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. Our Cannabis Infused Olive Oil Recipe id quick and easy to make. It is one of the most versatile recipes because it can be added to many other dished. This gentle method of making cannabis-infused olive oil preserves all of its aroma and benefits through the use of sous vide.
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. (I personally prefer to make homemade cannabis tinctures over edibles.)
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!
The content (activation or decomposition) of THC with time and temperature. Note that CBD takes about 2x as long at the same temperatures. Graph courtesy of 420 Magazine
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.
Cannabis Infused Olive Oil Recipe
This Cannabis Infused Olive Oil recipe is simple, delicious and versatile. Combine the health benefits of Olive Oil and Cannabis to create a delicious base for savory recipes and dressings. Skip the extra virgin olive oil and save some money, filtered olive oil holds up best as we heat things up for the infusion. Before make this recipe you will have to decarb your weed for the best results.
Cannabis Infused Olive Oil Recipe
Get adventurous with your olive oil and bud pairings: Drizzle a Berry vinaigrette made with Blueberry OG Delight over a steak, combine Lemon OG Strain with citrus and honey for a delicious salad dressing, or drizzle a funky GlueChee infusion over summer tomatoes and mozzarella. The point is experiment with the strains that you use. Different strains will create different flavor.
Cannabis-Infused Olive Oil
Before cannabis can be used in a recipe, it must be activated or decarboxylated to maximize all of its benefits. Traditionally, decarbing meant heating the buds in a low oven for two to three hours, a process that can destroy flavor. Decarbing using sous vide, on the other hand, preserves the floral and fragrant flavors known as terpenes. After decarbing, you’ll gently infuse the cannabis in olive oil, creating an aromatic ingredient you’ll be able to use in both sweet and savory recipes, from aglio e olio pasta to chocolate pretzel cookies and a citrus-infused cake. You’ll need an immersion stick circulator, cannabis grinder, vacuum-sealable bag, and avacuum sealer for this recipe. Note: As cannabis regulation continues to evolve across the United States and around the world, please consult your local laws.
3 ½ grams cannabis flower (see Notes below), about 1⁄8 ounce
3 tablespoon distilled water
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Set the immersion circulator to 200°F and place in a medium saucepan filled halfway with water. Grind the cannabis buds into small pieces and place in the vacuum-sealable bag with the distilled water. Using the vacuum sealer, seal the bag completely. When the circulator reaches 200°F, drop the sealed bag into the water and decarb for 30 minutes, rotating the bag every 5 to 10 minutes.
Transfer the bag to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and to preserve the terpenes; let cool. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl; strain and reserve the cannabis, discarding the liquid.
In a small saucepan, combine oil and cannabis in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat; continue to cook for 20 minutes, stirring often. Remove saucepan from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes more.
Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a resealable heat-proof food container with an airtight lid. Keep refrigerated and use within 30 days.
Choose a strain of cannabis that complements or contrasts with your recipes. Like wine, the attributes are wide ranging, from sweet and earthy to citrusy and berry-like. Also consider the desired effect; certain strains are championed for their anti-inflammatory abilities while others are known for maintaining focus. A dispensary can steer you in the right direction.
Each tablespoon of Cannabis-Infused Olive Oil contains about 29 mg THC, based on the use of a 20 percent THC strain. Plan accordingly to substitute for a portion, but not all, of the olive oil in a recipe.
This recipe was developed in partnership with Kitchen Toke, the first media company dedicated to teaching people about culinary cannabis for health and wellness.