You may have learned that cannabinoids such as THC and CBD do not dissolve in water – and in general, you wouldn't be wrong! This basic fact usually means that if we want to cook with cannabis and fully extract the goodies, we must dissolve the cannabis in oil first. But due to the work of grassroots researchers like Tom Kenyon of the UK's Hemel Hempstead Cannabis Club, that reality is about to be turned on its head!
International Highlife caught up with Tom Kenyon today for a quick chat about his work – in particular, his method of making powdered, water-soluble cannabis.
IHL: Tell us about yourself and your work with cannabis…
TK: I’m Tom Kenyon, I am a member of the Hemel Hempstead Cannabis Club, which I also help found and set up. I also run Cannaseur Confectioneries, and I have a range of cannabis-infused sweets – and recently, I developed a technique for making powdered, water-soluble cannabis oil!
IHL: How did you come up with the idea of making water-soluble cannabis?
TK: Well, as long as it involves cannabis, I’m interested in it! I’m always trying to find something new that I can do with it. I was watching some Vice programs like Bong Appetit, where they cook with clear distillate and infused CBD powders – I found it interesting but also a little bit of a cheat as they aren’t so much cooking with cannabis itself, as just using products bought from the shop.
I started doing some research into molecular gastronomy. I was given a link to a site supplying specialized products, and on their front page was an ingredient that you can use to bind oil into a powder! So that kind of piqued an interest for me, as I realized I could use it with cannabis.
So I bought it, did a lot of research into its principles and properties, and what other ingredients needed to be worked with it to make it a proper water-soluble powder. The whole process only took about five days! Next, I’m going to talk with a supplier of terpenes, so I can start producing sativa and indica-based ranges.
IHL: So what is this ingredient? Can you explain?
TK: Basically, it’s a complex carbohydrate that turns to a sugar in the body when you eat it – it’s modified starch, essentially. In America, they’re using something called cyclodextrin, but it’s super expensive. I’m using a similar compound, and then I’m using other natural food grade products to ensure the oil stays liquid.
IHL: How do you use the powdered cannabis? What’s the dose?
TK: Currently I’m doing between 50 and 100 milligrams per half-gram pot of powder, so it’s quite strong. I like to treat it like an edible dab – in fact, I’m calling it “Edables”! I use a little scoop to put some powder straight under my tongue, and it dissolves straightaway. My usual dose is about 0.02 g of powder, so you get about 25 scoops out of a half gram.
Other than that, it’s soluble in water – any warm water, so if you’ve got a warm drink then you can add it to that. It’s also gluten-free, so people with Crohn’s can have it.
IHL: So where can people obtain this magical powder?
TK: Well, I’m running Cannaseur Confectioneries alongside the Hemel Hempstead Cannabis Club. So people that are paid club members get discounts to merchandise, paraphernalia, events and so on, as well as free P&P. They’re my main client base, and I don’t really like selling outside of the club. Everybody that comes in is vouched for by another member of the club, so we know we’re not going to get many troublemakers.
Outside of that, if I get referrals from other UK cannabis social clubs, or from other trusted individuals, say for cancer patients – I’ve been happy to do that.
IHL: Do you personally use cannabis for medicinal purposes?
TK: I started off as a recreational user. I’ve recently been diagnosed with back problems, and I was signed off work for stress, anxiety and depression last year – so I evolved from a recreational user into a medical user, as I found it was helping a lot with the issues I was having in my life.
IHL: What’s your stance on the legal situation surrounding cannabis?
TK: Well – we all know that GW Pharmaceuticals is growing cannabis in the UK on behalf of the government. We all know that the reasons they made it illegal are all based on racism and lies…So what we’re doing is just bypassing them. We look at what happened with prohibition in the 1930s, and that changed because people changed it, not because politicians changed it. So our general idea behind the club and philosophy was just… “Let’s just do it ourselves!”
What do you think about Tom Kenyon’s amazing new way to make water-soluble cannabis? Leave us a comment and let us know!