It's Easy, Once You Know How: From Seed to Mead to Fully Extracted Cannabis Oil (Chapter One)

in #cannabis4 years ago (edited)

This story really starts in July 2015, when I first met Joel MacCharles and attended one of his fermenting seminars. His lecture was a couple of hours long and it was given outside as part of an "Incredible Edibles" festival that celebrates locally grown, whole foods.

 Joel Showed Us All How To Ferment Bee Honey.

Yeah, I learned how to make mead in less than an hour. Mead is an alcoholic beverage made from honey, champagne yeast and water. Different spices and fruit can be added to make unique flavours of mead and it usually produces a finished product with a 20%+ alcohol content (if you give it enough fermenting time and store it properly).

Joel has a great sense of humour and a fascinating story. He runs a company called "Well Preserved". He's also written a book called "Batch" and has given a TedX Talk in Toronto, Ontario Canada. (Which you can find here:)

(This was posted to YouTube by TedX Talks on Oct. 8, 2013)

That very same afternoon, I went right home and made my first batch of mead.

I took these photos of the mead as a way of documenting the process...mostly for myself, so that I would remember how to do it. I then stored the brew for a whole year. I checked it to make sure the air-lock was working properly but for the most part, I didn't touch it. The next year, I used a really good quality filtre (one that is traditionally used for filtering wine) and I removed all the orange peel that I had originally used to flavour it. This was what I was left with:

It Looked Descent But Tasted BAD. Like Really Strong Cough Syrup Mixed With Paint Stripper

I continued to store it and I attended another one of Joel's seminars. He was just launching his book at that point, so I bought one, along with a very cool Well Preserved  t-shirt. I talked to him a little bit before his presentation and he asked if I would share my mead story with the group (which I did and was happy to do so). (My enthusiasm about growing bacteria cultures can be super contagious, so fair warning to you, dear reader.)

This is where Joel's involvement in the story stops

At year 2, the mead was mellowing and was loosing its harsh cough syrup flavour. I had also come out of the cannabis closet with full force and had made strong connections within the cannabis community as an educator. My therapeutic background and certification in essential oils, helped immensely. I applied for a medical cannabis license, then a special license that would permit me to buy over-proof alcohol in the province where I live and finally another special license so that I could legally grow my own medical cannabis.

The Learning Curves Have Been Steep But Not Insurmountable

The next step for me is to teach myself how to make fully extracted cannabis oil which is very resinous and extremely potent. 80% THC potent to be more precise. It's the form of cannabis that is used to treat cancer and other deadly diseases like ALS and Lyme's Disease.

Special Extracting Equipment Was Required

We are less than a year away from my entire country (which is Canada) legalizing recreational cannabis. It's been very difficult to bring any specialized equipment or ingredients into Canada, from other countries that are typically used for processing cannabis in any manner. Often these items sit on Custom Agents' desks for months while they try to determine what it is, what it's used for and whether or not it is even legal to possess.

I ordered a Green Oil Machine That Was Made In Oregon, USA

In essence, it's a big still. You wash any plant material that you want to work with in very high concentrations of alcohol or other solvent mediums. Then you filter the plant material out of that liquid and put the infused liquid into the Green Oil Machine. You set the temperature to 90 degrees Celsius.

The machine boils the liquid inside it and reclaims the alcohol in the process because alcohol has a lower boiling point than water.

The End Products Are: The Essential Oil Of Whatever Plant Material That Was Used And Most of the Original Alcohol.

I had the machine shipped to a hardware store on Wellesley Island in upper state New York and made the crossing into the USA at the 1000 Islands' bridge.

This is a viable option for Canadians when they want to purchase items manufactured in the United States but want to get around needing a broker to bring the goods (on their behalf) across the border. You simply become your own broker.


This is the Wellesley Island hardware store. You use their shipping address through an on-line service called Kinek. It costs you $5 USD for this service and you don't need to maintain a mailbox. It's actually a really cool service. You can find more out about Kinek services here:

In addition to Wellesley Island, Kinek has 17 other border crossing points across the country and a 1,000 shipping points within the USA. This is a great option if you plan to be traveling for extended periods of time through-out the States and you want to have something shipped to you without having a fixed address.

I Personally Picked Up My Green Oil Machine 

Then I brought it through Canadian customs so that I could answer any questions, pay any tariffs and reduce the probability of it being confiscated in the process.

It worked like a charm.

It was a long drive but by the time I came back through customs, answered the Custom Agents questions, produced my bill of sale and answered more questions, I was really happy with my decision to do this, this way.

The Agents didn't charge me any additional duty and I also didn't get strip searched or arrested. It was a good day. LOL!

This  is the end of chapter one. 

Chapter two will cover my "by-chance" meeting with a wonderful Lady and her husband. Both of whom run a cannabis equipment and supply store in Brockville and are consultants for Canada's largest licensed cannabis producer. I will also be taking the Green Oil Machine out for a test run as I distill the alcohol out of my 2 year old mead and measure the alcohol content to determine if I have achieved a high enough percentage of alcohol to extract cannabis! 

Stay tuned. (It'll be fun).

I welcome your questions and I invite you to follow me on my journey...sometimes there might be Custom Agents and things that are heavily fermented. :)

~ Rebecca Ryan


Tsk! Tsk! I struggled to upvote this post as almost everyone knows that drinking Mead will make such a one a skald/scholar. Therefore, in close relationship to Cliff's Buffalo Herd Theory, a Mead drinker will develop the thinking power to easily grasp this entire subject matter. But since you shared the mailing/shipping address secret, then I let it slide.

I'm doing this as much for myself as everyone else @aedroberts. I'm trying to record all this information on the blockchain while I still can remember all the important details. Like how NOT to get strip searched on a Saturday morning in another country. LOL! First distillation came in at 50%, Second came in at 80% and I'm going to do a triple so am hoping I hit 94%.

Rebecca, I know you are a rare individual here on Steemit who understands the copyright and intellectual property rights protection afforded by the Blockchain. Those of us who are not enamored with the state has a clear path toward the tenor. I touch on this in a draft. You've motivated me to get the post up.

BTW, have you tried freezing techniques? The alcohol won't freeze so removing the mash and redoing it in a batch will recoup more.

The race is on my friend! I am trying my hardest to record as much of these processes as I can along with as many tricks and hacks as I can too (while I'm at it). I'm on the fence as to whether the benefit of freezing it is actually worth it. Do you think it recoups more resin or more alcohol?

Definitely more alcohol; I only know enough about organic chemistry to make a fool of myself. Someone else can weigh in here. I believe with almost all the alcohol gone from the mesh the resin extraction will improve. Alcohol definitely assists with the collection. However, after that, I think the alcohol somewhat retards the process.

I knew it. I just knew it.
I was rolling along with you in all you were writing and saying to us. I was getting more excited by the minute. Finally we have a lady that knows how to do things and maybe even save my life.
Not that it is worth all that much. lol
And then. And then. There you are.
No, it can't be. Yes it is. No it isn't. Yes it is. It is Rebecca in the photo. I fell in love all over again. Ha
Everything I learned in reading your post evaporated in seconds.
Now, what was it that you were saying?
Oh, I remember now. It was about Cannabis. Ha Ha


Thanks for loving me Francis! If you ever need me to save your life, just know that I will do everything in my power to do so. I'm actually not worried about you at all. Your eating lifestyle is pretty much doing all the hard work for me. If anything, we just need to tweak a few things and add the correct herbs which will slow down the aging process a little and combat inflammation. Don't you worry, I got your back. ;)

It's ironic that I literally just responded to one of your comments on a totally different post that was about distillation prior to reading this lol! It's also ironic that I too take pictures of things to help with my memory issues, the smart phone is a godsend for us peeps with memory issues!

I really enjoyed this post, it was extremely compact in nature. What I mean by that is that it didn't take me forever to read but it was packed with interesting material.

And I can't believe that you came to the states and didn't come see me! You were only abooooot 9 or 10 hours away! You and the Gnarl-mister could have chilled out with my bud and I by the campfire, but noooooo! That's okay, it's not like my feelings are hurt or anything :(

I'm telling you it's a nervous system frequency thing...same channel. LOL!
I'm glad you enjoyed the post! Lots of information, very compact and I'm trying hard to break it all down so the critical information can stand out.
Some day we will organize this...visiting you and Cindi is on my list and I'd like that very much. :)

The post is more than wonderful and very [email protected]
How I wish to taste that cannabis
I always wish you success and progress in everything
Greetings my dear [email protected]

I wish you could taste it too @walidsalah! Thank you very much.

The long drive was very worth it my friend! I am always so impressed by you and your way of doing and trying things out!
Wow! You are such a passionate lady!
I would love to taste the mead, no idea how it taste like actually!

It tasted too strong Chef! It's better now that I've distilled it twice and I've got a third to do. You can easily make this if you can get your hands on some champagne yeast. ;)


Hi Rebecca,

Will that Green oil machine work for producing any kind of essential oil?
How much do these machines cost and how much oil can one make in one batch? Is that a commercial model? Will you be selling your oil extracts and competing with others selling cannabis oil?

Yes it will! I can't tell you how excited I am about that part. I've got a huge clump of oregano growing and want to make oil of oregano before the snow flies here. The machine is large. It holds 4 litres of fluid at a time but it's not considered a commercial model. With cannabis, (when you are making oil) for every 10 grams of bud used, you can expect to produce 3 grams of finished oil. It requires lots of plant material which is why I needed to learn how to grow for myself, step after the other. The machine cost me $390 Canadian, once I payed the exchange on the dollar. If I had it shipped door to door, it would have cost $550 and no guarantee that it wouldn't be denied by Canadian customs and confiscated at the border. It was better to risk a few driving hours and be able to speak directly with the agents. Once my country legalizes I will be in a better position to decide if and what I'm going to sell. Right now, it's the Wild Wild West and things are rapidly changing in the Canadian Cannabis scene.

That's much larger than what I had expected from the image. I'll have to check into it more. I can literally walk across the border into the USA to pick up parcels and $400 sounds like it could be a good investment if I want to begin making essential oils from my oregano, mint, rosemary and thyme. I also have a friend that could benefit from cannabis oil.

Thanks for the information.

It's a good machine and there are videos to support how to use it but it doesn't come with any paper instructions at all. So I have researched, watched videos and talked to other people who bought one and have been using it, to teach myself what the best techniques are. I hope to be able to blog about each type of oil that I make with it. Apparently you can also use it to distill water too. ;)

I'll be watching for your future blogs on it.

If it can recover evaporated oils and alcohol, it should be able to recover water just the same! When I was a child, the city water supplied to the Greater Vancouver district was considered as good as distilled water and we used it directly to top up our car batteries without any issues. I'm not so sure that is still the case today though. It is still great water for drinking, so there isn't much need for distilled water here.

yo cannabis coach.. I wanna be your cannabis apprentice

We will make this so @nee!
Thanks for your interest.

Thanks master!
So far I'm only stuck with nicotine..
Tell me how do I level up

Excellent article and yes @rebeccaryan, this alcoholic drink from honey, we also do, it is pleasant to the taste, but overdo it can not, in the morning it can be very strong headache :)

Thank you for this excellent advice. I'm in the process of triple distilling it to capture high proof alcohol. So far, I've finished the 2nd distillation and I'm at 80%. If I can achieve 90%, I can use it to extract cannabis oil.

Interesting as always; you're finding your way onto my regular reads list ;)

I made mead once. I thought it turned out pretty well, but maybe waiting more than a year would have tasted better. Regular beer is so much faster though!

Thanks for the Cannabis update. This industry will make many millionaires legally.

Yes it will. Just trying to decide who I want to be aligned with and who I do not. ;)

Really so nice working, thanks for good sharing

Following for updates

This seems pretty interesting by the way how is it working now Green Oil Machine and how much it would cost nearly

Congratulations @rebeccaryan
MinnowsPower listed your post "It's Easy, Once You Know How: From Seed to Mead to Fully Extracted Cannabis Oil (Chapter One)" as one of the top 10 upvoted and commented posts of the day...!!!

Exceptional life experience and photography of it shared with Steemit community.

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Wow...... very interesting post. 100% valuable rate i give your post. I`d like to read always bcz its yummy story.
100% upvote/ Resteem

@rebeccaryan - Oh my goodness, ma'm you are lucky & I'm awaiting to read next part of this story. It's very interesting story ma'm. Cannabis is illegal in my country. So, I can't try what you did, but i can read what you did. Love it ma'm <3 Nice you decided to share it :*

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Peace in Blunts Fam 🔥💨

great post about cannabis, much more indeed information here, thanks for sharing.

Great Words to live by!!!!

We do not have the law to grow canapel, but many people violate it. Thank you for the article, informative.

Wow no way to test this thing... But very interesting article! Thank you very much for sharing such great life experiences with us! Really appreciate your effort!


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amigo #resteemia at your service

interesting to hear about cannabis oil ;) want to try this out :) excellent article @rebeccaryan

'UpVoted ReSteemed Commented'

Seems like your hard work paid off

its very important information ,,,,,,i agree with you

I find it very interesting what you write about the canabis oil :) not sure if it is allowed to do all that here in belguim

Interesting....never heard of the green oil machine...sounds intriguing

Ah i first seen your how to work with it post first :)

I hope our goverment also aware to legalize cannabis oil as medicine

I do not know what it is mead, but I see it is dangerous it seems

All I can say is WoW! after reading this it makes me want to give this a try.
I will definitely be checking out Joels' Ted talk. I love Ted talks. Thank you for sharing this awesome experience/ experiment. Best wishes!!!!!

Thank @rebeccaryan!
Good story & amazing recipe!

fantastic post

Wow ..............................................................................................................
Thanks for share

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