These days, it seems like the combination of cannabis and coconut oil is everywhere you look. Cannabis-infused coconut oil is a top DIY recipe among home chefs and many of the most popular products at your dispensary feature cannabis and coconut oil. From edibles to topicals to coconut-oil-based CBD oils, products featuring cannabis and coconut oil are all the rage. But why is that exactly? Find out as we go over everything you need to know about cannabis and coconut oil! Below, we’ll cover what makes this combination so great, how to make your own cannabis coconut oil, and the many ways you can use it.
Why Cannabis and Coconut Oil?
There are many reasons people like to combine cannabis and coconut oil, including the fact that coconut oil is basically an ideal carrier oil for cannabinoids and terpenes. Coconut oil features an extremely high concentration of healthy fatty acids. These fatty acids are known for their health benefits, but also happen to be a fantastic binding agent for cannabis compounds. Coconut oil has a saturated fat level of over 80%– compare that to another great carrier oil, olive oil, that has a saturated fat level of 20%, and you can see just how excellent coconut oil is as a medium for cannabis infusions and CBD infusions.
Alongside being great at holding on to cannabinoids and terpenes, coconut oil has a variety of health benefits, so it’s just a healthy infusion option overall. Those fatty acids in coconut oil, which include MCTs, are vital for your brain and body health. There’s also evidence that coconut oil may boost heart health, encourage fat burning, raise good cholesterol, and have an antimicrobial effect.
As if being a great carrier oil and a particularly healthy option weren’t enough, coconut oil is also a highly versatile oil that can be used in many ways. Coconut oil can be consumed or applied to the skin, so it can work as an edible or a topical. Then, as an edible, coconut oil is one of the most neutral carrier oil options, so it can work in a vast variety of recipes. Coconut oil can also be a solid or a liquid, so it can be spread, poured, molded, drizzled, dropped out of a dropper bottle, and more.
How to Make Cannabis Coconut Oil
Interested in trying cannabis and coconut oil together for yourself? We’re here to help with some easy-to-follow instructions on how to make your own cannabis-infused coconut oil at home!
Before we get into our recipes, let’s quickly go over the importance of decarboxylation. If you want your homemade cannabis coconut oil to have THC in it, you’ll want to use a recipe that incorporates some kind of decarboxylation step. Decarboxylation, or decarbing, is the scientific word for the process of using heat to turn THCA into THC. You want to decarb cannabis when making at-home edibles because, before it’s exposed to heat, raw marijuana actually has little to no THC. Instead, it has plenty of THCA, which turns into THC when exposed to heat. When you smoke or vape cannabis flower, it gets decarbed during the consumption process. But for edibles, you need to make sure you consciously decarb your cannabis before or during the infusion process.
So, you should use a recipe that includes a decarbing step if you want your cannabis-infused coconut oil to have THC in it. And, below, we’re sharing two! These recipes both feature decarbing steps but offer different ways to decarb your cannabis. The first includes an easy pre-infusion decarb method and the second calls for decarbing while you infuse your coconut oil.
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.
How to make cannabis coconut oil
Recipe #1: Oven Decarb Method
This first cannabis coconut oil recipe uses the oven decarb method. Using this method, you’ll decarboxylate your cannabis separately in your oven before you start infusing it into your coconut oil. This pre-decarb method is easy, effective, and basically foolproof, so it’s a great option for pretty much anyone, including those who are new to cooking with cannabis.
1 Cup of Coconut Oil
¼ to ½ Ounce Dried Cannabis Flower
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 your baking tray with parchment paper (this will help prevent sticking) and then spread your cannabis buds out on top of the parchment paper.
- Place your baking tray in your preheated oven to decarb for 30 to 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes, remove your tray, gently shake it to mix your buds, then put your tray back in the oven. Mixing your buds throughout this process helps them heat more evenly.
- After a total of 30 to 40 minutes, remove your tray from the oven and let your cannabis cool.
- Grind or chop your decarbed cannabis until it’s finely milled.
- Put your coconut oil and your cannabis in a strong mason jar, stir, and firmly close the jar’s lid.
- Place your closed mason jar in a pot filled with cold water, then heat on your stovetop until barely simmering and allow your mixture to infuse for 2 to 3 hours.
- Remove your mason jar from heat, then pour your cannabis and coconut oil mixture through your cheesecloth to strain out your plant matter.
- Let your cannabis-infused coconut oil cool, then enjoy!
Note: If you have a Crockpot or another type of slow cooker, you can use that for your infusion process instead of a pot. In place of step 7, put a tea towel on the bottom of your Crockpot, add your closed mason jar, and then add enough water to cover your jar. Heat the water in your crockpot to 185 degrees Fahrenheit (use a cooking thermometer if your crockpot doesn’t have a temperature reader), then turn it to low heat and allow your mixture to infuse for 4 hours.
Recipe #2: Decarb in Coconut Oil Method
Our second cannabis coconut oil recipe has the decarb process folded into the infusion process. Note that this method is usually best for more advanced cannabis chefs, since decarbing while you infuse requires more attention to detail. It also requires a cooking thermometer, as you’ll need to keep your oil within a certain temperature range if you want to decarb your cannabis without accidentally denaturing the compounds within it with excessive heat.
1 Cup of Coconut Oil
¼ to ½ Ounce Dried Cannabis Flower
Pyrex Glass Cookware
Grinder or Chef’s Knife
Cheesecloth and/or Fine Mesh Strainer
- First, place your coconut oil in your glass cookware, then begin to melt it overheat while measuring its temperature with your thermometer. The goal is to get your coconut oil to a resting temperature of 220 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a great temperature for decarboxylation.
- While your coconut oil is beginning to heat up, prepare your cannabis flower by grinding or cutting it into a fine consistency.
- Once you have your coconut oil at a steady 220 degrees, add your ground cannabis into your oil and stir. It’s normal for your mixture to immediately start turning green.
- Now, you want to let your coconut oil mixture infuse for an hour at 220 degrees. Watch your mixture and make sure you keep your temperature consistent at around 220 degrees. Temperature is very important here, since going over 300 degrees can cause the cannabis compounds in your mixture to denature, which essentially means that their molecules will start to come apart, deactivating them. It’s normal for your mixture to start turning brownish during this step.
- Around the one hour mark, you want to start monitoring your oil for doneness. As your cannabis decarbs within your oil, it will release carbon bubbles. When these bubbles stop coming up, you’ll know your cannabis is fully decarbed, which means you’re ready to strain.
- Remove your glass container from heat and strain the plant material from your mixture using your cheesecloth.
- Let your cannabis-infused coconut oil cool, then enjoy the final product!
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 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-infused 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.
If you have any questions about cannabis-infused coconut oil, please don’t hesitate to reach out. One of our knowledgeable team members would be happy to answer all your questions. You can get in touch with us by calling your closest Essence Dispensary location during our regular business hours or by sending us a message here through our site.