The cannabis market is abundant with so many cannabis products, there’s more than a little something for everyone. Out of the many types of products, edibles seem to be the most versatile because there are many ways to infuse food with cannabis.
Cannabis-infused oils may be the most versatile edibles because they can be included in virtually any dish. If weed is legal where you live, you can easily make canna oil at home without having to run at a dispensary, or if you’re a grower, all the better. It’s really easy, the only thing you need is a few spare hours.
Today we’ll share a recipe for making potent cannabis-infused coconut oil. Coconut oil is liked by many due to its tropical aroma and nutritional content. It’s rich in MCTs, fatty acids, and vitamin E.
The Versatility of Cannabis-Infused Oils
Oils are a great carrier for the cannabinoids present in weed because cannabinoids are fat-soluble, meaning they dissolve in fats which allows them to be absorbed by the body more easily. That’s why you need to put some fats whenever you make cannabis tea, otherwise, you won’t get any of the THC and CBD.
Infusing oils with cannabis has been an important step in the game. Along with cannabutter (cannabis-infused butter), it has opened up a new way of cannabis consumption – by cooking and baking with it. It’s a fun and convenient way to include weed in your everyday menu, especially if you’re a regular user.
Depending on which oil you use for the infusion (canola, avocado, sunflower, peanut, olive oil), the classic brownies can easily be made with canna oil, and also some salads, or an omelet. Canna coconut oil, our recipe for today, can be added to smoothies or some raw desserts, or you can even add it to your morning coffee or oatmeal. On top of all that, coconut oil works well as a topical, too.
The Recipe for Cannabis Coconut Oil
Now, for the fun part. Let’s see what you need to make your own cannabis-infused coconut oil.
- 1 cup of oil (you can use unrefined if you like the strong coconut aroma, or refined if you want a more subdued taste);
- 1 tbsp sunflower lecithin (if you dislike the flavor, use 1 tsp);
- 1 cup decarboxylated cannabis flowers (though you can use a different plant material, like fan leaves or sugar leaves).
One note on sunflower lecithin: it’s not a necessary ingredient for canna oil, you can totally make a batch of oil without it. However, lecithin does increase the absorption of the cannabinoids in the body resulting in more strongly felt effects.
Step 1 – Decarboxylate the Weed
Before we begin, you should know that the most important step of the process is decarboxylating the weed, or in other words, “activating” the cannabinoids.
To clarify, raw cannabis isn’t psychoactive, but it contains the acid forms of THC and CBD called THCA and CBDA, respectively. In order for them to get “activated,” they need to come into contact with a high heat source so that a chemical reaction can happen and turn into their active forms. Something similar happens when you light weed before you smoke it.
The decarb process is simple, but it does require patience. To start, you should do the following:
- Set your oven to 240°F-248°F and wait until it has reached that temperature;
- In the meantime, break up the weed into smaller pieces, but make sure they’re more or less the same size so they can decarb evenly;
- Spread the weed on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and put it in the oven;
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until you notice the plant matter has changed color from green to brownish-green. Don’t leave it in there for too long as you will risk burning it. The cannabinoids and terpenes are very volatile, so you need to be careful in preserving them. Make sure to check on the weed every 10 minutes or so and stir so the decarboxylation can be even.
- After decarbing, leave it to cool to room temperature, and then use your grinder to grind it coarsely. Avoid grinding it into a powder as this will cause tiny pieces to remain in your final product and the taste won’t be very nice.
Step 2 – Make the Cannabis Infusion
Now it’s time to infuse the oil with the decarboxylated cannabis. You can do this either on your stovetop or in a crockpot or slow cooker, or even in a double boiler. If you use your slow cooker, make sure you set it on a low-temperature setting and cook for 4-6 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so. If you use a double boiler, set it on low and cook for at least 6 hours.
If you’re cooking it on the stovetop, 150 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit would be the best temperature for infusion, and remember to maintain this temperature and not let it go over 200 degrees Fahrenheit as this will send all your efforts down the drain.
- First, put a very small amount of water in the saucepan and add the coconut oil. The water is essential as it will prevent burning while you’re infusing your oil, and it will evaporate before it’s done;
- Then, when the oil has melted, add the decarbed cannabis and stir. Let it simmer on low heat for about a total of 3 hours. Make sure to stir often to prevent burning and to regulate the temperature;
- When the infusion time is over, let the canna coconut oil cool a little as it will be very hot and you might risk burning yourself. Once it’s cooled but still liquid, pour it over a cheesecloth (or a regular strainer) into a mason jar. Mason jars are the best for this because their sealing system is tight and they keep out odors and air. Also, don’t press too hard when straining because that may cause chlorophyll to get released (this will give your coconut oil a very grassy flavor).
The shelflife of canna oil on average is about 6 months. It’s best to be kept in a cool and dark place as light and temperature will quickly degrade cannabinoids.
Dosing Tips for DIY Canna Oil
There are many advantages to homemade canna coconut oil, and one of them is the pleasure of making one. You can also make it with your own chosen ingredients, your favorite Indica or Sativa, adjust it to your preferences, and you won’t have to run to a dispensary every time you need some.
However, the one disadvantage is that with homemade canna oil (or any weed edible, for that matter), is that you can never be sure of its potency. It’s usually a trial-and-error type of thing where after a few experiments, you finally find the perfect cannabis strain and oil combination.