Texas Bill Approved in House, Would Expand Medical MJ Eligibility, Replace THC Cap

Texas has some major changes surrounding cannabis on the horizon.

The state’s House of Representatives has given initial approval to a bill allowing doctors to recommend medical cannabis to patients as an alternative to opioids for chronic pain treatment. The bill would specifically expand eligibility for low-THC cannabis products, granting legal access to patients with “a condition that causes chronic pain, for which a physician would otherwise prescribe an opioid.”

According to the Center for Disease Control, one in five Americans live with chronic pain. In 2021, more than 106,000 people in the U.S. died from a drug-involved overdose, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids, according to the National Institutes of Health. In Texas specifically, there was an 80% increase in reported synthetic opioid-related deaths in 2021 compared to 2020, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

Conversely, even the DEA admits that no deaths from cannabis overdose have ever occurred.

A New Chapter for the Texas Cannabis Industry?

The legislation, House Bill 1805, would also replace the THC cap established under Texas’s existing medical cannabis law. Texas’s medical cannabis law is currently CBD-only, with a cap of 1% THC for cannabis oil. Should the bill be enacted, the THC limit would shift to the volumetric dose of 10 mg. The bill further stipulates that Department of State Health Services (DSHS) regulators could approve additional debilitating medical conditions to qualify new patients for the cannabis program through rulemaking.

The bill from Rep. Stephanie Klick (R) cleared the chamber after a 121-23 vote on Tuesday, and it needs one more round of approval in the House before it can move to the Senate. If enacted, the bill would take effect on Sept. 1, 2023.

Texas NORML has also encouraged supporters in the state to reach out to lawmakers and voice their support of the reform, encouraging lawmakers to approve it. Jax James, executive director of Texas NORML, said in a news release that he is “thrilled” to see the advancement of the proposed legislation.

“Passage of this legislation will provide qualified patients with a state-sanctioned option to access a therapy that has proven to offer significant benefits,” Jones said. “Medical cannabis is an objectively safer alternative to the array of pharmaceutical drugs that it could potentially replace. I urge my fellow Texans to voice their support for this important legislation and to reach out to their Senators to encourage their backing as it moves through the legislative process.”

One of Many Recent Shifts

Of course, this move could be seen as a small step compared to other states that have enacted more wide-reaching medical cannabis legislation, or ended prohibition as a whole, though it still represents significant expansion for Texas. It’s also one of several recent moves that show Texas may be broadening its horizons when it comes to cannabis.

Texas lawmakers recently held a hearing on House Bill 218 that, if passed, would lower the penalties for possession of cannabis and cannabis concentrates. Last month, the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee also voted 9-0 to pass a bill that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis.

On Election Day 2022, five Texas cities also voted to decriminalize low-level cannabis possession: Denton, San Marcos, Killeen, Elgin and Harker Heights. In the weeks since, some cities clashed with lawmakers, who argued that the decriminalization effort violates state law and hinders police officers.

Recently, a Texas Federal Court also ruled that the federal ban on cannabis users owning firearms is unconstitutional. The judge on the case, Kathleen Cardone, said, “It strains credulity to believe that taking part in such a widespread practice can render an individual so dangerous or untrustworthy that they must be stripped of their Second Amendment rights.”

Texas Residents Favor Updated Cannabis Policies

And while Texas still has very restrictive cannabis laws, they don’t align with views the state’s citizens hold.

According to a University of Houston study released earlier this year, out of 1,200 Texan adults 18 and older, four out of five adults said they would support an expanded medical cannabis program. The survey also found that the majority of respondents supported decriminalizing cannabis possession, lessening the penalty of possessing small amounts of cannabis to a citation, and two-thirds of surveyed individuals support legalizing cannabis for adult use.

Another poll, conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Politics Project in 2022, similarly found that a strong majority (72%) back decriminalizing cannabis by making the offense punishable by a citation and fine with no threat of jail time. Only 17% said they would support a complete prohibition on cannabis usage, including medicinal cannabis.

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Higer Profile: Angela Mustone, CEO & Founder HighOnLove

No partner this Valentine’s Day? No problem. How about having sex with someone you love, like yourself? Angela Mustone focuses on products that make solo playtime time well spent.

After crossing over from the global, 33 billon dollar, mainstream sexual health and wellness industry, into the multi-million dollar cannabis industry, Mustone made it her mission to help women have longer-lasting and more stimulating orgasms.

When Canada legalized cannabis at the end of 2018, Angela Mustone set her sights on pleasure. With 15 years prior experience as a sales and marketing professional in the global sexual health and wellness market, adding cannabis to the mix, she said, was a game-changer.

“Combining the stimulating oil I was familiar with in the mainstream sex market with cannabis was nothing short of amazing,” she shared. “My own successful trials were immediate and I began sharing the formulation with friends, with excellent feedback.”

While the products she’s created for her company, HighOnLove, are for any combination of couples play, Mustone’s solo play for women is something she’s passionate about. As more and more women are being open about enjoying sex and having better orgasms, products like Mustone’s are peaking curiosity and the libido.

According to a paper published in the National Library of Medicine (National Institute of Health, NIH) there are several types of plants used in the mainstream sexual stimulation market including aster, rose, bacopa monnieri, and pomegranate – with cannabis going far beyond in enticement, helping the partaker have longer, more pronounced, and often multiple organsms.

As a footnote, cannabis stimulating oils, when put into the vaginal canal, eases the pain that ensues during menopause. You are welcome.

Sexual Healing

Traditionally and historically, women have been quiet about their own pleasure, with men unaware of what to do with, or oblivious to the clitoris, and women quietly guiding them – that is, when they felt comfortable enough to do so.

In 1948, Alfred Kinsey published his tell-all, “Sexuality and the Human Male,” with the sex researcher stating that males were participating in extramarital sex, homosexuality, and masturbation with greater frequency than had been acknowledged.

University of Florida history professor, Alan Petigny, reported in the Journal of Social History in 2004, that post-WWII statistics on childbirth found that the sexual revolution began after the war, from the 1940s into the 1950s, when people had a new sense of freedom. 

Though they still weren’t talking openly about sex, they were starting to break free of the traditional restraints. The onslaught of babies that ensued in the 1950s would be enough to give the moniker of “Baby Boomers” to an entire generation.

The in-your-face “sexual revolution” that seemingly took off in the 1960s, was spawned, in part, by the use of cannabis and psychedelics. Women felt liberated to openly admit to having sex outside of marriage and with multiple partners. By 1970, “Love the One Your With,” was crooned by the late, great singer/songwriter Stephen Stills, defining the “free love” movement. 

In 1975, Lonnie Barbach penned For Yourself: The Fulfillment of Female Sexuality, giving detailed instructions to women on how to pleasure themselves. But, more importantly, it gave women a voice where they were once silent. Her inspirational DIY attitude also empowered women to feel that they could pleasure themselves without the help of a partner – something that was not openly discussed.

Barbach’s book, on the heels of the Summer of Love in 1969, may have also encouraged the sex toy boom, said to have begun in the 1970s. Tupperware had been brought into the living rooms of women across the country since 1948; but when sex toys were shared in the privacy of one’s home, among friends, enlightenment and inspiration in the bedroom followed.

Transformational Pleasure

Mustone uses the products she develops herself for intimacy, including solo playtime.

“Given the transformational experiences I’ve had using cannabis to boost pleasure in the bedroom, I often use infused topicals for intimacy purposes,” she shared. “I’ll always be a major advocate using cannabis to spice up your love life with a partner, but it can be great for self-love, as well.”

Educating the masses, while doing away with negative stigmas for both cannabis and sexual play, is something Mustone is serious about. 

“The comfort level is definitely changing when it comes to women reaching out and asking for help with sexual play,” she said. “Like the cannabis industry, the mainstream sex market has been male-dominated for a very long time, and it’s been nice seeing women coming into their own.”

With 60% of the sexual health and wellness markets’ buyers now women, the strength of their buying power can’t be denied. Educating on sexual play, however, never ends, per Mustone.

“We often discuss fellatio when we table products, as I developed a lip gloss for that purpose,” she said. “I’m always surprised to see women asking just what fellatio is. I did a pop-up shop in the Hamptons and a couple were inquiring. It was an educating moment!”

To define, fellatio is the act of performing oral sex on the male penis. More crudely put, a “blow job.” Cunnilingus is the act of performing oral sex on female genitals, with the clitoris and labia as the organs producing orgasms via thousands of nerve endings. This is where cannabis excels. Add stimulation from the penis or sex toy to the “Gräfenberg spot,” otherwise known as the “G-spot,” located in the vaginal canal, and the orgasm intensifies. 

“We need to give permission to pleasure ourselves,” she surmised. “I’m not a doctor or a medical professional, I just want to share between sisters. I’ve traveled to many countries with this industry – before and after cannabis – and it breaks my heart the amount of women who have not had even one little orgasm. That needs to change.”

The benefits of the orgasm are plentiful. According to Health, orgasms boost moods via production of oxytocin, dopamine, endorphins, serotonin, and prolactin.

Interesting to note, prolactin is the primary compound initiating milk production after pregnancy, helping a mother and child bond. It’s also one of the components stimulated after orgasm, and may play a larger role in the bonding of our souls during sex.

The Business of Pleasure

With a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) in marketing from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, speaking three languages, Italian, French, “and some English,” she laughed, Mustone’s goal in helping others fulfill their sexual needs with hemp and cannabis is global.

“Right now I’m focused on product development, business implementation, patents, and international sales,” she said. “Due to different laws in different countries and states within the U.S., distribution gets complicated. For instance, I can only market my products with hemp seed in Canada, CBD in all U.S. States, and some THC products in certain states. Thankfully, there are more and more entire countries getting on board for cannabis in all its forms.”

Helping and working with women continues to be a priority, and her company employs seven women, including her sister, Debra Mustone – who she said is irreplaceable.

“My sister is my confidant, my therapist, and sometimes my dog-sitter,” she mused. “She’s my other half. I couldn’t do this without her.”

Since her experience in the mainstream sexual health market was international, she’s setting her sights on continuing to add many countries to her portfolio, including Australia and countries throughout Europe.

Her bigger picture includes having her own HighOnLove cannabis blended sexual pleasure shops.

“My retail project will be sex shops with cannabis as a main component,” she said. “Furthering my goal of normalizing the two together. The cannabis and hemp products have been very well received within the mainstream sex market and I couldn’t be happier.”

For more information on HighOnLove visit https://highonlove.store/ 

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Beaker and Wrench Maximizes Cannabis Oil Processing

In today’s competitive market, extraction labs must produce a consistently pure and premium product while still turning a profit to stay in the game. Chemical solvents are one of the biggest lab expenses and can quickly add up, impacting your bottom line. By installing a solvent recovery system, like the one developed by leading processing equipment company Beaker and Wrench, you can create consistent extracts and improve the efficiency of your lab while minimizing overhead.

Founded in 2016 by cannabis industry experts Lilibel de La Puente and Augustus “Ace” Shelander, Beaker and Wrench is known industry-wide for creating innovative turn-key distillation equipment. Based out of Commerce, California, the company designs machinery that solves the bottleneck problems in cannabis oil distillation labs. The Beaker and Wrench team combines scientific expertise and real-world industry experience to develop innovative and conscientious extraction equipment.

Beaker and Wrench has recently added an easy-to-use Solvent Recovery system to its equipment lineup. This ultra-efficient and ultra-compact machine can process 450 liters per hour and requires no exterior heater and minimal cooling water. In addition to the machine’s energy efficiency, the solvent recovery machine has a user-friendly and effective computer control interface that allows it to be operated locally and remotely.

Interior view of Beaker and Wrench’s Solvent Recovery System.

The real magic of the system is the patent-pending, closed-cycle heat pump distillation technology. It’s a membrane-free process that recovers and separates the chemical compounds once they reach a boil and begin condensing into vapor. The heat pump technology can help labs dramatically reduce their overheads and environmental footprint by reducing energy consumption. 

Let’s explore how investing in a Beaker and Wrench solvent recovery system ensures your lab can become a more cost-effective operation.

Reduced Material Costs

During extraction, compounds are separated and isolated from cannabis biomass using a solvent. The procedure commonly extracts soluble oils from organic materials using -86C ethanol or some other cryogenically cooled solvent. The oil is in crude form after being separated from the plant matter but is still bound up in the solvent and needs the distillation process to purify the final product.

However, chemical solvents are costly, especially in the amounts needed with commercial cannabis. The most practical approach to reducing costs and increasing yields when extracting cannabis is to recover and recycle solvents. Beaker and Wrench’s solvent recovery system can recover a variety of solvents, including acetone, ethanol, hexane and more. The recovery systems serve as solvent recyclers by eliminating particles, oils and dirt during the distillation process and repurposing the cleaning solvents. As a result, fewer solvent purchases are necessary, and chemical waste is continuously reduced.

Beaker and Wrench
The Explosion-Proof Oil Pump.

Reduced Electricity Costs

Beaker and Wrench’s solvent recovery system is designed to be energy efficient. Your lab can recover five times the solvent for the same amount of power with close to 0% residual solvent remaining in the oil. Closed-cycle heat pump technology cuts energy consumption by up to 80%.

Beaker and Wrench Solvent Recovery Accessories

If your facility isn’t processing 450 liters of oil an hour, but you’re still looking for reliable and efficient solvent accessories, Beaker and Wrench’s solvent pumps will fulfill your processing requirements. Additionally, you can rest easy knowing that Beaker and Wrench pumps comply with good manufacturing practice guidelines.

  • Explosion-proof oil pump: This pump follows C1D2 guidelines with customizable mounting. The voltage compatibility ranges from 115 to 240. Specifying the machine attachment is critical to ensure the inlet adaptor is accurate.
  • Ethanol recovery pump for vacuum: This pump allows you to recover solvents through a magnetic coupler feature; the coupling increases the vacuum’s potential and eliminates a shaft seal. The on/off switch and motor are explosion-proof, abiding by C1D2 guidelines.
Beaker and Wrench
The 2GPM Solvent Recovery Pump.

Increase Your Efficiency With Beaker and Wrench

Beaker and Wrench is committed to ensuring you get the highest quality and top-volume yield. The company doesn’t just sell systems; it delivers and installs the equipment and trains you and your staff to get the best possible results from your investment.

Designed to be plug-and-play, Beaker and Wrench’s turn-key systems roll off a lift gate and into your lab. They’re ready to use within a couple of hours, meaning you can get straight into doing what you do best—creating premium extracts. The overall result is a range of products that deliver both higher ease of use for busy professionals and purer output for the end-user. 

Whether you want to elevate your extraction lab or you’re looking to add extractions to your business, you want to use the best equipment possible. Book a consultation with Beaker and Wrench today.

The post Beaker and Wrench Maximizes Cannabis Oil Processing appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Clinical Trial Finds Cannabis Oil is Well-Tolerated, Effective Insomnia Treatment

Many will attest, alongside myriad additional studies, to the sedative, relaxing qualities of cannabis as a sleep aid. Now, a new study published in the Journal of Sleep Research adds additional insight surrounding the benefits of cannabis for treating insomnia, finding that the short-term use of plant-derived cannabis extracts is well-tolerated and effective for patients diagnosed with insomnia.

Insomnia involves difficulty falling or staying asleep and is relatively common, experienced by up to 30% of the general population. In their introduction, the authors point to the potential for cannabis to help alleviate sleep dysfunction along with the impact of individual cannabinoids on sleep. Specifically, they reference the sedative effect of THC and the potential of CBD as a sedative in higher doses.

The trial looked to assess the tolerability and effectiveness of medicinal cannabis oil on sleep in adults with insomnia. The study was conducted between May 2020 and May 2021 at the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne, Australia. Researchers assessed the use of a cannabis oil product, versus placebo, in 29 subjects with chronic insomnia. 

Each extract contained 10mg of THC and 15mg of CBD per milliliter, along with a lesser amount of other cannabinoids and naturally occurring terpenes, and each participant consumed either the extract or a placebo for a two-week period. Participants were instructed to take the oil in the evening with food, increasing their doses by 0.1ml (1mg THC/1.5mg CBD) increments each day, starting with 0.2ml on the first day and maxing out at 1.5ml (15mg HC/22.5mg CBD).

The six-week study consisted of a one-week run-in period, a two-week intervention period, a one-week wash-out period and a second two-week intervention period, with four total assessments taken at the start and completion of each intervention phase. Primary outcome measures included saliva midnight melatonin levels and insomnia symptoms assessed by the ISI questionnaire.

Ultimately, investigators reported that participants using cannabis extracts experienced improved sleep quality by up to 80%, and 60% of participants were no longer classified as clinical insomniacs at the end of the two-week intervention period. Four of the total participants (14%) had no side effects, while 24 (83%) reported non-serious side effects, possibly related to the active medication, like dry mouth, diarrhea, nausea and vertigo. 

Researchers also noted that, aside from dry mouth, all side effects were only experienced on one or two non-consecutive days. About half of the participants in the active group reached the maximum dose over two weeks, though 20% stopped increasing their dose at 0.4-0.6ml due to side effects like vertigo or dizziness. Two participants reported more serious side effects, acute onset tachycardia (accelerated heart rate) and extreme dizziness, both of which were alleviated by lowering the dose.

At the conclusion of the trial, all but one participant (96%) found that cannabis oil was an acceptable treatment for insomnia, and the majority of participants (79%) requested an ongoing prescription for the medicinal cannabis oil, even the participant who had tachycardia. Five of the six participants who chose not to continue taking the cannabis oil cited reasons other than side effects (like work restrictions, driving a vehicle) for discontinuing treatment.

“Our short-term trial suggests Entoura 10:15 medicinal cannabis oil, containing THC:CBD 10:15 and lesser amounts of other [cannabinoids] and naturally occurring terpenes, to be well tolerated and effective in significantly improving sleep quality and duration, midnight melatonin levels, quality of life, and mood within 2-weeks in adults with insomnia,” researchers concluded. “Long-term studies are needed to assess whether chronic medicinal cannabis intake can restore natural circadian rhythm without the need for ongoing cannabis intake.”

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Cannabis Cartridges: Inside Out

Cannabis vape pens have become a staple consumption method for the industry at large. Vapes are popular because they offer a convenient, discrete form of cannabis consumption. However, a brief period of controversy hit in 2019 when products from the illicit market led to illness and, in some cases, fatality. The CDC called it EVALI, or the “e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury.” After Leafly identified vitamin E acetate as the cause of these adverse reactions, reports of vape-related illness continued to decline. Still, the health scare highlighted the need to understand what substances are within cannabis cartridges.

The traditional cannabis market regulates through required lab testing, which tells retailers and consumers exactly what is in the product. While this is beneficial to everyone involved, the average consumer still doesn’t have a wide-lens picture of what is actually going into their bodies. After all, the chemistry of these compounds changes when heat is applied.

I spoke with Dr. Markus Roggen of Delic Labs, whose vape and smoke research involves a smoking machine that simulates how a person would inhale. The inhalation is captured and the contents are analyzed. Spoiler alert: toxic compounds are found.

Courtesy of High Times

What’s Inside Cartridges?

The short answer is cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and potentially some cutting agents.

Cannabinoids are unique compounds found in the cannabis plant that interact with the endocannabinoid system. The more infamous of these compounds include THC and CBD. Synthetic cannabinoids will be distinguishable on a lab test. However, those who consume products that haven’t been processed by the standards of the traditional market are at risk of inhaling these potentially unsafe compounds that are intended to mimic cannabinoids.

Terpenes are aroma and flavor compounds found in plants. Some commonly known terpenes are myrcene, limonene, and linalool. The terpenes present in your vape cartridge are either cannabis-derived, plant or fruit-derived, or synthetic. Differentiation on the label isn’t currently required, but most products with cannabis-derived terpenes will declare as such. Cartridges with naturally present cannabis-derived terpenes may be labeled HTFSE (High-terpene full-spectrum extracts).

Flavonoids are phytonutrients, which are pharmacologically active compounds that primarily provide non-green color pigmentation to plants. Cannaflavins are flavonoids specific to cannabis.


Extraction Methods and Products

Hydrocarbon extraction is a solvent-based method that uses either butane or a butane/propane blend, also commonly referred to as butane hash oil (BHO). While not all BHO is full-spectrum, this method is used to create full-spectrum extracts which contain all of the naturally present cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids, without waxes, lipids, and fats. When full-spectrum extract is made from cured flowers, it will separate into two fractions based on the conditions. HTFSE are characterized by high concentrations in terpenes (13%-40%). These extracts are the perfect consistency for vaping without any additives and are becoming more commonly found in cartridges. High-cannabinoid full-spectrum extracts (HCFSE) are not typically used in cartridges because they are high in THCA and tend to materialize as a sugar or diamond consistency.

Supercritical C02 extraction is a solvent-based method that involves controlled temperature and pressure to create phase changes in C02. This method maintains the integrity of terpenes and protects cannabinoids from decarboxylation while providing the opportunity to separate individual compounds throughout the extraction process.

Distillate is produced through a solventless extraction method. The final output consists of a concentration of a specific molecule (THC or CBD) that’s been isolated. By nature, distillate is flavorless and odorless, so terpenes are also commonly reintroduced to cartridges after the extraction process.

Live resin is a method in which the freshly harvested plant is frozen, skipping the drying and curing process. This typically retains more of the plant’s terpenes than any other extract method; however, they are not guaranteed to qualify as a HTFSE.

What To Look Out For?

Contaminants such as pesticides are a clear red flag. Common cutting agents and additives like coconut oil (MCT), propylene glycol (PG), polyethylene glycol (PEG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and vitamin E acetate will appear on lab results and be disclosed on labels for products sold in the regulated market. Other extract modifiers include plant native terpene formulas that intend to alter the viscosity without compromising the flavor and aroma. While the plant terpenes used in these instances lack the aforementioned ingredients and are food grade and Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA, it’s important to note that this classification refers only to food, not inhalation products.


What’s Being Inhaled?

Delic Labs’ data shows that puff by puff, THC concentrations are dependent upon consumption method, and there are obviously differences between vape products. The average inhalation contains 1 mg of THC per puff, though these levels tend downward throughout the lifecycle of the cartridge (which is the opposite of what the data reflected for the THC levels during the lifecycle of joint consumption.)

Thermal degradation is when the chemistry of compounds changes with increased temperature. This applies to all of the individual compounds included in the cartridge. Unfortunately, when heat (of a specific temperature) is applied, there are toxic compounds produced.

Cannabinoids and terpenes have similar degradation mechanisms. Validated by Roggen’s research, the increased voltage on vape cartridges produces more degradants (and dabbing produces the highest level). Toxic compounds present in both methods include methacrolein, benzene, and isoprene.

The impact of these chemicals on one’s system may vary from single exposure to long-term chronic exposure, but the reality is that humans haven’t been vaping cannabis for nearly as long as they have been smoking it. Researchers simply lack long enough data stretches to fully understand the impacts of vaping upon our health. Those who enjoy cannabis cartridges should make sure they stay informed about what’s inside their vape and understand they are a voluntarily active participant in a massive group study.

This article appears in the July 2022 issue of High Times. Subscribe here.

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From the Archives: Vaporizing THC Oil: An Alternative to Smoking Marijuana (1989)

By Dr. Lunglife

Why Vaporize THC Oil?

Chemical analysis has shown that a cigarette made of raw marijuana contains at least as much “tar” as an equal-sized cigarette made of tobacco. Although medical studies have not shown a connection to date, this fact does suggest that lung diseases such as cancer, emphysema, and bronchitis are possible consequences of heavy marijuana smoking just as they are for tobacco smoking. The frequency of use and the amount smoked are both important when considering lung damage. Fortunately, pot smokers generally smoke much less than tobacco smokers. If one uses high-grade marijuana such as sinsemilla, manicured buds, or fine-screen shake in moderation, lung damage is not likely, as only small amounts are needed to obtain a high. If you have access to high-grade smoke, this article may not be useful, especially if you use a water pipe. However, if you decide to grow your own in the woods, the quality may not be as good. Extracting this essential oil from cannabis will concentrate mediocre-grade marijuana into a powerful liquid. Several irritating and smelly ingredients are removed from this hashish or THC oil. It also takes up much less space, which may be important if secrecy is necessary.

This article suggests a method for decreasing lung damage by inhaling the essential oil of cannabis after vaporizing it. Vaporization means the boiling off of the THC oil, using heat, but not fire. The intense heat of fire promotes many chemical reactions with oxygen, which destroys some of the THC and creates new chemical substances. Some of these firecreated chemicals may be hazardous. By vaporizing the essential oil, some danger is avoided, that of inhaling tar, burnt cellulose, carbon monoxide and combustion products into the lungs. Although the process of vaporization does still produce heat, the vaporized oil is at the boiling temperature for the oil rather than at the much higher temperature of flame.

Method A: using aluminum foil, candle, and a tube

An easy way to vaporize THC oil is by placing a drop on a piece of aluminum foil, heating this over a candle, and inhaling the vaporized oil through a tube such as a straw. A tube that works especially well is from a clear plastic Bic pen. The tube is an improvement over the nose in getting over the rising air full of the vapor, which rapidly condenses into tiny droplets of oil. The tube also helps to control the temperature of the vaporized oil before it enters your lungs, by catching it an inch or so above the foil after it has cooled some. Hold your tongue near the mouth end of the tube, as a way to further cool the vaporized oil. Your tongue should be protected against the heat by wetting it often with saliva.

Method B: using a high intensity light, dimmer, and tube

The materials for this electrical oil vaporizer are easy to obtain, and not difficult to make. The most expensive item is a light-dimmer which includes a power outlet. If you are handy, you can easily construct a box to include a dimmer and an outlet at a cost of around $8. The type of dimmer that pushes on or off, and rotates for power level is the best, for you can keep the best power setting ready to go. The second major item is a small high-intensity reading light, which was recently found on sale for $8 at a local department store. It features a 12 volt incandescent bulb. Hidden in the base of high-intensity lights is a transformer that converts 120 volt house current to a safe 12 volts. A 12 volt bulb is not only safer, but also has a compact filament ideal for the purpose. The only other items would be a toothpick or wooden cuticle stick for applying oil, and the pen tube mentioned above.

To use an electric vaporizer, a 12 volt auto bulb (#1156) is broken in such a way that the filament remains intact. A safe way to do this is to wrap the bulb in a kleenex, and then hit the bulb sharply with pliers so that it breaks. Some remaining pieces of glass will have to be removed with pliers. Orient the light shade sideways to catch excess drips of oil. The THC oil is then dabbed onto the filament, and the filament is heated just enough to vaporize the oil, but not enough to glow. Be prepared to dab oil on a glowing part, in order to protect the filament from air and make it last longer. The rising vapor is sucked in through the tube. Slow deep breaths will maximize efficiency. Turn off the heat before your lungs fill, to avoid wasting oil. It is convenient to use a glass syringe to hold a supply of oil. At first the filament cannot hold much oil, but after some time a dark crust forms, which helps hold oil. This crusty stuff has a higher vaporizing temperature than the desired THC, and is worth keeping out of the lungs. After many uses, the filament is surrounded by a thick ball that is able to hold a full drop of oil. Even with care, a filament will eventually burn out after a few months of use. But until then, one lungful is enough for an enjoyable high.

Method C: The Compact “High Tech” Vaporizer

To make a more sophisticated vaporizer, all the necessary parts are readily available and can be put into one small box. The following list is for the oil vaporizer illustrated here, but you can of course be inventive regarding design and material. The first three parts may be purchased at Radio Shack:

(1) an experimenter’s box 7 3/4″ L X 4 3/8″ W X 2 3/8″ D, black plastic case with an aluminum top, cat. no. 270-232 $2.99;

(2) a push on/off rotary dimmer, cat. no. 61-2699A $6.95;

(3) a small power transformer 120 VAC to 12 VAC 450 mA, cat. no. 2731365 $3.99.

Items that can be purchased at an automotive supply store such as Track Auto include:

(4) an auto turn signal/back-up light bulb #1156, two for $2.84;

(5) a simple single-filament bulb socket, such as for a Ford/Chrysler ’71-76 cars, which costs $1.99.

The remaining supplies include:

(6) a standard 2-wire electrical power cord;

(7) an electrical “nipple” for use in a lighting canopy kit, which is a 3/8″ o.d. tube threaded on the outside, and two matching nuts;

(8) two feet of rubber or plastic tubing and;

(9) a drinking glass, or to be fancy a 3″ glass display dome. The total cost is under $25. Tools needed include an electric drill and various bits; several electrical connectors of the twist type; needle-nose pliers; small nut and bolt pairs; and a screwdriver.

To build the vaporizer, first remove the plastic rotor from the light dimmer, determine the size hole necessary for its shaft, and measure the location for the hole on the metal lid of the box. Drill that hole, insert the light dimmer, and use a pencil to mark the location for the small nuts and bolts which will hold the dimmer in place. Then place the transformer close to the dimmer and drill holes for its bolts. The light socket needs a hole that is tight, so you may need to use a file to finish its hole. The design illustrated uses an 11/16″ hole. Near the bulb socket will be a hole to attach the suction tube. A method that works well is to push a 3/8″ rubber tube over a threaded electrical nipple, which goes through the hole and is held in place with nuts above and below the metal plate. A hole is also drilled in the plastic case for the power cord and a larger hole for the suction tube. Connect the wiring as shown, with the house current going to the transformer inputs, after the hot line also goes through the light dimmer. One line from the 12 volt transformer output goes to the lead from the light socket, and the other is wrapped around one of the bolts in order to use the metal top of the box as the return circuit. Tighten the bolts and screws, and it is ready to go except for the bulb. Prepare the 12 volt bulb the same way as with method B, but because the bulb will now be aimed vertically, a little epoxy glue, nearly filling the base, will make it easier to retrieve oil that will drip. Do not accidentally glue the bulb to the socket.

While the bulb is being conditioned, the high-tech vaporizer is used the same way as the high intensity light model, but after the filament can hold enough oil, an overturned glass can hold the vaporized oil until thick enough to inhale in a short breath.

How To Extract THC Oil

Extracting THC oil is not difficult.

It does require a concern about safety, as all the solvents listed are flammable. The steps necessary to obtain “hashish oil” or the essential oil of cannabis, may be found in two informative books. The first is a book entitled Cannabis Alchemy: The Art of Modem Hashmaking by David Hoye, first printed in 1973 by the HIGH TIMES/Level Press. Another book which describes the same procedures is Marijuana Potency by Michael Starks, 1977, And/Or Press, Berkeley. These books are available from book dealers who advertise in HIGH TIMES. They contain information to help one extract and purify the essential oil of cannabis, making it quite potent. Consult these or similar books for details.

The process essentially involves leaching the THC-containing oil from marijuana in a manner similar to percolating coffee. However, instead of water, the solvent is denatured alcohol, which is evaporated prior to consumption. Denatured alcohol is a common solvent and fuel found in most hardware stores. It is 95% ethyl and 5% methyl alcohol. Other alcohols can be used, but this is the cheapest and most commonly available.

The extraction can be done safely in a pressure cooker, over an electric heating element. Keep the heat very low as alcohol boils much more easily than water. No fire or sparks can be tolerated, and there must be good ventilation. Have a fire extinguisher handy, water will not extinguish an alcohol fire. The first step involves powdering your marijuana and placing it in a pressure cooker and covering it with denatured alcohol. Boil it for one hour, drain and save the alcohol, and boil the marijuana one more hour with fresh alcohol. The leached marijuana is thrown out, and the alcohol is boiled off to leave the first stage oil, which is green. I suggest saving the alcohol for further use by running the alcohol steam through a condensing coil leading down to another pressure cooker, which is kept cold in an ice bucket. When the alcohol is nearly gone from the oil, finish the removal in a Pyrex double boiler. The top pot contains the oil, and fits into the lower pot which contains water. The boiling water prevents the oil from getting too hot, but is still hotter than the boiling point of the remaining alcohol. The green THC oil from this alcohol extraction can be vaporized and inhaled at this time, or it can be isomerized and further purified if desired.

The oil contains THC and also similar but less desirable molecules called cannabidiol and cannabinol. Isomerization changes cannabidiol into tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and the THC to the most active isomer, delta-9-THC. To isomerize your oil, first weigh it, then dissolve it in 10 times its weight of denatured alcohol. Add one drop of strong sulphuric acid (auto battery acid) for each gram of oil. Wear goggles and gloves as concentrated sulphuric acid causes burns. Have bicarbonate of soda handy to neutralize spills.

Boil this mixture for two hours, adding more alcohol as needed to replace the amount lost to evaporation. To reduce alcohol evaporation and the danger of fire, you may cover the pot with a large overturned metal lid, filled with ice. This cool surface will condense the evaporated alcohol, and allow it to drip back.

Further purification is done by mixing the isomerized oil and alcohol mixture with an equal amount of water. Add one gram of sodium bicarbonate for each drop of sulphuric acid. Place this in a smallnecked glass bottle. Add more water so the fluid level is near the bottle top, where it narrows. Then add a small amount of a non-polar solvent. Shake the bottle gently, and remove the solvent and THC oil layer by sucking it out with a baster or an eyedropper. The final step is to heat (electrically only) the result in a double boiler over water to remove the non-polar solvent. Suitable nonpolar solvents include petroleum ether, ligroin, ethyl ether, benzene, xylene, toluene, chloroform, methylene chloride and carbon tetrachloride. All of these except the last three are highly flammable and lighter than water. Good ventilation is essential. It is also important when the solvent is nearly gone to add a drop or two of water and keep heating until the water has evaporated, to be sure that the lower boiling point solvent is totally evaporated. At this point you have a highly concentrated oil, with all toxins removed, which contains a high proportion of THC. For more detailed purification and isomerization procedures read the books. Dr. Lunglife says, “Safety first!”

The author, known to us only as Dr. Lunglife, never told us his real name. He did tell us that he used to live in New England, where he had fun sneaking into the woods and growing his own pot. After years of mediocre crops he finally enjoyed a bumper crop on his hidden 10’ x 12’ plot (odd shaped for camouflage). The seven pounds dry weight he harvested was boiled in alcohol to extract the oil; and the crude oil was further concentrated, isomerized and purified using the methods in the books listed. The oil he derived from this one crop boiled down to six ounces, and has lasted him for seven years, with use nearly every evening and weekend. He reports that vaporizing THC is not only efficient but has protected his lungs. He wants to stress that this article was written, not to encourage illegal activity, but to inform those who are currently smoking marijuana about advances in technology.

High Times Magazine, May 1989

This article appears in the May 1989 issue of High Times. Subscribe here.

The post From the Archives: Vaporizing THC Oil: An Alternative to Smoking Marijuana (1989) appeared first on High Times.

4 Easy Valentine’s Day Cannabis Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, which means romantic potheads around the world will be looking for Valentine’s cannabis gift ideas. Today, we will be breaking down Valentine’s gifts into four categories: food, wellness, novelty and the very thing itself—all of which can be suitable for any gender. This should help make the gift selection […]

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Whole-Plant Cannabis Extract Reduces Epileptic Seizures By 86% in Small Study

A small study of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy has found that whole-plant cannabis therapies reduced seizures by 86 percent, according to research published recently by the journal BMJ Paediatrics Open.

To conduct the study, researchers collected retrospective clinical data from caretakers and clinicians of 10 children with intractable, or drug-resistant, epilepsy. All 10 patients recruited for the study had not responded to CBD products.

When the patients were given a whole-plant cannabis oil containing THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids as well as compounds including terpenes and flavonoids, the frequency of their seizures decreased by nearly 90 percent.

“Seizure frequency across all 10 participants reduced by 86 percent with no significant adverse events,” the authors of the study wrote

The dosage of cannabis oil was determined by each patient’s physician. On average, the children in the study received about 5mg of THC per day, although they did not get high from the medication. Parents reported results to researchers by phone or via video conference calls. Few adverse effects, including excessive tiredness before exact dosing was determined, were reported to researchers.

“All parents reported that the whole-plant products were well-tolerated and the children showed improvements in their mood, behavior, eating anding as well as substantial improvements in their cognitive [mental] abilities,” said study author Rayyan Zafar, a fellow at the Centre for Psychedelic Research and Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London.

The research also revealed that using the cannabis oil resulted in a dramatic reduction in the number of other medications taken by the patients in the study. At the onset of the research, patients were taking multiple medications daily, a figure which declined significantly after treatment with cannabis oil was begun.

“Participants reduced use of antiepileptic drugs from an average of seven to one following treatment with medical cannabis,” the researchers wrote.

Researchers Support Improved Access to Cannabis Therapies

Although U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid (now the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care) announced in 2018 that cannabis medicines would be made available to patients “with an exceptional clinical need,” so far few patients have received a prescription from the National Health Service. The authors of the study “noted significant financial costs of £874 per month to obtain these medicines through private prescriptions” and believe that the data collected on whole-plant cannabis therapies provide evidence to introduce such medications into the NHS under current prescribing guidelines.

“Such a move would be hugely beneficial to the families, who in addition to having the psychological distress of looking after their chronically ill children, have also to cover the crippling financial burden of their medication,” the authors concluded.

Parents Cautioned Against Unsupervised Cannabis Treatment for Seizures

Dr. Kevin Chapman, a neurologist at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and spokesperson for the American Epilepsy Society, said that more research is needed and warned parents not to try to medicate their children with cannabis from a dispensary, saying “it’s still buyer beware.”

“There isn’t enough evidence to support using these products at this time especially instead of prescribed epilepsy treatments,” Chapman said.

The authors of the study acknowledged that there are risks treating young people with psychoactive compounds, but noted that commonly used medications for epilepsy also have serious side effects. Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and a board member of the advocacy group Doctors for Cannabis Regulation who was not involved in the study, noted that worries about how cannabis therapies may affect children should be considered in the context of the risks associated with other commonly used medications.

“I’d imagine that any concerns about the use of THC in a pediatric population would be at least in part alleviated by the drop of anti-epileptic drugs, many of which have side effects,” Grinspoon told UPI.

“It is not difficult to understand why there is such a determined parents’ movement in support of access to cannabinoids for pediatric epilepsy,” he added.

The researchers noted that the individual dosage and blend of cannabis oil was tailored to each patient by their doctors and warned against using the medication without proper supervision.

“Medical oversight is important,” Zafar said. “We encourage parents interested in using these medicines for these children to approach clinics and discuss this option with their physician.”

The authors of the research cited several limitations of the study, including using data that was retrospective and relied on caregiver recall, although parents often kept diaries for recording seizures as documentation of their experiences as they occurred. They also noted that the study was not randomized and did not include a placebo group with which to compare results. 

Researchers also cited the small sample size of the study as a limitation, but noted that the results were consistent with other research. The authors called for further study into the benefits of whole-plant cannabis products for epilepsy patients who experience seizures.

A report on the research, “Medical cannabis for severe treatment resistant epilepsy in children: a case-series of 10 patients,” was published on December 14 by BMJ Paediatrics Open.

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Can Vaping Cause Anxiety?

They’re everywhere: in the supermarket, the local coffee shop, or walking down the street. Everywhere you go, everyone seems to be vaping. From everyday Joes’ to celebrities like Katy Perry and Leonardo DiCaprio, vaping is the new way of smoking. It started as a healthier method of smoking, avoiding nasty chemicals in the paper used to roll […]

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How Cannabis Can Be Used for Elderly Care

As human beings, it is in our nature to care. We care for our friends, family members, pets, anyone, or anything we hold dear. We strive to provide the best care, which often aims more towards children and the elderly. Over the years, children seem to have more options in their developmental growth and overall […]

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