As scientific research takes baby steps into the medicinal qualities of cannabis, we find the door opening to an infinite view of what this extremely powerful plant can do for our health.
There is now no question that cannabis can be used to treat and alleviate many of our ills.
What can we do with this knowledge? Why, make cannabis coconut oil of course!
Fortunately, the governments in North America are loosening restrictions on the medical use of marijuana based on recent research and it is becoming easier to obtain. If you can, get some, store it in a cool, dry, dark place, and use it when you need it.
How to Use Marijuana as Medicine
Combined with cold-pressed virgin coconut oil as a carrier, the possibilities for medical cannabis are almost limitless! Coconut oil in itself is a highly nutritious food and personal care salve.
Moisturizing and cleansing for the skin with antibacterials and antioxidants, coconut oil can also be used on hair to thicken and promote new growth. When eaten, it benefits every cell of your body. Coconut oil has been found to reduce “bad” cholesterol levels, boost metabolism, reduce inflammation and relieve pain, balance hormones, and promote brain and digestive health via its medium-chain fatty acids. It’s been found effective in combating depression and in killing cancer cells.
As a flavorful oil, it is a perfect versatile carrier for herbs and spices used medicinally.
Cannabis, on the other hand, has been used as a medicine for millennia to treat anxiety, asthma, pain, and nausea. One of its most important antioxidant effects is reducing inflammation in the body, which is always a precursor to illness and disease. Only in recent years has it been found that can be used for the treatment of Crohn’s disease and other immune system-related digestive disorders (like irritable bowel syndrome), cancer, post traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and more. It’s so potent because human cells contain receptors specifically for cannabinoids—even in the brain, with implications for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disease.
Cannabis & Coconut Oil: a Virtual Panacea
As with all plants, there are many varieties of cannabis.
Knowing which is best for your target treatment will help you to choose the appropriate one. The two most active phytochemicals in marijuana are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
How Coconut Oil Improves Absorption
Both CBD and THC are fat soluble, which is the main reason why coconut oil is an ideal delivery partner.
In short, coconut oil makes cannabis more bioavailable, which refers to the degree food nutrients are available for absorption and utilization in the body.
Coconut oil is especially effective when it comes to extracting THC due to its saturated fat content and is capable of absorbing a lot more cannabinoids than butter or other oils.
In addition, the saturated fat from coconut oil is made up mostly of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT), which are quickly metabolized by the body.
The Different Healing Properties of THC Vs. CBD
THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis, CBD is not.
Marijuana (Latin: cannabis sativa) strains high in THC are better for asthma, pain, nausea, digestive and sleep disorders, and glaucoma:
“Some cannabinoid agonists (WIN 55212-2, anandamide) have demonstrated, in experimental studies, to act as «ideal drugs» in the management of glaucoma, as they have been shown to have good tolerability after topical application, efficiently reduce intraocular pressure, and behave as neuroprotectors on retinal ganglion cells.” (1).
Higher concentrations of CBD have better results for the treatment of cancer, tumors, chronic pain, seizures, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and psychological and neurological disorders.
“CBD seems to offer natural protection against the marijuana high. Numerous studies suggest that CBD acts to reduce the intoxicating effects of THC, such as memory impairment and paranoia. CBD also appears to counteract the sleep-inducing effects of THC, which may explain why some strains of cannabis are known to increase alertness. Both CBD and THC have been found to present no risk of lethal overdose. However, to reduce potential side effects, medical users may be better off using cannabis with higher levels of CBD.”(2)
Sativa family flowers contain higher levels of CBD and the indica varieties are higher in THC. Raw cannabis is not psychoactive; heating it causes a chemical reaction in which the tetrahydrocannbinolic acid (THCA) in cannabis loses a carbon atom, forming THC. By decarboxlyating marijuana before use in a tincture, skin balm, or food, you transform the active ingredient to get its most protective effects; THC more readily attaches to cannabinoid receptors in the body than THCA.
Making coconut cannabis oil is easy; finding the right plant variety may require some experimentation, as everyone’s personal body chemistry is unique.
Regardless of which variety you choose, you are doing a good thing to support overall health.
It is interesting to note that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has held patents on “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants” for almost twenty years (3).
If you’re curious about wanting to give it a try, here’s a simple recipe.
Making Cannabis Coconut Oil
The first step in making this medicine is the process of decarboxylation—the chemistry term for heating marijuana to release its THC.
Preparing The Cannabis
Heating up your cannabis in a process called Decarboxylation actives the healing compounds in the cannabis.
- One ounce of cannabis buds
- Parchment paper
- A baking sheet
- Preheat the oven to 240°F/115°C.
- Break up the cannabis buds into smaller pieces with your hands.
- Spread a single layer on a parchment-lines rimmed baking sheet. The sheet should be covered with the marijuana with no empty spaces.
- Bake the cannabis 30-40 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes so that it toasts evenly.
- When the cannabis has dried and darkened in color to a light to medium brown, remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cannabis to cool. It should be crumbly when properly dried.
- In a food processor or blender, pulse the cannabis until it is coarsely ground (not a fine powder). Store it in an airtight glass container and use as needed to make your medicines.
Preparing the Oil
- 1 gram decarboxylated marijuana
- 1 ounce cold-pressed virgin coconut oil
(Amounts can be adjusted to this ratio.)
- Place measured crushed marijuana in a sturdy glass jar and add coconut oil. Tightly fit the jar’s lid and place in a saucepan full of water.
- Slowly heat the water on low on the stovetop—keeping it below boiling—for 60 minutes. (Doing so keeps the oil from overheating.)
- Using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, strain solids from the oil into another sturdy glass jar. Squeeze the liquid from the cannabis into the oil.
- The cannabis coconut oil is now ready to be eaten or used as a topical lotion. The removed solids can be eaten as well, baked or cooked in any recipe as any other herb.