Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cannabis Tincture/Oil Recipe

This piece is in memory of Cash Hyde, a little boy from Montana who has been in the news because he responded well to cannabis tincture and oil.  Sadly he has died of the cancer his family fought so hard to cure--while enduring nothing but hassles and threats from our government.  

AMERICA! WAKE THE F UP! Cannabis is ancient medicine that is proving effective against a wide range of ailments, including cancer.  Here's how to make this medicine in the privacy of your own lives.



Tincture/oil making instructions for home growers


Ingredients:  1 pound dried flower room trim and about 3-4 liters of grain alcohol

Step 1:  Dry.  Spread out and dry quickly to avoid mold.  The quality of the extract, including flavor and effect, relates to the amount of top-bud in the mix.  However, lower-tier inputs (just trim, vaporized shake, shake, etc) are just fine and can be adjusted for.  

Step 2: Bake.  Spread one layer at a time on sheet pans. Checking with an oven thermometer, 'decarboxilate' at 310 degrees for 7 minutes.

Step 3a: SAFE & LOW METHOD: Soak the decarbed green material in grain alcohol for 10-14 days; agitate daily.

Step 3b: FAST AND SOMEWHAT DANGEROUS METHOD: Boil. Mix the trim with grain alcohol until well-soaked and sitting slightly under the liquid line.  Absorbtion rates vary so it may take more or less alcohol.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes in a pot that either reconstitutes the alcohol (a still) or is rigged to prevent too much boil off during this first step.  DANGER!!!  THE DENSE HOT VAPOR IS EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE AND CAN BUILD UP IN CLOSED AREAS WITH EXPLOSIVE CONSEQUENCES.  USE A FAN TO DISPERSE FUMES AND DON’T SMOKE ANYTHING NEARBY.
Step 4: Strain through cheesecloth.  To prevent a potentially unpleasant overdose, wear gloves. This straight medicinal extract is called menstrum.  For most patients this lighter strength tincture requires too many drops (too much alcohol) to work for them as a medicine.

Step 5: Reduce.  Using a smaller French press seated in a pot of simmering water, bring the base to a vigorous bowl. For green dragon tincture with a dosage range of 3 to 10 drops, reduce the menstrum to 10-14 fluid ounces.  For lower-tier inputs (just trim no flowers) reduce to 8 to 10 fluid ounces. See fire caution above!

Step 6: Titrate (test)  A critical step is to determine your personal potency.  Try 3-5 drops and see how you feel in an hour. If the effect is light or not at all, wait an hour and test 5-8 drops. Repeat until you've determined your dose. No need to rush. If ten drops does nothing for you, reduce further (see step 5). Invite patients and others to test the results as well but keep in mind the effect is unique for everyone; 3 drops can feel plenty strong for a big guy while his girlfriend may feel nothing from 10 or more.

Step 7: Bottle. Tincture must be warmed up for pouring into dropper bottles. Again the French presses with metal footings are great for this since they have sharp pouring spouts.

Note to sellers and gifters: This medicine is unknown to many so use informative wraps and packaging that can show and tell the truth.  Prohibition propaganda is a war of words and images.  Fight back in kind.
FOR OIL:  Fill a small glass votive candle holder with 4X reduction tincture (yield from 1# dry inputs ~4 oz).  Set aside or gently heat to evaporate all the remaining alcohol.  Use a wood stirrer from Starbucks to dip out a rice grain size dose.


Bandit boil in the shadows of the Great Prohibition. Rhode Island, 2010

Oh, I nearly forgot the Disclaimer: This material is presented for entertainment purposes only.  The medicinal flower that must not be named is illegal in most areas and deemed not fit for human consumption.  Our government tells us what we are permitted to use for medicine and we ought to follow those rules since they have our best interests in mind.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lights! Camera! Cannabis!

In print and on screens large and small, we the people of this planet receive a steady dose of time-tested cannabis war propaganda that runs so deep that Westernized citizens distrust plant medicines, consume pills and alcohol to excess, and believe restoring the right to choose cannabis is a fringe issue orchestrated by stoners.  On the economic front, Washington drug warriors are sending in their troops to slow down and disrupt a growing enterprise frontier they say doesn’t exist.

What mainstream Americans don’t know about cannabis is hurting us all, and film makers are in a unique position to help.  As Mr. Gore demonstrated with his engaging documentary on climate change, the most effective way to get the attention of the masses is with compelling entertainment that delivers the truth—inconvenient or otherwise—in a manner that gets them to see why they should care. 

In light of the burden of installed negative perceptions and associations going back generations, cannabis truths are best delivered in small doses and within the lives of authentic characters.  Woven into the fabric of a scene like a pack of smokes or a cold one, fleeting images of regular folks making therapeutic use of cannabis in the privacy of their own lives could have an enormous impact on audiences raised to turn away and just say no. 
Truth Defines Character

Throughout the world cannabis is returning to its rightful place as a garden flower remedy with a sense of humor; exotic, sexy, inexpensive, effective, safe and easily to grow.  Fortunately for film makers, the lives of prohibition-era cannabis characters are often filled with danger, conflict and contradiction.

Patients are on the front lines of the long cultural migration back to natural remedies; treating themselves, exploring formulations, sharing strains and recipes.  Sources of conflict include disapproving friends and family members who insist they want what’s best for the patient, church, social and community groups that support the war on cannabis, disreputable suppliers, 'drug free' environments, legal entanglements, drug war invasions, and healthcare provider threats and actions, including refusal of treatment and transplant denials.

Medicinal Growers:  Seed masters and master growers of medicinal grade cannabis are a special breed of pioneer.  Their passion to explore and share is changing the face of healthcare one strain at a time.  Guys love hobbies and competitive sports, and this male-dominated field boasts a colorful cast of braggarts, botanists, tinkerers, black marketers and patients—all working to cultivate, share and sell some of the finest green the world has ever known.  Get a group of growers in a room and invariably the conversation will get around to how much they love their ‘girls’ and the work they do.  Grower conflicts are similar to patients, with added concerns of flood, fire, power outages, mites, nutrient mix, sales, and home invasions by pot robbers.

Partiers:  Ancient Egyptian wall carvings of wild, drug-infused festivals remind us that young men and women have always enjoyed a good party.  Cannabis festivals are filled with young folks smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and toking a lot of weed.  Edibles and tinctures are making the scene as well.  Partiers use cannabis in the same way they consume legal drugs; typically in groups, and often to excess.  A central conflict in their lives is that their choices are often at odds with the new age traditions they claim to embrace.

Closet tokers are well-hidden, well-off cannabis aficionados who love great weed and devote a good deal of their free time to pursuing and enjoying medicinal grade strains.  These mature cannabis fans—from stiletto stoners to senior bakers—are very good at keeping their interests a secret.  Since cannabis use is all but legal in their upscale surroundings, conflicts stem from workplace, family and social expectations.  In New England, weed is viewed as a slacker drug of the lesser classes—fine for prep school, but if you’re a fifty-something professional with teens in the house, you’re up in the master bathroom blowing hits into a damp towel while your wife is downstairs greeting guests and pointing them to the bar. 
Enterprisers from all walks of life are finding steady income and creating new ventures in the cannabis trades; care givers, scientists, growers, educators, inventors, entrepreneurs, publishers…Conflicts stem from the risky realities of quasi-legal environments, new age need/hate relationships with money, stoned, unreliable workers, skittish investors, and disapproving friends and family.

Scene Selection
This is a passive aggressive approach to advocacy designed to deliver the truth in a way that is as subtle and crafty as drug war propaganda itself.  That means not every film will work, and the truth must occur in a flash and leave a lasting impression, like a wink from Marilyn, a Bette Davis pose.   To illustrate, here are some favorite films with a dash of cannabis truth.

The Shootist (1976)
Genre: Western

Message: Cannabis tincture was a popular and valued medicine in the 1800s.
Means:  In the wonderful You’ve got a cancer scene between the country doctor (Jimmy Stewart) and his dying patient (John Wayne), the doctor hands over the opium tincture (laudanum), and one other corked medicine bottle.  The cannabis tincture, he explains, will help a lot with sleep before the pain gets too bad.


The Beach (2000)
Genre: Adventure

Message: Cannabis is safe and serious medicine that individuals and intentional communities can make for themselves.
Means: As Sal guides the newest arrivals through the resort for people who hate resorts, she points to a device simmering with emerald green liquid.  A medicine maker is filling a cobalt dropper vial from a tiny brass spigot. 

Sal says, “Of course we make all our own medicines like cannabis oil, salves and this tincture…edibles too if you like...”
Later, during the tooth extraction scene, the patient is given a shot of scotch turned green with a squirt from the cobalt dropper vial.


Firefly (Joss Whedon’s single-season marvel; 2002)

Genre: Post-apocalyptic/post-prohibition
Message: Cannabis is medicine and prohibition is a war that will end.

Means: Introduce cannabis tincture as the medicinal treasure that it is.
Episode:  The Message

Scene:  The postal warehouse
In a brief delay while an attendant fetches the boxed body, the postal officer shows off a hot item he’s hoping Mac will take off his hands.  It’s a black metal suitcase.  Inside, protected by foam are rows of large cobalt blue dropper bottles.  The labels are English: Cannabis Tincture.  Mac is impressed. Jayne looks confused as the postal worker explains

“This is prohibition era tincture made on earth during the Cannabis Wars—around the turn of the 21st Century.. Very rare.  Probably still fine as medicine but worth more in the bottle.”
Mac nods; “Nice find but no thanks, we don’t meet up with too many collectors or museum types.”

As the black case is closed up and the body box arrives, Jayne still looks confused:
“Hold on a sec; cannabis was illegal?”


Kill Bill: Vol 2 (2004)

Genre: Action
Message: Cannabis tincture is liquid weed.

Means: In the fabulous trailer scene, Elle is watching from the couch as Budd blends a killer smoothie and slops it into a pair of jar glasses.  Now imagine that he reaches up into the cabinet for a tinted dropper vial.  He gives his jar two squirts and a swirl. 
Elle squints her eye at the deep green tint; “What was that shit?”

Budd shrugs; “It's cannabis tincture, liquid weed...takes the edge off...and you know, sometimes it makes me smile...”
She takes a long drag on her cigarette; “Yeah?  No thanks.”


The Descendants (2011)

Genre: Family drama
Message: The cannabis trades offer income and opportunity for struggling building contractors.

Means: In the scene introducing the cast of descendants, the narrator describes one as being an unemployed carpenter planning to use his share of the proceeds to move his family to a cannabis legal state where he plans to set himself up as a grow-room builder.

Let the Re-enculturation Begin!
Cannabis prohibition continues to be a supremely effective war of words and images, and the best defense against those dark arts is an equally crafty film response that doesn’t make waves before it gets to the theater; subtle medicinal tells, authentic patients treating themselves for common ailments, and broke-down Americans crawling out of the recession by way of the cannabis trades.  The battle to restore the right to choose and responsibly use cannabis is at the pain center of an arc that will play out like all modern freedom revolutions do; as the truth comes out, it gets on film, and the walls come down.


Related Articles: Cannabis in times of crisis



Carl Hedberg is a writer, speaker and cannabis use explorer.  The plan is to help film makers deliver historical and medicinal truths to mass audiences by way of big screen movies.  Twitter questions and comments @cannabisrising or visit Carl on Facebook (thefinestgreen).  This piece was adapted from earlier blogs.