There are more ways than ever to enjoy cannabis, but we think edibles make a perfect alternative for those who enjoy exploring options other than smoking or vaping. Edibles come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors, and often start with a fatty base like cannabutter or cannabis oil. With these bases, the possibilities are truly endless.
Should I Use Cannabis Oil or Cannabutter?
Cannabis oil and cannabutter are both great choices. It depends on what kind of foods you’re looking to enjoy. Cannaoil is much easier to store and dose. However, cannabutter’s consistency may serve better regarding the other ingredients and preparation. Cannabutter is easier to make; oil requires decarboxylation. That takes time and effort but it’s worth the effort. Edibles made from cannabutter retain the flower’s color and flavor. Canabutter is often used in higher quantities during the cooking process. Overall, it’s less potent as compared to cannaoil.
Cannabis Oil Versus Inhalation
Before you start making your own cannabis oil, it’s important to remember that cooking with cannabis provides an entirely unique experience than smoking cannabis. Your choice could be a matter of need, logistics, or simply personal preference.
No matter the reason, take note of the ways edible products made with cannabis oil can differ from what you may have experienced with smoking and vaping.
- Cannabinoids in your favorite edibles only enter the blood after traveling through the digestive system, and it can take up to an hour to experience the full effects.
- THC is then metabolized into other compounds, including 11-hydroxy-THC. Both compounds may have more potent, lasting effects on the body.
- Ingesting cannabis allows you to have more control over how much you are taking, but you’ll need to work to find a dose and dosing schedule that works for you.
Types of Oil You Can Infuse
There are numerous types of oils suitable for creating your own cannabis oil.
Popular cooking oils for cannabis infusion include:
- Olive oil
- Sesame oil
- Canola oil
- Coconut oil
- Peanut oil
- Vegetable oil
When it comes to selecting the right oil for your base, it can be helpful to consider what you plan on using the oil to create. If you are looking forward to creating a variety of foods with your cannabis oil, it may be best to go with a neutral oil such as vegetable or canola oil. If you are looking for a stronger flavor profile, you may want to infuse peanut or sesame oil with your cannabis. There is no wrong answer, as your personal preference will come down to the dishes you plan on preparing most often.
What Kind of Cannabis Should I Use to Make Oil?
Once you’ve determined the best oil for your flavor desires, it’s time to choose your cannabis. If you don’t already have your favorite dried cannabis flower on hand, you’ll need to purchase some from a trusted dispensary. To keep it simple, you can cook with any kind of marijuana flower you would like.
You don’t have to worry about purchasing top-shelf cannabis when it comes to making your own cannabis oil. In this regard, it is helpful to check with your dispensary to see what options they have for less expensive cannabis flower. Some shops will offer shake, which tends to be less expensive than full buds and will still provide the desired effect when infused with your oil.
Since it’s for cooking purposes, some prefer strains that are fragrant. Take the extra effort in researching strains of cannabis along with specific terpenes, such as limonene and myrcene. Keep a cannabis journal and take note of efforts and effects.
How to Make Cannabis Cooking Oil
There are a few different methods that you can use when making your own cannabis cooking oil at home, but all involve infusing oil with activated cannabis flower.
We’ve incorporated options in each step so you can choose your path as you go.
What You’ll Need:
Materials you’ll need include:
- Cannabis grinder
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment paper
- Slow cooker, saucepan, or pot
- Mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- Container for your finished cannabis oil
- 1 c cannabis flower
- 1 c your favorite oil
Step 1: Break Up Your Cannabis
Start by breaking down your flower.
A grinder can make this process faster, but you can also break it down by hand. You don’t have to worry about having your cannabis finely ground, just be sure to break it into small, even, manageable pieces.
Cannabis that is ground too fine can cause frustration later when you’re straining your oil and could lead to an undesirably bitter taste.
Step 2: Decarb Your Cannabis
Continue the cannabis oil creation process by decarboxylating your cannabis.
When you smoke cannabis, you decarboxylate the plant material by heating it, activating the THC. Specifically, this chemical change turns a THC precursor, THCA, into psychoactive THC. Since you won’t be adding heat to consume your oil, you’ll need to decarboxylate your cannabis before infusing your oil. Simply spread your crumbled or ground cannabis on a baking sheet topped with parchment paper. Place your cannabis in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 245°.
Step 3: Infuse Your Oil
Once your cannabis is ready, you can officially start the process of creating your infused cannabis oil.
There are a few different ways you can tackle this next step.
- Saucepan – Combine your cannabis and oil in a medium saucepan and cook on low heat for three hours, stirring occasionally.
- Double Boiler – Place your cannabis and oil in a double boiler and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.
- Slow Cooker – Great for larger batches at a time, all you’ll need to do to infuse your oil in a slow cooker is to place cannabis and oil into the cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
Caution: you must always keep a close eye on temperature during this , no matter the method you choose. Cooking at a temperature that is too high could cause you to scorch your oil and cook off the active THC. Always stir occasionally to ensure proper temperature and cannabis distribution.
Step 4: Strain Your Oil
After your cannabis oil is cooked and cooled, it is ready for straining. Place a cheesecloth-lined strainer (or a very fine mesh strainer, like those used for yogurt-making) over a large bowl. The cheesecloth or fine strainer helps to trap any plant material and prevent it from floating in your finished oil. After straining is complete, do not squeeze the cloth to try to extract every drop of oil from your cannabis. This can affect the overall taste of your oil, causing it to taste too plant-like.
Step 5: Storing Your Cannabis Oil
Once infused, put your cannabis oil into a storage container. It is helpful to choose a darker-colored container to minimize the amount of UV rays that degrade the oil. You should store your oil in a cool, dark place to prevent heat exposure, which can affect the potency of your oil. Your cannabis oil has a shelf life of about two months, longer if you chose to refrigerate it.
How to Dose Cannaoil for Cooking
Getting the dosage right is essential. The effects of eating cannabis are much stronger as compared to inhaling flower. Start-out with a low dose of cannaoil. For example, some feel comfortable with a cup:grams ratio; one cup of cannaoil is equal to 7 grams of flower. So, a teaspoon of oil would contain about five milligrams of THC.
The consistency of varying cannabis strains make it difficult to estimate the effects. Of course, it’s easier if you’re buying pre-packaged cannabis oil or butter. But, if you’re making brownies, cookies, etc. from scratch, you can end up making each piece or “dose” stronger or weaker than expected.
So, keep the following in mind:
- Stir well; a well-mixed recipe will result in equally proportioned portions.
- Eat portions slowly, for it’s common for some portions to have stronger effects.
- Consider the time of day in regards to the described effects of particular cannabis strains used. For example, you may not want the effect of an indica if it’s early in the morning.
- If it’s the first time trying a new recipe, give yourself time for the effects to take hold. Wait up to an hour to get a full understanding of how each dose makes you feel.
Tips for Reducing Odor
One key factor to keep in mind when creating your own cannabis oil is that the process can be pungent. As you can see, cannabis takes hours to successfully decarb and infuse into oil. During this time, the signature cannabis smell can build up in your kitchen.
You may want to utilize a fan or vent when cooking to keep the smell down. Using an Instant Pot, slow cooker, or other multicooker can minimize smell since it will only release the aroma when opened. If you are concerned about the neighbors getting a whiff, it is best to keep your windows closed during the cooking process.
Explore Easy and Fun Recipes
When we say cannabis oil can be used for anything, we really mean anything! From breakfast to condiments and late-night snacks, you’ll love how creative you can get with cannabis. Cannabis oil is a wonderful way to host a canna-friendly dinner party your friends will never forget. Whether you prefer Italian-themed dinners, dessert bars, or casual BBQs, there is always room for a cannabis-infused treat. Check a wide selection of cannabis recipes that can be used at your next social gathering.