How to make CBD infused bath bombs

You may be more familiar with taking CBD orally. However, with CBD products’ popularity, there’s a huge variety in products, including lotions and balms. If you’re looking for some relief from joint and muscle pain and you enjoy soaking in a nice hot bath, then these homemade CBD bath bombs may be just the solution […]

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DIY Smoking Devices You Can Make with Household Items

With cannabis being legal in many states across the country, more and more people are interested in the space. The industry is more talked about than ever with helpful guides online about everything from choosing the right strain, to how to clean a one-hitter safely.  The industry is certainly getting more popular and we don’t […]

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Why You Should Try Bath Bombs Infused With CBD

For those who enjoy taking a bath, I am sure you have tried a bath bomb before. But, have you ever tried one infused with CBD? They are the bomb! Not only do they smell amazing, but bath bombs infused with CBD have amazing benefits. Here is everything you should know about CBD: Used to […]

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Truly, Madly, Deeply in Love with Hashish

A dollop of golden resin lands on the smoldering, yet
quickly cooling, quartz banger. On impact, the glistening Purple Tangie hashish
immediately begins to pulsate furiously; large, clear domes of orange and pine
bliss form and pop in rapid succession. I hasten to inhale all of the tangy,
swirling blue smoke and I am immediately awash in a pleasant and uplifting
energy. There is nothing quite like the unique experience of dabbing bubble
hash.

When it comes to the enjoyment of concentrates, dabbing BHO and CO2 oil will get you high for sure, but the experience is very different from smoking hashish. For example, the taste of CO2 oil is sometimes rather bland. For this reason, many of solvent-free CO2 extraction companies invest a lot of effort in reintroducing the right amount of terpenes so that the concentrate is up to par. With BHO, there is often a chest-expanding sensation that takes many dabbers time to get used to. I find that, contrary to that chest-expanding feeling, dabbing hashish immediately opens a sparkly channel of positive feeling up through my nose, between my eyes and toward the top of my head. A calm hush descends upon the outside world as I become inwardly focused on the thick, rolling blue smoke tunneling down to my lungs and then easily bursting forth from my mouth. When I dab hashish, I feel like I temporarily relinquish control of my body — and I am fine with that. With each breath, waves of euphoria course through my veins and my skin feels like it is vibrating.

Given my immense love for hashish, many are surprised to find out that this love affair began relatively recently. It was at the 2014 High Times Medical Cannabis Cup that I had my eyes opened to the world of concentrates made without chemical solvents. Coming from the desert that was the Florida concentrates scene, I was eager to ingest as many dabs as possible, so I dabbed everything in sight with much enthusiasm. I found myself in front of a well-appointed booth with huge chunks of chocolate of different colors on display. I am no fan of chocolate, so I screwed up my face and turned away, mumbling about my distaste for the sweet brown delicacy. A voice piped up in a thick French accent, “This is not chocolate. This is hashish.”

Sure, I had tasted some hashish when my husband was gifted a
few precious morsels of the dark substance. However, I had never seen it in any
quantities larger than half of a fingernail. My response was to ask if it could
be dabbed. When I was assured it could, I did, and it was glorious. That was
the beginning.

A temple ball of hashish represents the culmination of the hash-making process, showcasing material that has been sourced, separated, pressed and gathered.

Weeks later, after a deep introductory smoke and coffee session, the French man — aptly named Frenchy Cannoli — offered me the opportunity to both write about hashish for an international magazine and to learn to make it myself. The very first teaching session had me hooked.

I had made other concentrates before. Earlier in 2014, my husband and I had traveled to intern at a CO2 oil manufacturing company. One of the main turn-offs of that process was how mechanical and energetically sterile it all felt. In CO2 extractions, cannabis is crushed in a grinder, stuffed in tubes and then, for six hours amidst the loudest racket imaginable, cannabis oil is forced out of the plant material.

In contrast, the whole procedure of making bubble hash is
far more romantic. The material used must be treated as delicately as the
material that will eventually be sold in stores. Washing resin requires a keen
eye, paying attention to all the variables. Is there enough ice? Too much?
Should the machine (or hand stirrer) be more aggressive to loosen the stubborn
trichomes? Has the material been in water long enough or for too much time? The
manner of making hashish is all about balance.

Once dried, the magic continues in the pressing stage, which
is my favorite part. My love for hashish practically overflows when it is time
to melt the clean trichome heads into one luscious mass. In a sensual dance of
gentle prodding and coercion, I shape warm resin with my hands, caressing,
forming, squeezing and rolling. By the time I am done, I love that piece of
hashish thoroughly. I have deposited a piece of myself into the process.

And the benefits of bubble hash are not just atmospheric. High THCA and THC percentages are touted as reasons for preferring other types of extracts, but bubble hash made from the right varieties will yield percentages in the high 70s to 80s.

Plus, while I do not have a scientific basis for my belief,
my body can feel the difference between consuming just the oil byproduct in BHO
and CO2 oil versus the whole trichome in hashish.

Though I like pressed hash the most, granular hash has my
heart, too. The majority of hashish that I consume and write about is from
dedicated modern-style hashmakers who prefer to separate their trichome glands
through multiple micron screens, creating a powdery hash. I can appreciate the
great effort it takes to make quality hashish of all consistencies and I like
it all.

However, while I am easily enamored by expertly dried glands perched discretely atop each other, I am positively enraptured by examples of the best pressed hash available. The beauty of the smooth, gleaming skin of a well-rolled temple ball is unrivaled by the aesthetic of any other presentation of cannabis trichomes, and that includes solventless diamonds. No matter how gorgeous they may be, they are not my best friend. That particular space in my heart is reserved for broad-spectrum, partially decarbed, pressed bubble hash.

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.

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DIY Cannabis Oil Skincare You Can Make at Home

Hempseed oil has an extensive history of being used during shamanic rituals, inside love potions and in fragrances. Today, consumers are surrounded by various hemp-derived cannabis oil skincare and other beauty products on pharmacy shelves, down grocery store aisles and even in mothers’ bathrooms.

Hemp, which can be purchased from outside of the U.S. in all 50 states, only contains about 0.3 percent to 1.5 percent THC and originates from the same plant as marijuana  — Cannabis Sativa L. Hemp refers to the commercial use of the cannabis plant’s stalk or seeds, while the term marijuana pertains to the medicinal, spiritual or recreational use, which involves smoking or vaporizing cannabis flowers.

THC, the main psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis, is an antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory properties. According to clinical research, cannabinoids contain anti-aging and antioxidant properties. The journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology confirms that cannabinoids are responsible for lipid production, and thus they can get dry skin or stubborn acne under control.

While scientists pretty much unanimously agree that smoking any substance promotes advanced aging, THC actually does the opposite when applied topically to the skin. According to various studies, THC makes the marijuana plant naturally resilient to pathogens, while it has proven to absorb high levels of UVB rays. This means that the plant’s seeds are protected from radioactive damage, as it can then be applied as a neuroprotective antioxidant for human skill cells. As an antioxidant, THC can combat wrinkles and fine lines. Scientists now are even researching ways that it can ttreat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Hemp is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 making it an ideal component of any skin treatment. It’s also a great alternative ingredient to toxic chemicals present in many petroleum-based lotions and serums. To integrate cannabis oil skincare into a health and beauty regimens, skip out on heading to the store to purchase hemp-infused beauty products. All that’s needed is hemp oil or, better yet, cannabis oil to start cooking up some homemade facials.

All of the following facial recipes are made with cannabis oil, but if it’s not available simply substitute hemp oil.

Green Goddess Facial

Antioxidant-rich avocado contains a ton of vitamin C, which is needed for the creation of elastin and collagen, both responsible for maintaining skin’s firmness. Patchouli essential oil was added to the mix, since it tightens and tones sagging skin. The potent flower is also known to be a natural antidepressant, while it helps treat anxiety and other stress-related disorders. Use patchouli sparingly, because its scent can be overwhelming and off-putting to some. Finally, cocoa powder rejuvenates dull skin, while safeguarding your skin from sunburn.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup of cannabis oil
  • 2 teaspoon of natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3-4 drops of patchouli oil (optional)

Preparation

Step one: Cut open the avocado, removing its pit and spooning its flesh into a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients.

Step two: Mash the mixture into a smooth texture, trying to avoid chunks.

Step three: Rub the mixture in a circular motion on your face using fingertips.

Step four: To get the full spa treatment, boil some water and put it in a heatproof bowl. Be sure to tie your hair back. Next, put your green face over the bowl, with a towel over both you and the bowl. This will open up your pores, allowing your skin to absorb the facial’s nutrients.

Step five: Leave the facial on for 20-30 minutes. Afterward, take a warm wet washcloth and wash off the mixture in a circular motion.

Coco Oasis Exfoliant

Coconut oil is one of the trendiest new ingredients to put into any beauty elixir and with good reason. It’s a great skin softener and scientific research is ongoing to prove it can help treat acne, eczema and psoriasis. Combined with sugar or salt, it takes on the role of an awesome exfoliant, scraping off dead skin and purifying pores. Agave nectar has been noted to have incredible remedial potential, providing relief from bacteria and infections. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of cannabis oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of agave nectar
  • ¼ cup of sugar, white granulated sugar, or brown sugar

Preparation

Step one: Stir together the agave and coconut oil in a medium bowl.

Step two: In another bowl, mix the cannabis oil with the sugar until it becomes a little more crumbly.

Step three: Combine the two mixtures and stir until mostly smooth. When finished, it should be a bit grainy to effectively exfoliate.

Step four & five: Repeat these same steps as in the Green Goddess recipe.

TELL US, have you ever made your own cannabis oil skincare products?

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Socially Distant Sex – You can do it! Here’s how

It’s the summer, the time for love but the only problem is that we are in the middle of a pandemic. If you weren’t banging someone before this whole thing started, chances are that this hasn’t changed. After all, how exactly does one score some socially distant action? It’s a question that we all should […]

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Water Hash 101 from ‘Beyond Buds, Next Generation’

Water hash is a favorite method of making concentrates employed all
over the world. Its name comes from the water process used to collect glands
from the trim, leaf and buds. On a fundamental level, the process works because
cannabinoids are not water-soluble, meaning that the desired resins are not
damaged by contact with water and ice.

Whether smoked as loose, granular resin or pressed into traditional hashish, there are multiple ways to consume this concentrate. High-quality loose hash can easily be pressed into hashish using nothing more than the palm of one hand and some light, brisk friction, applied using the thumb of the other hand. Loose or pressed, many people are still enthralled by the unique, full-spectrum experience of this potent natural product.

Plant materials are weighed and measured inside of the Resinator XL.

Water hash can be made in small or large quantities, and turnkey extracting systems can be purchased to simplify the process. It is also possible to make water hash using home-gathered equipment, but with inexpensive kits available, the savings are often negligible. Pre-made systems offer increased precision and efficiency for the water hash process, and their availability contributed to a surge in water hash’s popularity during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Water hash’s two-decade run of dominance ended with the rise of solvent-extracted hash; shatter, wax, and other butane hash-oils have muscled aside bubble hash on many dispensary shelves in the United States over the last few years. But this competition from solvent hash has also inspired water hash makers to step their game up, inspiring an increased emphasis on appearance and flavor. Ultra-fine water hash is now being sold as “solventless wax,” reflecting the broad demand for solvent-free products that mirror the desirable consistency and refined flavor profile of solvent-extracted hash.

Water is sprayed inside the Resinator XL, an extraction machine designed to make water hash.

High-grade water hash is also great for edibles, and any experienced
dabber will tell you that “five star” hash is very dabbable. It’s also next to impossible to seriously injure
yourself or anyone else making water hash, because the process doesn’t involve
any flammable chemicals or potentially explosive machinery.

How Water Hash Works

All water hash methods use water, ice and agitation to separate resin glands from plant material. Water and plant material are placed in a bucket that has been lined with filtration bags, similar in composition to the screens used for making dry sift kief. Like those screens, the bags filter the glands by micron size, separating the hash from the trash. A micron is one-millionth of a meter, or .001 millimeters. The material is stirred to knock the trichomes free, and while the plant material floats in the top bag, the glands (which are heavier) sink and are collected in the lower bags.

Ready-made systems use multiple bags that sort the glands by size: Unlike kief-making, the material is separated in one step rather than through repeated sieving. Usually, the material is processed once, but some commercial hash makers process it a second time to further isolate the THC.

how to make water hash
Hand-pressed hash.

As with all extraction methods, cold temperature is a key element of water hash production. The ice keeps the water and material very cold so the glands remain brittle and snap off with agitation. After the material is agitated in ice water, it’s allowed to settle. Then, the bags are separated and the glands are removed from each one. After the water hash is dried, it’s ready to smoke.

The hash varies in color and can be many shades of white, brown, red and even purple. When extracted from the finest-grade material, the potency of water hash can test as high as many solvent hash products, with up to 80 percent cannabinoid content.

water hash ball
A traditional Nepalese pressed hash ball.

A Note on Yields

Processing 227 grams of high-quality material usually yields between 18 grams (8 percent yield) to 35 grams (15 percent yield). Yields increase with the quality of the starting material. However, in some instances, such as with Tangie, obtaining a yield over 7 percent using water is nearly impossible. This is one reason solvent-based methods and other, newer extraction techniques have overtaken water processing in popularity.

But there are considerations other than yield; the full-spectrum effects and natural flavor profile of water hash are unique because the process preserves the terpenes in the glands. For this reason, some people prefer high-quality water hash to solvent-extracted products.

TELL
US
, have you ever tried water hash?

To learn more about extraction techniques for water hash and other cannabis concentrates, check out “Beyond Buds, Next Generation: Marijuana Concentrates and Cannabis Infusions.”

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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The do’s and don’t of making an at-home steam room

My dad’s family is from Estonia and over there, everyone sauna’s weekly. Even tiny little bachelor apartments have a closet-sized, stand up sauna. This is a wise practice. Using a sauna or steam room regularly is said to help with muscle pain relief, detoxification, and sleep improvement. Due to the Coronavirus, public saunas and steam […]

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Top 7 food items as a smoking device for weed

Every stoner has gone through the struggle of wanting to smoke weed but not having anything to smoke it with. Fortunately, you can make your own smoking device for weed out of easily accessible food items. Much like rolling a joint, knowing how to carve fruit into a pipe is also a useful life skill. […]

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You’ve Grown It, Now Own It: How to Master Drying & Curing Cannabis

Properly
dried and cured cannabis flower buds burn evenly and have a smooth, rich taste.
When smoked, the embers have an even glow and enter the body smoothly. When
vaporized, there should be no apparent “green” taste.

If
flower buds are dried too quickly, chlorophyll and other pigments, starch and
nitrates or other fertilizer salts are trapped within plant tissue, making it
burn unevenly and taste unpleasantly “green.” If buds are dried too slow, or not at all, they rot.

Gardeners can lose some or all of their crop to poor drying and curing cannabis techniques. Here’s how to do it right:

Drying

Drying converts 75% or more of a freshly harvested plant into water vapor and other gases and converts carbohydrates to simple sugars. Drying also converts chlorophyll and other pigments so that no “green” residuals remain.

You
can harvest an entire plant, individual branches or strip flower buds from
branches to dry. When stems are severed, the transport of fluids within the
plant continues, but at a much slower rate. The natural plant processes slowly
come to an end as the plant dries. The outer cells are the first to dry, but
fluid still moves from internal cells to supply moisture to outer cells, which
are dry. When the drying and curing processes occur properly, plants dry evenly
throughout. Removing leaves and large stems upon harvest speeds drying;
however, moisture content within the “dried” flower
buds, leaves and stems can become uneven.

Drying
time depends upon temperature, humidity and bud density. Ideal temperature is
60-70°F and the best humidity range for drying
is 45-55%. Most flower buds will be dry enough in three to five days before
passing to the curing process, but they may take longer. It can take up to two
weeks before all chlorophyll — the stuff that gives the “green” taste — has dissipated from
foliage. Big, fat, dense flower buds can take three to four days longer to dry
than smaller buds. Gently squeeze buds after they have been drying for a few
days to check for moisture content. Bend stems to see if they are dry. If the
stem breaks rather than folds, it is ready to cure. The bud should be dry to
the touch but not brittle. The bud should burn well enough to smoke when dry.

Curing

Even
after plants, branches or buds have dried on screens or been suspended in a
drying room for five to seven days and appear to be dry, they still contain
moisture inside. This moisture affects taste, fragrance and cannabinoid content
(potency). Curing will remove this excess moisture and all it contains.

Curing makes buds uniformly dry and pleasant to consume, and preserves natural cannabinoids and terpenes.

Curing
after drying helps remove any remaining chlorophyll, other pigments, latent
fertilizer salts and so on that have accumulated in flower buds, leaves and
stems. If dried too quickly, flower buds retain more chlorophyll and have a “green” taste, and when vaporized
or smoked are harsh on the pallet and often burn too hot. For some, curing is not
essential. In fact, some medical patients prefer the often minty flavor of
uncured cannabis.

Curing
also allows cannabis to fully dry so that mold does not grow when it is stored.
Well-cured flower buds are soft and pliable but dry inside. Flower buds should
feel like they are dry and only the dry pliable foliage is holding resin onto
stems. Here’s how to cure bud:

Gently place “dry”
flower buds in an airtight container. Clear and opaque turkey bags are popular.
So are food-grade sealable plastic buckets. There are also bags that reflect
heat and are airtight (when properly sealed) and infrared-proof, which protects
them from heat.

Write the date on the containers and place in a cool, dry, dark place. Moisture inside buds will migrate from the center of the stem outward. Check the container after two to four hours to see if buds feel different. Gently squeeze a couple of buds to see if they feel moister now, but be careful, resin glands bruise easily.

Open the drying container two to three times a day for the first seven
days to release moisture. Take a whiff the instant you open the container. The
fragrance should be sweet and somewhat moist. Close the container quickly. If
necessary, remove buds from jar for a short time to inspect for mold and
disease.

After the first week, open
containers once or twice a week for a quick whiff. Do not open too many times
or the slow-curing process will stop. Some gardeners cure flower buds slowly
for six months or longer. However, after two to three weeks they should be
fully cured and remain fresh, firm and pliable. Flower buds can be sealed in
containers and stored.

Things to Avoid

Light — especially ultraviolet (UV) rays from natural sunlight — heat and friction hasten biodegradation of resin glands and cannabinoids. Do not place dried cannabis in hot automobile glove compartments, and keep it away from heat vents and so forth. Friction and rough handling can bruise and rupture resin glands. Even with proper drying and curing, brutal handling of harvested cannabis will diminish cannabinoid content.

TELL US, have you ever grown cannabis?

Originally published in Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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