How to go calorie-free with homemade cannabis capsules

homemade cannabis capsules

For skeptical patients, cannabis capsules offer the botanical drug in a familiar modality. | Photo by Bruce Wolf

Celebrity cannabis chef Laurie Wolf takes you from zero to hero in the kitchen with our series “Cannabis Cooking Basic with Laurie Wolf.” This week: how to make your own cannabis capsules.

Cannabis capsules, also known as canna-capsules, are food-grade capsules that have been filled with concentrated cannabis oil. These can be swallowed as you would an ordinary pill. Capsules provide similar effects as edibles and are ideal for those who wish to ingest cannabis but don’t want the added calories. They are a simple, smokeless way to ingest a standardized amount of cannabis. They have a slow onset (taking anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours to kick in) and a long duration (effects last 4 to 8 hours). Like edibles, capsules may provide stronger and longer psychological and physical effects. Capsules provide a fairly consistent experience, although effects are influenced by the stomach contents.


It is advisable to take a canna-capsule with a little bit of food—not on a completely empty stomach, but not on a full stomach either.

How to figure your correct dosage

In our kitchen, we cook with cannabis that has 15 percent THC, which results in 5 milligrams of THC per canna-capsule, which is generally a good starting dose. If you need a higher or lower dose, you can use more or less cannabis when making your canna-capsules.Start with one canna-capsule and wait four hours to fully assess your reaction to its strength and effects.

Laurie Wolf is a leader in the edible community and an award-winning culinary entrepreneur. She recently published four cannabis cookbooks. Her brownie recipe on The Cannabist won Leafly’s Brownie Bracket challenge, naming it “the absolute best cannabis brownie recipe of all time.”


homemade cannabis capsules
  • fine mesh strainer
  • cheesecloth
  • size 00 empty capsules (via Amazon for $15)
  • capsule-filling machine (via Amazon for $39) OR
  • 10-milliliter syringe with tapered tip (via Amazon $6.99)
  • 8 grams cannabis
  • 7 ounces coconut oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 240°F.

  2. Place the cannabis on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to activate the THC, resulting in decarboxylated cannabis.

  3. In a small saucepan, heat the coconut oil over low heat. Add the decarboxylated cannabis to the oil. Stir to mix.

  4. Cook for 3 hours over low heat, stirring occasionally. The oil should not boil or simmer, although it may bubble occasionally.

  5. Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and place it over a large, heat-safe bowl.

  6. Carefully pour the oil through the cheesecloth, allowing any excess oil to strain through.

  7. Remove the cheesecloth from the strainer, using gloves if the oil is still very hot, and squeeze any remaining oil into the bowl.

  8. Fill your syringe to fill the capsules; the oil will set when at room temperature. If the oil solidifies before filling the capsules, reheat over low heat. If using a capsule-filling machine, follow its specific directions.

  9. Store the capsules in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one year.