We developed Cannabuttons as a way to produce super potent smokable MMJ from scrap and trim, during the annual period right before outdoor harvest, when numerous new patients were posting for donations and surplus bud supplies were exhausted.
The process cools and further smoothes prime bud, makes an unbelievably smooth smoke out of even iron lung grade leaf trim and makes even harsh fan leaves smokable, though sedative and not tasty.
A Cannabutton can be turned into an Improved Cannabutton by mixing in Kif, or a Super Cannabutton by soaking it with cannabis oil extracted from trim, prior to compressing into a button.
Depending on the strain and type of material the button is based on, a hash oil soaked Cannabutton can produce everything from an intense high to couch locked slack jawed sedated stupor.
Of course you can also use prime bud and hash oil from prime bud, and even throw some kif into the mix, and make Super Duper Cannabuttons. Let your imagination be your guide!
As a bonus, the same home made 12, 000 psi press and dies needed to produce Cannabuttons will also make peachy keen hash buttons out of bubble or kief in a heartbeat.
Manufacturing basic cannabuttons is extremely simple, but requires equipment, which fortunately is also extremely simple to purchase or make.
Part of the manufacturing process is oriented toward producing the button itself and there is a second process if hash oil is to also be used.
To make the button, we may use bubble hash, kief, bud, or bloom cycle leaf. They are made by finely dividing the material and pressing it into a pellet under about 12,000 psi of hydraulic pressure.
If the material is hash or kief, no preparation is necessary prior to pressing, but bud and bloom cycle leaf must first be reduced to powder in an electric coffee grinder. We break up and remove the stems from bud first, but no other preparation is necessary before tossing them in the grinder.
Bloom cycle leaf material first needs the wood taken out, which we do by drying it in a 200F oven on a cookie sheet until it is just frangible when rolled between our finger and thumb.
We then manually scrub it through a pasta strainer to both pulverize the leaf material and separate it from the woody stems and leaf veins. After straining, it goes directly in the coffee grinder as well.
We grind the material to a fine powder using a pulsing technique, and then simply load it into a die made out of a 1” pipe nipple, a 1” pipe cap, and two short lengths of 1” hardened steel dowel rod. See attached picture:
The cap is screwed on the nipple and a length of dowel just long enough to sit on the inside of the pipe cap and reach 1/8” or so into the pipe nipple is inserted so as to seal off the bottom.
The interior of the pipe is then filled with material, and another length of dowel rod set on top of it. The assembly is then put in a hydraulic press and the top length of dowel rod is forced into the pipe full of material as deeply as 12,000 pounds of pressure will force it.
When the material is removed from the die, it is a formed button. Depending on the material it was formed from, it may be gummy, oily, or hard like high density fiber board.
Bloom cycle leaf material contains cannabinoids, just like the cannabis flowers. They are just less concentrated and the ratio of plant material to resin content makes it just too harsh to smoke long term without having iron lungs.
The leaf material is also rumored to be higher, ratio wise, in CBDs than bud, which is the source of much of cannabis’s analgesic pain relieving properties, as well its anti-inflammatory abilities.
The press that we use is actually a glycerin tincture press that we built from an $18.00 six ton hydraulic jack from Harbor Freight and some 6” X 13# wide flange for platens and 1 ½” X ¼” A-36 MS angle iron horizontal stays I picked up as scrap. Picture attached:
To remove the button from the die, we unscrew the bottom cap and remove the bottom dowel pin and replace the cap. We then return the die to the press and set the dowel pin that we just removed on top of the one pressing the button. When we force it into the pipe, it forces the newly formed button into the pipe cap, where it is easily removed by just shaking.
There is absolutely nothing to the process beyond reducing it to a powder and then recombining it under pressure, but the surface area is reduced, which reduces the area that can react with oxygen at any given time, which cools the smoke down and reduces harshness.
It works regardless of whether it is dry kief, bubble hash, prime bud, or leaf. It is all a matter of how much head and body medicinal effect each method has.
Using it is as easy as breaking or carving off a piece, and rolling it between the finger and thumb to pulverize. Placed on a screen and smoked like hash, it makes a pleasant smoke whose efficaciousness can be controlled by content.
For those requirements that dictate also adding hash oil to the buttons, it is as easy as saturating the powdered material with the hash oil tincture, made by mixing cannabis oil with just enough warm ethanol to make it fluid.
We then dry it in a 200F oven, while stirring frequently with a scientific grade bamboo chopstick. When it is dry, it is loaded in the die, just like the untreated material and pressed.
Depending on the extraction process used for the hash oil, the puck may be stiff or crumbly.
Hash oil: Manufacture of the hash oil has a number of directions to go, but any of the processes may be used. I usually use QWET, BHO, or Hexane extraction protocol. Please check those threads for details.
Summary: Cannabuttons offer an effective way to directly convert leaf scrap to aspiratable material and infusing them with hash oil extracted from leaf scrap, produces a highly potent medication at a lower unit cost than bud given the present pricing structure.
Reducing the plant material to powder and pressing it at high pressure reduced the harshness of all of the materials tested, both making even prime material easier on the lungs, and allowing the use of material previously too harsh to smoke or vaporize.
While compressing ground up bud and passing it off for hash is an old practice, as may be doctoring it up with hash oil, doing so at high pressure seems to produce a product that is unique and desirable.
Locally we have made our point by passing out samples, but since that isn’t possible on an international scale, may I heartily recommend that some of ya’ll other curious risk taking types make a few and I welcome your input.
Note that you don’t even need a press if you have a bottle jack, because you can find a convenient truck and use its frame as the upper platen and the ground for the jack base.
The die is simple Schedule 40 BIP plumbing fittings, with a couple of sections of dowel pin. What could be simpler? You can even use MS round bar.
May I suggest that you use a dedicated coffee grinder to maintain marital bliss as grinding cannabis in one pretty much over rides any later flavor subtleties in coffee beans? GW