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Using Your Still to Make Flower
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|How To Make Medical Marijuana Oils
If you can't smoke or chose not to smoke, you can still get the benefits
of ingesting medical marijuana by producing and ingesting marijuana oil.
A policy statement has been issued by the American College of Physicians
(ACP) endorsing the use of
medical marijuana. The group that studied the positive link between
marijuana and cancer urged
the government to annul their ban on
treatments. ACP, upon obtaining results from their study on
marijuana and cancer, had
encouraged the use of non-smoked forms of THC, which have proven to be a
therapeutic cure to diseases. The group, which is based in Philadelphia
and the second largest group of doctors in U.S. had cited different
cancer treatment. The doctors had acknowledged medical applications
such as vomiting and treating nausea associated with cancer patients
undergoing chemotherapy and treating sever weight loss associated with
AIDS and other illnesses.
Hemp oil has been recognized as one of the most beneficial substances
throughout history. It has been considered as food to malnourished
people because of its high essential fatty acid content as well as its
omega3 to omega6 ratio. The hemp plant has been used in medicinal teas
and elixirs due to its healing compounds. Thus, medical science today
has been favoring such compounds as its active substances.
Drying reduces the amount of oil in each plant, but can greatly increase
your yield per batch because you will be able to fit more material into
each batch. Drying should be done slowly and NOT in direct sunlight. You
can choose not to dry your plant material. Commercially plants such as
lavender and peppermint may be allowed to dry in the field after cutting
for a day or so. The ideal drying method varies from plant to plant, but
in general you should not overheat the plants - drying in the shade or
even in a dark room minimizes the oil lost - you should not over dry
them, and you must not allow the plants to become wet again before
distillation. Distill as soon as possible after drying.
Add water to the tank of your still. Use clean water,
ideally filtered or distilled and as soft as possible. If you're using a
manufactured still, follow the manufacturer's direction. Otherwise,
simply make sure you have enough water in the still to complete the
distillation; depending on the plant and on the quantity, distillation
can take anywhere from a half-hour to six hours or more after the water
boils. Be sure that the water level is close to, but not touching, the
false bottom that will hold the plant material. If you are performing a
hydro distillation (this is useful for delicate flowers or powdered
roots, bark or wood), you will need to have your plant material free
floating IN the water.
Add your plant material and pack it tightly in the still.
You do not need to chop or cut the plant material, and doing so will
cause you to lose some of the oils. The plant material should rest on
the false bottom or grate above the water and should touch the sides of
the still as little as possible. The layer of plant material can be
quite thick as long as it is below the steam outlet (a couple inches
below the outlet for a small still, a foot below for a large one).
Close the still and boil the water. Most plants will
release their essential oils at 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees
Fahrenheit, the normal boiling point of water.
Keep an eye on the still. After a while the
distillate should begin to come through your condenser and into your
separator. NOTE: YOU DO NOT NECESSARILY HAVE TO HAVE A SEPARATOR (ADDED
EXPENSE UNLESS YOU ARE COMMERCIALLY PRODUCING OILS) The oil and hydrosol
in the finished product can be siphoned off with a dropper or pipette.
The process should be fairly hands-off, but you will want to ensure that
you do not run out of water in your still. Depending on the length of
the distillation process, you may also need to change the water in the
condenser so that the cooling process continues to work. Follow the
instructions for the particular plant you are distilling.
Filter the collected oil (optional). Once your
distillation is complete you may filter the oil through cheesecloth or
similar dry cotton fabric. Ensure that the cloth is dry and
clean - detergent residues as well as dirt can contaminate the oil.
Pour the oil into a container for storage. Do this as
quickly as possible. Most essential oils can be kept for at least two
years, but some have extraordinary shelf lives. To maximize the useful
life of your oil, keep it in a dark glass bottle or stainless steel
container. Use a clean funnel to pour the oil into the container, and
make sure the container is impeccably clean before pouring the oil into
it. Store in a cool, dark place.
Decide what to do with the hydrosol. The distillation
process produces the essential oil and a hydrosol, the term for
the water that has been distilled and which collects in the separator.
Some hydrosols are usable themselves - rose water or lavender water, for
example. If you do not wish to save the hydrosol you can pour it into
the still for the next batch (if you will be distilling another batch
immediately) or you can discard it.