Cannabis flowers are rich with hundreds of biologically active phytochemicals, many still unidentified and unexplored, and some of the most medically important ones are unique to Cannabis. While scientists worldwide rush to discover and isolate the medical effects of these phytochemicals, many of us already have enough evidence to know that Cannabis is a great gift to our health and well-being and would like to find ways to use the whole natural medicine to its full potential.
I want to share a simple recipe, to my knowledge first invented by Todd McCormick of agseedco.com for making powerful natural medicine from whole Cannabis flower. This organic hempseed oil cold extract of whole Cannabis flower gives you 100% of the beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytochemicals that, when taken all together and in unaltered form, are the complete natural medicine with its full potential.
New research shows clearly that Cannabis terpenes and phytocannabinoids have the greatest therapeutic effect when they are used whole, with the terpenes & phytocannabinoids available in their natural ratios.
“Terpenoids and Phytocannabinoids Co-Produced in Cannabis Sativa Strains Show Specific Interaction for Cell Cytotoxic Activity”
“We found that in “high THC” or “high CBD” strains, phytocannabinoids are produced alongside certain sets of terpenoids. Only co-related terpenoids enhanced the cytotoxic activity of phytocannabinoids. This was found to be most effective in natural ratios found in extracts of cannabis inflorescence.”
There are so many uses for this wonderful, aromatic oil which takes on the full essence of the Cannabis variety you’re using to make it. I like to have several jars of oil with different Cannabis varieties going at one time – one I take by the spoonful as medicine, one I use for warm dishes and on bread, one for cold salads and my smoothies. I don’t cook with this oil – the whole point of this approach is that the Cannabis flower’s medicinal, healing terps and cannabinoids are extremely sensitive to heat.
In order to make your own Cannabis flower-enriched hemp seed oil, crush, chop or roughly grind up some fresh (or as fresh as possible) organic Cannabis flowers and put them in a green or brown (not clear) glass (not plastic) quart jar – like a canning jar. No need to over-trim if at all – go ahead and use the small sugar leaves for infusing as long as they’re showing visible trichomes.
I don’t weigh the flowers – I just loosely fill the jar half-way and then slowly pour in the organic hemp seed oil. I top off by gently pushing down any large floaters then topping the oil, leaving as little room for air at the top as possible. It will take about ¾ of a quart of oil to fill the quart jar, depending on how dense the crushed flowers are.
I cap it tightly and turn & gently shake the jar to disperse the crushed flowers in the oil. Then I put it in the refrigerator for a few days, giving it a little shake & a turn a couple of times a day, whenever I’m near the fridge. (Put something like a small saucer underneath your jars the first time you set them upside down in the fridge in case they leak.)
Because hemp seed oil is naturally 100% compatible with the Cannabis flowers, it will penetrate the crushed flowers and the walls of their precious trichomes and absorb the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and other essential phytochemicals with no evaporation or sublimation, no loss of medicinal potency, and very importantly no decarboxylation of the THC and other thermally vulnerable phytocannabinoids.
There is no decarboxylation of the THC because there has been no heat, which means that we get the full medicinal benefits of THC without any of its psychoactive effects. We can get many of those effects from Cannabis easily enough when we smoke, vape or eat decarbed flowers, although depending on the smoking/vaping method some of the phytochemicals are destroyed and others are degraded. This oil is about the preserving the whole flower effects by the gentle infusion of organic Cannabis seed oil with organic whole Cannabis flowers in the absence of heat and light.
After 5 days or so I strain the crushed flower material from the oil by pouring the oil slowly through a fine mesh sieve or some cheesecloth and then pressing the remainder out of extracted flowers. The oil will be a little cloudy because straining doesn’t remove the fine physical particles, but the phytochemicals themselves are fully in solution. There’s no reason to go any further unless you want to clarify your oil, which isn’t really necessary because as long as you keep the jar sealed and cold the fine particles won’t oxidize and spoil the oil.
Some separation and clarification will happen naturally as the oil sits in the fridge, and if you want to you can carefully pour off the clarified top layer of oil. Then you can squeeze the remaining cloudy oil through layers of cheesecloth until it clarifies. Don’t throw away the oily flower residue from sieve or cheesecloth – use it in a recipe for something delicious.
I recommend starting by consuming a daily total of 5 grams of oil per 50 pounds of your body weight in order to benefit from this oil’s perfect balance of the entire family of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), their essential fatty acids (EFAs), and the linoleic and omega-3 fatty acids – all with the desirable 3:1 omega-6: omega-3 fatty acid ratio – along with the entire array of unaltered, natural-state phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
Hemp seed oil’s γ-linolenic (GLA), 0.5-6%, and stearidonic acid (SDA), 0.3-2.5% are also both medically important.
GLA is an omega-6 PUFA found in human milk and several other botanical seed oils such as borage, blackcurrant and evening primrose. There is research indicating that GLA-supplemented diets decrease various inflammatory reactions.
SDA is an omega-3 fatty acid that serves as a precursor for production of other omega-3 fatty acids. In humans, dietary SDA is easily converted to beneficial long chain omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
There’s plenty of scientific and medical research around all these topics available with a few simple searches if you want validation for the medical potential of cold extracted cannabis flower, but the best validation will come from adding it to your diet and noticing the results. Here’s a link to my complete list of Cannabis terpenes and the medical literature behind each of them.
You can use this phytocannabinoid enriched hemp seed oil externally on your skin and you can replace some of the other oils that you use throughout the day, such as on your salad, on popcorn, in dips and salsas, on toast or waffles, and even in your smoothies. Don’t use it for cooking and expect that you’ll be getting all of the benefits; however, it does make a very nice saute oil for mushrooms and fish, among other tasty uses.
Bon appétit et bonne santé!