Cannabis Extracts: Which Extraction Method is Best?

Cannabis Extracts: Which Extraction Method is Best?

Cannabis concentrates are all the rage, but with so many types available, how do you know where to start? If you’d like to buy concentrates online in Canada, then here we discuss the different extraction methods available.

Butane Honey Oil (BHO) Extractions

BHO extractions were originally used in the food and perfume industries. When used in the cannabis industry, raw cannabis flower is packed into a tube before butane is introduced in a pressurized environment to perform the extraction.

When the initial extraction is performed, the resulting cannabinoid-rich solution must be left so as the residual solvent can evaporate to safe levels. Many producers use a vacuum oven to purge the butane further and meet the regulatory requirements.

One drawback of BHO extraction is that it can be dangerous, so it is always best left to trained experts due to its flammable nature.

BHO extractions are most commonly used in the production of concentrates like shatter, crumble, budder, wax, and sap. With their high capacity for preserving cannabinoid content, BHO extraction techniques often average at around 80% THC.

CO2 Oil Extraction

CO2 extraction is widely used in the cannabis industry. It is both non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

It involves passing supercritical CO2 through raw cannabis buds to strip the trichomes from the plant. A liquid is then passed through a separator to remove the CO2 gas from the extracted material.

CO2 extraction is particularly effective at preserving terpene content in cannabis flower and, as a result, is especially beneficial when making waxes and oils.

An additional advantage is that it’s environmentally friendly. The CO2 gas used in extractions is pushed through a condenser, meaning the gas can liquify again before being recycled for reuse in other extractions.

Ethanol Extraction

Ethanol is widely used as a food preservative and is considered by the FDA to be safe for use. To extract THC from the cannabis plant, the raw plant material is soaked in a bath of ethanol.

The resulting solution is then refined further, where unwanted compounds are removed. It’s this step that helps ensure that concentrates made from ethanol extractions are some of the purest and best-tasting available.

Solventless Extractions

While there are many high-tech extraction techniques available, it’s also worth mentioning that some age-old methods exist that don’t require the use of solvents at all. Many of these solventless techniques have existed for centuries, and they often preserve much of the valuable cannabinoid, terpene, and flavonoid content of the original plant material.

Whether it’s hashish, charas, bubble hash, or rosin, these solventless concentrates require minimal specialized equipment. With some manual labour, along with heat and pressure, it’s possible to create some of the cleanest and strongest concentrates on the market that preserve the entire plant profile of compounds.

Get Ready to Buy Concentrates Online in Canada

Whether produced from BHO, ethanol, CO2, or your very own manual labour as you press the resin out by hand, there are countless ways to make cannabis concentrates.

If you love concentrates, then it’s important to know that each has its own advantages and disadvantages. With so many solvents used in the production of cannabis concentrates, it’s important to remember to always buy them from a reputable source.

How to Dab CBD Concentrates: Everything You Need to Know

How to Dab CBD Concentrates: Everything You Need to Know

If you’ve ever seen marijuana concentrates for sale, you may have wondered just what they are. What exactly is shatter? What’s the difference between an oil and a tincture? Isn’t hash just another word for weed? Why get all fancy when you can just smoke dried herb?

Well, it turns out there are a few reasons why people prefer concentrates over traditional bud. Before we dive into the ‘why,’ let’s take a peek at just what concentrates are — and specifically CBD concentrates.

What Are Concentrates?

A concentrate, chemically speaking, is something expressed in a condensed form, or something made less diluted by eliminating fluid (water). In terms of marijuana, concentrates refer to such products as tinctures, infused oils, hash, shatter, wax, and dabbable oils. They are chemically more dense in psychoactive compounds than the whole flower, either leaning towards high THC or CBD content.

Hash, oils, and tinctures are old methods of concentrating cannabis. Hash is made from collecting trichomes (the sticky crystals) from the mature buds of cannabis plants and either pressing or rolling it into bricks or balls. Tinctures are made of plant matter steeped in alcohol in a specific ratio. Oils are much the same but steeped in oil instead. Whether alcohol or oil is more effective at extracting the compounds is plant-specific.

Shatter, wax, and dab oils are a more modern and complex form of making concentrates. Shatter, so named for its brittle and semi-translucent glass-like appearance, is made by extracting the desired compounds from the fresh/cured herb with a solvent. The resulting oil-like liquid is then heat-treated to remove the solvent and leave just the concentrated compounds of the marijuana plant. The final processing of the concentrate determines whether it ends up as shatter, oil, or wax.

CBD products, in particular, are made from the hemp plant. Hemp is very low in THC, which is perfect for those seeking the benefits without the high. The hemp matter is treated with the same process as cannabis to make CBD concentrates. Once the concentrate is extracted, it is ready to be dabbed.

What Is Dabbing?

Dabbing refers to inhaling vaporized cannabis concentrates. It involves using either a specialized bong-type device called a dab rig or a vape pen designed explicitly for concentrates. With a dab rig, the nail is heated with a torch and allowed to cool slightly before introducing the concentrate. Vape pens work similarly to regular dab rigs, with the added benefit of a more controlled temperature.

For serious dabbers, there is such a thing as an e-rig. This compact electric dab rig heats the nail with a battery rather than a torch. The temperature can be set to the user’s specifications, which is important so as not to burn the concentrate. E-rigs are prized for their portability and simplicity, though they will set you back a few hundred dollars for a good set-up.

Why Would I Dab?

So you’re pondering over marijuana concentrates for sale – the shatter looks so pretty, but is it really worth it? Well, yes, as a matter of fact, it is!

The best part of marijuana concentrates is the elimination of the carcinogenic plant material that one would normally inhale from smoking dried flower. Smoking a whole joint is hard on the lungs, not only due to the unwanted chemicals that come with combusting plant matter but also the heat of the smoke itself. Dabbing results in a cleaner, cooler vapour that is easier on your airways with instantaneous effects. The high is typically more potent than just smoking weed.

With shatter, in particular, you need very little product per use. Because the concentrates are so pure, you can use tiny portions to make your shatter go a long way. Due to its chemical structure, shatter is very shelf-stable and can maintain its potency longer than waxes or oils.

Admittedly, the downside to dabbing is that it requires multiple pieces of specialty equipment. Unlike edibles that you can pop in your pocket to take along for later, dabbing requires several items that aren’t the most portable. Let’s jump into how dabbing works to explain the necessary equipment.

A Step By Step Guide To Dabbing

First and foremost, please make sure your concentrates come from a reliable source! While it is possible to make homemade concentrates, the risk for unremoved solvents remaining in your product is high – and that is stuff you certainly don’t want to inhale. Potency should be labelled on legitimately produced concentrates to give you an idea of what you’re working with.

After you’ve found marijuana concentrates for sale from somewhere you trust, it’s time to piece together the rest of the puzzle.

You Will Need:

  • Concentrate: shatter, wax, or dabbable oil
  • dab rig
  • dab tool
  • a nail that fits your rig
  • torch
  • carb cap (optional, but increases efficiency)

How to Do It:

  • Step 1: prep your dab rig according to type. Portion out a tiny bit of your concentrate – as we know, they are powerful (which is the whole point), so start with the tiniest portion you can collect with your dab tool. You can always dab more if you need to.
  • Step 2: heat your nail. Unless you have an e-rig, you’ll have to do this using a torch. Heat the nail until it is just starting to turn red. Let it cool for 30-60 seconds; ideal dabbing temperature is 350-400°. If you can comfortably (and carefully!) hold your hand about half an inch away from the nail, it is ready.
  • Step 3: slowly lower your dab tool and concentrate into the nail. It should melt upon contact with the rig and begin to vaporize. Inhale long and slow until all the concentrate is gone. If you have a carb cap, pop that on top to keep all the vapour in while you inhale.
  • Step 4: Exhale immediately. If you have the wherewithal to clean your nail right away, do so by letting it cool down a bit, then swiftly wiping it with a cotton swab.

If getting yourself all set up with a dab rig seems overwhelming, try starting with a dab pen. Pens aren’t as efficient as a dab rig and will require multiple hits to achieve the same effect, but they are simpler and more portable to use.

Benefits of Dabbing Concentrated CBD

If you’re medicating with CBD for health reasons, it makes sense to introduce it to your body as cleanly as possible. Dabbing a high-quality CBD concentrate eliminates the risks associated with smoking grass and delivers all the good qualities directly to your bloodstream. It is easier on your lungs, more immediate than edibles, and offers the user a chance to appreciate the enticing flavours of marijuana that are otherwise clouded by burning the herb.

Is Medical Marijuana Right for Dementia Patients?

Is Medical Marijuana Right for Dementia Patients?

Many people from the older generations grew up in the era of “reefer madness,” where marijuana was portrayed as an inherently evil, life-destroying drug. Even with the legalization of marijuana in some countries, this opinion still stands strong due to decades of propaganda and opposition. But older generations, whose beliefs may be rooted firmly in the stigma of their times, could be among those who benefit the most from medical marijuana.

Modern research is finding all kinds of extraordinary evidence of the efficacy of marijuana for many health conditions. While it is generally accepted as helpful for such things as anxiety and cancer, studies on using cannabis for dementia are currently underway. Since it’s possible to buy medical marijuana in Canada, this could be potentially life-changing research for many older Canadians.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a general term that describes the deterioration of the brain and its ability to function properly. Memory loss, confusion, difficulty with problem-solving, and language loss are the most common signs. While many of these symptoms are normal signs of ageing, dementia is not. It occurs after damage has been done to brain cells that then interferes with their ability to communicate and leads to the symptoms mentioned above.

Dementia is most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s disease (a degenerative disease that accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases), but also includes vascular dementia (mini strokes, or brain bleeds, that lead to cell death) and other progressive brain diseases.

What are the symptoms of dementia?

Since dementia is an inclusive term for many ailments, pegging it down can be a challenge. In general, symptoms include:

  • Decline or loss of short-term memory
  • Difficulty remembering words or names
  • Inability to remember daily life tasks (appointments, paying bills, etc.)
  • Mood changes or irrationality
  • Behavioural changes (agitation, shouting, losing things, etc.)
  • Aggression or even violence

Dementia is typically progressive, meaning the symptoms worsen over time. Risk factors for dementia include age and genetics, which are both unchangeable. However, a healthy diet and active lifestyle can help postpone the onset.

Marijuana and the Brain

The human brain is a marvellously complex organ. Therefore it’s ailments are difficult to untangle. Yet research involving the brain and medical marijuana is proving the two to be quite harmonious.

Within the human body is the endocannabinoid system, which regulates the body’s responses to basic cognitive and physiological processes (memory, mood, appetite, pain-sensing, etc.). It does so by producing endocannabinoids, which are very similar to the cannabinoids found in marijuana.

Marijuana has two major compounds, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both of these cannabinoids blend almost seamlessly with the endocannabinoids produced by the body, therefore enhancing the body’s ability to regulate many of the above-mentioned processes. CBD, in particular, is known to have neuroprotective effects, including inhibiting progressive neurological diseases.

Because of these known neuroprotective effects, scientists have theorized that cannabis may be applicable for protecting the brain from long-term deterioration caused by the various forms of dementia.

Marijuana and Dementia

To say it straight, the current position of the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada is “[w]hile there is ongoing promising research on the effects of cannabis, there is currently no evidence that cannabis is useful for the treatment or prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.” However, the fact that they used the word ‘promising’ is promising in itself.

Currently, the greatest hindrance in cannabis studies regarding dementia and other neurological disorders is a lack of organized data. Research is being conducted, but methodological issues are in the way of drawing reliable conclusions.

While a doctor won’t quite yet recommend that elderly citizens buy medical marijuana in Canada, some dementia symptoms have been shown to be helped by cannabis products.

Agitation, aggression, and even violence are some of the most challenging behaviours for family members to manage. These behaviour changes often result in the person suffering from dementia being put in a home for professional care. The medical community is beginning to accept that THC is helpful for these particular symptoms by regulating energy output and brain activity. Clinical trials are ongoing to confirm these findings

Non-human Studies

Human trials are lengthy in nature and complicated to control. Dementia patients need to be studied over the course of a decade or more, so results can be painstakingly slow to acquire. Scientists have turned to testing the effects of THC on mice, and with astounding results. While some disagree with animal testing, mice in one particular study seem to be benefiting greatly from consistent doses of synthetic THC.

The test mice, who are in the late stages of their lives, are steadily administered a tiny dose of synthetic THC over the course of a month. Then they are tested against their non-medicated counterparts in problem-solving skills.

The results show that the slightly stoned mice have significantly more mental capacity for recall (memory), learning, and socializing than the non-medicated control mice. Not only that, but experiments have also shown that older mice who have lost some of their cognitive abilities can actually gain them back when given microdoses of THC.

So, how is this applicable to humans?

Many medications that are tested on mice don’t necessarily translate to human application. Marijuana, on the other hand, has thousands of years of history in human culture. Unlike other prescription drugs, it is known to be mostly benign in terms of long-term negative effects on the human body.

It is multi-fold in its application, covering a variety of ailments with limited side effects. If marijuana can be proven useful for dementia, it could change the lives of tens of millions of people around the world.

Things to Keep In Mind about Dementia and Cannabis

Talking about dementia involves talking about the elderly. Elders deserve our respect and our care, so it’s imperative to be mindful of any recommendations. Before you offer your grandpa a tasty little edible  or a spoonful of CBD honey for his cup of tea, remember that marijuana can have negative effects on memory, balance, and alertness.

These effects may be counterproductive in trying to protect those already suffering from a loss of brain capacity. A poorly judged dose could contribute to an accident and, therefore, a decrease in quality of life.

Ageing brains need all the help they can get, especially if they begin to suffer from the effects of dementia. If it seems like the right fit for the patient, talk with their healthcare provider. Buying medical marijuana in Canada for specific dementia symptoms that cannabis is known to help with, like agitation, aggression, or difficulties sleeping, may be just the helping hand an elderly brain needs.

 

Do Edibles Damage Your Liver?

Do Edibles Damage Your Liver?

Edibles offer cannabis consumers with a healthy alternative to smoked forms of cannabis. But is there any truth to the idea that edibles may be damaging to the liver? If you’d like to buy edibles online in Canada, then here we fill you in on the current science.

Do Edibles Damage Your Liver?

There are many different ways of consuming cannabis. By smoking, vaping or administering it sublingually, consumers bypass the digestive tract and hence the liver. The active compounds enter the bloodstream through a direct route meaning that you’ll feel the effects quickly and with the same relative intensity.

When consuming edibles, the active compounds must pass through the digestive tract before then passing through the body’s main detox organ, the liver. It’s these processes carried out in the liver that lead to the notable effects commonly associated with edibles. But just what is it that occurs in the liver? And can marijuana edible consumption lead to liver damage?

The Link Between Cannabis and Liver Damage

In recent times, the link between cannabis and liver damage arose due to an article that appeared on Forbes, where researchers claimed that mice who received high doses of CBD showed signs of liver damage within 24 hours.

It led Martin Lee, the author of Smoke Signals, the well-known book on cannabis culture to label it a case of “scientific fraud.” The reasons given by other cannabis researchers included: the small sample size of 6 mice and the dose they received of 2460 mg/kg of CBD (over 100 times the recommended dose of the CBD-isolate Epidiolex at 20 mg/kg).

The Evidence that Cannabis Protects The Liver

A study published in Liver International investigated the effects of cannabis on the progressive stages of alcoholic liver disease. Researchers found that cannabis consumers “had significantly lower odds than non‐dependent users for developing liver disease.” This led them to conclude that “cannabis use is associated with a reduced incidence of liver disease in alcoholics.”

While the study didn’t indicate how the subjects involved in the study ingested cannabis, the findings certainly don’t raise any red flags concerning cannabis having a negative impact on liver health.

Where the Science Stands on Cannabis and Liver Health

Few studies currently exist on whether cannabis is dangerous to liver health, and even fewer exist on the effects of edibles.

There is currently no credible evidence to suggest that medicinal or recreational cannabis is harmful to liver health. The lack of any credible evidence is what leads almost all researchers involved in the recent studies calling for more investigation on the matter.

While some consumers may experience discomfort after consuming edibles, including bloating, gas, heartburn, or constipation, there’s no evidence to suggest that this is indicative of any form of liver damage.

What Happens In The Liver When You Eat Edibles?

Anyone who has tried smoked or vaped forms of cannabis and edibles will undoubtedly attest to the fact that the effects of each can vary significantly. The reason for this is that the liver plays a critical role in how the THC present in cannabis is metabolized.

When inhaled by smoking or vaping, cannabis enters the bloodstream directly from the lungs, effectively bypassing the liver. This means that you’ll experience a quick and predictable onset each and every time.

Absorption occurs very differently with edibles. Edibles must first pass through the digestive tract and can take significant time to kick in, depending on how much food is currently in the stomach and intestines.

The competition in the intestinal tract for absorption doesn’t explain why the effects of edibles are often substantially stronger than smoked or vaped forms of cannabis. This is due to the role of the liver in how THC is metabolized. When ingested, the THC present in cannabis is in the Delta-9-THC form. The liver then converts it to the more potent 11-Hydroxy-THC. In addition to being more potent, 11-Hydroxy-THC is also more bioavailable, and many scientists claim that it actually crosses the blood-brain barrier more readily.

The Liver and The First-Pass Effect

Sometimes when people consume edibles, they may not feel the effects intensely. This is often due to what’s known as the first-pass effect. This is where an efficient liver breaks down the THC to such an extent that you don’t feel its effects.

If you experience this when consuming edibles, then consider eating a small fat-based meal beforehand to help ensure enhanced absorption and activation.

Cannabis and Our Evolving Knowledge

While there are many respectable scientists investigating the effects of cannabis, there are none who can currently be considered experts like in other fields of medicine. This is because there is comparatively little known about the plant.

Years of prohibition mean that cannabis research is decades behind where it might otherwise be. Given the medicinal benefits of the plant, this is a great shame. As science plays a game of catchup and the cultural stigma slowly wanes, scientists are slowly uncovering many benefits of the plant that treat a whole host of conditions. But while much of the science is positive, this doesn’t mean that cannabis is entirely benign. Only time will tell whether cannabis is 100% safe.

Buy Edibles Online in Canada

If you’d like to buy edibles online in Canada, then why not take a look at our selection of edibles here on My Pure Canna? We have an extensive range of edibles in a variety of delicious flavours categorized into Indica and Sativa, with varying ratios of THC and CBD. This means that no matter what your intention, whether recreational or medicinal, you’ll find just what you need!

The latest science suggests that edibles are quite safe when consumed responsibly at standard doses. However, it’s always worth remembering that edibles are an extremely potent form of cannabis. If you do happen to consume too much, then you may be in for an intense ride. As always, the golden rule with edible doses is to start low and go slow!

What Are the Side Effects of Edibles?

What Are the Side Effects of Edibles?

With weed edibles for sale across Canada, the public can now benefit from this convenient form of consumption. The benefits of edibles are well-documented, but what are the side effects that some experience with edible ingestion?

Common Side Effects of Weed Edibles

Most people can consume cannabis without experiencing any adverse side effects. But for some individuals, it’s not always plain sailing. Between a dry mouth, anxiety, paranoia, and the more intense high associated with edible ingestion, edibles can sometimes become unpleasant for some.

It’s often due to a low tolerance coupled with an excessive dose, but in some instances, people are simply more susceptible to the side effects of edibles when compared to smoked or vaped forms of cannabis.

Weed Hangovers

One of the most common side effects of edibles is the hangover. It’s similar to a standard weed hangover but is often more intense due to the nature of edibles. They’re a much more potent source of THC, and when we consume too much too late, we’re more likely to feel groggy the next morning.

Edibles are much longer-lasting than smoked or vaped forms of cannabis. With more intense effects lasting upwards of eight hours or more, this heightens the risk of a hangover when we consume too much.

The scientific data on weed hangovers isn’t conclusive. Some studies suggest it’s a thing, while others suggest that the groggy symptoms may be due to something else. Regardless, anecdotal evidence suggests that with increased edible doses, people sometimes tend to rise with mental fog and fatigue upon waking up.

Cottonmouth after Consuming Weed Edibles

Cottonmouth is a common side effect of cannabis consumption and is particularly common with edibles. Contrary to popular belief, dehydration isn’t the reason behind this. THC binds to our salivary glands and prevents the production of saliva after ingestion.

These symptoms can also spread to the eyes where increased reddening appears as the tear glands stop working optimally. With limited function, it leads to a decreased blink rate, which only serves to accentuate the problem.

As is usually the case, the larger the dose, the more serious the symptoms. Although they never become dangerous, they’re certainly inconvenient to experience.

Anxiety and Paranoia With Marijuana Edibles

Anxiety and paranoia are two common side effects among patients who either consume far too high a dose or have underlying issues that a cannabis edible merely brings to the surface. Such side effects are much more likely with high-THC consumption and a lack of CBD to balance out the effects.

While it can be a frightening and disorientating experience, such side effects are likely to be transitory and will usually pass within a few hours. The intensity of any anxiety or paranoia often relates to dose size. The higher the dose, the more likely you are to experience such negative side-effects.

If you’re inexperienced with edible consumption, start with a low dose and gradually work up to a functional dose. 10 mg represents a standard edible dose, but it’s not uncommon for this to be too much for beginners who are more susceptible to anxiety or paranoia. 2.5mg of THC is a good starting dose for those who prefer to dip their feet into the water slowly.

Edibles Provide A Longer-lasting and More Intense High

By and large, edibles are much more potent than smoked or vaped forms of cannabis. The onset time is more prolonged, but once they kick in, the effects often ramp up and stay elevated for several hours.

The danger associated with edible consumption is that patients redose before the first dose has taken effect. Depending on your metabolism and how much food is in your stomach at the time of ingestion, it can take up to two hours for an edible to take effect. If you’re starting out, make sure you get to know your own body by allowing for full absorption before redosing. The last thing you’ll want is to redose only for the effects to finally hit an hour later. Remember, you can always eat more, but there’s not much you can do if the effects come on too strong.

The reason for the increased potency of edibles is in how the body processes THC. The THC present in edibles converts in the liver to the more potent form known as 11-Hydroxy-THC. This form of THC interacts very differently within the body and produces more intense effects that last a lot longer than the Delta 9 THC present in smoked or vaped forms of cannabis.

Hallucinations With Marijuana Edibles

Hallucinations are more commonly associated with psychedelics. But when ingested in sufficiently high quantities, hallucinations can be a common side-effect of edible forms of cannabis.

In his book, Confessions of a Hasheesh Eater, Fitz Hugh Ludlow describes using hashish to induce altered states of consciousness to explore more deeply the nature of the unconscious mind. While this may have merit, very few cannabis consumers are looking for such profound experiences.

High-dose edibles and a sufficiently low tolerance are likely to induce hallucinations that could become frightening and overwhelming.

Cannabis Edibles and Lethargy

Some people report bouts of lethargy after the effects of an edible wear off. Such side effects are unwelcome if you have to work or otherwise maintain focus and concentration. If you find you’re susceptible to lethargy after consuming an edible, then it’s best to wait until evening or weekends before consuming them.

Weed Edibles for Sale in Canada

At Pure Canna, we’ve got an extensive stock of weed edibles for sale. With CBD and THC varieties, they come in a range of delicious flavors in doses ranging from 10mg to 20mg and come in both Indica and Sativa varieties.

While the side effects mentioned above can occur, the truth is that with responsible consumption, there’s very little that can go wrong. Ensure you start out with a lower dose and feel free to bring some CBD into the mix should any anxiety symptoms begin to appear. CBD tends to counteract THC’s psychoactive effects and can help you navigate a negative experience much more effectively.