can be perfected by beginners through sufficient practice and with proper equipment.  Hash is only one method of consuming cannabis. Ed continues his discussion by delving into vaporizers.

 

Vaporizing Cannabis

Vaporizing cannabis is more efficient than smoking because nothing goes to waste.  When combusting marijuana, the extreme temperature introduced to the plant material’s glandular bulbs may destroy their properties.  Whereas when vaporizing, the temperature is precisely hot enough to evaporate the resin, while still keeping its properties intact.  That’s not to say smoking cannabis isn’t effective, as it certainly is, but vaporizing the flower is more efficient.  “Vaporization is a fantastic innovation based on the principle of evaporation.  The temperature at which THC and other cannabinoids evaporate is lower than the temperature at which plant material burns. Vaporizers heat marijuana to the point where volatile THC and terpenes evaporate, but below the temperature at which plant material burns.” (Beyond Buds p. 65).  In this chapter Ed describes various devices used for vaporization.   Numerous handheld devices, desktop vaporizers, portable devices and vape pens are all discussed here.  Next up on Ed’s list in Beyond Buds is dabbing.

 

What is Dabbing?

Dabbing takes the efficiency of vaporization flower to another level.  “Dabbing is the act of vaporizing concentrated cannabis.  Most often people use special pipes designed or modified to consume concentrated cannabis products.  The term “dabbing” presumably comes from the tiny amount (“dab”) of concentrate needed for a single dose.” (Beyond Buds p. 95).  One way of comparing the effects produced from concentrated cannabis to marijuana flower would be comparing it to a shot of liquor and a beer.  The shot, or dab, is much more potent due to its higher concentration—whereas a beer or bowl of marijuana flower—is less concentrated, so more volume needs to be consumed to match the potency to that of a shot or dab.  Don’t worry, Mr. Rosenthal will guide you through all the ‘ins and outs’ of the dabbing world.  He will also walk the reader through different methods of these marijuana extracts, such as: the butane extraction technique and CO2 extraction method, and differentiate between the byproduct each procedure yields.  Next up on Ed Rosenthal’s marijuana administration application checklist are consumables.

 

Ingesting Marijuana

There is a wide range of ways to ingest marijuana.  Tinctures, edibles, and capsules are all popular methods.    “Before cannabis prohibition tinctures were the most common way of buying and consuming marijuana in America.  Recently, they’ve been making a comeback.” (Beyond Buds p. 147).  Tinctures are drops that are placed under the tongue, utilizing the sublingual glands’ rapid absorption rate.  They can be made by using vegetable glycerin or alcohol as the carrier method for the concentrated cannabis, both of which will be detailed in depth in this book.  Tinctures are arguably the simplest way to consume cannabis—drops go under the tongue—and about 15 to 20 minutes afterwards the effects are provided. Tincture absorption rates differ from that of a capsule because tinctures enter the bloodstream via the mucous membranes in the mouth and upper throat and do not pass through the digestive system.  Capsules, another form of ingesting cannabis, do not employ the sublingual glands, but rather are absorbed via the digestive system in the body.  They can be viewed somewhat as an ‘extended release’ method of consumption.  Depending on the individual, after ingesting a capsule the onset of effects take 30 minutes to upwards of 2 hours to have the effects felt.  Ed discusses how to make capsules and what to expect from them.  Capsules and edibles are very similar, especially when considering the absorption rate of each—both of which must pass through the digestive system.  Capsules and edibles are methods of consuming cannabis that bear the most longevity, with effects lasting  4 to 8 hours after the onset of release—and sometimes up to 12 hours. On the contrary, when smoking or vaporizing cannabis, the ‘high’ lasts for 2 to maybe 4 hours, depending on the potency of THC and and also the individual.  Mr. Rosenthal chronicles the preparation, recipes and usage pertaining to edibles, devoting a chapter of his book to this method of consumption.  He will instruct the reader how to make cannabis butter for edibles, sharing some scrumptious dessert and entree recipes along the way. (For example, Ganja Guacamole, how delicious does that sound?)  

 

Medicine

Unfortunately for the reader, Beyond Buds has to end somewhere. Ed decides to finish the book on a high note with a discussion on marijuana medicine, focusing on topical uses of the plant. (As a friendly reminder any of the uses of marijuana described in this book can be used as a guide for a medical patient—it really comes down to preference for the individual.)  Cannabis topical solutions are used as more of a ‘spot-specific’ treatment method.  They are applied directly to the area of arthritis, pain and/or inflammation, and they skip liver metabolization, so there won’t be any psychoactive effect produced from a cannabis salve   “Marijuana’s active ingredients—cannabinoids and terpenoid essential oils—are absorbed through the skin for direct therapeutic effect.” (Beyond Buds p. 199).  Salves, lotions and other topical solutions are detailed throughout this last chapter.  Ed gives examples of each kind and explains how topical methods work.  The final page of Beyond Buds is dedicated to Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), a form of cannabis oil used to eliminate skin cancer and administered for other serious medicinal purposes.

 

Conclusion

If an individual holds any uncertainty regarding marijuana extracts, Beyond Buds will clear the confusion for the reader.  Whether having novice level knowledge and experience with marijuana, or as an expert of cannabis—and everything in between—this book will enlighten the reader.  Ed Rosenthal is surely a trusted source of information for cannabis.  This man eats, sleeps and breathes cannabis, and has been doing it for the past 30 years. From serving as a columnist of High Times Magazine in the 1980s to being arrested in 2002 for the cultivation of cannabis by federal authorities—and having his charges dropped—he believes in marijuana.  As a master grower, pioneer of the cannabis movement, and activist of the plant, he knows a thing or two about marijuana to say the least.  Experience pays, and Ed shares his first-hand experiences and expertise in a simple, yet thorough manner. Beyond Buds: Marijuana Extracts”  by Ed Rosenthal is certainly a must read for all cannabis enthusiasts!

In this step-by-step guide, we will learn how to make a cannabis tincture using alcohol as the base liquid.  

Tinctures are solely one application method of administering cannabis. Smoking, vaping, capsules, edibles and topical solutions, among others, are different application methods.  Each form produces unique effects specific to the type of administration method used. The versatility of cannabis is one of the beautiful things about the plant. Right now we will focus on tinctures.  Tinctures are a concentrated extract of any herb in liquid. They are applied sublingually (dropped under the tongue) and absorb very quickly into the bloodstream via the mucous membranes in the mouth and upper throat. Within 15-20 minutes of dropping the liquid under the tongue, the effects are felt.  With cannabis, the carrier liquid is usually alcohol or glycerin.

Today, we will learn how to make a tincture using alcohol. Ideally, tinctures are dropped under the tongue for the most rapid absorption, but infusing them in dressings, sauces, and drinks are extremely common and effective as well.

 

Materials Needed:

  • Mason Jar (size does not necessarily matter as long as the ground cannabis and alcohol mixture does not exceed ¾ of the jar’s capacity)
  • 14 grams of coarsely ground, decarboxylated cannabis (we will go over how to decarboxylate the marijuana)
  • 3 fluid ounces of Grain Alcohol (or the highest proof unflavored alcohol you can find- Bacardi 151 works fine)  
  • Freezer
  • Cheesecloth
  • Rubber Band
  • Opaque Bottle with dropper
  • Glass Bowl

Before we get started, we will need to decarboxylate the cannabis in an oven.  Decarboxylation will activate or ‘prime’ the cannabis to make it bioavailable when ingested.   Decarboxylation requires heat to remove the acid from the THC-A, CBD-A and CBC-A, among other cannabinoids—what is left is THC, CBD and CBC, respectively.  When the acid is attached to cannabinoids they are not bioavailable and don’t provide the desired effects. We manually decarboxylate cannabis when smoking it, with the heat source being a lighter, removing the acidic molecules.  Prior to preparing any form of ingestible cannabis, decarboxylation is necessary.

Follow these steps to decarboxylate cannabis:

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Once preheated, spread finely ground cannabis evenly across a baking tray lined with parchment paper in the oven (make sure the cannabis is spread out—the more surface area of flower the heat can reach the better off)  
  3. Let the cannabis decarboxylate in the oven for 30 minutes
  4. Take the tray out of the oven and let the freshly decarboxylated cannabis cool down for 15 minutes (the ground cannabis should be dry and brown in color)
  5. BAM!  That’s it.  Now your cannabis is activated and ready to infuse into ingestibles.

Now back to the tincture!

 

Step 1:  Place decarboxylated cannabis and grain alcohol into mason jar and close the lid

 

Step 2:  Shake vigorously for five minutes (make sure lid is on tight!!)

 

Step 3:  Keep mason jar in freezer for two weeks (shake intensely for five minutes, twice a day)

 

Step 4:  After two weeks, take the mason jar filled with the liquid mixture out of the freezer.  We will need the cheesecloth and rubber band for the next step.

 

Step 5:   Take the lid off the mason jar and lay two layers of cheesecloth across the opening of the jar.  Then fasten the cheesecloth to the mouth of jar with a rubber band.

 

Step 6:  Turn the mason jar upside down over a glass bowl and let the liquid strain into the bowl.  Take the rubber band off the jar while keeping the ground cannabis wrapped in the cheesecloth.  Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the cheesecloth filled with the ground cannabis (PS.. There is more liquid than you think. Squeeze, squeeze and squeeze some more!)  Be careful that none of the ground cannabis falls into the bowl with the liquid.

 

Step 7:  Fill your opaque bottle with your freshly made tincture (any bottle will do but light will start to degrade the cannabinoids if the bottle is clear—so opaque works best!)

 

Step 8:  Find the dosage that works for you.  Always start small and move up incrementally until the desired effects are produced.

 

Step 9: Enjoy!

There you have it folks.  That is how to make your own alcohol-based cannabis tincture at home.  Pretty simple, right? (extremely effective too!)  Store in a cool, dark place for optimal shelf life.  (a refrigerator or freezer will work fine)  And don’t forget step 9!!

CBD has been a popular topic in the news and mainstream media lately.  This type of adoption is a positive for the progression of the cannabis movement.  But what’s the difference between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate?

 

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is the second most abundant cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, after tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.  CBD provides a wide array of benefits—ranging from helping to treat chronic pain, to aiding people suffering from insomnia, and relieving migraines as well—CBD works to restore the body’s balance.   Yes, CBD can be extracted from the cannabis plant, but the CBD on the market right now is, surprisingly, not made from marijuana. So one may ask what is the source of extraction for all the CBD products that are currently widely available?  You got it. Hemp. Yes, hemp. But what is hemp?

 

Hemp is the brother of marijuana—with marijuana being the sister plant.  Hemp and marijuana exist from the same mother plant, Cannabis Sativa L.  Hemp and marijuana share the exact genetic makeup, except for the arrangement of one tiny atom, which is a microscopic difference.  All we need to know for now is that the main difference between hemp and cannabis is the percentage of THC in each plant. Any cannabis plant with less than .3% THC is considered hemp.  The Farm Bill Act of 2018 in the United States legalizes commercial production of hemp across the nation. We will delve deeper into the similarities and differences of the hemp and marijuana plants, as well as CBD and THC, in a separate composition, but that is beyond the scope of this article.  

 

Full Spectrum versus Isolate

For now, we will differentiate between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate.  The CBD products being sold in stores currently are labeled as either Full Spectrum CBD or CBD Isolate.  But what’s the difference? I thought all CBD products were created equal, right? Wrong. Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate affect the body extremely similarly, but certainly not identically.  If you are still uncertain, then worry no more, you are at the right place. We will settle the confusion between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate once and for all within this article.

 

What’s the Difference?

The difference lies in: a) the extraction process of the hemp plant, and, b) effects produced from the differing byproducts .  Both Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate are extracted from hemp, but the ways in which they arrive in their final form is where they contrast.   Let’s start with Full Spectrum CBD.  As seen in the name, it is just that, full spectrum.  How about we break down the term? Full is defined as ‘not lacking’ and spectrum meaning ‘a wide range’.  Hence, Full Spectrum CBD contains all of the compounds found in the plant matter. The most common method of separating the compounds (cannabinoids and terpenes) from the plant is via CO2 extraction.  The CO2 extraction process utilizes pressurized carbon dioxide, at specific temperatures, to separate the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant material. The byproduct of this procedure is what is known as Full Spectrum CBD.  But what are terpenes and what do they have to do with anything?

 

Terpenes are found in the essential oils of plants.  Hemp and cannabis contain terpenes, but terpenes are also found in many other plants throughout nature—such as conifers and citrus trees.  They are responsible for the aroma of the hemp and cannabis plants (and lemons too). Each plant possesses its own terpene profile. Moreover, terpenes increase the rate and amount of cannabinoids that cross the blood brain barrier.  When the quantity of cannabinoids and terpenes reaching the brain increases, the effects produced increase as well.   The unique combination of terpenes and cannabinoids comprised in the hemp plant enhances the properties of the cannabinoid CBD.  There are over !00 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. CBD is one of the most abundant cannabinoids found in hemp, Additional cannabinoids, such as THC, CBG, CBN and CBC, provide unique effects and benefits on their own.  Most cannabinoids, other than THC, are largely non-psychoactive. Cannabinoids and terpenes work synergistically together, meaning when combined—they enhance the properties of each other. Because hemp contains up to .3% THC, Full Spectrum CBD may contain .3% THC also.  The miniscule percentage of THC is not nearly enough to produce a psychoactive effect, or ‘high’ feeling, but it surely intensifies CBD’s effects. This synergistic effect from the specific blend of cannabinoids and terpenes is known as the ‘entourage effect’.  Full Spectrum CBD is the most effective method of using CBD.  So what is CBD Isolate then? Is it not effective?

 

First of all, CBD Isolate provides many similar benefits as Full Spectrum CBD.  Our bodies recognize CBD as CBD. The difference is in a) the extraction, and, b) lacking of the entourage effect.  Let’s break down the term CBD Isolate.  CBD is cannabidiol as we’ve learned, and Isolate means ‘to set apart’.  CBD Isolate is the separated form of CBD, isolated from all of the other cannabinoids and terpenes.  

 

The extraction process is believe it or not the same, but instead of the process finishing as Full Spectrum CBD, this method includes further steps.  The first step following extraction is called the purification process. During purification, non-CBD compounds (cannabinoids and terpenes) are filtered away from CBD.  Winterization follows the purification process. Winterization removes any oils, waxes or plant matter not separated during filtration. Upon completion of the winterization process, a white crystalline powder remains.  This isolated byproduct is known as CBD Isolate. CBD isolate is 99% pure CBD and is THC-free.  CBD Isolate does not contain other cannabinoids or terpenes either—a major distinction between CBD Isolate and Full Spectrum CBD.  CBD Isolate is the go-to for an individual who requires a ‘drug test’ for his/her profession. The trace amount of THC found in Full Spectrum CBD is possible to be detected in a urine analysis.  It is unlikely, but depending on the dosage and individual, there is a chance. As each person’s body is unique—due to varying diets, metabolisms and absorption rates—there’s no definitive answer if the amount of THC will be detectable or not.  This reality scares a certain group of people away from Full Spectrum CBD products. CBD Isolate does not contain THC, the cannabinoid causing urine samples to test positive. Many people attest CBD Isolate is superior to Full Spectrum CBD. Science says otherwise, as the entourage effect is a proven fact.  As stated earlier, our bodies recognize CBD as CBD—but when CBD is paired with terpenes and cannabinoids, the effects are exasperated.

Making Connections

How about we view Full Spectrum CBD, CBD Isolate and the entourage effect in a different light?  For this example we will substitute a cookie for CBD Isolate and milk in place of the cannabinoid and terpene composition in Full Spectrum CBD.  Cookies are many folks favorite dessert choice. Indeed, a cookie is delicious when eaten alone. But have you ever dipped a cookie in milk? Personally, I didn’t think anything could taste better than a cookie until I dipped a cookie in milk.  The milk, and dairy encompassed in the milk, enhance the taste of the cookie. The enrichment of flavor from dipping a cookie in milk, rather than eating a cookie by itself, is synonymous to the entourage effect in Full Spectrum CBD versus CBD Isolate.

 

Final Remarks

Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate are very closely related, but as we’ve learned, they are not the same thing. Both Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate are neuroprotectants, antioxidants, will help treat chronic pain, anxiety—and the list continues.  CBD’s beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My advice is to try them both. Ingest a Full Spectrum CBD product one day and observe how you feel.  On a different day, consume the same exact dosage of a CBD Isolate product and take note of the effects. Discover which type of CBD works best for you.  

To summarize what we’ve discussed—Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate are extracted from hemp—but CBD Isolate takes the extraction process a step further.  The entourage effect is evident in Full Spectrum CBD but not with CBD Isolate.  Both Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate are non-addictive, 100% natural and not psychoactive.  Now, if somebody asks what the difference between Full Spectrum and CBD Isolate is, you will be able to enlighten him/her.  But no matter what, be sure to enjoy whichever form of CBD that fits into your lifestyle!! (ps: if you’ve never dipped a cookie in milk, I would highly recommend it)