How To Make Pot Painkiller Pills

Filling cannabis oil capsules AKA canna caps source:

Cannabis (medical marijuana) can be a perfectly good and safe medicine when used correctly. But there are always people who find fault with everything, and they complain:

  • It’s unsafe (not really)
  • It’s illegal (not in 16 states)
  • It’s not effective (that’s not what dozens of studies have shown)
  • People will pretend they are sick to get it (that never happens with prescription drugs?)
  • Smoking joints isn’t medical (I agree: use a vaporizer or edibles)
  • But, but…people are getting high from it! (generally, no, but what if they are? It’s just a harmless side effect)

Perhaps I can’t solve all the world’s problems, but there’s one thing I know how to do and that is put ideas together. So I put together Canna Caps, added a cannabis strain that’s high in CBD, mixed with an irresistable predilection for alliteration and got Pot Painkiller Pills*.

Pot Painkiller Pills take a lot of objections out of the discussion. They’re safe, effective, inexpensive, provide a consistent dosage and predictable effects, are in a form that most people associate with “real medicine”, and will not get the average person high with a single dose. So, once you’re familiar with the effects, you might just be able to go about your day pain-free without having to worry about being too loopy to drive, work, or talk to people without giggling.

The Search For The Holy Green

The seeds of the idea for Pot Painkiller Pills were planted — no pun intended, I swear — when I first found out about the function of CBD, one of the primary components of cannabis. CBD works alongside THC, and at certain ratios provides pain relief far greater than even typical indica strains that are noted for this particular benefit.

I found two strains available in Northern California to experiment with. Omrita-RX3 had the highest CBD level I could find anywhere, and worked better than I expected: all pain simply disappeared, without any feeling of numbness. I heard about another high CBD strain called Harlequin that was also supposed to work wonders. The bad news was that there was none to be found anywhere; the good news is that a friend of mine was able to acquire some Harlequin clones and started growing them.

So, fast forward a few months and I finally got hold of 1/4 ounce of Harlequin fan leaves, which is about my favorite kind of stuff for edible products (especially because I’m heavily into recycling and a lot of people just throw this stuff away!). Harlequin leaves have high CBD levels even before flowering, in fact, so it’s ideal for this sort of thing.

Capsules Made Simple

And by now, I’ve developed an even easier method of preparing oil for use in Canna Caps than the one in my original article:

  • Grind the cannabis to coarse powder. I call this “small particle size”.
  • Put it at the bottom of the cooking vessel (I use a mini Crock-Pot).
  • Add enough liquid coconut oil to cover the cannabis.
  • Heat at 180°F to 220°F for 2 or 3 hours, mixing and stirring every 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Let the mixture cool to about 100°F, then filter and load into #0 capsules (see the original article for details; I’m using the smaller-size capsules now).

The End Result

What you end up with — or at least, this is how it worked here — are single-dose capsules that will remove pain without getting you high. There is relatively little THC in these capsules due to the already low level in Harlequin.

Of course, everyone’s body chemistry, tolerance level, and pain level are different, so people who need more than one capsule for their pain might end up with enough THC to get them high. But these will be still and always safer than any of the addictive prescription opiates available…which generally get people high anyway!

And speaking of recycling…after I filtered the oil, I was left with an oily mass of ground cannabis and before throwing it away, wondered if there was any useful medicinal properties left in it. So I stuffed some into the larger #00 capsules and tried one. It turns out that even though I had extracted much of the active CBD, the larger #00 capsule size and the actual plant material combined to make this an “extra strength” capsule that’s essentially free! Take that, Tylenol!

For those who are interested in numbers, I started with the 7 grams of ground leaves and ended up with 30 ml. of infused oil, which yielded 44 capsules (#0 size). The recycled plant material gave me another dozen or so “extra-strength” #00 capsules. These didn’t exactly get me high, but I could feel them (and of course they were even better for pain). Pretty good results for an afternoon’s work.

Pot Painkiller Pills may not be the Holy Grail of medical marijuana, but they solve a lot of problems that many people have, without causing more.

*I generally never use the word “pot” any more unless I’m being facetious or reminiscing about the 60s and 70s, but there you are.

Old Hippie is a father of two boys and thankfully living in California where all this kind of thing is legal. He started smoking marijuana in 1967 in high school, experimented with mind-expanding drugs of all kinds, and then straightened out 15 or so years later to become an airplane pilot. After being diagnosed with depression in 2000, he lost his job and most of the following decade to prescription medications (such as antidepressants) which sapped his energy and will. Finally, a chance conversation with a friend led to a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana (MMJ). This changed his entire life, health, and outlook for the better. is his continuing story. It’s also his way to provide experienced advice on using medical marijuana effectively and responsibly, as well as advocacy, activism, and support for others. Old Hippie teaches about safe use of cannabis edibles, Canna Caps, vaporizers, dosing, and even microdosing.


SO i just got my wisdom teeth taken out couldn’t smoke, used these things (from a dispensary) didn’t get me high but the pain was gone, almost like an opiate in the fact that pain is gone and you feel tiny bit heavy but not like the opiates in the fact that there is no constipation, you actually want to eat, and you don’t feel like crap after it wears off.

not sure what you were thinking when you said you left out decarboxylation
you decarboxylated the thc when you heated it at 180 – 200 degrees for 2-3 hours

Hmm…perhaps. What I meant was that I left out a separate, specific decarboxylation step. I know it will be decarbed to some extent by the process, but I never rely on that alone, especially with relatively low temps like 200 or less.

Ive been making CBD capsules for almost a year now, and can completely concur with you…they’re really effective!

Lately I’ve been experimenting with raw juicing the leaves instead of making capsules, based around the groundbreaking work of Dr. William Courtenay. This way there is no decarboxylation at all, and the leaf retains all of the terpenoids and flavonoids, which are useful too.

Blessings upon your journey.


Hello Kind Kine :-),

I’d love to hear more about your experiences. I don’t have very good access to a solid supply of fresh leaves, or I would have been doing that juicing stuff myself. I’ve read a lot of Dr. Courtenay’s work and am very impressed with his reported results!

Nugs and hugs,
Old Hippie

Dear Old Hippie,
First thanks for imagining I am kind. Thank you. What I have a problem with is Kine. You’re not the first to suspect that man is a herd animal, but a bovine. Thanks the input.
Kneeland Mt.
Born and bred

I have been very interested in the juicing of raw leaves, though I have not had a chance to try it, as I live in a state that does allow for the use of mmj. If there is any info you can give me, it would be greatly appreciated! I am looking for a treatment for migraines, muscle spasms, severe back pain. I feel like the CBDs would be a much greater help to both my husband & I, rather than the THC (which he relies on now). HELP! Anyway to pull CBDs over THC I am most interested in, please contact me with any info! TIA!

Well, the foremost practitioner of juicing AFAIK is Dr. William Courtney, and you can read many of his articles at I have not tried this to any extent myself, because I lack access to fresh leaves, but I know one individual online who claims it has almost totally cured his asthma symptoms. The biggest problem in the MMJ world right now is getting access to high CBD strains of cannabis, but if you can find some, you might try the usual methods (smoking, vaping, edibles, capsules) before trying juicing. You might also look into making oil (steps 1 through 7 here) from any strain of cannabis and rubbing it into muscles and for back pain. You will need lots of fresh leaves to juice; IIRC Dr. Courtney recommends 10 leaves a day. There’s also some criticism of juicing here for contrarians. Good luck and write back if you have any specific questions!

Hey O.H.!
This looks by far the easiest to do in my situation. It’s focused on CBD and doesn’t seem to make you too high. I know I won’t find the strains you were lucky enough to find, but it’s a start.
I found a friend who can help me. At least, I think it will work. I am applying for SSDI and I will probably wait until that clears before I do any of this. I would still much rather do all of this legally in Oregon. I called the number and they are currently processing applications from early April. I’d need to take a couple of trips – one to see a doctor/pay the fees/turned in the application. Once it’s approved I’d go back with my card, rent a place for a while, and test it out. Perhaps if I’m doing it legally, SSDI would approve.
I’d much prefer to test all of this out in the Bay Area. I could probably crash with friends, so I wouldn’t need to rent a place. I lived in Sunnyvale/San Jose for High School and University. Trouble is, California does not have reciprocity with Oregon. Yay.
Your blog and advice are invaluable! You truly have no idea. I trust your information far more than other sites. I think that’s important for you to know.
Best to you,

Thanks so much for your encouragement and kind words, Lisa. You’re right…that’s what keeps me going!

Now, I do want to clear up one more thing here. You should seriously read this article which reminds people that it’s not just the strain, but the dosage. I can take just two MFLB hits of any strain, even the infamous White Widow, and feel positive and beneficial effects without getting high. And if you go slowly and carefully, you’ll hopefully also be able to alleviate your symptoms without getting high or dizzy, once you find the right strain.

I have recently acquired several Medicine Man seeds supposedly high CBD content, and have started them on 24 hrs of light. after three weeks they are growing the best I have seen. my question regarding making the capsules is do i dry the leaves before grinding?

Well, depends on what you’re trying to do. If you want to make capsules specifically for pain, then yes, you should decarboxylate the leaves, grind them, then make oil and stuff everything into capsules. If you wanted the systemic benefits of high-CBD cannabis, you could juice 10 leaves a day and drink the juice.

I am a serious chronic pain patient, degenerative disc disease, osteoporosis in lumbar, osteopina in hips and am on opioid pain mgt however with a lot of drive to do so, excercise and cannabis I’ve been successful in reducing my percocet intake by 75%.
Along with this opiods comes constipation and the daily use of laxatives. Along with the reduction of that opioid use comes the reduction in the use of laxatives. I would give almost anything to find a cannabis based item that would permit me to have at least a couple days a week with NO opioids as I have not had an opioid free day for 3+ years. Problem I have found with the edibles is a continuation of that constipation and I am eager to hear from anyone who has seen this problem ended with any kind of cannabis based product.

Well, first of all, the question would be: Do you live in a legal MMJ state (or Canada)? Because it’s much easier to talk about strains and choices if you actually have choices!

I don’t usually talk about this second subject myself, but I had all kinds of mixed gut problems for quite a long time (decades). I’m not going to say they all went away, but all my reflux, acid stomach, and gut-twisting toilet sessions have gone away since starting on MMJ. I’m far more regular too, although I have to keep up with my exercise and fiber (and occasional raisins) for that to all keep working properly. I attribute that to more relaxed internal muscles, as well as me being more relaxed in general. Doesn’t sound scientific, maybe, but there you are.

Old Hippie, I live in Canada, and have cancer, got the oil , but having a hard time taking it .The oil leaves me tingling sleepy , and high, pain at the sole of my feet,,I need something to reduce the dosage. I take one drop each night , when I can How to get the correct cbd to mix or add to the strain of oil I have?

I am not sure whether you’re talking about infused coconut oil (what I discuss in this article), or Rick Simpson Oil (which is what people generally use against cancer). If you are taking only one drop and it is too strong, it is probably Rick Simpson Oil. In any case, you would have to dilute it with something (probably coconut oil) at least 4:1 to make a reasonable dosage. If you can’t figure out how to do this, please write back and tell me exactly what you have. I know they sell high CBD strains up in Canada, so that’s what you’d have to get if you want CBD.

Cancer sucks! Nugs and hugs!

Thanks, this is good information. I kow if I can reduce them just a little more I’ll be home free so the trials of the edibles begins!

I have been making, using your reciepe for capsules for 6 months and i can really tell a difference in my mental and physical well being. I live in a state has legalized medical mj, so my life has completely changed. Being a Viet Nam vet all I can say is “it’s about time” and I applaud your support and sharing your reciepes with others.

1SG Gus

Hi Old Hippie..Older Hippie ‘Plantcrone’ here. Thought I’d wait a week to tell you about my experience with Canna Cap production, batches 1 and 2.

(Batches? Batches? we don need no stinking batches!)


Batch one was made following directions completely as written. I store the majority of them in the refrigerator and a weeks worth in a regular pharmacy type container with the info written on it.

Batch 2 had a bit of the greenery and coconut oil left over from batch 1 added to the concoction that was vegging in the crock pot for 4 hours. Each batch had the marijuana prepared as per the instructions, then added to the coconut oil. I used part of an inexpensive capsule filler gadget to hold the caps and a syringe from the pet store-it has a slightly larger aperture then the child cough syrup syringe from the pharmacy. It also cost me $2.00 as opposed to being free. I’m now using it to feed 2 baby starlings that fell out of their nest (their names are Clarise Starling and Jack Sparrow BTW) so the $2 buck syringe went to a good cause.

This last week, I haven’t had to take ANY Advil, and I’ve slept better than since my injury first happened..15 years ago! I’ve had night after night of sleeplessness for 15 years – I can’t take the pharmaceutical products because they make me weird. Worse stoned than any drug I ever took back in the day..for me, “Sonata” is LSD. But more expensive.

So thats the first major positive, great sleep from 2 caps of Batch 1. My daughter also reports great sleep from this concoction. Second, I am NOT IN PAIN like I have been for many years. My Batch 2 capsules are a bit stronger than Batch 1 but were made with a different strain. Batch 1 was Blue Dream, Batch 2 was Northern Lights. I’m going to try the Univ. of Washington (state) mix’s a pretty reliable here in the northwest and has a good rep. as good for pain patients and sleeplessness.

I take a batch 2 cap when I first wake up and lay in bed for a while..something I have been doing for years. Take the pain meds and wait for them to work before trying to walk. I seem to be waking up earlier as in 6:30 AM (damn birds) refreshed and ready to go-as opposed to the be groggy until 10:30 from the drug store prescriptions. I like having my mornings aware!

By noon, I’m ready for a nosh and usually in pain if I’ve walked around or done housework. So I take a Batch 2 capsule, wait an hour then eat a light lunch (I’m a vegetarian-I eat homemade vegetable soup and french bread often for lunch). Then, if I haven’t anything else to do, I take a nap. What the Fuck-I’m 71, have worked very hard all my life and if I want a noon nappie, I take one!. About 2 the alarm goes off-I meet grand daughters bus and take her to gymnastics and/or dance classes. It’s been over 3 hours since a capsule and I don’t feel at all high by 4PM so I can drive grand daughter to her classes, then afterward do homework, cook dinner for both families and by 6-7:30 PM I’m again in pain.

Canna caps have to be taken more frequently than you’d take an Advil or other liver toxic drug. I’m much happier that I can go a full week-10 days without Advil now.

My chronic pain is from an on the job accident – I was carrying a ladder was a tight situation and the ladder got caught on stuff stored in the stairwell. I ended up with a herniated sciatica disc and chronic sciatica, exacerbated by a fractured hip a few years ago. Basically my right leg is trashed. I retired at age 62-much earlier than I had planned on as I was a single parent who raised 4 kids with no help. When you need to put all your income into raising your children, it’s hard to save for retirement. And, any stock I had purchased thru my 401K went belly up at the turn of the century -and what little savings I had left died in 2006…Sucks. Work your ass off for 50 years and end up poor and in pain. OK-PlantCrone isn’t complaining any more..Canna Caps have made a huge difference in my life..and I can make them in my kitchen! Next is going to be Peanut Butter Cookies for edible snackies with MMJ added.

Thanks Old Hippie, from another Old Hippie Chick who KNEW back in the late 50’s and early 60’s that there wasn’t anything really wrong with pot.

Wow, Plantcrone (love the name!). Thank you so much for writing, so detailed and so well. Having been through some of your pain ourselves (both the physical and financial!), Felicity and I read this together and we felt like we really knew where you were at, and so especially thankful that we were able to help you in some small way. Nugs and hugs, verily!

Hello, well I live in Las Vegas were MMJ is legal. I was wondering if you knew what kind of leaves would be the best for me with high CBD. Unfortunately I am one of those people who absolutely have severe anxiety attacks if the THC is to high. I wish I wasn’t, because I would like to enjoy it. I have been on pain meds for a really long time. I had 7 operations over the period of 5 years. I will be needing 2 more soon. Which sucks. Please let me know. Thanks in advanced.

Well, I don’t know about leaves, but you should look into high CBD oil or wax if you can, because the only high CBD bud strain I could find online in Las Vegas is called C3PO, and they’re selling that for $50/gram, which is insanely high. Look around on Weedmaps and Leafly and only get tested medicine with very low (1% or less) THC content. Good luck!

If making capsules is too much work (it is for me), you can just eat a bit of the oil. Spread it on a cracker or chip, or use a special little spoonful. Not sure if it has a different effect than the caps, but it does work. And coconut oil is tasty.

Great suggestion! Coconut oil is tasty and highly edible, and it goes with almost everything. In fact, some guy is making a fortune just selling it to use in coffee…wait till he discovers how good infused coconut oil is in coffee!

Great great instructions. Have been growing several strains for medical patients in Oregon for years. Here in Oregon it just became legal recreationally.

My biggest worry is if making these capsules and storing them for patients or selling them to dispensaries is legal?

They are technically an unregulated capsule that was chemically manufactured and not labeled. So couldn’t these be considered a felony to produce or have in my possession?

I’d love to be able to better provide for all those in pain as I have a large production facility and lots of leaf to spare. However I don’t want to put my current patients or myself at risk to do so. Thank you for any response. You are doing fantastic work. Keep doing it!

Thanks for your kind words. But I’m not a lawyer and even if I was I wouldn’t know Oregon’s regulations. I know in California, people make them, label them, and sell them to dispensaries (not us though, we have never sold anything!). This is just the way health food stores sell capsules with all kinds of things in them. If Oregon has some kind of wacky law about capsules specifically though, I would simply make the oil and let my patients make their own capsules if they want…assuming that infused coconut oil itself is legal. But perhaps you could ask around to local dispensaries to see if you could get some advice from the locals, after all they have probably already paid for lawyers so they should know what’s up.

I am wondering why not just put the ground up leaf in a capsule? Does the oil make a difference in the availability of the CBD?

Just curious

Hi, I am in the midst of trying to pick up Charlotte’s web. My dog has cancer and I am trying to get the low THC plant. My question is would the dog get the CBD benefits without decarboxylation of the material. Since you cannot get high without decarboxylation. I was hoping I could use one of my own varieties, i.e. night nurse etc… Does one have to heat cannabis to get the CBD CBN’s to activate, like they do the THC.

There are medicinal benefits from the THC-a and CBD-a unactivated “acid forms” of the molecule present in the unheated plant, but the effects of CBD or THC only happen in the body (after eating) when the plant has been decarboxylated. So while you’re waiting for the Charlotte’s Web, giving your dog raw plant material may have some benefits, but the plant parts have tiny hairs that can hurt a dog’s (or a human’s) stomach and throat. That’s why it’s better given in oil form. And if you’re trying to actually cure the cancer, you’re going to need the strength of oil in any case.

Oh my Dog, thank you so much for the reply. I have been wondering about that for so long. Even when I cure it for myself I crush it to a powder form and fill pills with it. I’m hoping that will fix that tiny hair issue, again something else I wondered about. Again, thank you so much. Also thanks for the strength info. I was not sure if I needed to do that or not. I will make the oil for him. Bless you!

Thanks! Always glad to help, but please make sure you use an appropriate dosage for a dog, who weighs generally anywhere from 1/20 to 1/2 as much as a human and has no way of communicating distress other than laying down and whimpering or just passing out if they get too much. Always err on the side of caution! Nugs and hugs!

Ha Ha you funny! He weigh’s more than my husband. He was 70Kg and is now, as of today 67.9 kg’s. Also, I will be trying it first to make sure and in the mean time we will have no choice but to purchase it (charlotte’s web) 0.01% thc from a dispensary for $6 dollar’s a day (2 pills 20 mg/per pill @ $3 a pill) I just picked up CB Dutch Treat and it is a 8% cbd and 4% thc very low, but still questioning it. Like I said though I will try it first and worse case scenario we use it for ourselves, since our own is so strong and low cbd’s anyway. They say that is why no one has the new stuff, you don’t get buzzed. Time to go the other way now. Thanks again.

Just in case other’s read this, I JUST WANTED TO MENTION that this is not just me giving one of my dog’s cbd’s. It was advised to me by a Vet and where to go and the amounts also. So PLEASE make sure you get a prescription and remember no THC apparently they have came into the VET’s office shaking like crazy. ALSO it depends on the dog. FYI. Alway’s seek professional advise before giving your animal of any sort any drugs of any kind. 🙂

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