For years, cannabutter has been the reigning champ of at-home cannabis infusions, but there’s a new kid in town — cannabis coconut oil.
Professional chefs and at-home cannachefs alike flock to cannabis-infused coconut oil for its light tropical flavor, versatility in the kitchen, and high-fat content. THC molecules absolutely love fat and bind to it easily with the help of a little heat and some time.
WHY COCONUT OIL IS GREAT FOR INFUSIONS
I help educate my Cannabis Compass Online Course students about how they can learn to confidently use cannabis to improve their quality of life.
Many of my students follow a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, which is why I wanted a cannabis-infused butter alternative that was dairy-free.
Coconut oil is the perfect substitute for butter when in need of dairy-free or vegan cannabutter.
The coconut oil performs similarly to the butter in extracting the cannabinoids from the plant matter, and it remains solid at room temperature like butter.
Coconut oil is naturally dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, and allergen-friendly, and this is the product we use and recommend when making our own at home.
This cannabis-infused coconut oil is a great option for anyone following a specialty diet or just looking for an alternative to traditional cannabutter.
Why is coconut oil popular for cannabis infusion?
Coconut oil has a high concentration of fatty acids (saturated fats). The surplus of these fatty acids in coconut oil create a strong binding agent for cannabinoids.
Compared to olive oil, which contains a saturated fat content of less than 20%, coconut oil contains over 80% saturated fats and thus has the ability to retain far more cannabinoids during infusions, making it far more efficient. Coconut oil is a near-perfect medium for cannabis-infused oils.
Coconut oil uses and health benefits
Coconut oil also contains other sets of beneficial acids that have been known to have a list of potential health benefits. Lauric acid is a great example—when digested, lauric acid creates a monoglyceride that acts as an antimicrobial.
These fatty acids are found in abundance in coconut oil, making it a top contender for those looking for a healthier oil base than butter or canola oil.
Another fantastic benefit of using coconut oil is it will remain solid at room temperature. This makes it a great medium for using as a topical agent. Furthermore, its solid state allows the oil to be easily stored via gelatin capsules, a widely popular and highly effective method of consuming cannabis.
Gelatin oil capsules are so simple and easy to make at home—the ingredients can be purchased from just about any pharmacy or online, making for a fun and simple DIY project.
Cannabis Coconut Oil Recipe and Tutorial
Step 1: Decarboxylate your cannabis
Always decarboxylate your cannabis before making cannabis-infused coconut oil or cannabutter.
When you heat cannabis at a controlled temperature, the THCa molecule transforms into the psychoactive and potent molecule THC. (This also goes for CBDa and CBGa. You need to decarboxylate your CBDa into CBD before making CBD infused coconut oil)
I use an Ardent FX or Nova every time I decarboxylate because it effectively transforms over 98% of THCa to THC without any loss.
Most home decarb methods are unreliable and can waste as much as 30% of the THC.
I did the math and the FX (or the smaller more affordable Nova) was a no brainer for me since it saves me at least 1/3 lb cannabis every year and makes my edibles and topicals much more effective.
Step 2: Infuse the coconut oil
1. Combine the following in a crockpot on warm or low (warm is usually sufficient in most crockpots):
1 Cup Coconut Oil [I like the big jug of unrefined Nutiva because I use it a lot and the flavor/scent is really delightful. If you don’t like the taste of coconut or you’d like to save some money, the refined stuff is a bit cheaper and doesn’t have a tropical smell]
1 teaspoon- 1 Tablespoon Sunflower Lecithin: If you reeeeallly don’t like the flavor of lecithin use 1 teaspoon. Otherwise, use 1 Tablespoon per cup.
*Try to keep oil near 160°-180f for best results*
For even better (hands-off, no worry, and much less clean up) results, again, I use the FX. It decarboxylates, infuses and strains every last drop out of your oil. No babysitting. Very little clean up. Virtually no oil loss. It’s one of my favorite gadgets these days.
1 Cup Organic Decarboxylated Cannabis (about 7g or 1/4 oz.) –
[dosage note: At 20% THC this works out to about 29 mg THC per teaspoon. If you work with stronger cannabis, say 30% THC, each teaspoon would be about 42 mg THC per teaspoon. Make sure to take it slow and always get a rough idea of how strong your oil is by using the dosage calculator. If you’re new to cannabis or if you’re trying to refine your use, you can check out this post about microdosing and balancing ratios. You can also use cannabis that is high in CBD and CBG to make blends to create a cannabinoid ratio that works for you. I like Sacred Smoke Herbals for CBD and CBG flower to make oil infusions and tinctures.]
Stir every half hour or so.
After about 2 hours of heating and steeping, turn off the crockpot and allow the oil to cool before moving onto the next step.
Step 3: Strain Your Oil
3. Set up your strainer so it fits snugly in a container. Line with a large piece of cheesecloth.
4. Slowly pour plant matter and oil into the strainer.
5. Using a string or twist tie, gather the cheesecloth around the plant matter and secure it.
6. Squeeeeeeze that sh*t. Save this satchel to make High Chai.
7. Pour oil into a pint jar and place it in the fridge until cool. Seal with a lid. Store in refrigerator or in a cool, dark place.
Spread it on toast. Make Dazed + Infused recipes with it. Rub it on your achy body parts.
Dosing this Cannabis Infused Coconut Oil
For this recipe, 7 grams of 20% THC plant material in 1 cup of oil yields an oil that has approximately 30mg THC per teaspoon. Use the THC and CBD dosage calculator and adjust the calculations to reflect the percentage of THC and/or CBD is in your starting plant material.
Bonus Tips For Making Effective Cannabis Infused Coconut Oil Every Time
- Try to use lab tested, organically grown trim or flower whenever possible. I don’t want to freak you out, but buying cannabis on the black market is a toxin minefield. Many growers use pesticides and fungicides that are not meant to be used on plants for human consumption. For example, Eagle 20 a popular fungicide is meant to be used on golf courses. When’s the last time you thought about eating (or smoking) golf course grass?
- If your oil ever begins to smoke, remove from heat immediately and let it cool a bit before beginning the process again with your crockpot on the lowest setting. It’ll probably still “work” but you’re likely burning off some of the incredible compounds that evaporate at higher temperatures. If you constantly find yourself overheating your oil in your crockpot or on the stove (guilty), check out the FX (it’s virtually smell proof and it decarboxylates AND infuses and can be tossed in the dishwasher for easy cleanup)
- For a more smellproof DIY method, you can make cannabis oil in a mason jar.
- You don’t have to finely grind your cannabis no matter what you’re cooking in (in my experience, it makes it harder to strain, leaves a bunch of plant material in that makes for a “greener” taste, and doesn’t improve potency). However, if you’re using buds, you can break them up a bit before you decarboxylate.
- You can also make cannabis infused coconut oil using hash and concentrates.
- Have fun! Don’t fret over your canna-oil when it’s in the pot. People on the internet make this much more complicated then it has to be. Not me… but you know… other people on the internet. I was writing a cannabis cookbook and had to overthink it, but you totally don’t. This is a simple process and it should be enjoyable, not stressful. Just follow the instructions above, adapt or substitute for what you have on hand and share what works in the comments below. We can all learn from each other.