It’s hard to resist an edible when you’re a weed aficionado, and even harder when you’re a foodie, too. Cannabis edibles, such as brownies as the most popular ones, have always been well-liked, but the weed menu has now grown way past the brownies. Cooking with marijuana has found a nice home in the culinary world and it seems like it’s just beginning to gain traction.
There are countless cannabis recipes for homemade edibles and other delicious dishes online that incorporate weed. Most of them include cannabutter or cannaoil as they are very versatile and can be added to virtually any recipe. Luckily, they aren’t only available in dispensaries, but you can also make them in the comfort of your own home, which also happens to be the budget-friendly option.
In today’s article, we’ll focus on cannaoil and cover some basics about how to prepare it, as well as discuss how long you need to infuse it to get the perfect final product.
What Is Cannabis Oil Good For?
It won’t be far from the truth to say that cannabis oil, or cannaoil, is an all-rounder. It’s a very versatile cannabis-infused product that can be used in more ways than one, depending on which oil you choose.
While cannabis butter is restricted to just baking and cooking, cannabis oil can also be used as a salve or topical to treat muscle soreness and inflammation, and you can even include it in your skincare regimen. You can also make DIY canna caps (cannabis capsules) for easy dosing for when you’re on the go.
Additionally, cannaoil works great in smoothies for a little mellow boost in the morning, or if you want to level-up, you can also add a teaspoon in your coffee. Finally, of course, you can use cannabis oil as a cooking oil, but you can’t vape it.
Fats, in general, work well with cannabis because the cannabinoids present in weed are fat-soluble. This means that they bind to the fats present in oil which increases their ability to be absorbed in the body while preserving their potency. That’s why the high that you get from edibles is more intense and longer-lasting, and why infusing oil with weed makes it so effective.
Making cannabis oil is a very easy process, although a long and pungent one. Pick a day when you have a few hours to spare and get cooking. Trust us, the finished product will be worth it.
The Cannabis Oil Recipe – How to Make Infused Oil
Simply put, cannaoil is oil infused with weed under a higher temperature. When the oil is heated, the active compounds in weed are slowly extracted from the plant matter and incorporated into the fats of the oil.
You can use different types of oils, coconut oil and olive oil are the most common choices among weed connoisseurs because of their high smoke point. However, depending on what you’re planning to use the oil for, canola oil and vegetable oil are also great choices.
You can also use different weed strains for the oil infusion. Indicas, Sativas, hybrids – whatever floats your boat. Some prefer using strains with woody and earthy flavors for savory dishes and piney and citrusy flavors for desserts, but this is not a rule. It’s completely up to your preferences.
Note that for cannaoil, you don’t have to use only cannabis flowers, you can also include the sugar leaves and fan leaves. The amount of cannabis and the amount of oil is always a 1:1 ratio. Therefore, most recipes use 1 cup of ground cannabis to 1 cup of cooking oil, but you can double it if you need to.
But First, Decarboxylate
Before you infuse your chosen oil with weed, it’s essential to decarboxylate the weed first. Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that happens when weed comes into contact with high temperatures and it’s necessary to activate the main cannabinoids THC and CBD.
To clarify, fresh weed is not psychoactive. In fresh weed, the cannabinoids are found in their acidic precursors THCA and CBDA which are not psychoactive. But once exposed to high temperature, a carboxyl group is removed and carbon dioxide is released, converting them into their active forms, THC and CBD.
- For the decarb process, preheat the oven at 240°F-248°F. Break up the flowers (if you’re using them) and any larger plant materials into smaller pieces, but be careful not to destroy the trichomes as this is where most of the cannabinoids are.
- Place the weed on a baking tray lined with parchment paper (to prevent sticking) and bake for 30-40 minutes until the weed changes its color to brownish green. During this time, check on the weed every 10-15 minutes and stir it to allow for even decarbing.
- Don’t let it decarb for too long and don’t increase the temperature as this will combust the active ingredients. Many of the terpenes in weed that are responsible for its aroma will inevitably combust as they are very volatile, but increasing the temperature will make the decarb process pointless.
- When you’re done, leave the rack to cool to room temperature and use a grinder to grind the weed. Don’t grind it to dust as those small particles will easily pass through the strainer and end up in your oil. Therefore, grinding it coarsely is the best bet.
Next, Infuse the Oil
You can infuse the oil using a slow cooker (crockpot), a double boiler, or cook it in a pan on the stovetop. Whichever method you choose, the rule is you have to infuse the oil on low heat to prevent burning the weed and destroying the now active cannabinoids and the rest of the terpenes. The ideal temperature would be 150°F to 180°F. The temperature should never exceed 200°F as it will be too much and ruin your final product.
To infuse it, combine the oil and the decarboxylated cannabis and add a splash of water to prevent burning. The water will slowly evaporate during the cooking process, so you can add more later if you start noticing that the oil is sticking to the container. While cooking, the key is to keep stirring gently during the cooking time.
How Long You Cook the Weed in the Oil Depends on Your Cooking Method
- If you’re using a crockpot, set it on low temperature and cook for about 4-6 hours stirring every 20 minutes or so;
- If you’re using a double boiler, again, set it on low and cook for at least 6 hours; 8 hours is the recommended time; stir occasionally;
- If you’re cooking it on the stovetop, use the low-temperature setting and cook for at least 3 hours, and stir frequently. Note that cooking the oil in a saucepan is prone to scorching, so be very, very careful.
When you’re done with your cannabis cooking activities, leave the oil to cool. Then, strain the oil with a strainer or a cheesecloth. If you’re using a cheesecloth, don’t squeeze too hard as this will extract chlorophyll from the cannabis and give your oil a grassy aroma. Afterwards, you can store it in a mason jar or a glass bottle. The shelf life for this recipe is at least two months, but if you keep it in the fridge, it can last longer.
Should You Add Lecithin to Your Canna Oil?
You’ll find lecithin in the ingredient list of many store-bought edibles. Companies add it to edibles because it supposedly increases the potency of the edible. That said, it doesn’t increase the amount of THC and CBD, but the absorption of THC in the body. Therefore, if you want, you can totally add lecithin as well. Just to let you know, Sunflower lecithin is the most commonly used ingredient for such recipes.
Making your own cannabis-infused oil is not as difficult as it may sound, but it does require patience and a few spare hours. However, given that it will last you a few months, the effort may just be worth it. All it takes is the desire to make it and a little diligence to end up with a perfectly smooth cannabis-infused oil that you can use in many different ways – be it for cooking, baking, or other purposes.