Cooking

Infuse Anything with this Simple Cannabis Coconut Oil Recipe

April 8, 2021 01:00 am ET

Cannabis coconut oil is an excellent alternative to the more traditional edible baker favorite: cannabutter. Not only is cannabis infused coconut oil non-dairy and vegan, but it is also an incredibly effective carrier oil for one of this author’s favorite compounds: THC.

  1. What Can You Do with Cannabis Infused Coconut Oil?
    1. Calculating the Right Doses
    2. Is Lecithin Necessary to Use?
    3. Choose the Right Oil
  2. Why Decarboxylation is Important
  3. Cannabis Infusion Ratio
  4. Best Straining Method 
  5. List of Supplies Needed to Make Cannabis Coconut Oil
  6. How to Make Cannabis-Infused Coconut Oil
    1. Alternative Methods 
  7. Best Way to Store Your Cannabis Coconut Oil

Edibles are a fantastic way to medicate for many reasons. Firstly, the effects of edibles last longer than smoking or vaping. Typically the effects of smoking or vaping can wear off in as little as 20 minutes. Edibles are effective for hours. Another benefit is that oftentimes smaller doses are more effective, so your flower will last longer. And, if you like to be in your kitchen, it is incredibly fun customizing your edibles to your liking. 

Why is coconut oil a favorite option for home edible makers everywhere? Coconut oil is high in saturated fat. This means that those yummy little THC and CBD molecules have plenty of fatty acids to grab on to during the infusion process. THC loves fat. So much so that the effects of edible cannabis are most prominent when ingested in a fatty recipe or food (this is probably why cannabutter or cannaoil brownies are so popular). It’s important to keep this in mind when choosing recipes for your own medication making at home, so that you’ll enjoy the full health benefits. 

What Can You Do with Cannabis Infused Coconut Oil?

Cannabis infused coconut oil should be an essential in any edible maker’s pantry. It is incredibly shelf stable and, more importantly, versatile. You can use it in place of butter or other vegetable oils in nearly any recipe. You can add a spoonful of cannabis coconut oil to coffee or tea (author’s tip: skip the caffeine if you’re prone to anxiety). You can spread a little on your toast at breakfast, or cook some protein or vegetables in it. You can even just take coconut oil directly, by the spoonful without any other cooking, mixing, or recipe researching.

Furthermore, cannabis coconut oil can be used as a topical ointment, massage oil, or lubricant. Another check in the pro column is that coconut oil is incredibly shelf stable if stored correctly. 

Calculating the Right Doses

For those who are new to making edibles, you might be wondering how to calculate dosage. Without a testing device or a lab, you’ll end up with more of an estimate than an exact dosage. Remember, you’ll want to take it slow with your first few taste tests to make sure you’re not underestimating your dose too much. 

To calculate the dose of your edibles or infusions, you’ll first need to know the approximate THC percentage of the flower. Typically you can get this information from the dispensary. If the flower came from a homegrown plant, you may be able to find an estimated percentage on the web for the strain, or just go with an average of 15%. 

For the purposes of this equation, let’s assume the flower we’re using is 15% THC. We also need to know that one gram weighs 1000 milligrams.

If the cannabis flower is 15% THC, that means each gram has a maximum of 150 mg of THC. You most likely won’t be able to extract each and every one of those milligrams. On the high end, you can possibly expect 100 mg of THC. If you prefer stronger edibles, assume you’ll have only 30% absorption (or in this example about 50 mg per gram of flower), so you can be sure to get the dosing right. You can always cut your infusion with more coconut oil. Remember: it’s a lot easier to weaken the dose than strengthen it. 

The next thing you’ll need to know is what you want the final dose per edible to be. Is it 10mg? 50? If you’re a newbie, start at 10 and work your way up from there. You’ll also need to decide: how many edibles are you going to make? A dozen cookies? A square pan of brownies cut into 9 equal pieces?

Multiply the dose by the number of finished medicated treats, and you’ll know the total amount of THC you’ll need in your recipe. Let’s say we’re making 9 brownies, and we’d like them to be 10 mg each. We know our flower is 15% THC. We would only need 1 gram of cannabis flower for this recipe. Maybe two if we’re under assuming the rate of absorption. You can calculate the potency of your infused oil using Veriheal’s Edible Dosage Calculator.

Is Lecithin Necessary to Use?

Lecithin is an excellent additive for infusions. Anecdotal evidence indicates that lecithin can aid in the absorption of THC and other cannabinoids in the body. Is it necessary? No. 

However, when making certain kinds of edibles, like gummies, or other recipes that might be water heavy, it can help in integrating the oil or fats into water-based treats. If you’re making a recipe that calls for eggs in it, you’re covered in the lecithin department. 

An additional benefit to using lecithin in baked goods is that it can help prevent your cookies or cakes from being too dry. Sometimes infused butter and cannaoil can make your final product a little on the dry side. However, you can also combat this by making infused cannaoil that is twice as strong and then cutting it in the final recipe with an equal amount of regular butter or coconut oil. 

Choose the Right Oil

You may be wondering, “can I use vegetable oil to make canna oil?” The answer is technically yes with a caveat. There is a reason that most experienced home edible makers and bakers recommend coconut oil and/or butter and that has everything to do with saturated fat content. 

As mentioned above, THC and CBD are fat lovers. They are compounds that fall into the lipophile category. These compounds are fat soluble. So you want to go with the fattiest fats and oil for maximum absorption and effect in your edibles.  

For comparison, coconut oil is about 60% saturated fat, whereas olive oil is only about 20%. That means olive oil is about 60% less effective at absorbing THC.

Why Decarboxylation is Important

One of the most essential steps for making cannaoil is decarboxylation, aka decarbing. Decarboxylation is the process of activating the THC or CBD in your flower, so it can be infused into the coconut oil. In its raw form, the cannabinoids in the flower are not able to be processed in the same way, or with the same effect, in your body.

When you smoke, you use a flame to activate the cannabinoids in cannabis. Unlike with smoking, to decarb flower for edibles, you’ll use a baking sheet, and your oven in an incredibly simple process. You do not want to skip this part and miss out on the full potential of your cannabis infusions. 

Cannabis Infusion Ratio

For the completely new edible maker, it may be tricky to figure out how much cannabis to use per cup of oil. A good rule of thumb is to use about a quarter to a half ounce of plant material per 1 cup of oil. You can always use less, and you can definitely use more. But this is a safe ratio to use. You don’t want to use so much flower that you’re unable to maximize the extraction, and you don’t want to use so little that you have to eat an entire pie to get your dosing correct.  

Best Straining Method

The best way to strain your crock pot cannabis coconut oil is using a mesh strainer, and cheesecloth or a paper coffee filter. You will want to use a very fine, tight woven cheesecloth, but not so fine that the oil is getting caught in the strainer. 

List of Supplies Needed to Make Cannabis Coconut Oil

To make cannabis coconut oil, you will need the following tools and supplies: 

  • 1 cup of coconut oil 
  • 7-14 grams of cannabis flower
  • Baking sheet
  • Tinfoil/Aluminum foil
  • Mesh strainer
  • Mason jar
  • Scale
  • Cheesecloth
  • Medium saucepan or crock pot/slow cooker

How to Make Cannabis-Infused Coconut Oil

Step 1: Decarboxylate your cannabis

Weigh your cannabis flower and then roughly break it apart and spread it in an even layer on a baking sheet. Flower should be broken up into even-sized pieces, so that it decarbs evenly. You can use a grinder to grind the flower into smaller pieces. Bake the flower in an oven that has been preheated to 240 degrees fahrenheit for approximately 45 minutes. To preserve the terpenes, cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil, and allow the flower to come to room temperature while remaining covered. 

Step 2: Combine flower and coconut oil

Place your flower and coconut oil in a mason jar (choose a size that will fit in your crock pot with the lid on). Stir gently. Add the lid to the mason jar, and screw it on tight enough to prevent outside water from getting into the jar, but not so tight that it will fully seal during the infusion process. 

Step 3: Give the jar a hot bath

Place the mason jar in a crock pot filled with room temperature water. You’ll want to make sure there’s enough water to cover the jar (or jars if you’re making several batches or splitting one batch among several smaller jars). Optional: line the crockpot with a towel to protect the jars from bumping into each other. 

Step 4: Let it simmer

Set the crock pot on low and let it simmer for a minimum of 2 hours, up to 6 hours. Stir or shake the jars occasionally.

Step 5: Strain the flower out

Once the coconut oil is infused, and the jar(s) has had a chance to cool down enough to handle, you’ll need to remove the plant matter from the cannabis. Line a mesh strainer with some cheesecloth, and pour the oil through into a new, clean storage container or jar. Allow the oil to fully drain. You can gently squeeze the cheese cloth, or press the raffinate down to expel more oil, but this may introduce more chlorophyll into your cannabis coconut oil. Seal the new jar and store.

Alternative Methods

  • Stovetop and Mason Jar: 
    • Instead of using a crockpot, you can accomplish the same kind of infusion method using a saucepan filled with water. Start with cold or room temperature water, and let the water boil for two hours. Keep an eye on the pot though. You’ll want to replenish with more hot water as it boils off, especially if your mason jar is too large to cover with the pot lid. 
  • Saucepan Only Method: 
    • Rather than doing a water bath, you can place both your coconut oil and decarboxylated plant material in a saucepan and simmer together on low heat for up to two hours. You’ll need to keep a close eye on this method though, because you run the risk of the oil getting too hot and ruining the final product. You do not want to fry your flower. Not unlike consuming edibles, when infusing you want to go low and slow. 
  • Double Boiler Method:
    • The double boiler method is more or less the same as using a saucepan and a mason jar or the crockpot. Water goes in the bottom, flower and oil go in the top, and let it simmer for 2-6 hours. 
  • The longer your cannaoil and plant material simmer together in the heat, the more likely your final infusion will taste like the plant. This is a personal preference, but if you find the flavor to be unpleasant, try shorter infusion times. 

Best Way to Store Your Cannabis Coconut Oil

One of the strengths of cannabis infused coconut oil is that it is incredibly shelf stable and can last for quite some time. If stored properly, cannabis infused coconut oil has a shelf life from 2-3 months stored at room temperature, and up to three years if stored in your fridge, before degradation starts to change the potency and flavor.

To store the cannabis coconut oil, you’ll need a clean, dry, airtight container or jar. And you’ll most likely want to keep it in a cool dark place (like a pantry or kitchen cabinet), or in your refrigerator. An amber or dark colored jar can protect your infusion from degradation by protecting it from the light. 

Learning to infuse DIY coconut cannaoil may seem like a daunting task, but the truth is with a little time and patience you’ll be able to find the perfect dose, method, and recipes for your lifestyle. Cannabis-infused coconut oil is a staple ingredient in many home chefs’ kitchens for a reason, so put this article into practice and find out for yourself. And don’t forget to leave a comment down below and let everyone know how you have used your own cannabis coconut oil.  

Overall recipe rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 6 reviews

Post Your Comments

Michael Silberglied says:

August 7, 2019 at 7:43 pm

Seems very easy but I have one question for you. Would it be possible to let us know how much cannabis to use based on weight rather than one cup? My concern is buds are all different sizes and grinders all grind differently so weight would be the easiest way for me to determine how much is needed. Have a great day!

Reply
The Veriheal Squad says:

August 7, 2019 at 8:20 pm

A quarter to a half-ounce. If you haven’t done it before, and don’t ingest all that much THC daily, start with a quarter.

Reply
Vicki Buckley says:

October 1, 2019 at 5:56 pm

Do you have a formula for using hemp to extract cbd. I would like the extracted cbd to be about 500mg per oz. I would be using 5 cups of coconut oil and my hemp flower test at 14% cbd and .26 thc legal for Tn. If you can help I would be so greatful. Thank you.

Reply
Karen Bauer says:

December 21, 2019 at 4:13 pm

can I use decarbed final trim and how much would I use

Reply
Lauren says:

January 13, 2020 at 9:26 am

Hi Karen, yes! You could use the same amount, if not more since trim typically holds less cannabinoids than what you would find in the buds. You may need to experiment with it.

Reply
Lucia says:

January 10, 2020 at 4:40 pm

What is the soy Lecithin used for if it’s an emulsifier?

Reply
Lauren says:

January 13, 2020 at 9:24 am

Hello! Cannabinoids are fat-soluble. They’re technically a naturally existing lipid/fat compound. While they are already attracted to and bind naturally to fats (esp in coconut oil), the lecithin just further promotes the mixture of fats and cannabinoids so it’s more bioavailable.

Reply
Jess says:

March 14, 2020 at 3:00 pm

How do I make the canna coconut oil?

Reply
Jesse Steelman says:

July 4, 2021 at 1:11 pm

Lol you literally came to a page telling you how to make canna oil, and you still asked this question? If you read the article, that’s all it’s about is infusing oil.

Reply
Anonymous says:

April 17, 2020 at 11:51 am

Most sites I see recomend the water bath mason jar method, but they never say why. Are the flowers more prone to burning in Coconut oil, thus requiring that extra buffer between the heat source? or is this just personal preference because its easier to pour from the mason jar to the strainer? It seems like the mason jar method makes it hard to stir, and I read that stirring the mixture regulay aids in the infusion?

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Lauren says:

April 17, 2020 at 3:35 pm

It’s personal preference mostly. But the water bath method helps further prevent scorching and burning up the oil.

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Matt says:

May 12, 2020 at 4:27 pm

Thanks for the post! One question I had though, does the lid for the crockpot need to be on? Or can you do the water bath and mason jar method without a lid? Thanks!

Reply
Paul says:

May 15, 2020 at 3:14 am

I’d like to know the answer to this Q too

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Lauren says:

May 15, 2020 at 9:33 am

If you do the water bath method, it’s probably not absolutely necessary to put the crockpot lid on. But I’d be concerned about the heat escaping. With the lid on, it at least keeps the heat of the water contained and constant which is important for decarbing. Always keep a lid on the mason jar though. 🤗

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montana says:

May 4, 2020 at 1:06 pm

can i cook a brat on the pan with infused oil in the pan? will it get me just as high?

Reply
CHERI says:

May 11, 2020 at 6:58 pm

I’ve been told that if you dry vape flower, it is decarbed. Correct?

Reply
Lauren says:

May 12, 2020 at 9:22 am

Yep! That is correct!

Reply
Tracie says:

June 4, 2021 at 6:53 pm

Does this mean we can simply use ground flower we have vaped with? Save it up and then make cannacoconut oil?

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Lo says:

June 8, 2021 at 9:20 am

Yep! The potency won’t be as strong but it will still work. Check out our article for things you can do with already vaped flower.

Reply
Jon Watson says:

October 23, 2020 at 10:45 am

1st time decarbing here and I think I messed up. Hopefully not! I started my process however I added 9g bud and trim to 1/2c coconut oil and 1/2c water. This cooked on the stovetop for 3 hrs. I strained and drained it through cheesecloth several times then placed it in the refrigerator overnight in a sealed mason jar. This morning there is a dark brown liquid at the bottom (water ?) and a lime green looking solid at the top. (cannabis coconut oil ?)

Can I still proceed making gummys with my product?

Thanks,
Roger

Reply
Lauren Dragoo says:

October 23, 2020 at 11:44 am

Sometimes there is a bit of separation. But yes, the solidified green matter at the top is the infused oil you would use.

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Tracy says:

July 16, 2021 at 4:11 pm

If you used water, it will in fact settle to the bottom. When oil hardens drain the water

Reply
Jimmy says:

November 7, 2020 at 5:05 am

If you boil on high, that’s too hot, results in bitter flavor and creating compounds with negative effects. Also, you do not need to decarb first. 2-3 hrs around 200F with the mason jar method and you’re good to go.

Reply
Jesse Steelman says:

July 4, 2021 at 1:15 pm

I was thinking that as well. 45 minutes in the oven sounds like a bit much not to mention that it’ll be in boiling water for several hours.

Reply
V.higgs says:

January 1, 2021 at 12:55 pm

does an oil bath make the finished product taste less like weed? i usually use the water method and it has a strong weed flavor. how do i have less pot taste

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Denise says:

March 8, 2021 at 7:41 am

When infusing coconut oil do you have to use lecithin or can you make it without it ? I’m a newbie!!! I’m looking for help with migraines I’m so sick of taking meds. I feel like they are killing me so I’m trying a different way to get better. Thank you for listening/reading this 🦋

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tracy wallace says:

March 21, 2021 at 6:39 pm

This recipe is easy and very very delicious! Be careful if you are new to THC this is STRONG! Thank you veriheal💗

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tracy wallace says:

March 21, 2021 at 6:48 pm

Can you use OSE with honey? And how do I make it? If I have 1 gm of OSE how much honey do I use? It is 78.59thc and 80.49tac? How strong will it be? I’m new but trying! Thx

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Jordan says:

April 15, 2021 at 3:51 pm

When using the mason jar + water bath method, is there a max temp the water should not exceed?

Reply
Kevin says:

July 6, 2021 at 2:29 pm

Water will never exceed its boiling temp of 212 F or 100 C. I decarb flower in a mason jar by boiling for 2 hours. The article is a bit vague about time/temp for infusion, but I’m guessing one could decarb and infuse simultaneously by filling the jar with coco oil/flower and boiling for 2 hours, maybe a bit longer. At boiling temp, THC content will begin to drop if you go much longer than that.

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Vape says:

April 27, 2021 at 10:10 pm

What’s the thought process behind decarbing the cannabis first if it would just decarb on its own during the 2-6 hours it’s simmering? Couldn’t the decarb step be eliminated in this case?

Reply
Steve says:

May 28, 2021 at 9:07 pm

Beautifully written and summarized, well done!
I’ve read a lot of articles about making edibles online lately and this one truly stands out.
😎👍

Reply
Peter says:

June 6, 2021 at 8:41 am

You mentioned using 7-14 grams of flower to start. What if it’s already been decarbolized and it’s leftover AVF. How much do you use in that case with this recipe?

Reply
Sherry Roethig says:

June 19, 2021 at 3:56 pm

Thanks you, your instructions were very helpful!!⭐

Reply
Erick says:

June 25, 2021 at 4:03 pm

Been using coconut oil cannabutter for a couple of years now and the process is much simpler in my experience. I use a high-quality heavy frying pan with about a cup of organic coconut oil. I then add the dried ground flower to the oil and on low heat, using an optical thermometer, keep the oil between 230 f and 270 f. It starts to decarb when you see little bubbles coming up. When the little bubbles stop, it is decarbed and infused with the oil in the pan. I let it cool a bit then use a turkey syringe to remove the oil on the top. Potent, and far less time and mess than any other method I tried and much better flavor as the flower decarbs in the oil.

Reply
Jessica says:

July 19, 2021 at 1:48 pm

Trying your recipe today because smoking it is too hard on my lungs. Thank you for writing this article!

Reply
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