Cannabis and coconut oil are a match made in heaven. Coconut oil is basically an ideal carrier oil for cannabis, since it holds onto cannabinoids and terpenes extraordinarily well. Fatty acid rich coconut oil also brings plenty of health benefits to the table, giving your cannabis infusion a wellness boost. Then, on top of all that, coconut oil is incredibly versatile, working wonderfully in both skin care and edibles.
There’s just so much to love about cannabis coconut oil. And, luckily for those who want to try this lovely infusion, it’s very easy to make cannabis-infused coconut oil at home. As long as you understand a few basics and follow a great recipe, making cannabis coconut oil at home will be a breeze.
Interested in learning how to make cannabis coconut oil for yourself? Read on to see our comprehensive guide to making the best cannabis-infused coconut oil. We’ll start off by covering some important information you need to know before you make your infusion. Then, we’ll share the best cannabis coconut oil recipe and 10 different ways you can enjoy using your cannabis-infused coconut oil after you’ve made it.
The Basics of Making Cannabis Coconut Oil
Every cannabis coconut oil recipe includes three steps: decarboxylation, cannabinoid infusion, and straining. Let’s go over why that is and how you can use your understanding of decarboxylation, infusion, and straining to make the best cannabis coconut oil.
Why You Need to Decarb Your Cannabis
If you’re an experienced cannabis chef, you already know all about why decarboxylation is an essential step when making edibles. However, since not everyone is familiar with decarbing, we’ll give a quick primer on what it is and why you really want to do it before making an edible.
Decarboxylation is the scientific term for the process of using heat to turn THCA into THC. Fresh, raw cannabis actually doesn’t contain THC. Instead, it contains ample THCA, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that turns into the psychoactive cannabinoid THC during decarboxylation.
So, simply put, decarbing is an important part of making edibles because you need to heat cannabis flower in order for it to have any THC in it. If you don’t decarboxylate your flower before you put it in an edible recipe, your edibles will have little to no potency.
Note that decarboxylation happens at a specific temperature and is best done for a specific amount of time. So, even if you are making an edible recipe that involves heat, the heat and time involved in your recipe may not do much (or anything) to decarb your cannabis. It’s sometimes possible to decarb your cannabis while making an edible recipe, but it’s generally just so much easier to decarb your cannabis before you jump into your actual recipe.
If you don’t know how to decarboxylate cannabis, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In the cannabis coconut oil recipe we share later in this post, we include instructions on our favorite easy at-home decarboxylation method, which you can do in your oven.
Cannabinoid Infusion Basics
When you infuse cannabis into an oil like coconut oil, the goal is to mix these two ingredients together, then keep them at an optimal heat for cannabinoid and terpene infusion. The ideal heat for infusing cannabis into coconut oil is around 185 degrees Fahrenheit (this is also the best temperature to hit when making cannabutter). Having a cooking thermometer can be helpful when making a cannabis infusion, but it’s not strictly necessary. Most cannabis infusion recipes (including the one we share below) will help you understand how to keep your mixture at around 185 degrees without necessarily having to use a thermometer.
Recipes will also give you guidelines on the ratio you should use for your cannabis infusion ingredients. A general rule of cannabis oil infusions is to use a 1:1 ratio of oil to flower. So, for example, use one cup of oil for every one cup of ground cannabis (that’s around 7 to 10 grams). While this is a good starting place, know that you can also adjust this ratio if you like in order to decrease or increase potency.
The Best Straining Method
Straining is a simple, but simply essential part of the infusion process. If you don’t want random chunks of flower in your infusion, you’ll need to strain it out. Note, however, that while straining is simple, some straining methods are better than others.
Our favorite straining method for a cannabis-infused oil involves cheesecloth and gravity. Cheesecloth is great for separating fine plant material from your infusion– as long as you don’t try to squeeze it out. It’s very tempting to squeeze or push at cheesecloth to get every last drop of oil out, but this really does more harm than good. You may get a tiny bit more oil out, but you’ll also get significantly more plant material out. If you just let gravity work things out, you’ll end up with a much more pure infusion.
If you want to amp up this method even further, consider using your cheesecloth over a fine mesh strainer instead of a bowl or a standard colander. A fine mesh strainer isn’t quite as fine as cheesecloth, but it can still catch some straggler flower particles that may make it through your cheesecloth. Another option for getting a more pure infusion is to strain your mixture twice.
The Best Recipe for Cannabis-Infused Coconut Oil
There are many ways to make a high quality cannabis-infused coconut oil, but the recipe we’re sharing here is our favorite because it’s easy to follow (and hard to mess up). This DIY infusion recipe calls for pre-decarbed cannabis, so we’re including how to decarb your cannabis at the start of the recipe.
1 Cup of Coconut Oil
1/4 to 1/2 Ounce Dried Cannabis Flower
Hand Grinder or Chef’s Knife
Cheesecloth and/or Fine Mesh Strainer
- Place an oven rack in the middle position in your oven, then preheat your oven to 245 degrees for 10 minutes.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- Spread your cannabis buds out on top of your lined baking sheet.
- Place your baking tray in your oven and allow it to bake (and decarb) for 30 to 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes, remove your tray and give it a gentle shake to mix up your buds and ensure even heating.
- After 30 to 40 minutes, remove your tray from the oven and allow your cannabis to cool completely.
- Using a hand grinder or a chef’s knife, grind or chop your cannabis until it’s coarsely ground. You don’t want an ultra fine grind when making this infusion, since that will make staining difficult later.
- Put your coconut oil and your cannabis into a mason jar, stir, and firmly close the jar’s lid.
- Fill a pot with cold water, then place your closed mason jar in the water. Heat on your stovetop until just simmering, then simmer gently for 2 to 3 hours to infuse.
- Remove your mason jar from your pot and allow to cool slightly until it can be handled safely.
- Open your jar and pour your cannabis and coconut oil mixture through your cheesecloth to strain out your plant matter.
- Allow your cannabis-infused coconut oil to cool, then enjoy your final product!
Homemade cannabis-infused coconut oil should be stored in an airtight container. Homemade cannabis oil can be stored in any cool and dark place, but we recommend storing your infusion in the fridge to preserve freshness for longer. Cannabis infused coconut oil can also be frozen. If you want to freeze your infusion, we suggest freezing your oil in an ice cube tray to create easy-to-defrost portions, then transferring your coconut oil cubes into an airtight container in the freezer.
Cannabis-infused coconut oil will stay fresh for as long as the coconut oil in the recipe stays fresh. (It’s the food ingredients in edibles that usually go bad first, not the cannabis.) Depending on the shelf life of coconut oil you used and how you store your infusion, this could be anywhere from 2 to 3 months to 18 months.
Infusion Adaptation Options
We love the mason jar method that’s featured in this recipe because it’s easy, fast, and low-odor, while also requiring less clean up and/or equipment than some other methods. However, you can adapt step 3 of the infusion process if you like. Instead of using a saucepan and a mason jar, you can use a crockpot and a mason jar, a double boiler, or just a saucepan. (No mason jar is needed for those last two.)
- Crockpot and Mason Jar Method: To adapt this recipe for your slow cooker, place a tea towel on the bottom of your slow cooker, then put your closed mason jar on top of it. Add just enough water to cover your jar. Heat the water in your slow cooker to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, then turn it to low heat. Allow your mixture to infuse for 4 hours before removing your jar and straining.
- Double Boiler Method: Fill the bottom pan of your double boiler with about an inch of water. Place over low heat and get water to a simmer (not a boil). Set your upper pan on top, add your cannabis and coconut oil, and infuse for 90 minutes. Stir around every 15 minutes, while also checking that you still have enough water in your bottom pan. After 90 minutes, strain your mixture.
- Saucepan Only Method: Making cannabis-infused coconut oil with only a saucepan is trickier, since it requires more attention to get optimal results. However, it’s definitely still possible. To use this method, melt your coconut oil over low heat, then add your cannabis and stir. Stir frequently to avoid scorching and be very careful about your temperature. You don’t want your mixture to ever get over 245 degrees Fahrenheit. You never want a cannabis coconut oil infusion to go over this temperature, but we’re mentioning this here, specifically, because there’s more risk of overheating when you aren’t using a double boiler or the mason jar method.
10 Ways to Use Cannabis Coconut Oil
Once you’ve made your cannabis and coconut oil infusion, it’s time to put it to good use. Not sure how you should use your cannabis coconut oil? Here are 10 of the best ways to use cannabis coconut oil.
- Bake with it. Cannabis-infused coconut oil works wonderfully in so many baked goods, including brownies, banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, and so much more. You can substitute cannabis coconut oil for the butter or oil in most baking recipes, so find one you love and make something amazing.
- Cook with it. Coconut oil has a wonderfully neutral taste that allows it to work well in both sweet and savory dishes, so it’s as good for cooking as it is for baking. Some ideas of the kinds of savory recipes you can add cannabis coconut oil to include roasted potatoes, curry, salad dressings, and dips.
- Take a spoonful. You don’t necessarily need to add your cannabis coconut oil to something else– you can also just eat it. Measure out a dose and enjoy experiencing the effects of your infusion.
- Make your own capsules. If you want to take your cannabis coconut oil like a supplement, putting your cannabis coconut oil into capsules can make getting your daily dose of cannabis all the more convenient.
- Treat your skin. If you mix your cannabis coconut oil with aloe vera and beeswax, you can make your own cannabis lotion. Cannabis lotion can be used in so many ways. For example, you can use it as a body moisturizer or a facial moisturizer, or as a way to soothe irritated or sunburnt skin.
- Rub away pain. Another topical you can make with your cannabis coconut oil is a pain salve. Mix your cannabis coconut oil with beeswax (skip the aloe vera this time) and you’ll create a balm that’s perfect for rubbing onto stiff joints and sore muscles.
- Mix it up in the bedroom. When made into a lotion, cannabis coconut oil can make a sensual massage even better. Cannabis coconut oil is also safe for the body when used as a lubricant, but please note that it can weaken condoms. Be safe and smart when deciding whether or not using cannabis coconut oil as a lubricant would be the right choice for you.
- Supplement your smoothies. Cannabis coconut oil can make your morning or afternoon smoothie even more green. In addition to adding a touch of cannabis to your smoothie, cannabis coconut oil will also add healthy fat content and a creamy texture, so it’s good for both your wellbeing and your tastebuds.
- Make a cannabis-infused bulletproof coffee. If you’re a fan of bulletproof coffee, try substituting your cannabis coconut oil in place of your normal butter or coconut oil. That way, you can get all the potential benefits of bulletproof coffee alongside a dose of THC and CBD.
- Make a cannabis coconut tea latte. Another way to elevate your morning is by adding cannabis coconut oil to your tea. When mixed into hot teas, coconut oil creates a creamy taste and texture, giving it a latte-like quality. Whether you add your cannabis coconut oil to black tea or green tea, a cannabis coconut tea latte is a great way to soothe your senses.
Final Thoughts on How to Make Cannabis Coconut Oil
This wraps up our guide on how to make cannabis coconut oil. If you have any questions or if you’re looking for a strain recommendation for your cannabis infused coconut oil, please feel free to reach out to us at Essence. We’re always happy to answer your cannabis-related questions and help you find your perfect cannabis product. To get in touch with an Essence team member, you can message us here or give your local Essence Dispensary a call to speak with someone on the phone.