Double Fermentation of Cannabis

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by Turambar, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. Turambar

    Turambar Registered

    THC isn't water soluble, but it is alcohol soluble. This has me curious as to whether or not it might be possible to use something similar to the "double fermentation" techniques that are used in brewing some beers to finally achieve fermented cannabis.

    Imagine if someone in a country where cannabis is legal were to add cannabis to a 5-20% solution of alcohol to extract the THC. After allowing the finely ground herb to macerate for a few days, they then add fruit juice or a combination of molasses and water to reduce the alcohol content to a lower level (like 2.5-5%). With a lower alcohol content and a new source of sugar, they restart fermentation with a yeast strain possessing a high tolerance for ethanol.

    Saccharomyces cerevesiae is the common brewer's yeast, but other yeasts and bacteria could be used in conjuction as well: Torulaspora, Brettanomyces, Zygosaccharomyces, Pediococcus, and Lactobacillus are all used in various fermented products. Acetobacter can also convert alcoholic solutions into vinegars. The idea is that one or more of these microbes might generate new metabolic byproducts of THC and some of these might be of improved potency, different duration, or else exhibit some other pharmacological differences from THC.

    For that person in a country where such activities are legal, is this an idea worth trying? Have I failed to consider something?
  2. redtails

    redtails Registered+

    Sounds interesting...One thing to consider is the rate at which THC breaks down into non-psychoactive compounds in the presence of light, heat, or oxygen. Can't think of the numbers off the top of my head but I know they're out there. Should make sure whatever yeast/process you use it can be cold brewed. I wonder what the yeast does to the THC itself as well...
  3. Turambar

    Turambar Registered

    Light: This is probably one of the greatest threats, but it is easy to control: just keep the solution in a dark place.

    Heat: Interestingly, heating cannabis is sometimes said to create more THC via isomerization of inactive cannabinoids. In the 1800s, among the artsy crowd in Europe, drinking hashish in hot black coffee was the preferred method of administration. However, heating for prolonged periods of time may not be advisable, so I would agree that you would want a cold brewing strain.

    Oxygen: Oxygen shouldn't be too great a factor. Keeping the cannabinoids in a solution probably exposes them to a lot less oxygen than they are exposed to in the herb. Certain antioxidant herbs might also be used in conjunction with the cannabis. The whole fermentation could probably be completed in one to three weeks depending on the strain, sugar content, etc. if Saccharomyces is used. Some other microbes, like Brettanomyces, take a lot longer (several months). Aging may have a positive effect on the composition, but this would require experimentation to determine if losses are too significant. It might also help to stabilize the brew by adding liquor after fermentation to increase the alcohol content.

    Water: Distilled water would be essential. Chlorinated compounds in tap water may destroy cannabinoids. Distilled water is a must in brewing in any event.

    Other Ingredients: It's possible that adding other herbs might modify the cannabinoids. Perhaps new metabolites might be generated when two or more chemicals are ingested by the microbe at once. I'm not sure, though. If this was tried, one would probably want to use a large excess of a certain herb in relation to the cannabis added to maximize the probability of that occurring.

    Other Strains: There are a wide array of microbes out there that aren't normally used in brewing, but are relatively harmless and easy to culture. These agents might be capable of creating novel cannabinoids. One caveat might be that immuno-compromised people, like AIDS patients, should probably avoid these compositions unless it can be ascertained all microbes have been killed.

    In any event, I think this looks like a rich area of experimentation.
  4. redtails

    redtails Registered+

    I agree, sounds very promising & fun. If I had access to the kind of equipment to make/test this I would definitely experiment!
  5. mojoke

    mojoke Registered+

    I think the reason why this has not been done is because after step 1 you are already set to go.... So whats the purpose of step 2 and 3 if you can just get your desired alcoholic beverage, be it beer (have not experimented), or hard liquor and add it?
  6. redtails

    redtails Registered+

    That's like saying just add a little everclear to grape juice and you have wine...sure there are some cheap wines like that (Boone's Farm, MD20/20, Wild Vine, etc.) but it's not REAL wine.
  7. mainegrown

    mainegrown Registered+

    i kinda have my doubts about this plan something about THC and THC-A??
    idk just something that crossed my :jointsmile: mind...
  8. redtails

    redtails Registered+

    Well like Turambar was saying, heat converts THC-A into THC, but usually only short periods of heat like lighting the bowl or making cannabutter...
  9. alkaline808

    alkaline808 Registered

    you can

    just thought id let you know that they've been doing it in india since 1000bc, its called bhang. It's prepared in 2 ways, one that is a drink and one that can be smoked using a hookah, but they both share the same name. you might be able to buy some online.

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