How to Make Marijuana Capsules at Home For some conditions, such as chronic pain syndromes like arthritis and multiple sclerosis, orally ingested Cannabis is an important part of the treatment Learn how to make your own cannabis capsules at home with multiple options for a quick, easy, effective, and tasteless way to dose.
How to Make Marijuana Capsules at Home
For some conditions, such as chronic pain syndromes like arthritis and multiple sclerosis, orally ingested Cannabis is an important part of the treatment plan. This is often done to provide baseline control over the patient’s symptoms with long-lasting relief, so that daily activities can be accomplished more comfortably and with greater ease. Inhaled marijuana use can then be limited to an “as-needed” basis, which is often none at all. If you’re living with a medical condition that causes chronic pain, oral medication might be the best method of using Cannabis for you. Best of all, you can make the capsules yourself with some common household items and ingredients.
Before You Get Started: Preparing the Ingredients
Currently, oral preparations are typically available in “edible” form, meaning food products like brownies, candies, or chocolates. While an occasional treat (medicated or not) is certainly OK, it concerns me when people get into a habit of mixing food and Cannabis on a routine basis. Frankly, most Americans just don’t need an extra brownie in their daily diet, and certainly not several per day! Moreover, many patients have diabetes among their chronic medical problems and cannot safely tolerate an extra load of sugar. To avoid these pitfalls, we can turn to the alternative of orally ingested pills – more specifically, capsules. Not only do capsules allow us to avoid the sugar problem, they also enable greater dosing precision, and are frankly easier to use. While some dispensaries can provide pre-made capsules, many do not; and even when they do, the capsules can be quite expensive. However, it’s easy to make these at home from medicine you can get easily from a dispensary, and save money too! Here’s how to get started.
Items You Will Need
- Highly concentrated Cannabis extract, preferably solid, like “shatter” with a known percentage of THC. (Here’s an article on shatter with pictures .)
- Liquid oil. Any cooking oil will do, Canola or Coconut is fine. If you use Coconut oil make sure to use the kind that’s liquid at room temperature, like this kind . Do not get the type that’s solid at room temperature, like this !
- A scale capable of measuring in milligrams.
- Wax or parchment paper.
- A metal 1/4c measuring cup.
- US teaspoon measure
- A 10cc syringe with blunt-tip needle (like this one )
- Size 0 empty capsules. Cellulose (i.e. vegan) last better than gelatin – see this example .
- Now, an important word of caution before you start cooking: the key to this whole process is making sure the math is correct, so do not neglect to double-check your measurements. Fortunately, it’s pretty simple. Just remember two things:
- Your end goal is to have the correct number of milligrams (mg) of Cannabis in each 0.5ml capsule. (Remember that cc is the same as ml).
- The “shatter” you’re using is not pure, 100% THC.
Let’s apply some hard numbers by way of example. Suppose that your desired dose would be 10mg, and that you’re using shatter with an 80% THC content. In order to get 10mg of THC out of 80% pure extract, you must use 12.5mg of shatter. Here’s what the equation would look like:
D indicates your intended dose. P indicates the percentage of THC in your shatter. The slash mark (/) simply means “divided by.” That’s all you need to remember when you substitute your own numbers.
Simple Recipe for Homemade Marijuana Capsules
Measuring 12.5mg of shatter will be difficult, because it’s such a small amount that most tools won’t be sensitive enough to handle it effectively, including your scale. But that doesn’t have to be an obstacle: we’ll simply make 10 ml of oil, since that’s the size of our storage syringe anyway. Not only will your measurements be more accurate, you’ll also have 20 doses – kind of like cooking on Sunday for the whole rest of the work week. Just follow along with me on these seven steps:
- First, you’ll need to measure out 10ml of oil, or two teaspoons. Place that into your metal 1/4c measuring cup.
- Next, place a small bit of parchment or wax paper on the scale. Press the “tare” button. This subtracts the weight of the parchment paper – yes, you really do need to measure that finely – so that the scale will start at zero. Only the weight of the ingredient you put on next will be counted.
- Carefully measure out 250mg of shatter (12.5mg times 20 capsules).
- Place your 250mg of shatter into the metal measuring cup, along with the oil.
- Using an oven mitt or sturdy pot-holder, place the measuring cup over a burner on your stove. Heat it slowly, using the lowest heat setting, while stirring with a small spoon, until you get the shatter to fully dissolve into the oil. Be sure none is stuck to the walls of the measuring cup or spoon.
- Let the mixture cool fully. Using the syringe with the blunt needle, suck up all of the oil. You can store the oil in a cool, dark place in the syringe until you need it.
- Using the syringe, you can fill each size 0 capsule with 0.5ml (cc) of oil. Don’t forget to cap the capsule when you’re finished.
I recommend that you store the oil in the syringe and fill the capsule(s) just before you take them. Gelatin capsules will dissolve from the oil, as, eventually, will vegan capsules (cellulose), though the latter are thought to be more stable for containing oil. Before you get cooking, there’s one last thing to remember: any orally ingested Cannabis product, including capsules, will take significantly longer to act than inhaled Cannabis .
The time to onset is variable from one to four hours, so do not get impatient and take more! Otherwise, you could get too intoxicated by Cannabis and spend a few hours feeling uncomfortable. If you need any clarification on how to make your own medical marijuana capsules, please don’t hesitate to call me at (617) 477-8886. If you’re not a current patient, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about the Massachusetts medical marijuana program or the health benefits of Cannabis in a confidential consultation.
MA specifically qualified conditions:
And other debilitating conditions as determined in writing by a qualifying patient’s physician, which may include:
How to Make Cannabis Capsules
Published: Apr 27, 2021 · Modified: Aug 30, 2022 by Emily Kyle · This post may contain affiliate links, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Learn how to make cannabis capsules at home with multiple options, including decarbed flower, infused oils, FECO, leftover pulp, and more, for a quick, easy, and essentially tasteless way to enjoy your cannabis.
- Quick instructions for making cannabis capsules
- Tips for making the filling process easier
- Options included: flower, oil, concentrates, and more
Why You Will Love This Guide
You may be familiar with capsules that deliver traditional over-the-counter or prescription medications.
They’re convenient, easy to take, and ready-to-go – and now your cannabis can be, too!
In this case, we are filling empty capsules with cannabis products to create capsules that can be easily swallowed.
Many members of my Well With Cannabis Community report that swallowing cannabis capsules makes for a quick, easy, effective, and essentially tasteless way to dose and consume cannabis.
This guide will discuss how to fill capsules, the different cannabis options to choose from, and decide what will work best for you.
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- Cannabis-infusion option – whether you want to use oil, concentrates, or flowers, there is an option for everyone. Learn more about your options in the Filling Options section below.
- Capsules – the type of capsule you use will be important depending on your choice of filling. Learn more in the Materials to Get Started section below.
- Additional helpful items – capsule filling toolkit, glass jars for storage
Note: a complete list of ingredients with amounts and printable instructions is in the how-to card below.
- Step 1 – If you do not have an oil or cannabis flower prepared, you will need to do this first. Once that is ready, prepare your workstation with everything you need to start. This will ensure less mess and a more manageable process on your part.
- Step 2 – Set up your capsule filling machine according to the machine’s directions.
- Step 3 – Fill the capsules according to the capsule filling machine’s directions.
- Step 4 – Seal the capsules with the other end according to the capsule filling machine’s directions.
Note: complete step-by-step printable instructions are located in the how-to card below.
Materials to Get Started
Before getting started, I want to note that capsules come in all different sizes and materials.
Below I will review the essential things you need to consider when purchasing supplies to make your capsules.
Choose Your Ideal Serving Size
Sticking to only one size is essential when purchasing the capsules, a capsule filling machine, and determining your dose.
The capsule size you choose will significantly affect your dosing, so be sure to choose the best size.
You can use the chart below to determine which option is right for you, based on the average weight in milligrams of volume in milliliters each capsule holds.
|Average weight in mg||163||118||95||75||60|
|Volume in ml||1.37||0.91||0.68||0.50||0.37|
Choose the Right Type of Capsule
Once you have determined which sized capsule is best, you need to decide whether to fill your capsules with dry material, like decarbed flower, or liquid material, like oils.
Not all capsules are made of the same material, and not all capsules are meant to hold just any type of material.
If you accidentally put oil in a capsule meant for a dry ingredient, you may end up with ruined capsules.
That is why it is important to look at the type of capsule you are buying and ensure it is compatible with the ingredient you want to fill it with.
There are also many vegan and vegetarian capsule options available today.
- These are the capsules I recommend for filling with dry ingredients
- These are the capsules I recommend for filling with liquid or oil
- These are the vegetarian capsules I recommend for dry or liquid ingredients
As with all things cannabis, there are endless ways to make something.
For these cannabis capsules, there are many options for filling the capsule ranging from flower, oils, concentrates, and more.
You must choose an option that is right for you, based on your needs and personal tolerance.
If you are unsure, it is best to follow the golden rule of “start low and go slow” while experimenting to find what dose is right for you.
Fill Capsules with Cannabis Flower or Kief
Before you start filling your capsules with cannabis flowers or kief, it is important to know a few things about working with dry flowers.
One note is that all raw or dried cannabis must undergo decarboxylation to enjoy the active forms of CBD or THC.
Cannabis flowers, buds, and leaves contain cannabinoid acids like THCA and CBDA.
These cannabinoid acids are found in raw cannabis plant material and contain potential health benefits.
However, these cannabinoids are not intoxicating in their natural state, meaning they will not make you high.
If you want the benefits of THCA or CBDA, you can skip the decarboxylation process and fill the capsules with the cannabis flower.
If you want the benefits of activated THC and CBD, the flower must undergo decarboxylation, which converts THCa → THC and CBDa → CBD.
Decarboxylation can easily be done in your kitchen at home by baking dried cannabis in the oven at a low temperature.
The goal of decarboxylation is to heat the flower at a low temperature to allow decarboxylation to occur without destroying the other beneficial plant matter, such as the terpenes or flavonoids.
This becomes tricky because each cannabinoid decarboxylates at a specific time and temperature.
This means it is vital that you know which cannabinoid acids you have present in your starting material and decarb according to that cannabinoid’s requirements.
You can decarb the traditional way in the oven or decarb in an Instant Pot for an odor-free experience.
Capsules Made with Kief
Making kief capsules may be the perfect option if you want to reap the benefits of cannabis edibles without preparing a recipe.
Because kief is so potent, you may not need much to fill your capsules.
You can fill the remaining capsule space with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, to get the fat you need for better absorption in one simple dose.
If you’ve never worked with kief before, you can get my guide to decarbing and making edibles with kief here.
Important: Pair These Capsules With A Meal
If you use cannabis flower as outlined above to fill your capsules, it’s important to ensure you take the capsules with a meal.
This is because cannabis is better absorbed by the body when paired with fat.
Studies show that cannabinoids are 2.5-3x more bioavailable to the body when paired with a fat source, so consider adding some fat to the meal you are consuming for the best overall experience.
Fill Capsules with Various Cannabis Oils
Before you start filling your capsules with cannabis oil, there are a few important things to know.
The first is that you must use a capsule that is meant to hold oil, or else you will end up with a soupy mess from using a capsule that is not meant to hold liquids.
These are the capsules meant to hold oil that I recommend.
The second thing to know is that you can fill your capsule with any cannabis oil that you like, depending on the experience you are going for.
We will review the different oil types that can be used to fill capsules below.
While not technically an oil, you can make cannabis capsules filled with cannabutter from the crockpot, Instant pot, or even CBD cannabutter.
This is an excellent option if you have made cannabutter and don’t like the taste or want to quickly and easily use up any excess cannabis butter.
If you plan on using cannabutter to fill capsules, avoid trying to put any solid matter in the cap and instead gently melt down the butter until it is liquid and easy to pour.
Cannabis Coconut Oil Capsules
One of the most popular infused oils, you can quickly fill your capsules with cannabis coconut oil.
Just like cannabutter, you want to ensure your coconut oil is gently warmed and melted into a liquid state before trying to fill your capsules.
Cannabis MCT Oil Capsules
Popular for sublingual use, cannabis-infused MCT oil can also be used to fill your cannabis capsules.
One important thing to note is that MCT oil has a reputation for causing digestive distress in some individuals.
Be sure to test out small amounts of your cannabis MCT oil and assess your tolerance before filling a lot of capsules.
Cannabis Olive Oil Capsules
Cannabis-infused olive oil is another popular infusion option for those who don’t want or can’t have coconut products.
Olive oil is generally well-tolerated and can easily be added to capsules for a convenient, easy way to consume.
CBD Oil Capsules
You can fill your cannabis capsules with either store-bought CBD oil or homemade CBD oil.
This is an excellent option for people who find the taste of CBD too overwhelming or want an easier way to consume it than the sublingual method.
CBN Oil Capsules
CBN is a cannabinoid called cannabinol which has been called ‘the sleep cannabinoid.’
This oil tends to have more sedative effects, and many people report using it right before bed to help them stay asleep.
Paired with the delayed onset time associated with edibles, this is an excellent option for people to try to stay asleep longer.
Full-Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO/RSO) Capsules
You can fill your capsules with full-extract cannabis oil, also known as FECO or RSO.
While FECO is typically consumed sublingually, it can also be consumed in edibles.
For those who find the taste of FECO too bitter or overwhelming, adding it to a capsule may be an excellent solution for more enjoyable consumption.
Because full-extract cannabis oil is a potent, full-spectrum concentrate, I want to warn you first that you should test your tolerance to it with tiny doses before consuming a whole capsule.
If you’ve never consumed FECO before, an entire capful may be too much for your tolerance and leave you feeling uncomfortably high.
When getting started, it is recommended to consume a grain of rice-sized amount of FECO before working your way up to more significant amounts.
If you know you can only tolerate a drop or two but still want to consume it in capsule form; you can add the tiny drop of FECO to the capsule and fill the rest with a carrier oil like MCT, olive oil, or coconut oil.
Cannabis Concentrate Capsules
While not as popular, it is possible to fill your capsules with various types of cannabis concentrates.
Cannabis concentrates are often used for smoking, vaping, or dabbing, but they are also starting to make their way into edibles.
They remain remarkably versatile and potent as long as they are decarbed before consumption.
Like the FECO noted above, these are concentrated products, meaning that you can accidentally take too much if you fill an entire capsule and swallow it without knowing your tolerance levels.
Always remember the golden rule, start low and go slow when experimenting with new products.
On the other hand, this could be an excellent option for those with extremely high tolerances who are looking for a way to get more milligrams in.
If you are interested in filling capsules with concentrates, check out my guide to making edibles with cannabis concentrates first.
Leftover Cannabis Pulp
The final option for filling your cannabis capsules is filling them with leftover cannabis pulp.
Even though it’s great to reuse and recycle cannabis plant byproducts wherever possible, the taste and texture of leftover cannabis pulp may be offputting to some.
That makes filling capsules with leftover cannabis pulp a perfect solution.
Leftover cannabis pulp, also called sludge, is the cannabis flower material left over after an oil infusion or tincture, like the Green Dragon or QWET tincture.
While not as strong because most cannabinoids have been removed through infusion, the leftover weed material is believed to contain nutrients and even a few cannabinoids and terpenes.
Many Well With Cannabis Community members report that some good stuff (i.e., CBD or THC) is stuck in the leftover plant material, making it worth saving and enjoying.
Determining Final Product Potency
The most challenging piece of the cannabis consumption puzzle is accurately assessing the final product potency and determining the final dosages.
Without lab testing, it is nearly impossible to determine the exact concentration of final cannabinoids like CBD and THC.
This is a disadvantage for you because it is nearly impossible to accurately assess and track how much of each cannabinoid you will be orally consuming.
This uncertainty increases the risk of underdosing or overdosing, ultimately preventing you from experiencing your desired health benefits.
When making your cannabis capsules, please follow the golden rule of “start low, and go slow” and use the edible dosage calculator as needed.
What Are The Benefits of Capsules?
Before making and swallowing cannabis capsules, it is essential to note that swallowing a cannabis capsule undergoes the same digestive process as eating cannabis edibles.
Consuming cannabis capsules will provide you with a different experience, or ‘high,’ than if you were to smoke or vape cannabis, apply it topically, or use it sublingually.
This process is also influenced by physiological factors, such as metabolism, body weight, absorption rates, and the unique endocannabinoid system.
The experience of edibles can vary significantly from person to person.
A More Potent Experience
When cannabis is swallowed and processed through the digestive system, it can produce a more potent, powerful, and intoxicating experience for many people.
This is due to the digestive process, where the available THC is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the liver, undergoing the hepatic first-pass metabolism.
During this process, enzymes hydroxylate Δ9-THC to form 11-hydroxytetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC), a potent psychoactive metabolite that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier.
This potent, intoxicating metabolite causes potentially unwanted or wanted mental and physical effects.
Longer Onset & Duration Times
Orally ingested cannabis is slower to take effect than traditional smoking, vaping, and even sublingual. The typical onset time for an edible varies greatly, ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours or even longer.
While the effects are delayed, they manifest stronger and last longer, with a peak onset time occurring between 1 to 3 hours post-consumption.
The effects of cannabis edibles can last anywhere from 6 to 8 hours or more, but this does vary significantly from person to person.
Convenient and Discrete
One of the many reasons my community members love cannabis capsules is because they are convenient and discrete.
Once they are made, they are inconspicuous, virtually odorless, easy to swallow, and can be a convenient way to dose.
Less Cannabis Taste
Some new cannabis consumers, unfortunately, find that the taste of cannabis itself turns them off.
When making cannabutter or various cannabis oil for the first time, a small number of people find the taste too intense and unappetizing.
In this case, putting the finished product into a capsule may be the best way to consume the butter or oil without tasting it.
Want To Make This Easier? Use A Machine!
If the process of decarbing and infusing feels like too much work, an all-in-one countertop device may be a perfect all-in-one solution.
My personal favorites? The LEVO and Ardent FX, but you can review the most popular infusion machines here.
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My Edibles Made Easy Online Cooking Course will teach you how to easily make cannabis edibles and topical recipes at home. This step-by-step video course will teach you how to infuse, extract, and create edibles with many different product types – all from the comfort of your own home.
Learn more and enroll today →