Coconut oil, which features a high concentration of fatty acids (saturated fats), creates a strong binding agent for cannabinoids. Comparatively to olive oil, coconut oil contains over 80% saturated fats and can retain far more cannabinoids which make it a better option for infusions. Coconut oil is a great medium for infusing fats with herbaceousness.
Keys to infusing at home
Before we cook with our THC-infused coconut oil, there are a few important notes that will help you get the most out of it.
Temperature is one of the most important factors that determine the success of your infusion.THC molecules must be opened by smoking, chewing, or eating before our bodies can absorb the benefits. When heating cannabis, to extract the medicinal components and offer a more concentrated dose of THC, it must be heated without burning it.
When infusing anything with THC (or cooking it), everything must be done at a low temperature or you risk degrading the THC, rendering it useless. Typically you only want to cook at temperatures lower than 350℉ when cooking with cannabis. But for this recipe, we will never have the oven heat over 235℉.
If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, use your smartphone to get an approximation of how close you are to boiling temperature.
Infusing coconut oil at home is rewarding because you can pick a potency that suits your needs. One of the challenges in determining your due date is doing the math correctly. Sounds easy, but it can seem intimidating when you’re first starting! Let’s take care of it one step at a time to make things easier on ourselves.
First, reliable flower testers provide a qualified source for your strains so that you know how much THC is involved in the process. After you find that number, the math is fairly simple.
Let’s say you bought 5 grams of Blue Dream with 20% THC content. A gram is equivalent to 1,000 milligrams and if you have 5,000 milligrams of THC then only 20% of that has been accurately measured. That means there are 1,000 total milligrams of THC per gram.
During the infusion process, you will be losing some of the potency so let’s assume that you create about 75% or 750 milligrams of THC.
For the final step, think about the recipe you are using. For example, if you want to make 10 slices of banana bread with that same coconut oil, each slice will have roughly 75mg to 125mg of THC.
Coconut oil uses and health benefits
Coconut oil contains other sets of beneficial acids that have been known to have a list of potential health benefits. Lauric acid is one example–when digested, the lauric acid in coconut oil creates a monoglyceride that acts as an antimicrobial.
Coconut oil is abundant in these healthy fatty acids which are a welcome break from butter or canola oil for those looking to make healthier food choices.
As opposed to other oils, coconut oil retains its solid form at room temperature. This makes it ideal as a topical treatment. And because the oil remains solid, it can be packaged in capsules – a popular and effective way of consuming weed.
At-home gelatin capsules can be made by anyone—i.e., simply mix your desired ingredients, fill a capsule with the mixture and close it off with gelatin solution/powder to make them durable.
How to make cannabis-infused coconut oil
In addition to being affordable, the process of decarboxylating cannabis and infusing it with coconut oil needs only a few simple ingredients. The whole process can be done at home with minimal effort.
Recipe for cannabis coconut oil
- 1 cup of ground cannabis flower (7-10 grams)
- 1 cup of coconut oil
- Strainer or cheesecloth
- Grinder (a simple hand grinder works best; appliances like blenders and coffee grinder pulverize the cannabis, resulting in edibles with bad tasting plant material)
- Double-boiler, slow cooker, saucepan, etc.
Grind the cannabis before you use it. Some people only grind their flowers, others want to blend both the flowers and stems together. This is a preference-based decision, but both ways work equally well. Do not process your cannabis down to a fine powder because that will allow anything small enough to fit through the strainer, which means you do not want any foreign material in your final product.
Combine cannabis and oil in a pot or slow cooker. Heat it on low with occasional stirring for 2-3 hours. There are three simple methods of cooking pot brownies in the oven: baking at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 90-120 minutes, stirring occasionally; using a double boiler over medium to low heat or a saucepan (lowest risk of scorching), stirring frequently, and checking every 10-15 minutes until doneness. Whenever you fry something, a little bit of water can be used to help prevent burning. Keep in mind that the temperature of your oil should never exceed 245°F.
Strain and store the oil. Do not squeeze the cheesecloth as this will only add more chlorophyll to your oil. All plant material should be discarded. The oil will last for at least two months if refrigerated, and can even last longer if stored outside of a refrigerator.
How to use cannabis coconut oil
- There are endless uses for the oil once it has been infused.
- Combine your infused coconut oil with beeswax and aloe to make an infused cannabis topical.
- Replace oil in a recipe with coconut oil to make a variety of infused dishes (try Herb Roasted Potatoes!)
- Infused coconut oil can easily be used as a lubricant in the bedroom (But be safe! Coconut oil may weaken condoms)
- Consider putting your infused coconut oil into capsules for easy dosing.
- Make an infused cannabis tea latte
- You are probably not surprised to hear coconut oil became a major mixed ingredient in many cannabis products. Keep this trend line in mind as more brands enter the market.
- If you don’t have access to an easily accessible dispensary near you, or if you are looking for a new way to enjoy cannabis in your own home without having to purchase marijuana products from someone else, here is how to make cannabis oil at home yourself.