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iBite's avatar

Processing medical marijuana: how long does it take to use a bubble bag etc?

Asked by iBite (243points) July 29th, 2012

For use in cancer patients. Terminal cancer patients to improve quality of life. Stage four lung cancer.

I am a legal card carrying medical marijuana user and need to process it into concentrate to retain my appetite and keep the cancer as in-check as possible.

It has made a huge difference to my quality of life. I am fairly certain I would have died as my doctors all predicted last fall without the use of this. It has allowed me to be mobile and independent again and relatively pain and nausea-free.

Please note that I do NOT use this to get “high” in fact it does not make me high at all when processed. It just makes me feel as close to normal as I can possibly get at this stage.

I found out today that the local dispensary is no longer allowed to sell concentrate to cancer patients. Instead I learned that I must refine it myself and they pointed me to the process that they formerly used which is called “Bubble Bag”.

I have looked this tedious process up on-line and have no other choice but to do it if I want to maintain my quality of life.

My questions are:

Can I make a half batch? The raw ingredients are very, very expensive- I will be paying quadruple what I did purchasing the concentrate prior to this.

How long does it take overall- reading about it made me think it could take hours.

Any other advice or tips welcome.


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6 Answers

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gambitking's avatar

I am surprised and a bit dismayed to learn that concentrate is no longer available at the dispensary for patients. I know here in CO, there are a variety of concentrated items available for patients…. so your quandry, for lack of a better phrase, sucks big time.

I believe they may be referring to bubble hash, and yes it can be a tedious, difficult process especially for someone who doesn’t normally ‘cook’ with cannabis. What I might recommend instead is getting what most people call a ‘keef’ box. It’s just a wooden box with a magnetic lid (most of the time), and you toss a heavy coin or two in there, along with some high-grade buds and shake it around. You’ll be left with a thin film of powdered ‘keef’ on the slick, mirror-like plate inside. This is a concentrated powder, similar to other forms that might take much more time and effort to make. It’s simply the easiest and cheapest way I can think of, short of making hash. Also consider the myriad recipes online for reducing cannabis into a concentrated butter or oil (cannibutter) on the stovetop for use in edibles.

iBite's avatar

Thanks @gambitking. I was hoping someone would respond.
The loss of concentrate is not the worst of the issues here in Los Angeles. Dispensaries have been asked to close in 40 days.

I am being told to cultivate my own plants, a task I fear I will not be very good at. I tried my hand at tomatoes this year and the results were dismal. Apparently the city has a lot more faith in my abilities as a pot grower and hash cook than I do.

I believe the fault lies with the city. They allowed “dispensaries” to open up all over rather than limiting how many could exist. It became a nuisance issue as many were seedy and poorly run.

Had they done the logical thing and limited the number allowed and set standards for operation we would not be in this pickle. It is a bit infuriating that folk who use it legitimately are the ones being punished in the end. Honestly I wish they offered it in pharmacies like normal medication. There I am on my soap box. I apologize.

I will look into a keef box, and thank you for the suggestion.

iBite's avatar

:::Update:::: @gambitking your suggestion to search the internet led me to this website and I think this will be a pretty easy way to process it myself. I can refinish furniture and it reminds me of that process more than cooking. Now to research growing plants.

Thank you again- your information helped me out of a tough bind.

wildpotato's avatar

I’m so sorry for your troubles in LA! I had no idea. Some people say Bubble Bags work well, but as you wrote, the process is tedious. I would not recommend a kief/pollen box for your purposes – it’s not so much that you process buds into kief with these as that the kief is a nice by-product of this storage method. Shaking my excellent Wicca kief box around with a coin sounds like a great way to break the screen in a hurry.

The method described on that site you posted sounds good, and reminds me somewhat of the butane-extraction method, which is what I was going to suggest you try. This is a process I have observed but never performed myself, so I will message my friend for instructions and get back to you, but here is a link on it from a reputable site.

gambitking's avatar

Sure thing @iBite , the merits of MMJ should not go unsupported, and I sincerely hope you can get the right treatment without too much fuss.

I did see the news about the dispensaries in LA closing down. It’s sad, really, especially if it boils down to mismanagement of the regulatory and enforcement policies. It sounds like they are also pushing the ‘caregiver’ status back on the patients so everyone has to grow their own now. Bear in mind, growing it is very time consuming, and costly at the outset to get the right equipment. It takes a lot of TLC to yield quality crops, so make sure you take advantage of all the resources online you can get. Best of luck with that.

The tincture concentrate is a great idea, and from what I understand is one of the more potent varieties.

For what it’s worth, the MMJ network in Colorado seems to be quite strong by comparison to LA, and I’d recommend relocation if it makes sense, but I realize that’s quite a big move.

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