Magic Salve on the Pacific Crest Trail

One of the reasons that I wrote The Cannabis Gardener is to help people grow and make their own healing salve.  Over the years, I’ve gifted little tins of my creation to friends and family, and have been met with gratitude, surprise, and thanks for the help it provides.  Years ago I was at an event, and met a friend there. She was suffering from shingles, with a large and painful rash on her abdomen.  She shared that the drugs that had been prescribed for her weren’t working.  I tossed her a small tin of some cannabis salve I had in my purse. She texted several days later and in all caps shared her amazement that her pain was largely gone – and she named my salve “Magic Salve”.  Recently, I ran into another friend. She was suffering from neuropathy in her leg, having had multiple surgeries.  Her leg aches, goes numb, feels freezing even when it is warm.  I offered her a tin of salve, hoping it would provide some relief. She massaged in the magic salve – and the next day texted “Thank you! my leg feels like my leg again! You are an angel.”  This is why I wrote my book – for moments like these.

But wanna know the biggest fan of my salve?  Me!  I rub a little salve somewhere on my body on most days. I use it especially often during hiking season, as it offers just what my feet need to stay healthy and ready to hit the trails.  A couple years ago my husband and I went on a quick camping trip near the Sonora Pass.  This striking Sierra Nevada pass is also a crossing for Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) through hikers.  We happened to be on the pass at just the right time to become impromptu Trail Angels.  We gave rides to several small groups of through hikers from the pass down to Kennedy Meadows, a popular restocking point for those continuing on the trail.  We shared cold fruit with them and heard some of their stories.  Each person was on a journey, a quest, or a pilgrimage of sorts.  It was about being in the natural world, yes, but more importantly it was about working something out in their lives, gaining strength, testing limits, grieving the past – so many reasons were propelling these people on their treks. Each of them looked tired, and mentioned the physical toll that being on the trail took on their bodies, most especially on their feet.

Sunset over the Sierras near the Sonora Pass

I’m a hiker, but I don’t think I’ll ever complete the whole PCT. And I’m OK with that!  But I love doing smaller hikes on the PCT, and want to honor the journeys that these hikers are making by offering what support I can. Recently, I had an idea to share my love for cannabis and for people in a tangible way. I am planning on making lots of small tins of Magic Salve, and giving them away to hikers on the PCT. This combines two loves of mine: hiking in nature and cannabis.

Making Magic Salve is pretty simple – but there is one special ingredient that takes time to make. The limiting factor for making my salve was creating the cannabis concentrate. My little extractor (Source Turbo) is great – but only for small quantities. I reached out to the fine people at Extract Craft and bought a gloriously fast and efficient new tool:  The EtOH Pro by ExtractCraft.  It’s definitely a Big Girl extractor and I’m ecstatic about how easy it is to make the concentrate that puts the magic in my homemade salve.

Magic Salve starts in the garden – then moves into the kitchen, and out onto the trail.  I’m looking forward to getting into the Sierras this summer and sharing the love.

Lemons + Cannabis = Deliciousness

My fruitful lemon trees are dotted with bright yellow orbs, offering a welcome reminder of the bright California sun in the middle of what’s turning out to be a dark and stormy January. I love to make gummies, tailoring each batch to my current desires by choosing the tincture that has what I need. It all starts with the cannabis variety – and then the decision tree led by your goals for what you want from your homegrow.

I have quite a stable of tinctures in my fridge. Each is a simple concoction of homegrown cannabis and high proof alcohol, strained and bottled. I decarb most of my weed, but some I leave raw before crafting the tincture. I have one unique tincture that I made at harvest, with fresh, terpy cannabis that I’d harvested that same day. Each of these dozen or so bottles holds the magic ingredient that makes every batch of gummies both delicious and effective.

A group of friends came over last night, and I led us in a casual gummy making time. We each made our own batch of Fresh Lemon Gummies and customized the tasty treats by choosing the tincture that offered what we wanted to experience: getting high, feeling energetic, help with sleep, easing pain, or supporting our immune health. My tinctures are varied, offering all THC, all CBD, a blend of both, or the immune boosting anti-inflammatory help of THCa and CBDa found only in raw preparations.

Here’s the recipe I used for us to create our own gummies. All ingredients are simple to source, but you’ll need to craft your own tincture as this particular type is not sold in dispensaries. I hope this gives you a bit of inspiration for your own mid-winter cannabis crafting. Enjoy!

Fresh Lemon Gummies
makes 50 gummy bears

4 TB sugar

2 tsp gelatin

3 TB fresh squeezed lemon juice 

1 TB water

1 TB cannabis tincture (may use a little more/less)

(Optional) pinch Lemon zest, fine grate

  • In a microwave safe glass container, mix sugar and gelatin, then add remainder of ingredients and mix again.
  • Allow the mixture to rest at room temperature for one minute to bloom the gelatin.
  • Heat in the microwave for 45 seconds. Stir, then heat on high for more time if needed.
  • Stir mixture again and pour into gummy mold.
  • Place filled gummy mold into the fridge to cool – at least 30 minutes.
  • When the gummies are cold, unmold the gummies and put them in an airtight container.
  • Gummies will remain fresh for several months if stored airtight in the fridge.