How to make Cannabis Oil
Olive oil is a product that many people consume as part of their daily diet due to its many health benefits, but what about cannabis oil? Cannabis oil doesn’t generally figure in many people’s diets, especially not those that don’t consume cannabis, although this is slowly changing. Thanks to the recent wave of legalizations around the world and the investigations being done, we’re finding out more about cannabis’ properties and its amazing benefits when used correctly. That’s why today we’re going to teach you how to make cannabis oil.
Everyone should be able to make the most of cannabis’s incredible properties without needing to smoke it. We’re going to show you how to make cannabis oil. Its properties may vary depending on the cannabis used to make it, which can be THC or CBD dominant. Either way, the recipe is the same.
Let’s have a look at these two recipes that result in delicious, cannabinoid-ruch homemade cannabis oil.
How to make cannabis oil:
Before you start with the recipe, you’ll need to figure out the type of cannabis you’re going to be using. You can use THC rich, CBD rich or balanced cannabis for this recipe.
If you’re looking to make oil that anyone can consume without getting any sort of psychoactive effect, you should use high-CBD cannabis that contains extremely low THC levels. You should use strains such as Sweet Pure CBD by Sweet Seeds or Solodiol by Elite Seeds. The effects produced by CBD-rich strains make them perfect for daily consumption.
For those looking to make cannabis oil that has all of cannabis’s properties, including the psychoactive ones, we highly recommend using a strain with high THC levels or more THC than CBD. This allows you to create a cannabis oil that’s capable of alleviating intense muscular pain, reduce epileptic attacks, increase appetite, treat insomnia etc. It’s also a much safer way to consume cannabis as you don’t need to inhale any nasty smoke.
Ingredients and materials:
- 500-700ml virgin extra olive oil
- 20-25g dry and cured cannabis
- One kitchen thermometer
- One kitchen spatula
- Large pot (3-5L)
- Small pot (1L)
- A weed grinder
- A coffee filter
- One thin metal sieve
- One glass container with lid
- 5L bottled water
How to make cannabis oil | RECIPE 1
This first recipe is the easiest to make, as it hardly needs much work and it just requires a bit of patience.
- 1: Begin by washing and decarbing your cannabis using your preferred process. If you want a less psychoactive effect and more medicinal properties from your oil, simply wash your cannabis before using and skip the decarb process (only do this if you do not want a psychoactive end result).
- 2: Get a glass bowl that’s large enough for the amount of oil you plan on making
- 3: Pour your preferred virgin extra olive oil into the bowl
- 4: Add 20-25g of dried, cured cannabis (not ground)
- 5: Let it macerate in a dark, dry place for a couple of weeks, Mix every now and then so that the cannabis fully releases its properties
- 6: After a couple of weeks it should be ready to consume
- 7: Do not remove the cannabis
- 8: If the cannabis oil turns out too strong, pour the oil into a new glass bottle and add one fourth virgin extra olive oil in order to soften the effect. Shake well and let it sit in the dark for a couple of days so that it mixes properly
- 9: Your cannabis oil is now ready to use as a food supplement, as drops or even as a skin cream!
How to make cannabis oil | RECIPE 2
This second cannabis oil recipe is a bit more hands-on and much faster. You’ll need to grab your cooking gear and get to it! The resulting oil form this recipe is much more refined than the first recipe we dealt with.
1- Boil your cannabis
Place your weed in a large pot and add enough water to cover the cannabis. Once it begins to boil, lower the heat setting to the lowest and keep it there for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then.
2- Strain your cannabis
After 10 minutes, you’ll need to strain your cannabis. Pour your flowers into the sieve and let the water drain out without putting any pressure on it. Repeat the entire process, boiling the weed again, until the water comes out clean (3 times should do it).
3- No water
Once you’ve strained your cannabis you’ll need to try and get it to lose as much water as possible. In order to keep all of its cannabinoids intact, we recommend covering a flat surface with non-aromatic kitchen paper and placing your cannabis on top. This allows the kitchen paper to absorb any leftover water without needing to press your weed down.
Remember: this is done to fully clean your cannabis, removing dust, insects, any products, chlorophyll and leftover minerals. This process is entirely safe, as marihuana doesn’t dissolve or attach to water and no cannabinoids are lost.
4- Add your virgin extra olive oil
Once your cannabis is clean and all water has been extracted, you’ll need to place it in a small pot and add your virgin extra olive oil.
In order to heat your cannabis in the right way so that it dissolves all of its cannabinoids in the oil, first you’ll need to fill the large pot with water and place the smaller pot, the one with the oil and cannabis, floating in the water in the larger pot. Boil the large pot.
6- Bain-Marie timing
Once the water is boiling, the cannabinoid-assimilation process has begun. This can be quite a slow process, taking a few hours, although it’s much faster than the first recipe. For the best possible results, we recommend continuing this process for two to three hours, mixing every now and then. In order to get perfect results, try and keep the temperature at a stable 100°C. You can use a kitchen thermometer for this purpose.
After the bain-marie, you’ll need to let the liquid cool down in its pot. Once it’s cooled down you should strain the mixture using the coffee filter. Do it with incredible care, making sure that no bits of cannabis get through the filter. Your cannabis oil is now ready!
8- How to store cannabis oil
Once you’ve made your oil, you’ll need to store it in a dark, cool area. This allows cannabinoids to stay 100% potent for much longer. We recommend keeping the main bottle in a dark place and using a small oil bottle for your food.
How to take cannabis oil
Cannabis Oil as Salad Dressing
One of the best ways of ingesting cannabis oil is raw. If it’s used to fry anything, it loses all of its properties in as far as cannabinoids due to high temperatures. We recommend using it as a dressing for salads, making sure to test it out beforehand to test its strength and how much you should use.
Massage Cannabis Oil
For those that suffer from muscle or back pain, cannabis oil can be used as potent massage oil; it has many relaxing and therapeutic effects and can be used for any type of massage; it can also be used in reflexology. You can also add it to any massage cream or oil such as lavender or rosemary, among others.
Sub-lingual Cannabis Oil
If you want to use it as a direct dose, you can use it sub-lingually. Simply use a dropper under your tongue and then slowly allow them to spread around your mouth. This is a much more direct way and is recommended for medicinal use.
Cannabis Oil Safety Precautions
Before you start taking cannabis oil, whether it’s occasionally or daily, you will need to do a few tests to see how potent it is. We recommend trying out a couple of drops and waiting for a few hours to see if its effects are too soft or too hard. If it’s too potent you can add in ¼ of normal oil and shake well to mix it up. You can repeat this process as much as possible.
When ingesting oil of this kind you’ll need to be extremely cautious. You need to mark every bottle carefully – if someone accidentally uses it on their salad, they probably won’t have a very nice trip. You will also need to take extreme caution when it comes to kids running around the house. If not labelled correctly and stored somewhere that kids can get to, you may have quite a bad situation on your hands. Keep your cannabis oil away from kids, labelled properly and make sure you know where it is.
Have you ever wondered how to make cannabis oil? You can add it to so many different dishes and it also has plenty of different beneficial properties!
How to Make Homemade Cannabis Oil (or CBD Oil)
Are you interested in making your own cannabis-infused oil? I don’t blame you! Making homemade cannabis oil is a great way to create a highly healing, concentrated, and versatile cannabis product. It is ready to use in edible recipes, topical salves, or even enjoy straight on its own. Especially if you use organic homegrown cannabis like we do, this is an excellent way to use up any extra or “fluffy” stuff too. It also happens to be very easy to make cannabis oil at home!
Follow along with these step-by-step instructions to learn how to make homemade cannabis oil. We’ll also briefly discuss the science behind cannabis oil, and what types of cannabis to use to make oil. Finally, we’ll go over various ways to use homemade cannabis oil, including some notes about caution and dosing with edibles.
What is Cannabis-Infused Oil
Cannabis oil is made by lightly heating (and thus infusing) cannabis in a “carrier oil”. Cannabinoids like CBD and THC, the most active components in cannabis, are both hydrophobic. That means they don’t like water, and are actually repelled by water molecules. On the flip side, CBD and THC are both fat-soluble. They like to bind with fatty acid molecules – such as those found in oil. When cannabis is steeped in oil, the THC and CBD molecules leave the buds or plant material and become one with the oil instead.
A wide variety of oils can be used to make cannabis oil. However, coconut oil and olive oil are the most popular and common. Coconut oil and olive oil are both pleasant-tasting and very nourishing for skin, making them versatile options for either medicated edibles or topical applications. Plus, they both have strong natural antifungal and antimicrobial properties. This helps prevent mold and extends the shelf life of your cannabis oil. Coconut oil is higher in saturated fat, which may bind fat-loving cannabinoids even more readily than olive oil.
Hemp Oil, CBD Oil, THC, or…
Your choice! You can make cannabis-infused oil with hemp or marijuana, depending on what is legal and available in your area. Or, what you’re desired end-results are. Hemp oil will only contain CBD (or a very minuscule amount of THC), while marijuana-infused oil will likely contain both THC and CBD. The ratio and concentration of THC and/or CBD depends on the strain of marijuana and particular plant it came from.
Generally speaking, THC is psychoactive and CBD is not. But THC does a lot more than change your state of mind! Studies show that THC has even stronger pain and stress-relieving properties than CBD, which is known to help with insomnia, seizures and inflammation. While they each have notable and distinct stand-alone benefits, an oil or salve containing both CBD and THC has the highest potential for a wide array of health benefits (albeit illegal in some places). Known as the “entourage effect”, the synergistic combination of both THC and CBD through whole-plant cannabis consumption and extracts is more powerful than either one on its own.
I personally like to use strains that are high in both THC and CBD to make oil and salves. To learn more about the differences between strains, CBD and THC, see this article: “Sativa, Indica & Autoflowers, the Differences Explained”.
Why Make Cannabis Oil
Cannabis oil is the foundation ingredient for ultra-healing homemade topical lotions, ointments, and salves – my favorite way to use it! Both THC and CBD have excellent anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that cannabinoids have the ability to reduce acne, fine lines and wrinkles, soothe redness and irritation, and balance natural skin oils. Also, cannabinoids (THC especially) are analgesic – meaning they reduce pain. I regularly use our homemade cannabis salve on my knees, ankles, and other aching or inflamed joints and muscles.
Furthermore, making cannabis oil is one of the most reliable ways to create medicated edible cannabis products. Even so, it is extremely difficult to determine the exact potency of homemade edibles or cannabis oil. Because of this, it is suggested to consume with caution in very small doses at first. Cannabis oil can be consumed on its own, or added to other edible cannabis recipes.
On the other hand, simply chopping up weed to add to your brownie mix is not a good idea, for many reasons. As we already explored, cannabinoids are fat-soluble. That means that they not only bind with oils during the infusion process, but also that cannabinoids are more readily absorbed and digested in our bodies when they’re consumed with fat – such as oil. If you add raw cannabis to baked goods, it is less likely that the cannabinoids will bind to fats for a consistent and effective edible experience. Using decarboxylated cannabis to make cannabis oil further increases precision and consistency.
Using Decarboxylated Cannabis for Oil
The cannabinoid compounds found in raw cannabis (THCA and CBDA) are not the same as those found in cannabis that has been heated – such as those inhaled (THC and CBD) when you ignite or vaporize cannabis, or when cooking with cannabis. The process of heating and “activating” cannabis is called decarboxylation. It is what makes cannabis psychoactive, and also more potent for medicinal applications.
Yet when it comes to heating cannabis, it is best to do so low, slow, and methodically. There are time and temperature “sweet spots” where raw THCA and CBDA are converted into active THC and CBD. But without a precise process, over-heating or under-heating cannabis can lead to uneven activation of THC and CBD. Even worse, it may even destroy the THC or CBD altogether!
Most cannabis oil recipes call for cannabis that has already been properly decarboxylated first. The most common and fuss-free way is to decarb cannabis in the oven, and then add it to oil over a very low heat afterwards – avoiding further decarboxylation. Some folks choose to decarb their raw cannabis on the stovetop simultaneously with the oil infusion process. However, that requires significantly more careful monitoring to hit that time-temperature sweet spot (and not ruin it).
Therefore, our cannabis oil recipe calls for decarboxylated cannabis as well. I provide very brief instructions on how to decarb raw cannabis below, but you can read further information about exactly how and why to decarb cannabis in the oven in this article.
1 cup of loosely ground decarboxylated cannabis. To be more precise, I suggest to use a kitchen scale to weigh out approximately 7 to 10 grams (a quarter ounce or just over), depending on your tolerance.
1 cup coconut oil or other oil of choice, such as olive oil. We like to use organic coconut oil because it is solid at room temperature (and tastes good), which makes it perfect to eat a tiny spoonful of, spread on bread like butter, or use in a salve. (Note that our salve recipe calls for 1.5 cups coconut oil, so scale up if you intend to make that)
Optional: A few grams of raw cannabis. In addition to decarboxylated cannabis, we like to add a little handful of raw homegrown bud to our oil as well. While the most significant and well-documented health benefits from cannabis are attributed to active THC and CBD (found in decarbed cannabis), there are also emerging studies showing some promising health benefits from their raw forms – THCA and CBDA. Therefore, we like to use a little of each to create a full-spectrum and well-rounded finished product.
A double-boiler, or make-shift double boiler (such as a glass pyrex bowl or stainless steel bowl perched on top of a saucepan with water below) OR a crock pot/slow cooker
Fine mesh strainer
Storage container, such as a mason jar with lid
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CANNABIS OIL
The most important aspect of making cannabis oil is to not overheat it. In fact, some folks choose to add decarbed cannabis to oil and allow it to infuse at room temperature (in the dark) for several weeks, rather than heating it at all.
The heat applied in this recipe simply helps expedite the cannabinoid extraction process to bind with oil. However, because we are starting with already decarboxylated cannabis, the goal is to avoid heating it over 200 degrees. 120 to 180°F is even better. Maintaining a lower temperature will preserve the already-active THC and CBD content as well as the terpenes. That is, unless you intentionally want to convert THC to CBN to create a very sleepy and sedate final product.
That is where the double-boiler or slow cooker (with a low temperature setting) come in handy! Even over the lowest flame, heating oil in a pot directly on the stove is much more difficult to prevent overheating, and also creates “hot spots” – destroying our precious cannabinoids.
I suggest monitoring the oil temperature with a probe thermometer if possible. Because oils have a higher boiling point (or “smoke point”) than water, the oil will not appear to be as hot as it really is! For example, the oil may be well over 212 degrees but not visibly bubble and boil like water would at the same temperature.
If your cannabis is not yet decarboxylated, grind or tear it up into fairly small pieces. Spread evenly on a baking sheet, and heat it in the oven on 250°F for 25 to 30 minutes.
Add water to the bottom pan of your double-boiler. Now add 1 cup of coconut oil to the top section of the double-boiler. Heat until it melts. (OR, on the low/warm setting in a crock pot)
Stir in 7-10 grams of decarboxylated cannabis into the melted oil. Feel free to also include an optional few grams of raw ground cannabis if you desire.
Continue to heat the cannabis and oil over a low heat for 30 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can continue this process for several hours if desired, though many recipes call for only 20 to 30 minutes. If available, use a probe thermometer to check the temperature. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain the oil below 200°F. We aim for a target temperature range of around 130 to 150°F and infuse for one hour.
When the time is up, line a strainer with cheesecloth and position it over a glass bowl. Pour the cannabis and oil mixture through the strainer. Gather the cheesecloth and gently squeeze out the excess oil from the cannabis. Warning: the oil will be hot, and your hands will get greasy! You may want to wear food-grade gloves.
Ideally, use your cannabis oil within 6 months to 1 year. As long as it doesn’t mold, the oil doesn’t “go bad” over time – though the potency can decrease as some THC will naturally convert to a more sleepy cannabinoid called CBN.
How to Use Cannabis Oil
When it is finished, you can use you cannabis oil any way you’d like!
Add homemade cannabis oil in any body care recipe that calls for cannabis-infused oil, such as this topical salve recipe. It can help heal sore muscles, joints, inflammation, eczema, psoriasis, and even slow or prevent skin cancer cell growth!
Use cannabis oil in meals or medicated edible recipes. Try to use as low of heat and cooking time as possible to preserve cannabinoids and terpenes. Look for “no bake” recipes, or ones that you can only lightly heat the oil again in a double-boiler. For example, you could make these chocolates, some no-bake cookies, or add medicated coconut oil to a frosting recipe. Another option is to use the coconut oil like butter on toast, or mix it into already-cooked pasta or sauce. (See the dosing information and caution below!)
Enjoy a small dose in a cup of hot tea or other warm beverage, perhaps with a dab of honey.
Consume a small dose of the oil straight on its own. Try holding a small amount of oil in your mouth or below your tongue (sublingually). According to Leafly, “sublingual dosing offers a fast onset, shorter duration, and lower intensity than traditional oral cannabis edibles”.
Homemade Cannabis Oil Potency: Proceed with Caution
Homemade cannabis edibles are tricky because it is very difficult to determine their exact potency. Without laboratory testing (which is expensive and not readily available to most people) it is virtually impossible to calculate the THC and CBD content of the finished cannabis oil or medicated edibles that you prepared.
First of all, if you are using homegrown cannabis like we do, then you likely don’t know the strength of the bud you started the process with. Even if a strain is marketed to have a particular THC and CBD content or ratio, homegrown plants can vary wildly depending on how they were grown, harvested, dried, cured, and stored. Furthermore, there are variations within plants (expressed as phenotypes) that leads them to have differences even among plants of the same strain.
Say you make oil or edibles with cannabis purchased from a dispensary, and thus has a tested and known THC and CBD content. Even then, the potency of the end product depends on several variables that make it difficult to calculate: How old the pot is, and how you stored it. The time and temperature it was decarboxylated. The process you used to make your oil or edible. Did you cook the the edible further? How old is the edible, and how has it been stored? All of those factors can either increase active THC and CBD content, or decrease it with further heat and time.
Dosing Homemade Cannabis Oil & Edibles
Always start out with very small amounts of cannabis edibles or oil (particularly those containing THC) – also known as “micro-dosing”. I don’t consume edibles often, though we regularly vaporize cannabis and make salve. When we do make cannabis coconut oil, I always start out with only 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of straight oil and then scale up next time if needed – but not right away!
Once you do figure out the perfect personal dose for your homemade oil, you can work your math magic with an edible recipe to determine how much of it to eat. For example, say my perfect dose is 1/2 teaspoon. I want to make this chocolate recipe, which calls for 1/2 a cup of coconut oil. With a quick Google search, I see that there are 24 teaspoons in half a cup. That means there are 48 Deanna-size doses worth of cannabis oil in that batch of chocolate!
In a perfect world, that recipe yields me 48 individual chocolates, ready to pop in my mouth in the “just right” dose. However, the final yield will depend on the type of chocolate mold I use. Perhaps I will end up with only 24 chocolates. Then, I would need to only eat half a chocolate at a time. Get it? You can apply the same math magic to a cookie recipe, tub of frosting, or whatever else you dream up – assuming you portion them out evenly.
The Effects of Cannabis In Edibles Versus Smoking or Vaporizing
Remember, it takes far longer to feel the effects when you consume cannabis as an edible than when you smoke or vaporize it! Rather than instantly crossing the blood-brain barrier via the lungs, ingested cannabis needs to go through your digestive system before you’ll feel anything. That process can take between one to three hours, depending on your metabolism and what else is in your system.
The most common mistake that people make when consuming cannabis products (aside from eating too much) is getting impatient. They think it isn’t working, and take another dose shortly after the first one. Then when it all hits, that mellow ride can quickly turn into an “oh shit” moment.
In addition to taking longer to “kick in”, edibles linger in your system. Meaning, you feel the effects for significantly longer. A high from ingested cannabis can last up to 12 hours.
Furthermore, the effects of edibles are different than those felt when smoking or vaporizing cannabis. The edible experience is often much more intense, potentially disorienting, and provides a stronger “body high”. It can also cause a racing heartbeat and/or nausea if you overdo it, which can be very alarming and uncomfortable.
Ready to get infusing?
In closing, take it easy when it comes to edibles, especially if it this is all new to you. The last thing I want is for people to feel sick or have a bad experience. But if you do it right, oils and edibles can be powerful and wonderful healing tools to have at your disposal.
Finally, please remember that kiddos are especially curious about edible goodies, so keep your stash hidden securely away!
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Come learn how to easily make your own cannabis-infused oil, ready to use in medicated edible recipes, topical salves, or even enjoy straight on its own.