Many people in the cannabis world prefer to vaporize their medicine rather than smoke it. Vaporizers are an efficient way to deliver THC and provide a healthier alternative to combusting buds.
Many people in the cannabis world prefer to vaporize their medicine rather than smoke it. Vaporizers are an efficient way to deliver THC and provide a healthier alternative to combusting buds. When a bowl is finished, users might throw out the ABV (already been vaped) flower, but that crunchy brown leftover still contains cannabinoids that can be used to make edibles. It is no mystery that edibles can be made from this ABV material, but what is really being infused into those treats? To answer this question, we conducted experiments to determine what is in ABV flower and how to extract and utilize the cannabinoids that are left after vaping.
The ABV material for this experiment was collected over a few months and contained many different Indica, Sativa, and hybrid strains. Although there were cannabinoids present, laboratory testing confirmed the ABV flower contained no terpenes. Initial potency analysis determined the ABV material contained 6.5% (65 mg/g) total cannabinoids. The most intriguing thing about the ABV potency results are that the flower not only contained THC (34 mg/g Δ⁹-THC), it also contained 25 mg/g Cannabinol (CBN) and 3.2 mg/g Cannabigerol (CBG). Since CBG is non-psychoactive and present in very low concentrations, this experiment will focus primarily on CBN. CBN is a degradation product of THC and is most likely the result of the heat used in the vaping process. Because CBN is a breakdown product of THC, it has been undesirable in most flowers and at most commercial grow facilities. Therefore, not many CBN products are likely to be found on the shelves of dispensaries. This makes ABV treats a great at home product that is different than a traditional edible from the dispensary.
Following laboratory analysis of the ABV bud, the next step was to extract cannabinoids from the plant material. Normally when making edibles, cannabinoids need to be decarboxylated and extracted. Proper decarboxylation is crucial for making effective edibles. Decarboxylation is the process of changing the non-psychoactive THC-A into the psychoactive Δ⁹-THC by using heat. This is often the most difficult part of making edibles since it is hard to know when the decarb is complete without laboratory analysis. The beauty of ABV edibles is that the ABV bud is almost fully decarboxylated when it comes out of the vaporizer so the decarb step can be skipped entirely.
To make the infused oil, 16.5 grams of ABV bud was put into a glass jar. Enough melted coconut oil was added to cover the plant material. The oil was then double boiled in a pot of water for 30 min, and stirred frequently (the heat and agitation are to aid in the extraction of cannabinoids NOT to decarb them). The ABV oil was strained through cheesecloth to remove the leftover plant material. This left-over material still contains cannabinoids so the previous steps can be followed again to extract additional cannabinoids (this work only completed one straining). Straining off the ABV is not mandatory but will significantly improve the flavor and texture of the final product. The strained oil will have a green color. This extraction yielded 83 grams of infused oil. After analysis, the coconut oil was found to contain 3.2 mg/g Δ⁹-THC, 2.7 mg/g CBN and 0.33 mg/g CBG which puts the total cannabinoid count for the jar of oil at 265.6 mg Δ⁹-THC, 224.1 mg CBN and 27.4 mg CBG. With a grand total of just over 547 mg of total cannabinoids, this oil should make some potent edibles.
Coconut oil is a great choice for making infused oil and can also be used in many different recipes. The best way to infuse edible goods is to exchange the normal oil or butter in the recipe for the infused oil that was prepared earlier. When adding the wet ingredients, it is crucial to mix the batter extremely well. Uneven mixing will cause your final product to have inconsistent potency. Always mix the batter for longer than you think is necessary to ensure even distribution of cannabinoids.
For this work, we made a lemon cake using the ABV extract. Normal baking instructions were followed, except for replacing butter with the infused coconut oil. After baking, the tray was cut into 20 equal pieces each weighing about 30 grams. Laboratory analysis of the lemon cake determined each piece contained 12.6 mg Δ⁹-THC, 9.90 mg CBN, and 1.80 mg CBG. This is a sufficient level for a novice to average user to feel the effects. Remember, an appropriate dose can vary widely from person to person so use caution if you are unexperienced with edibles. Having the same sized treats is paramount in dosing edibles consistently and correctly. Weighing each treat is a good way to know they are all a similar size.
The treats were passed out to 6 patient subjects for review. One might expect the oil to have a strong burnt/vaped cannabis flavor. Instead the test subjects reported that the treats tasted great and a cannabis taste was barely noticeable in the cake. One review mentioned a slightly earthy, almost rosemary undertone. The ABV treats did not produce the normal, “couch locked” body high associated with edibles, but did produce heavy eyelids along with a light hypnotic feeling. Half of the test subjects reported getting the munchies. It was quite surprising to hear that nobody felt the edible made them drowsy like a strong THC edible can. Instead the reports indicated that everyone went to sleep on their own and experienced a very deep and satisfying sleep. All test subjects reported waking up feeling well rested and no one reported the half-baked, groggy feeling that is commonly associated with an edible hangover. Overall, everyone enjoyed the experience and would recommend these treats to anyone looking for a good night’s sleep.
For those searching for ways to widen the spectrum of cannabinoids they ingest, homemade ABV edibles are a great way to introduce CBN. The focus on strain breeding for the last 50+ years has been almost exclusively to promote THC production with very little focus on producing other cannabinoids such as CBN and CBD. With THC at the forefront of the cannabis buzz, the less psychoactive cannabinoids were forgotten about and almost completely bred out of most strains. In time, breeders will begin to select for medicinal traits and compounds other than THC, bringing other cannabinoids back into the profiles of their flowers. With more research, the importance of these lesser known cannabinoids will become more clear. Until more CBN products become available, ABV edibles are an easy product that can be made at home.
For more information about Ace Analytical, visit aceanalytical.com or call (702) 749-7429.