We cook at below 220 during extractions to avoid or control unnecessary degradation/conversion of cannabinoids, and in sealed containers in an attempt to preserve some of the much more volatile terpene vapor/essence.
Flashpoints are only crucial if you are working with a solvent-less
extraction... in other words, in this case, vaporization.
If you are using heat alone to release a vapor, then the temperature must meet or exceed the vapor point of each individual chemical.
If you are using a solvent, then you are in the case of canna oil, first stripping a chemical substance in the form of glandular material, by means of a solvent, then it is broken down by that solvent into a solution. This means that, not only is there space between each individual chemical, or small enough clusters of chemicals in an incomplete oil that they may pass between cell walls, but they are actually coated in a persistent layer of the, readily absorbable, solvent. The better and more complete the solution, by the time you begin to cook with your oil, the more heat tolerant the active material becomes, based on the heat tolerance of the solvent. This is in terms of vapor production, not conversion, which still can occur (even slowly at room temperature).
Cannabis glandular material is notoriously difficult for the body to absorb, even when activated, even when in the form of hash and sticky concentrates. It bounces off and continues down the tract for 'evacuation' in greater quantity than it can be absorbed in the time it has, and it is so gradually absorbed and delivered to the bloodstream that the effects are very diminished.
We use oils, glycerin, and alcohol as 'edible solvents', not only because they effectively strip glandular material from the inert plant matter, and dissolve it to the naked eye, but because with enough processing we create more than free-floating cannabinoids, but a solution where the active chemicals are coated at a molecular level, in a vehicle that can passively absorbs into and passes through cell walls, reaching either the lymph or the portal vein and liver in greater quantity, depending on the oil vehicle you choose. Oil/solvent types...
That's right! Different triglycerides are absorbed and processed, by different parts of your digestive system, when using a specific oil as your solvent, your solute or cannabis glandular material will take on its unique absorption properties.
By encouraging portal vein and liver absorption via medium-chain or MCT containing coconut oil
, palm kernel oil
, and to a lesser extent clarified butter
which contains roughly only 1/3 the MCT content of the previous two, you can benefit from greater amounts of the conversion from D9THC, to the more powerful 11-OH-THC that occurs in the liver
LCT containing oils are absorbed lymphatically and as such encourage a greater amount of lymphatic absorption, which bypasses the liver, and can benefit patients who need to medicate via capsules first thing in the morning after a long evening and night without eating.
Unfortunately, material absorbed by the lymphs bypasses the liver, and any material absorbed this way will NOT be converted to the 11-OH-THC, responsible for providing some of the more intense sensations edibles are known for.
Sesame oil is an LCT oil, it is used as the vehicle in marinol, because many patients need to medicate first thing in the morning, and for whatever reason, rather than choosing to make two versions, they decided to only make one that would 'work' for most people.. we all know how well that turned out. Why are LCT oils good for patients who do not eat before consuming an edible...
Ideally, at least an hour or two before any edible, you should have a small oily snack. This feeds your liver and depletes active enzymes, preventing it from over
-metabolizing your cannabinoids or burning them off, and instead allows for a more gentle conversion (or no conversion at all) before the chemicals are delivered to the bloodstream. A small snack or meal also fills your lower stomach and the duodenum, allowing for more, and longer contact with the upper tract/portal-vein, closest to the liver.
A well-fed liver, allows more fragile chemical components to pass through, unharmed, or under-metabolized, than a hungry, ravenous, just-waking-up liver.
Once the patient has eaten their morning breakfast, or lunch, an MCT canna oil should be consumed for the best and most relief.Why MCT oils are best at controlling symptoms for MOST patients, INCLUDING those patients who can only medicate after eating, and most recreational users...
MCT oils in particular are absorbed passively, and rapidly, almost immediately on contact with the upper tract (most oil content consumed in the average diet, is absorbed within 5 - 60 minutes after eating depending on the triglyceride count and composition of the oil; it's why bulimia is not always
as effective as many people would like it to be). MCTs also do not require the aid of bile-salts for absorption.
The leads to the portal vein which enter the liver, are very close to the liver itself, and where it completes processing, and empties chemicals into the bloodstream...
It's a bit more twisty, but picture a big 'U'; the U is your tract, but there are some small lines cutting through the top, connecting one point, to the next. These represent the arms of your portal vein. LCT containing oils complete most of that 'U' before trace amounts can be fed to the liver, while most of the LCT oil is more easily absorbed by the surrounding lymphs.
MCT, or medium-chain triglycerides are absorbed on contact, without the aid of bile salts via the very first arms of the portal vein in the top of the tract, and can easily slip into the little short-cuts that cross through the top. Overall, more material reaches the liver, more conversion is had, less material is 'excreted' and wasted because the absorption process begins so much earlier.
As far as super-saturated oil goes, you want to be certain you're using at least a bit more solvent, than solute; most frosty medical flowers are capable of producing between 3g - 5g relatively pure cannabinoid/terpene containing resin. With this in mind, we usually suggest using no less than 0.5Tbsp - 1Tbsp per ounce. A solution is formed more easily further away from the saturation point, and it provides a broader margin for error in case some really frosty material was used for the extraction, or in case the hash was 'eyeballed', weighed in a bag with a $2 postage scale, or otherwise not weighed out as well as it should have been.
With much more solute than solvent, a coat can not readily be formed, and if it occurs evenly then virtually none of you material will be as sufficiently coated, as it could have been, had more
oil or solvent been use. Cooking and flash/boiling points....
And yes, the points at which vapor can occur are crucial when making food... but generally only with hard candies, and frying, and similar conditions where the food itself
is actually being heated up to such a degree, which is why we add the oil towards the end, after removing these treats and dishes from the heat source and allowing them to cool slightly.
The temperature you set your oven at, is NOT the temperature that your cookies, brownies or full roast chicken comes out at, especially internally, OR
on the 'skin'!
Keep in mind that a pan of brownies baked at 340 F - 360 F for 40 minutes, still will not usually exceed 160 F - 180 F internally, or 260 F at the crust. The driest, most unpalatable cookies and brownies (not nice and crisp like some butter cookies; we're talking over-cooked, but still edible) top out around 205 F - 215 F, and that most boiling mixtures including soups rarely exceed the boiling point of water, 212 F, and still remain safe even with an abundance of oil, meat and vegetables which can raise the temperature by a few degrees.
You usually have to worry more about the heat source
, than the temperature of the mix, which is why a double boiler is often used unless the oil is to be added just at the end of a soup, prior to serving. Continued in the next post, to cut things up....