Cannabis and coconut oil: Benefits and uses
Why is coconut oil popular for cannabis infusion?
Coconut oil has a high concentration of fatty acids, or saturated fats, which are great for cannabinoids to bind to.
Compared to olive oil, which usually contains a saturated fat content of less than 20%, or butter, with about 60% saturated fats, coconut oil usually contains over 80% saturated fats. This means coconut oil can retain more cannabinoids during infusion, making it more potent.
Coconut oil also has a higher smoke point, so it can be heated at a higher temperature and there is less of a chance of burning it.
Coconut oil uses and health benefits
Healthy fatty acids are found in abundance in coconut oil, making it ideal for people looking for a healthier cannabis oil base than butter, canola, or olive oil.
Coconut oil also remains solid at room temperature, making it easy to store and also a great medium for a topical.
Its solid state also makes it easy to work with and dose into gelatin capsules to make cannabis pills.
How to make cannabis-infused coconut oil
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Saucepan, stock pot, double-boiler, or slow cooker
- Mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- Container for cannabis oil
- Cannabis grinder (optional)
- 1 cup ground cannabis flower (7-10 grams)
- 1 cup coconut oil
When making cannabis coconut oil, we recommend a 1:1 ratio of cannabis to oil. If you want milder effects, use less cannabis.
- Decarb the cannabis. Decarboxylation activates cannabis by turning THCA in the plant into THC, the psychoactive compound that will get you high. Loosely break up cannabis and place it on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Heat it for 30-40 minutes in an oven at 245ºF.
- Grind or break down cannabis. A grinder will break your weed up into an even consistency, but you can just as easily use your hands too. Keep in mind that anything small enough to fit through a strainer will end up in your finished product, so don’t grind your cannabis into a fine powder.
- Heat oil and decarbed cannabis. Add oil and decarbed cannabis to double-boiler, slow cooker, or saucepan, and simmer on low for 2-3 hours. Make sure the temperature of the oil stays between 160-200ºF.
- Strain and store the oil. Put mesh strainer or cheesecloth over container for oil and pour the oil/cannabis mixture through it. Do not squeeze it out—this will add more chlorophyll to your oil and make it taste more vegetal. Discard the plant material. The oil will have a shelf life of at least two months and can be extended with refrigeration.
How to use cannabis coconut oil
People mainly add cannabis coconut oil to food when cooking to infuse dishes with cannabis. We recommend trying a little bit at first to determine its potency before adding a lot to a dish.
You can also add it to a hot beverage so it will melt into the liquid.
Cannabis coconut oil is also great as a topical for local pain relief. Just rub some on your skin as you would a salve or cream.
Infused coconut oil can also be used as a lubricant in the bedroom, but be safe! Coconut oil may weaken condoms.
For easy, discreet consumption, put infused coconut oil into capsules for easy dosing.
Patrick Bennet and Pat Goggins contributed to this article.