How to make cannabis cooking oils

With the cannabis legalization movement accelerating and new states joining the club, gone are the days of stigmas when consumers were not fully aware of the plant’s numerous wellness applications.
Today, many are starting to experiment more with it in the kitchen as an alternative to smoking or vaping. However, there is more to cooking cannabis than simply adding a few buds to your recipes and calling it a day. This guide will walk you step by step through the process of making cannabis-infused cooking oil that can be used in all of your favorite recipes.

Why Extract THC with Oil?

Adult human bodies are 60% water, and our blood is 90% water. Cannabinoids, including THC, are not soluble in water. However, cannabis is fat-soluble, which means it must bind to fat molecules in order to be digested. That’s the main reason why THC cooking oil is one of the pillars of cooking with cannabinoids, since they bind quite easily to fat molecules making it possible for humans to ingest and get all the goodies.

What Oils Can I Use?

Short answer: It depends. Technically, you can use whichever oil you want to make THC infusions. However, in practice, the type of oil you should choose depends on what the recipe calls for. For example, you are more likely than not to use butter when you’re making desserts, but you might choose to use coconut oil for cooking up some vegan dishes.

Each oil has its own use and it’s wise to know the difference before cooking:

  • Olive Oil: Considered the healthiest oil to cook with, its culinary applications are nearly limitless: You can use it to make everything from pasta and omelets to stir fry and salads. Feel free to experiment with it safely on any food!
  • Butter: It’s often considered the first ingredient when baking THC-infused cookies or brownies. However, there is a downside to using standard butter: its shelf life. Butter needs to be refrigerated relatively quickly, which also diminishes its taste. To increase its shelf life without sacrificing taste, you might want to opt for using ghee, or clarified butter, both are great alternatives for keeping THC-infused cookies at room temperature.
  • Coconut Oil: For some, this oil is simply the best. That’s because it can be used like both olive oil and butter. It also has a very long shelf life even when unrefrigerated, and it’s an excellent choice for vegans.

Extracting THC Cooking Oils

Fortunately, extracting THC into cooking oil is relatively uncomplicated. Just follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Decarbing: this first step transforms the inactivated compounds from the plant matter into CBD and THC. Take the flower and crumble in an oven-proof baking dish and cover it with some tinfoil. Then, bake it for 50 minutes at 210°F/110°C. An alternative is to bake it for 30 minutes at 250°F/120°C.
  2. Water Bath: This step can be a bit tricky to do the first time. Essentially, you need to give the entire cannabis mass a bath in boiling water. First, place the cannabis in a zip-top plastic bag. Then, heat the water up to 203°F/95°C, and try to maintain that temperature for 90 minutes. Then, just let it cool to room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  3. Infusion: Fill a large pot with water and then place a mason jar inside it. Put the decarbed flower in the jar, and then fill the jar with the cooking oil of your choosing (up to 2/3 of the jar). Make sure the jar is tightly sealed, and then proceed to heat the water. Maintain a temperature of 185°F/85°C for a minimum of 2 hours, up to 6 hours. Stir or shake the jars occasionally.
  4. Cooling: the last step is to leave your jar to cool on its own. Use a cheesecloth and pour the oil through into a new, clean storage container or jar. Allow the oil to fully drain, and keep it in an airtight container. Store it in the fridge to maximize shelf life.