How To Make Cannabis Capsules
4 min

How To Make Cannabis Capsules

4 min

Cannabis capsules deliver the perfect dose of cannabinoids and terpenes in a small, discreet, easy-to-swallow pill. Oh, and did we mention that they're super simple to make? Read on to learn how.

There are myriad ways to use cannabis. Cannabis capsules offer users the ability to enjoy more precise doses of cannabinoids and terpenes in a more discreet manner than smoking or vaping.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to cannabis capsules, and show you how to make them at home with ease.

What are cannabis capsules?

What Are Cannabis Capsules?

Cannabis capsules (or canna caps, as they’re often called) are gelatine capsules filled with cannabis-infused oil. Designed to be taken like other, similar wellness supplements (such as omega-3 fish oil, Echinacea, and krill oil capsules), cannabis capsules deliver a measured dose of cannabinoids and terpenes into the body without having to light a joint or use a vaporizer.

When swallowed, cannabis capsules are quickly broken down by enzymes in the stomach. Unlike edibles (which often contain more nutrients and ingredients that are harder to digest), capsules are generally quite easy to break down. As the capsules are being digested in the stomach, some of the cannabinoids and terpenes within may work on local receptors throughout the digestive tract. The rest will be metabolised in the liver, then absorbed into the bloodstream and transported around the body to act on various receptors that make up the endocannabinoid system (including CB1 and CB2, as well as secondary receptors such as serotonin, TRPV1, etc.).

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where cannabis is legal to purchase, you may be able to source cannabis capsules from a dispensary or pharmacy. If you don’t, however, you can easily make your own cannabis pills by following the recipe in this article.

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Can You Use Any Strain To Make Cannabis Capsules?

Can You Use Any Strain To Make Cannabis Capsules?

Yes! You can use virtually any cannabis strain to make your own capsules, given that you have enough bud or trim. Keep in mind, though, that since every strain has a unique chemical profile, capsules made with different strains will produce notably different effects.

Caps made with THC-rich strains, for example, will obviously get you high, while those made with CBD-rich strains will deliver more mellow and subtle effects. Meanwhile, cannabis capsules made using strong, sleepy strains like Granddaddy Purple and Northern Lights may deliver stoning effects, while caps made with strains Super Silver Haze and Jack Herer may deliver more euphoric and uplifting effects.

If you’re fond of using canna capsules to dose your cannabinoids and terpenes, make sure to experiment with different strains to find the ones that deliver the right effects to satisfy your needs.

Are cannabis pills stronger than edibles?

Are Cannabis Pills Stronger Than Edibles?

No, cannabis capsules aren’t inherently stronger than cannabis edibles. The strength of both depends on the amount of cannabinoids they contain in a single serving. While there is no set-in-stone guide for dosing cannabis (largely due to the fact that it remains illegal in most parts of the world), 5mg of THC or CBD seems to be the average minimum serving in most legal cannabis products. Nonetheless, there is nothing stopping you from making or taking capsules that contain more or less than this amount per serving.

Some users prefer to ingest around 10mg per serving, while those in need of stronger effects might go up to 25mg or more per serving. Keep in mind, though, that cannabis oil capsules are much stronger than smoking or vaping flower, as the THC gets turned into the even more psychotropic molecule 11-hydroxy-THC. So proceed with caution, and don’t feel pressured to take more than you can handle.

Moreover, some people perceive cannabis capsules to be stronger than cannabis edibles because they may deliver a faster onset of effects. This likely comes down to the fact that cannabis capsules are much easier to digest than edibles like baked goods, which can take up to an hour or more to start taking effect.

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How to make cannabis capsules: step-by-step guide

How To Make Cannabis Capsules: Step-by-step Guide

Besides being easy to dose and digest, canna capsules are also gaining popularity because they are simple to make at home.

Below is a simple step-by-step guide to making your own cannabis capsules. As mentioned above, feel free to use whichever strain you enjoy smoking, vaping, or cooking with, or try experimenting with new strains.

Ingredients for Cannabis Pills

  • 10 grams dried cannabis flower
  • ½ cup organic, extra virgin coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon soy lecithin
  • Empty 00-size gelatine capsules (this recipe typically makes 45–50 capsules)

Equipment for Cannabis Capsules

  • Capsule filling machine
  • 10mm oral syringe (to fill the individual capsules)
  • Large saucepan
  • Thermometer
  • Large Mason jar
  • Spatula
  • Lined baking tray (to decarb your cannabis flowers)
  • Sieve and cheesecloth (to strain your infused oil)

Decarboxylating Cannabis Buds

Like with any other cannabis recipe, decarboxylation is really important to ensure that your canna capsules are nice and effective. Essentially, you're turning precursor cannabinoid acids (THCA and CBDA) into "activated" cannabinoids (THC and CBD). To do this, grind your flower, spread it out on a lined baking sheet, and heat it in a preheated oven at 110°C for roughly 30 minutes.

Instructions for Cannabis Capsules

  1. Prepare a water bath. Fill a large saucepan with water, heat to 100°C, and make sure to adjust your stove or burner to keep the temperature steady.

  2. Combine the coconut oil and soy lecithin in a large Mason jar, and place the jar in the preheated water bath. Make sure the water in the bath reaches the brim of the Mason jar.

  3. After a few minutes, the oil and soy lecithin will combine. Now, add in the ground, decarboxylated cannabis flower and stir.

  4. Cook the oil/cannabis mixture for 3–4 hours, stirring regularly. Make sure to keep the temperature steady during the cooking process, and remember to fill the water bath if needed.

  5. Turn off the heat, carefully remove the Mason jar from the water bath, and let it cool completely.

  6. Strain the oil through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Make sure to remove all plant material from the oil mixture.

  7. Place your capsules in the capsule filling machine.

  8. Use an oral syringe to suck up small amounts of the cannabis-infused coconut oil, and slowly fill the capsules in the filling machine.

  9. Once you’ve filled all the capsules, close them according to the instructions that come with your machine. You should hear the capsules “snap” shut.

Where to store cannabis capsules

Where To Store Cannabis Capsules

To help preserve your canna caps, it's best to store them together with a small silica gel pack in an airtight container, like Tupperware or a glass jar with a screw lid. Keep the container in a cool, dry, and dark place (a medicine cabinet works great).

Do Cannabis Oil Capsules Expire?

Cannabis capsules typically won’t go rancid or spoil. Because they essentially just contain coconut oil, they also shouldn’t take on a bad taste. However, you may notice that canna caps lose their potency if kept over long periods (as the cannabinoids and terpenes break down). For the sake of freshness, it’s recommended you use your homemade cannabis capsules within 2 to 3 months of making them.

As our understanding of cannabis evolves, we’re discovering countless benefits and uses for this ancient holistic plant. If you enjoy the effects of cannabis and are looking for a simple, discreet way to incorporate THC or CBD into your daily routine, make sure to try your hand at making canna caps at home.

Steven Voser
Steven Voser
Steven Voser is an independent cannabis journalist with over 6 years of experience writing about all things weed; how to grow it, how best to enjoy it, and the booming industry and murky legal landscape surrounding it.
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