How to make cannabis cooking oil
Infusion is often the most challenging part of cooking with cannabis and the reason why many people turn to their vaporizer in defeat. I’m here to tell you that you can do this! Not only is it doable, but it’s worth it.
If you haven’t yet discovered the wonder that is cannabis-infused eating, I’m excited for you because you’re in for an adventure. The experience from start to finish is significantly different from common inhalation methods. The effects are typically longer, stronger, and slower to set in.
For this reason, always start with a low dose and see how an edible affects you—especially if you’re cooking your own as it is impossible to calculate their potency.
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Cannabis-infused oil is probably the most versatile medium and a great place to start, since it can be used for baking desserts, sautéing veggies, frying up your morning eggs, or putting in your salad dressing. In addition, as is the case with cooking anything at home, you have complete control over its preparation. Does peanut oil hold a special place in your heart? Make cannabis-infused peanut oil!
Recipe for cannabis cooking oil
- 1 cup of ground cannabis flower (or less for milder potency)
- 1 cup of cooking oil of your choice
Note: When making canna oil, you want to use a 1:1 ratio of cannabis to oil.
Choosing the right cooking oil base for your canna oil
Picking the right oil for infusion comes down to your flavor preferences and the dishes you plan on cooking. Oils will have different consistencies at room temperature, so be sure to put thought into how you will be storing and using your oil.
Many oils work well with baking too! So you might want to choose an oil that will have a flavor and consistency that works for multiple recipes. For example, if you are looking for an oil that can be used in a stir fry as well as a pie crust, coconut oil is a great option. It adds great flavor to veggies and remains solid enough at room temperature to hold up as a pie crust.
If you are looking for an oil with a mild flavor, vegetable and canola oil are going to be great options. They are also very versatile and work with most recipes calling for oil.
If you want something a little more robust in flavor, you can infuse olive or avocado oil. Both stand up well to the cannabis flavor and can be stored in your pantry. One of the most surprisingly delicious deserts I ever had was an olive oil ice cream. So feel free to get creative!
- Strainer or cheesecloth
- Grinder (a simple hand grinder works best; appliances like blenders and coffee grinder pulverize the cannabis, resulting in edibles with bad tasting plant material)
- Double-boiler, slow cooker, or saucepan, etc.
- Grind the cannabis. You can include the entire plant, just the flower, a little bit of both—this is all a matter of preference. Just keep in mind that anything small enough to fit through the strainer will end up in your finished product, so again, do not grind your cannabis into a fine powder.
- Combine oil and cannabis in your double-boiler, slow cooker, or saucepan, and heat on low or warm for a few hours. This allows for decarboxylation (activation of THC) without scorching (which destroys the active ingredients). In all cases, a small amount of water can be added to the mixture to help avoid burning, and the temperature of the oil should never exceed 245°F. Cooking can be done a variety of ways:
- Crock pot method: Heat oil and cannabis in a slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Double-boiler method: Heat oil and cannabis in a double-boiler on low for at least 6 hours (8 is better), stirring occasionally.
- Saucepan method: Heat oil and cannabis in a simple saucepan on low for at least 3 hours, stirring frequently (a saucepan is most susceptible to scorching).
- Strain and store the oil. Do not squeeze the cheesecloth; this will simply add more chlorophyll to your oil. All remaining plant material can be discarded or used in other dishes if desired. The oil’s shelf life is at least two months, and can be extended with refrigeration.
Note: Be cautious when using the oil to prepare dishes that require heating. Do not microwave and choose low heat whenever possible.
Tips for reducing odor when making cannabis oil
The trick for reducing odor is using the right tool for decarboxylation. The steam produced during cooking might not give off a pungent odor at first, but it gets stronger with time. It takes hours for the oil to finish, so you can imagine that the odor can build, and, if you are in the same room the whole time, you may not notice the gradual increase in dankness.
Using kitchen devices with rubber seals on their lids will allow you to lock in the majority of the odor during the cook. Finding a crock pot or pressure cooker with this feature is easy. The seal allows you to be strategic in where and when you open the lid.
Whether you take it outside or put it under your kitchen vent, not allowing the odor to fill your space is paramount when it comes to discretion. But accidents happen! If you find yourself in a situation where your space is too pungent, check out our article on how to get rid of the cannabis odor.
How to cook with your weed oil
Now that you have successfully infused your oil of choice, be sure to try a little before you make an entire meal. You want to make sure the dosage is right so the meal is delicious as well as enjoyable afterward.
You also want to be sure not to scorch the oil while cooking (just like when you are making the oil). It would be a shame for all that hard work to go to waste and to be left with a cannabis-tasting creation without any of the effects.
Now get cooking! I suggest finding a few of your favorite recipes and see if an infused-cannabis oil could work. Experimenting with different recipes is half the fun, and here are a few of our favorite recipes to get you going:
- Martha Stewart’s “to-die-for” pot brownies: A classic done right!
- Cannabis-infused mayo: From ranch dressing to aioli, mayo is the base to some of your favorite condiments!
- Cannabis-infused coconut roasted citrus shrimp: Feeling fancy?
- Cannabis-infused chocolate hazelnut spread: Find a dessert or savory snack this doesn’t make taste better, I’ll wait.
- Canna-oil vinaigrette: Balsamic vinaigrettes are great too!
Next up: Learn how to make infused coconut oil!
This post was originally published on September 19, 2013. It was most recently updated on March 20, 2020.
Learn how to make cannabis oil to use when baking desserts, sautéing veggies, frying up your morning eggs, or in your salad dressing in 3 easy steps.
Making Cannabis Infused Cooking Oil
Every medical cannabis patient should have some medicated cooking oil in their cupboard. Having the medicated oil on hand makes cooking an impromptu medicated meal a breeze. And it’s just as easy to make the medicated oil itself so let’s get cookin’!
You can infuse cooking oils with a cannabis concentrate or with cannabis plant matter. There are pros and cons with both.
- Infusing Cooking Oil with Concentrated Cannabis Oil – Pros and Cons
Easy to dose
Less cannabis flavor
Doesn’t need refrigeration
More expensive if you have to purchase the starting material, (a concentrated oil, like BHO, CCO or FECO).
- Infusing Cooking Oil with Cannabis Plant Matter – Pros and Cons
Less Expensive – If you grow your own cannabis this method is very cost effective.
Because of the chance of botulism this method requires the oil to be refrigerated.
Very slow process
Expensive if you have to purchase the plant matter
Must be double filtered unless you don’t mind plant matter in your oil.
Many years ago I was infusing cooking oil with herbs for flavor. I abruptly stopped the process when I read about how easy it is for Clostridium botulinum, (a bacterial spore that is readily present on plant material and in soil), to grow and become highly toxic in this process. When plant matter is placed in oil, the low-acid, oxygen-free environment favors the growth of these spores. They can spontaneously germinate, given the right conditions and material to grow in, thus turning into the bacteria that produces a powerful toxin called Botulism. This toxin can cause severe illness and death. So, if you choose to make your cooking oil directly from cannabis plant matter it MUST be kept in the freezer or be refrigerated at a temperature of 41ºF or below to prevent the growth of C. botulinum spores.
There are specific steps to take that utilize citric acid washes when infusing herbs like basil, rosemary and garlic in oil. However, no process has yet been documented on how to pre-process raw or dried cannabis plant material for safe oil infusion. This is why it is safer to use concentrated cannabis oils that have been processed in a closed loop system or with 190/200 proof grain alcohol (ethanol) with no additional ingredients. These processes prevent the growth of C. botulinum spores and the cooking oils made with these processes are safe to store outside of refrigerated temperatures.
Oils to Use
Olive oil is often used to infused flavors from plants and herbs. If you like the flavor of cannabis it may be a perfect complement to the distinct earthy flavor of olive oils. If you are interested in having the cannabis flavor dominate, you may want to use a more bland flavored oil, Like canola oil. Both canola and olive oils are healthy because they contain fewer polyunsaturated fatty acids than many other vegetable oils and thus oxidize and turn rancid less quickly. Coconut oil is another healthy choice. These three oils have a longer shelf life than many others, and this is especially important if you will be using the oils as topical as well as cooking with them.
- Infusing Oil from Plant Material
If you choose to use plant material to infuse your cooking oil, be sure its dry and be sure to hand grind it. A mechanized grinder can tear up the trichomes, so don’t do that. This long, slow heating method and cooking with the oils will do your basic decarboxylation for you, so it’s not necessary. Use a 50/50 mix of oil and plant matter, ie: 1 cup of ground plant matter to 1 cup of oil.
Place plant material in crock-pot, double boiler, or electric yogurt maker, and cover with your cooking oil of choice, leaving at least an inch or two of oil above the plant matter.
Gently heat the herbs over very low heat (preferably between 100° and 140° F for 1 to 5 hours. The oil will takes on the color and scent of the cannabis. (Some people recommend heating the oil 48 to 72 hours at a controlled temperature of 100° F). Turn off heat and allow to cool.
Once oil is cooled, strain using cheesecloth . You will probably have to do another strain though a coffee filet, and this takes a very long time so be patient.
Bottle in dry, sterilized glass jars or bottles and don’t forget to label them with the date and contents before storing.
Store in the freezer or refrigerator.
Be careful the first time you use this infused oil. If you used nice buds it may be very strong.
- Infusing oil with a Concentrated Cannabis Product
So easy and accurate! This is based on an 80% THC concentrate.
1. Warm oil in a microwave or use a double boiler.
2. Add desired amount of concentrated oil. (Be sure to purchase your concentrate in a measured syringe so you know how much you are using if not using the entire amount.) Adding a full 1 gram syringe of 80% THC (800mg) to 2 cups of cooking oil will give you 2 cups of 800mg cooking oil. Lets break that down into tablespoons since that’s a measurement most often used.
- 16 Tbsp to a cup, and 32 Tbsp to two cups, so 800 ÷ 32 = 25mg THC per tablespoon
If using in baking 1/4 cup of oil will be 100mg THC (in a recipe that serves four, that will be 25 MG THC per serving)
1/3 cup will be 133mg THC
1/2 cup will be 200mg THC
2/3 cup will be 266 mg THC
3/4 cup will be 300mg THC
Store your medicated oil in a sterilized glass jar, and don’t forget to label contents and date.
You can adjust the quantities and strengths as you like. There’s the methods and the math, so go get cookin’! We have the Concentrated Cannabis (CCO) oil you need at all the Organtica Clinics.
Having cannabis infused cooking oil on hand in your kitchen makes cooking an impromptu medicated meal a breeze. And it’s just as easy to make the medicated oil itself so let’s get cookin’!