Your favourite plant just went through a major transformation. Cannabis softgels capture the essence of the cannabis plant and distill it into a tiny capsule, less than a centimeter long. What seems like magic, however, is actually just a little science. How are softgels made? Listen and learn.
What is a Softgel?
A softgel is a blend of cannabis oil and a carrier oil encapsulated in a gelatin casing. Rather than inhaling the plant, softgels capture cannabis’ essential oil and deliver it in a smoke-free, consistently dosed package. A gelatin-based casing is used to contain the liquid, making it a convenient and portable way to experience cannabis.
Softgels get their name due to their consistency. Rather than a hard, compact tablet like a Tylenol, softgels are designed to hold liquids, like cannabis oil.
Cannabis oil is made with concentrated resin from the cannabis plant. Oil-producing resin glands called trichomes cover cannabis flowers, giving the flower crystal-coated appearance.
The parts of the plant that produce this resin-like oil are responsible for hundreds of different chemical compounds. Some of these compounds are responsible for aroma while others are said to produce psychoactive effects. These oils are the essence of cannabis, and all that goodness gets stuffed into these tiny softgels.
How Does Cannabis Go From a Plant to a Softgel?
The process of transforming the cannabis plant into a softgel begins with a process called extraction. During extraction, cannabis resin is separated from fibrous plant material using a solvent. The end result is a honey-like syrup that contains concentrated amounts of active cannabis compounds, including cannabinoids.
The most well-known cannabinoid is THC, which is responsible for the mind-altering “high” that can be achieved by consuming cannabis. The second most common cannabinoid is CBD, which most studies suggest is non-intoxicating in low to moderate doses.
Most softgels contain either THC, CBD, or a combination of both depending on the varietal from which the oil is extracted. When a softgel contains extracted cannabis oil, the capsule takes on some of the unique, specific properties of the varietal. For example, a softgel made from Tokyo Smoke Go may include some of the unique chemical compounds originally produced by the varietal, like flavinoids, cannabinoids and terpenes.
How Are Softgels Made?
Extracting essential oils from plants is nothing new. People have made botanical tinctures for millennia by infusing medicinal herbs and other plants into alcohol. For a standard tincture, alcohol acts as a solvent that dissolves essential oils away from plant material. Making softgels, however, involves more equipment than a simple tincture.
To make a cannabis softgel, extraction professionals use specialized machinery and a stronger solvent than is typically used to make simple tinctures and extractions. Our softgels are made using supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction.
We avoid other solvents, like ethanol, because they extract both water and oil-soluble compounds from the plant. Having these extra compounds in the extract makes it more difficult to measure a precise and reliable cannabinoid dosage down the line—a crucial characteristic of a high-quality softgel.
We take this concentrated extract and mix it with a carrier oil, which actually makes the cannabis extract easier to digest and helps with absorption. The carrier oil we use is medium-chain triglyceride oil (MCT oil), which is a derivative of coconut oil. After the carrier oil and the cannabis extract are mixed, the oils are infused into a casing and a complete softgel is made. Voilá!
If you’re concerned with discretion, softgels are smokeless and easy to conceal.
Why Choose Softgels?
Consuming softgels differs from consuming dried flower in a number of ways. The first difference is one of the most important. Cannabis softgels give you precise control over your cannabinoid intake that is virtually impossible to achieve with inhaled products. Softgels are infused with pre-determined doses of active cannabinoids, which makes it easy to find just the right amount for you.
When establishing your ideal dose, start low with just one 2.5 mg softgel, the lowest dose of THC and CBD presently available in this form. If the experience is comfortable and enjoyable for you, great. If you’re looking to level up your dose, be sure to give yourself ample time before attempting more, at least 2 hours. Scale up only incrementally at the 2.5 mg level.
Dosage control isn’t the only reason to choose a softgel. If you’re concerned with discretion, softgels are smokeless and easy to conceal. They also provide a long-lasting experience when compared with inhaled flower. Softgels can produce active effects for up to 24 hours, so find a comfortable environment and settle down.
Welcome to the future of cannabis.