Infusion is often the most challenging part of cooking with cannabis and the reason why many people turn to their vaporizer in defeat. I’m here to tell you that you can do this! Not only is it doable, but it’s worth it.
If you haven’t yet discovered the wonder that is cannabis-infused eating, I’m excited for you because you’re in for an adventure. The experience from start to finish is significantly different from common inhalation methods. The effects are typically longer, stronger, and slower to set in.
For this reason, always start with a low dose and see how an edible affects you—especially if you’re cooking your own as it is impossible to calculate their potency.
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Cannabis-infused oil is probably the most versatile medium and a great place to start, since it can be used for baking desserts, sautéing veggies, frying up your morning eggs, or putting in your salad dressing. In addition, as is the case with cooking anything at home, you have complete control over its preparation. Does peanut oil hold a special place in your heart? Make cannabis-infused peanut oil!
Recipe for cannabis cooking oil
- 1 cup of ground cannabis flower (or less for milder potency)
- 1 cup of cooking oil of your choice
Note: When making canna oil, you want to use a 1:1 ratio of cannabis to oil.
Choosing the right cooking oil base for your canna oil
Picking the right oil for infusion comes down to your flavor preferences and the dishes you plan on cooking. Oils will have different consistencies at room temperature, so be sure to put thought into how you will be storing and using your oil.
Many oils work well with baking too! So you might want to choose an oil that will have a flavor and consistency that works for multiple recipes. For example, if you are looking for an oil that can be used in a stir fry as well as a pie crust, coconut oil is a great option. It adds great flavor to veggies and remains solid enough at room temperature to hold up as a pie crust.
If you are looking for an oil with a mild flavor, vegetable and canola oil are going to be great options. They are also very versatile and work with most recipes calling for oil.
If you want something a little more robust in flavor, you can infuse olive or avocado oil. Both stand up well to the cannabis flavor and can be stored in your pantry. One of the most surprisingly delicious deserts I ever had was an olive oil ice cream. So feel free to get creative!
- 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, or saucepan, etc.
- Grind the cannabis. You can include the entire plant, just the flower, a little bit of both—this is all a matter of preference. Just keep in mind that anything small enough to fit through the strainer will end up in your finished product, so again, do not grind your cannabis into a fine powder.
- Combine oil and cannabis in your double-boiler, slow cooker, or saucepan, and heat on low or warm for a few hours. This allows for decarboxylation (activation of THC) without scorching (which destroys the active ingredients). In all cases, a small amount of water can be added to the mixture to help avoid burning, and the temperature of the oil should never exceed 245°F. Cooking can be done a variety of ways:
- Crock pot method: Heat oil and cannabis in a slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Double-boiler method: Heat oil and cannabis in a double-boiler on low for at least 6 hours (8 is better), stirring occasionally.
- Saucepan method: Heat oil and cannabis in a simple saucepan on low for at least 3 hours, stirring frequently (a saucepan is most susceptible to scorching).
- Strain and store the oil. Do not squeeze the cheesecloth; this will simply add more chlorophyll to your oil. All remaining plant material can be discarded or used in other dishes if desired. The oil’s shelf life is at least two months, and can be extended with refrigeration.
How to Make Cannabis-Infused Olive Oil
Making your own cannabis-infused olive oil is surprisingly easy to do at home with some basic kitchen equipment. We’ve already written about how to infuse coconut oil, and if you tried that method and it worked well for you, there’s no reason why you couldn’t do your olive oil the same way. But since there’s more than one way to cook an egg, we are going to share another method we’re into. This low temp stovetop method helps to preserve some of the terpenes while activating the cannabinoids!
Yield: 1 cup olive oil
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 6 hours (with intermittent monitoring)
It’s not possible to figure out the potency of your infused oil unless you send it to a lab to get tested after it’s made. That can be quite expensive, so be cautious if you plan to ingest the oil. Start with a very small amount and wait up to two hours to see how you feel before ingesting more.
Ingredients and tools:
- 1 cup Olive Oil
- 7g Cannabis
- Kitchen thermometer
- Colander or strainer
- A metal or glass bowl (to strain the oil into)
- Double Boiler (No double boiler? You can make one using a saucepan with a bowl on top)
- An air-tight container for storing your finished product
Heads up- don’t be surprised if your kitchen and surrounding rooms smell all good and weedy as you’re making your infusion.
1. Set up your double boiler by adding water to the bottom pan and placing your bowl or smaller pan on top. As the water in the lower portion of the double boiler heats up, the steam from the water will gently heat the ingredients in the top portion.
2. Turn the heat on your stove to low.
3. Chop or grind your buds and weigh to 7g if necessary.
4. Add your chopped or ground nugs and olive oil to the top section of your double boiler.
5. Monitor the temp to be sure it does not get above 220 degrees & keep an eye on the water level in the bottom of your double boiler, adding more as needed. If you smoked a joint before you started this process, we’d recommend putting a repeating alarm on your phone so you don’t forget, because let’s face it, time is a pretty slippery concept to the stoned mind.
6. Remove from heat after about 6 hours.
7. Line your strainer with the cheesecloth (we think 4 single sheet layers is perfect) and place it in a larger bowl.
8. Pour your oil into the strainer. Once it has strained through, you can gather the edges of the cheesecloth and twist them down to squeeze out the remaining oil.
Ta-da! What’s left in the bowl is your green gold! Use it for cooking or DIY skincare products.
Tip: If you plan on using your weed-infused oil for cooking, transfer to an airtight bottle. Aromatic herbs can be added to the oil, such as chile flakes, garlic, or a sprig of thyme to give it some extra flavor if you’re feeling fancy.