How to Make Cannabis Capsules at Home: The Ultimate Recipe

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Added 26 December 2022

A doctor from the 17th century would probably lose his mind after knowing about modern medicine — a single small tablet is enough to fix various conditions, like fever, cold, migraines, etc.

That’s the beauty of modern medications — they are potent, convenient to use, and you don’t have to drink herbal concoctions that sometimes taste bitter enough to give black coffee connoisseurs the yuckies. 

What if we told you the same could be done with cannabis? That’s right. You can make DIY cannabis capsules at home that resemble OTC medications. They are easy to make, quick to consume, and can be tailored to your preferences.

Read on to know how to make DIY cannabis capsules at home using basic home ingredients, along with dosage guidelines.

What are Cannabis Capsules?

What are Cannabis Capsules?

Cannabis capsules, also known as canna caps, are nothing but cannabis edibles in the form of capsules that resemble medical capsules. Essentially, you fill gelatine capsules with cannabis-infused oils or extracts and swallow them like you would other wellness supplements.

When you consume capsules, the enzymes in your digestive system quickly metabolize the cannabinoids, but unlike other edibles, capsules are more efficiently broken down due to a lack of other ingredients. 

When they break down, some of the cannabinoids start working on the local CB receptors in the digestive tract; the remaining ones are metabolized by the liver and transferred into the bloodstream, where they start acting on the CB receptors throughout your body. 

Cannabis capsules are edibles, so their onset time is longer, usually over an hour, and the effects last longer, too. And did we mention making them is easy? With the right technique, you can make a few hundred capsules in one go. 

What are the Benefits of Cannabis Capsules?

What are the Benefits of Cannabis Capsules?

Cannabis capsules, being edibles, offer a different cannabis experience than vaping, smoking, or topicals. But these factors vary from individual to individual, depending on various factors like metabolism, weight, the unique endocannabinoid system, the strain used, etc. 

However, most cannabis capsules offer more or less the same benefits, albeit in different intensities. Here are some of the common benefits of cannabis capsules.

1. Cannabis Capsules can be Potent 

Depending on the strain you use and its THC content, some cannabis capsules can be really potent. When you consume them, they are processed by the digestive system, creating a potent high. Again, this depends on your tolerance to THC, too.

The reason cannabis capsules are more potent than joints or vapes is that the THC is absorbed into the bloodstream via the liver, where it undergoes hepatic-first metabolism

Here, delta-9-THC, an enzyme hydroxylate, is converted into 11-OH-THC (11-hydroxytetrahydrocannabinol), which is a more potent version of THC that can cross the blood-brain barrier a lot better.

For some new users, this may be a downside as the capsules can be too potent. But there’s a way to work around that, too. 

2. They are Easy to Dose and the Effects Last Longer

Generally, cannabis capsules take over an hour to kick in and the effects stay for at least a few hours, depending on your tolerance and metabolism. But since these capsules are tiny and can only hold a little bit of cannabis, you can easily fine-tune them to your needs so you get the right dose every time.

Yes, this does take some trial and error, but soon enough, you will be able to make cannabis capsules at home that are just right.

3. Safer than Smoking and Vaping

While cannabis isn’t as harmful as tobacco, smoking can still damage your lungs, even if you vape cannabis. So, consuming cannabis capsules is a lot safer for your lungs and health.

Additionally, if you are allergic to certain ingredients used in other edibles or don’t want to mix cannabis with some as sweet as brownies, then you cannot go wrong with cannabis capsules. 

4. They are Discreet

Additionally, cannabis capsules are super convenient and discreet. They look like regular medications. They don’t smell of cannabis, can be swallowed in a second, and you can carry them in your pocket. 

So, if you don’t want others to know you are consuming cannabis, there’s hardly any option better than cannabis capsules, especially if you want to sneak in a few tablets to the next Slayer concert.

5. They are Tasteless

For many cannabis users, the effects are fun but the taste of edibles can sometimes be offputting. And that’s right. For such users, cannabis capsules are a terrific alternative because they are tasteless and odorless, so you can enjoy the potent effects of cannabinoids without ruining your taste palette. 

How to Make DIY Cannabis Capsules at Home?

How to Make Cannabis Capsules at Home?

If you have ever cooked any cannabis edibles at home, you already have 90% of the process covered. But if you are entirely new to edibles, you are in luck. Here is a recipe to make cannabis capsules at home that is easy to follow and quick to master.

Follow these steps.

1. Gather the Ingredients

The first step is to gather the ingredients. As a basic guideline, you should have the following ingredients but you can change them up as per your preferences. Here are the things you need:

  • 10 grams of Cannabis Buds

The first and most important ingredient is the cannabis flower itself. And there is an option for everyone, depending on what kind of an effect or experience you are chasing. You can choose from any strain you like.

If you want a potent high, you should pick a strain that is rich in THC. On the other hand, if you are looking for medicinal properties or a mellow effect, you should stick to CBD-dominant strains. 

But remember, cannabis capsules are potent, so it is advised that you start with a strain that is not too rich in THC — start with a strain that contains less than 10% to 15% THC, so you can avoid the uncomfortably intense highs. 

  • 60 ml of Organic Coconut Oil (Preferably Extra Virgin)

To infuse cannabis, you need a base, and for most users, we recommend coconut oil. It is healthy, easy to work with, and has a pleasant smell. But if you don’t like coconut oil, you can also choose other base oils like MCT or olive oils.

In fact, you can choose to entirely skip oil while making cannabis capsules, but more on this later.

  • ½ teaspoon Soy Lecithin

Cannabis does not mix with coconut oil well unless you have an emulsifier. So, you need a little bit of soy lecithin, too. You can purchase this ingredient in both powder and liquid forms and both work just well.

  • 00-size Gelatine Capsules (at least 45 to 50)

Next, you need capsules that you will use to hold the cannabis-infused coconut oil. And there are two major considerations when choosing capsules — size and material.

First, pick the right size of capsules as per your dosage and the effects you desire. Typically, 00-size works for most users, but you can also try other sizes of capsules. Here is a rough guideline on the amount of cannabis-infused coconut oil that various capsule sizes hold.

Capsule Size Weight
000 163 mg
00 118 mg
0 95 mg
1 75 mg
2 60 mg

Second, you need to pick the right material. When using oil or liquid, you want to choose gelatine capsules that won’t get ruined by the base liquid. If you pick the wrong type of capsule, it will melt within minutes and you will be left with a gooey mess. 

  • Other Supplies

Apart from the big four, you need various tools to make cannabis capsules at home, such as the following:

  1. Capsule filling toolkit 
  2. Glass jars with a sealable lid
  3. Spatula
  4. 10 mm oral syringe 
  5. Saucepan or an oven
  6. Baking tray
  7. Cheesecloth, sieve, or coffee filter
  8. Thermometer 

2. Decarb the Cannabis

You can’t use raw cannabis in edibles as it contains THCA and CBDA — inactive, acidic forms of THC and CBD that don’t produce any effects of highs. You need to activate these cannabinoids and convert them to THC and CBD, respectively, via the decarboxylation process

Decarbing cannabis is quite easy and you don’t need any fancy equipment for the same. All you have to do is consistently heat the raw cannabis for a specific period of time until the acidic cannabinoids are converted. Use your oven to decarb the following cannabinoids:

Cannabinoids Baking Temperature and Duration
THCA 240°F or 116°C for 40 minutes
CBDA 240°F or 116°C for 90 minutes
CBGA 240°F or 116°C for 60 minutes

However, if you want to enjoy the benefits of raw THCA and CBDA, you can skip the decarboxylation process.

3. Prepare Cannabis-Infused Coconut Oil

Now, let’s infuse cannabis with coconut oil. Follow these steps:

  1. Fill the saucepan with water and heat it until it starts to boil 
  2. In a large mason jar, mix coconut oil with soy lecithin and place the jar in the saucepan with boiling water — ensure the jar is almost submerged in water
  3. After a couple of minutes, add decarbed cannabis buds (ground) to the mixture in the jar and stir gently
  4. Let the mixture cook for a few hours and stir occasionally while keeping the temperatures steady; if needed, add more water to the saucepan 
  5. After 3 to 4 hours, remove the mason jar and let it cool to room temperature
  6. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or coffee filter to remove the residual plant material 

Your cannabis-infused coconut oil is ready!

4. Fill the Capsules

Follow these steps to transfer the cannabis-infused coconut oil to the capsules:

  1. Set up the capsule-filling toolkit as per the manufacturer’s instructions
  2. Use the syringe to slowly fill each capsule 
  3. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to cap the capsules — you should hear an audible snap 

That’s it. Your cannabis capsules are ready. 

Do You Have to Use Coconut Oil?

Do you have to use coconut oil

Not necessarily. As mentioned earlier, coconut oil is the most common base oil many individuals use to make cannabis caps at home, but there are many alternatives to it. Here are some other options you can try out if you want to avoid coconut oil.

1. Ground-up Cannabis Buds or Kief

Don’t want to go through the hassle of infusing cannabis with a base oil? You can use cannabis buds, too. Just remember that you still have to decarb the buds to activate THC and CBD within.

Once the buds are decarbed, you can grind them up or use cannabis kief. All you have to do is fill the capsules with ground cannabis or kief and seal them. 

But do note that kief is really potent, so don’t fill the capsules to the brim. If the capsule has a lot of empty space, you can add a carrier that contains fat, like almond oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, etc.

When consuming kief capsules, it is recommended that you pair the capsules with a meal. This is crucial because cannabinoids get better absorbed by the body when they are paired with fat found in various meals.

According to various studies, cannabinoids become 2.5 to 3 times more bioavailable to your body when you pair them with a fat source.

2. Other Base Oils 

On the other hand, if you want to follow the same process as mentioned earlier but not use coconut oil, here are some other oils you can use. 

  • MCT Oil

MCT oil is a popular ingredient for sublingual cannabis products, but you can use it to make cannabis capsule infusions, too. However, it tends to distress some individuals’ digestive systems, so try a small amount to gauge your tolerance to the oil before using it in your capsules.

  • Olive Oil

Olive oil is a terrific choice for infusing cannabis in making homemade cannabis capsules. Plus, most people’s bodies can tolerate olive oil without any worries. So, follow the same recipe listed earlier and replace coconut oil with olive oil.

  • Store-bought CBD Oils

Forget all the hassle of infusing oil — you can simply purchase CBD oil from your local dispensary and add it to the capsules to make cannabis capsules at home. This is a terrific solution for those who don’t like the taste of CBD but still want to consume it orally. 

  • Full Extract Cannabis Oils (RSO or FECO)

Along the same lines, you can also add full-extract cannabis oils to capsules. These oils are powerful, containing the full spectrum of concentrates. And a tiny amount can test the tolerance of most cannabis users.

So, it is recommended that you only add a drop of FECO to the capsule along with a carrier oil like MCT or olive oil in the beginning to test the waters.

  • Cannabutter

Technically, cannabutter isn’t an oil, but it is still a terrific alternative to cannabis-infused coconut oil. Preparing cannabutter is quite easy — almost the same steps as listed above. Also, when pouring cannabutter into the capsules, it is wise to melt the butter gown into a liquid so it is easy to pour.

3. Leftover Cannabis Pulp

Did you recently make any edibles and are left with decarbed cannabis pulp? You’re in luck because you can use it in cannabis capsules.

The reason why people discard cannabis pulp while making edibles is that they have a strong yet unpleasant flavor. But with capsules, you don’t have to worry about the flavors. Although this pulp won’t be as strong as a regular cannabis capsule, it is still worth a try. 

How to Dose DIY Cannabis Capsules?

How to Dose DIY Cannabis Capsules?

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of making cannabis capsules at home is that it is quite difficult to gauge the potency and dosage of the capsules. For an accurate reading, you would have to send your capsule samples to a lab — an expensive affair.

Instead, most individuals rely on guesswork when dosing their cannabis capsules and you can do the same. 

Yes, guesswork does increase the risk of you consuming a little too much cannabis, which is why it is recommended that you always start with the smallest dose possible and build your way up from there. Do so until you find the perfect balance. 

Also, you need to know the THCA levels of the cannabis strain you’re growing. Usually, that would be listed on the seed’s packaging. If not, you can research online and get a rough idea. 

On the other hand, if you’re purchasing cannabis buds from a dispensary, the same would be available on the packaging. Then, use this formula:

  • Cannabis in grams x 1000 x THCA percentage x 0.88 x 0.7

Here, 1000 is the conversion rate of grams to mg, 0.88 is the conversion rate of THCA to THC, and 0.7 is the percentage of THC remaining after the infusion process. 

The answer you get is the amount of THC you can expect in your infused concentrate. 

You can also use one of the online potency calculators if you don’t have a calculator handy (or prefer not to).

If you are new to cannabis, you should aim for a dosage of 5 mg per capsule and you can build your way up to 10 mg over time. Typically, you can start with a 1:20 ratio of cannabis buds to coconut oil and adjust it later on to 1:10, depending on your tolerance and experience, to reach the same levels of THC concentrations.

But this is only a rough guideline, so take the readings with a pinch of salt. 

Microdosing Cannabis Capsules

Microdosing is usually associated with drugs like shrooms and LSD, but recently, many cannabis users have also started exploring the benefits of microdosing. And it is becoming quite a popular practice in the community. 

Here, you consume tiny amounts of cannabis throughout the day, leading to very mild yet sustained effects, depending on the cannabinoid you are using. And microdosing does not get you high — if you do get high, you are not doing it properly. 

Instead, microdosing can help you relax, think clearer, or boost creativity. 

To find the right dose for microdosing, you need to experiment a little and make 1 to 2 mg dose capsules for starters. You can then test and try various dosages until you find the one that you enjoy the most. 

How to Store Cannabis Capsules?

How to Store Cannabis Capsules?

Storing cannabis capsules is way easier than storing most other forms of edibles. One reason is that the capsules do not get mixed with other compounds and are a concealed environment within themselves. 

So, all you need is an airtight jar. Add your capsules to the jar and add a small silica gel pack, seal the jar, and place it in a cool dry place. 

Cannabis capsules have a long shelf life and don’t usually go bad unless they are affected by the environment. However, they may lose their potency over time as the cannabinoids start degrading. Try to use the capsules within 2 to 3 months of making them. 

Summary: How to Make Cannabis Capsules at Home: The Ultimate Recipe

There you have it — the ultimate guide to making cannabis capsules at home. Isn’t it easy?

Making cannabis capsules is straightforward. If you want to go the traditional route, grind the cannabis, decarb it, infuse it with coconut oil, and strain it. But you can also try other alternatives like using olive oil, cannabutter, decarbed buds, or even FECO. 

In any case, ensure you are meticulous about dosing. While it is difficult to accurately measure the dosage, stick to a ratio of 1:20 of cannabis and carrier oil at the beginning for the safest results. Over time, you can build your way up to narrower ratios. 

Also, cannabis capsules, like any other edibles, are quite potent. Do not consume multiple capsules by being impatient. They take a couple of hours to kick in, so wait until you start feeling the effects. 

And lastly, store the capsules well. Store them in an airtight container with a small silica gel packet, and place the container in a cool, dry place. You can even use regular medical containers to store the capsules, especially if you intend to carry them around to concerts. 

Just like the 17th-century doctor that would’ve been flabbergasted by modern medicine, it’s time for you to surprise your friends with inconspicuous capsules that give them a unique yet potent high at your next concert. 



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