Vape cannabis oil safely?

A quick how-to guide for vaping cannabis safely AND discreetly…

Some of my friends use cannabis for pain relief. They love using oil for long-lived relief, but they smoke joints occasionally for fast results, especially with ‘breakthrough’ pain. One friend has been on prescription Tramadol tablets and Fentonyl patches for years, for fibromyalgia and arthritis – but since starting cannabis oil (full-spectrum with THC, not just CBD) and occasionally smoking joints she’s STOPPED taking Tramadol and cut down the Fentonyl patches by around 50%. This is absolutely extraordinary and a huge testament to the medical efficacy of cannabis!

I wanted to help her deal with her pain without having to use old-school joints, so she isn’t inhaling actual smoke. I know smoking cannabis on its own is far less harmful than tobacco, but it’s still not great. So vaping seemed like a good way forward.


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Grow It Yourself image

GIY Self-sufficiency: how to get started Growing It Yourself

So you want to grow your own medicine? Welcome to the club, and good decision! If you’re going to make yourself some oil it’s best to become self-sufficient with the source material: cannabis. It doesn’t matter what it’s for – pain management, buffering yourself against the ravages of chemotherapy or fighting cancer itself, or helping manage stress, anxiety or PTSD without prescription medication – the best thing to do is GIY: grow it yourself. You’ll know exactly what did and didn’t go into the plants, you’ll save yourself a fortune, and if you live somewhere it’s not yet legal you won’t have to do any iffy deals.

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Growing discreetly

Even in places where there are marijuana dispensaries, prices can be stupidly high for the amount of plant material that you need to extract a usable amount of oil. You should be looking at a minimum of an ounce (28g) if you plan to use the Green Oil Machine or 3/4 ounce (20g) if you’re going to use the smaller Cannolator.

Growing your own is the best solution in terms of cost in the long term and often in the medium term too. But when if you don’t have a handy outbuilding with power for a tent, or a garden with tall fences and bushes to keep things hidden? Well, if you have a balcony or terrace you could try growing there!

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Fabric pots and soil growing

I started growing my medicine using the NFT (Nutri-Film Technique) system, a form of hydroponics that’s quite easy to use and doesn’t take a lot of height. That’s quite useful when growing in tents! But now that the weather is getting warmer I’m going to try my first proper soil grow. But I’m not going to just shove seedlings into the ground, tempting though it is. I’m going to do this using ‘fabric pots,’ also called ‘smart pots’…

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How to germinate cannabis seeds

Germinating cannabis seeds can be a bit stressful. They generally aren’t that hard to get started, but many seeds cost $8-10 or more each. That’s not so bad if you just buy one – although then it’s stressful wondering if you’re going to get anything. And if you buy five the expense adds up. So germinating them and starting them off properly is really important. Unfortunately there’s a lot of misinformation and half-understood advice floating around…

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Frisian Duck

If you’re going to grow your own medicine and you’re not in a State or country where doing this is legal you’re probably wondering how you can do this discreetly. Grow tents can be useful, but they’re fiddly, and not everyone has an attic, garage or outbuilding (or spare room) with space for one.

The cannabis plant is pretty recognizable. The leaves are symbols that scream out their identity, so regular plants are not good to sow in your front or back yard if they’re overlooked. But there is a variety that looks quite different for almost all of its life…

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Navel administration

Yes, navel. Which is a bit novel.

In the medical marijuana world, where people are taking oil for treatments of various kinds, the ‘belly button’ method of administering doses comes up fairly regularly. This involves putting a dose worth of FECO (full extract cannabis oil), neat or diluted with a carrier oil, into the navel and leaving it there to be absorbed. The idea is that the oil is absorbed quickly and completely, and it goes directly into the blood stream rather than having to pass through the intestine and liver first. Hmm.

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Making your own medicine

Turning cannabis from plant into medicine is actually not that hard, although you’ll need rather more weed than you get in an old-school dime bag. You will need to buy an ounce or so from a dispensary (if you’re somewhere that this is legal, and if the prices aren’t stupidly high) or grow your own. Forget going up to a shady guy in an alley; you may be ripped off, you may get busted, and you certainly won’t have a clue what kind or what strength of weed you’d get from him.

To extract cannabinoids from the plant you’ll need a few bits of equipment, but while some of the tools for doing this cost a few hundred dollars you can get by with nothing more than a regular food blender, a saucepan and a stove.

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