Cooking with cannabis is slowly becoming an ordinary everyday activity, especially since the legalization of cannabis in some states. Some chefs have actually started experimenting with infusing their dishes with cannabis, and in many cases, cannabis-infused dishes have become a trend.
But, what if you can amp up the usual salad or casserole with cannabis-infused oil? It’s a great way to stay medicated or buzzed (depending on your goal) while you’re eating something delicious.
If you want to know how to make your own cannabis-infused oil, keep reading, because the recipe is included below, plus some extra information on how you can best use it.
Why Cannabis Oil?
Cannabis-infused oil, or cannaoil, is simply oil that is infused with cannabis. It’s one of the more versatile homemade edibles because it can be used in a variety of recipes. It’s meant to be used daily and with many dishes, so it can be suitable for recreational users as well as users who self-medicate.
The cannabinoids present in weed are fat-soluble, meaning they bind to fats which makes them easier to be absorbed by the body once they’re consumed. This makes oil the perfect medium for consumption. It’s incredibly versatile and can be used for cooking just like you would use any other cooking oil. Plus, it can also be used as a topical when you have sore muscles, for example.
Now, let’s get into the recipe.
The Cannaoil Recipe
Making cannaoil from scratch is a really simple process, but it’s very long, so you’ll need to do it when you have a few spare hours and a lot of enthusiasm. The final product will be worth it, and you’ll know this once you try it.
For the infusion, you can use any cooking oil – olive oil is the most commonly used due to its high smoke point, but canola oil is also good, as well as regular vegetable oil. Some people use coconut oil, but coconut oil isn’t very suitable for cooking and it’s much better for baking.
You can also use whichever part of weed you have on hand. Cannabis flowers are the best as they’re the most abundant in THC and CBD, but you can also use trim such as fan leaves and sugar leaves (yeah, anything goes). You can also use whichever Indica, Sativa, or hybrid you please. Just remember that most of the terpenes will combust during the process.
The process of making cannaoil starts with decarboxylation. It’s a process where the raw cannabis plant gets exposed to a high temperature in order for the cannabinoids to become “activated.” Raw cannabis contains the inactive precursors of the cannabinoids in their acid forms, namely, CBDA and THCA. When they come into contact with heat, a chemical reaction happens where they get transformed into CBD and THC, respectively.
Therefore, you must decarb the weed if you want it to work. To do this, preheat your oven to 240°F – 248°F. Break up the weed into smaller pieces and place it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and put it in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Make sure to check on it every 10 minutes or so – you can’t let it burn as this will ruin everything. When the color has changed from green to yellowish/brownish-green, it’s probably done decarbing.
Take it out of the oven and leave it to cool at room temperature. Once it’s cooled enough, use a grinder to grind it into smaller pieces, but don’t overdo it. Otherwise, small particles will end up in your final product.
Now for the fun part – the infusion process. Most people infuse the oil on the stovetop, and this is the method we’ll cover today. However, you can also cook it in a slow cooker or a crockpot in a low-temperature setting. If you choose any of these two methods, the cooking time will be 6 hours with frequent stirring (every 10-15 minutes).
To start the infusion, add the oil and the decarboxylated cannabis to a pot, and add a very small amount of water. The water will evaporate during the process, but it will prevent the oil from burning. You should cook the oil on low heat on the stovetop while stirring often, for at least three hours.
Infusing cannaoil on the stovetop is very prone to scorching, so if you notice even the slightest sticking, add another splash of water to prevent burning, and don’t increase the heat. Low heat allows for optimal and safe extraction of the cannabinoids so they can be incorporated into the oil.
When it’s done, set it to cool (close to room temperature). Then, use a strainer or a cheesecloth to separate the plant material from the oil. Don’t press too hard because this will extract chlorophyll and make the oil taste like grass. You can store the oil in an airtight glass container such as a mason jar because they have a good sealing mechanism. If you want, you can use the leftover plant matter to make brownies.
What Is the Shelf Life of Cannabis Oil?
Cannaoil has a good shelf life, so your efforts won’t be in vain. Stored at room temperature, it will last for about two months before it gets cloudy, but if you store it somewhere cooler or in the fridge, it can last longer.
Which Is Better – Cannaoil or Cannabutter?
Cannabutter or cannabis butter is dairy or non-dairy cannabis-infused butter and it’s very similar to cannaoil. Cannabutter is also versatile, but it’s most often used for baking, such as for brownies, and its shelf life is shorter – less than a month. They’re both equally great and can be made at home, so it depends on what you want more (or what you need).
Should I Use Lecithin?
You may have noticed that a lot of edibles sold in dispensaries have lecithin listed in the ingredients. This is no coincidence. Even though there is no scientific backup, anecdotal evidence shows that edibles with lecithin are somewhat more potent. This isn’t because the amount of THC is somehow increased when you add lecithin, but the absorption rate of THC and CBD seems to be increased, making the effects more pronounced.
You can totally do without the lecithin, but if you want, you can try adding sunflower lecithin, as it’s the most commonly used. You can find it in any pharmacy or health food store.
Final Thoughts on Cannabis Oil
If you’re enthusiastic enough about making your own cannaoil and ditch the dispensary, we salute you. Dishes made with your own cannabis-infused oil are always tastier. To make the infusion successful, always make sure that you properly decarb the weed without burning it so that the cannabinoids can be successfully extracted. Finally, enjoy your canna cooking!