Cannabis Coconut Oil: Benefits, Uses & How to Make It
THC-infused massage oil.
Medicated sipping cocoa.
Revitalizing skin balm.
Contrary to what you might think, this is not a haiku poem — it’s a riddle.
What do the above products have in common besides the fact they’re all infused with cannabis in some form?
They use the same basic ingredient: coconut oil.
Cannabis coconut oil is the ultimate way of making some of the best cannabis-infused products. From cooking to baking to topical application, there’s a myriad of ways to use this combo in your house.
Today, we’re going to focus on:
- Explaining the benefits of cannabis coconut oil
- Sharing our recipe for the perfect cannabis infusion
- Using cannabis coconut oil as a base for different weed products.
Are you in love with the coco(nut)?
Why Should You Infuse Cannabis With Oils?
Because cannabis is fat soluble.
In other words, it must be infused into some fat before you can use it as a substitute for cooking oils or cosmetics base.
Still, most people don’t know how to create the best infusion with their weed. They often use butter or olive oil to make cannabis-infused goods and while these fats will work, they aren’t as beneficial for your health as coconut oil.
If you want to create an organic, homemade solution that will both get you medicated, coconut oil is your best bet.
We’ll show you how to make your own cannabis coconut oil, but before we do so, let’s explain why these two ingredients are like those proverbial birds of a feather.
Cannabis & Coconut Oil: the “Why” Behind this Perfect Match
Both cannabis and coconut oil have plenty of well-documented health benefits on their own.
But, when you combine these two in an infusion, you get the best of both worlds.
Many people associate cannabis solely with marijuana and the psychoactive effects of THC. Of course, it goes without saying that THC has much to offer in terms of medical and recreational use, but it’s not the only compound in the plant.
As a matter of fact, infusing coconut oil with CBD-rich cannabis strains is becoming more popular these days. It allows patients to draw upon the benefits of cannabidiol without having to experience the potential side effects of THC.
This note is particularly important for people who are sensitive to the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol.
As we said, butter and olive oil will totally work with your cannabis but coconut oil is superior to its counterparts in many respects.
The Benefits of Coconut Oil
To begin with, coconut oil is high in saturated fat. 95% of that content is actually good for you.
While unsaturated fats offer many health benefits, their omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is questionable because it can trigger inflammation when these oils are consumed in large quantities.
Butter, in turn, has recently had its redemption story, but some people may not be morally okay with eating animal-derived products, so again — another point in favor of the coconut oil.
In addition, the fat in coconut oil is easily processed by your body; it is immediately turned into energy, instead of getting stored for later as fat.
Other Benefits of Coconut Oil Include:
- Relief from inflammation
- Improved immune system
- A decrease in blood pressure
- Cognitive function boost
- Memory enhancement
- Increased energy and endurance
Topically, This Fat Can Be Used As:
- A body scrub
- A face wash
- A substitute for shampoo
- A natural moisturizer
While these benefits are impressive, to say the least, we can’t say that coconut is a cure for everything. It works well as a daily supplement to improve your overall well-being and combat mild conditions.
However, things start to get different when cannabis joins the party.
How Does Coconut Oil Work With Cannabis?
The most important benefit of this combination is that the cannabis coconut oil will give you a stronger high than any other infusion.
Since cannabis is fat-soluble, it must be mixed into a high-fat substance to maximize its potency.
In simple words, the more saturated fat in your base product, the better.
Now, butter contains around 60% of saturated fats. While this is a decent amount, it looks ridiculous in comparison with the 90 percent coming from coconut oil.
Bottom line? Cannabis coconut oil makes a more potent infusion.
Another argument in favor of coconut oil is that, unlike other fats, cannabis oil will remain solid at room temperature. It has a high melting point, which makes it a perfect ingredient for a topical solution — it’s less messy and easier to rub on the skin.
Finally, cannabis coconut oil is your best friend for cooking and baking, as it has a higher burning point than many other oils. If you’re cooking at higher temperatures, fats like olive oil or regular butter are not an option.
But using coconut oil… Oh boy, does it work wonders in the kitchen!
At this point, you’re probably walking around on pins and needles wondering how to make your own cannabis coconut oil.
Below you’ll find the essentials.
Everything You Need to Know Before Making Your First Cannabis Coconut Oil
Before you make your first cannabis coconut oil, you’ll need to gather a few basic appliances, but most importantly, you’ll have to prepare your cannabis properly.
At the very beginning, decarboxylation is the name of the game.
The decarboxylation process releases the carbon dioxide from within the plant and removes the carboxyl group from the THC-A, turning it into THC. This is how cannabinoids get activated.
Without decarboxylation, you can forget about a high if you put raw weed into your coconut oil.
Let’s have a brief overview of how it’s done.
While “decarboxylation” may sound outlandish to you, the process is actually easy.
To decarboxylate your weed, you’ll need to bake it in the oven.
For this, make sure you have an oven-safe dish in which you can put the cannabis. A dutch-oven or a standard casserole dish should do the trick, but in the worst-case scenario, you can just spread the weed on a baking sheet.
Once you fill the dish evenly with your cannabis, cover it with foil and bake at 240 F for 40 to 60 minutes.
Remember that decarboxylation creates a strong smell, so keep your working area well ventilated and try not to get high-profile among your neighbors.
Also, monitor the oven’s temperature, as anything above 250 F will kill the cannabinoids and terpenes.
Read our guide to cannabis decarboxylation.
Using Lecithin: Is It Worth the Hassle?
The short answer: yes, it is.
The long answer: it depends on its source.
Lecithin is an ingredient added to weed edibles to allow your body to absorb cannabis more effectively after ingestion.
Lecithin is, by no means, necessary for making edibles, but it’s a good practice to add some in order to maximize the potency of your coconut cannabis oil.
The majority of lecithin sold today is derived from soy, and as you probably know, soy crops are mostly GMOs. If you’re looking for a GMO-free source of lecithin, opt for the one derived from sunflower.
How to Measure Your Cannabis Ratios
It boils down to what you want to achieve through using cannabis coconut oil.
Edibles provide longer-lasting relief and the high is stronger than the one provided by smoking flowers. That being said, you must be extremely careful about the dosage. As a matter of fact, overdosing on cannabis edibles is the #1 reason for weed-related emergency room visits.
The next question is what strains you should use. A strong sativa will be great if you want to create an energizing and uplifting coconut oil, whereas an indica might be a better choice for a herbal nightcap or when the stress levels get beyond manageable.
If you want to get the most out of your cannabis coconut oil, we suggest that you use a combination of both the flower and the trim. Using only the trim will require more product to achieve the desired effects; buds on their own are great, but then again — what about the trim?
Okay, ladies and gentlemen, let’s get down into details.
The Essentials of Making the Best Cannabis Coconut Oil
Now that you’ve learned all the science behind infusing coconut oil with cannabis, it’s high time (see what we did there?) to make your own infusion and see if you’ve been a diligent student.
Here’s what you need to create cannabis coconut oil:
- A large container (preferably a bowl)
- Cheesecloth or a coffee filter
- A metal strainer
- A thermometer
- A saucepan or slow cooker
- 1 cup of ground decarboxylated cannabis
- 1 cup of coconut oil
Infusing Coconut Oil With Cannabis
Cannabis coconut oil infusion requires a deep dish where you can mix the two ingredients and simmer them over low heat.
We’ll show you how to make cannabis coconut oil either with a saucepan or with a slow cooker.
The Saucepan Method
- Put cannabis and coconut oil in a saucepan.
- Set the saucepan on very low heat and combine the two ingredients thoroughly.
- Bring the mixture to simmer and stir from time to time for 2 to 3 hours. Make sure the oil doesn’t go above 240 F.
- Once the time is up, strain the oil by lining your strainer with cheesecloth or a coffee filter and placing the whole construct over a large bowl.
- Pour the mixture over the strainer. Let your cannabis coconut oil drip for the next hour.
- Cool the oil to room temperature and transfer it to the fridge.
The Slow Cooker Method
- Mix coconut oil with cannabis in your slow cooker and set the temperature to the lowest setting.
- Cover the slow cooker with the lid. Simmer for 4 to 6 hours, stirring from time to time. As in the saucepan method, keep the temperature around 240 F.
- Line your strainer with cheesecloth/coffee filter and place it over a large container.
- Pour the mixture over it, letting the oil drip for another hour.
- Squeeze the remaining oil out by hand.
- Cool your cannabis coconut oil to room temperature and place it in the fridge.
Tips for Making Cannabis Coconut Oil Like a Pro
In a perfect world, making cannabis coconut oil should be smooth and easy.
Unfortunately, we’re not living in a perfect world and even professional chefs can trip over some roadblocks in the kitchen, let alone an amateur cook.
Fear not, because we’re here to help you avoid any potential problems that could otherwise occur during the infusion.
Take a look at the breakdown below and make your cannabis coconut oil like a pro:
- Never allow the oil to exceed 250 F, as most cannabinoids and terpenes will begin to burn off at this temperature, compromising the potency of your cannabis.
- If you managed to bring the oil to the smoking point, remove it from the heat and let it sit at room temperature for a while before returning it to the stove. Maintain control over the heat to avoid this.
- Don’t grind your cannabis to a fine powder; instead, grind it coarsely or break them up a little before decarboxylating.
- Don’t take the color of your cannabis coconut oil as the indicator of its potency. The greenness tells you only how much chlorophyll is present in the final product, not how strong the cannabis coconut oil is.
What Can I Use the Cannabis Coconut Oil For?
It’s amazing how versatile you can get with coconut cannabis oil. While it takes some effort to create, the effects of your work will reward you for that time.
Now that you know how to make cannabis coconut oil, it’s time to experience the benefits.
Let’s start with the most obvious use for cannabis coconut oil.
Because of its versatile consistency, it can be used as a substitute for butter and olive oil to prepare delicious cannabis-infused treats or even whole dishes.
All you need is a recipe which calls for some fat. It can be a hearty soup, some wing sauce, salad dressing, and actually any and every dessert that uses butter or oil.
Regardless of your decision, keep in mind that it’s difficult to figure out the right dosage if you’re new to making cannabis edibles. That being said, your batch of ooey-gooey brownie cookies can make you melt to the similar consistency on the couch if your sweet tooth deceives the common sense.
Just don’t consume edibles if you’re going to be driving or you need to remain alert for a longer time.
As mentioned, both cannabis and coconut oil offer plenty of benefits that may be helpful in fighting many chronic, crippling illnesses.
With cannabis coconut oil, you get the best of both worlds.
Unlike many other infusions, this one can be stored at room temperature without melting, which makes it a perfect solution for making natural topicals.
Using cannabis coconut oil topically can be an effective treatment option for chronic pain, inflammation, and a host of different skin conditions.
Moreover, you don’t have to limit yourself to THC-infused cannabis coconut oil. If getting your high isn’t your pair of shoes, you can avoid it by using a high-CBD marijuana or hemp strain.
Read more about CBD and its health benefits.
3. Regular Supplementation
Cannabis coconut oil can prove invaluable for dealing with overwhelming amounts of stress and pressure we’re being put under in a modern society.
High expectations, over-stimulation, poor diet — sooner or later, these dangers will take a toll on your health if you neglect them.
Cannabis coconut oil can help you alleviate stress, curb anxiety, and bring your mind into a more calm and peaceful state. By bolstering your immune system and staving off negative triggers, you can prevent different illnesses like cardiac diseases and depression.
Overusing cannabis coconut oil can lead to a few adverse effects, as it can raise your body’s cortisol levels on top of other unwanted reactions.
Cortisol is a hormone produced in your body to create a response to stress. While a short-term increase in cortisol levels can be beneficial for your productivity and concentration, it does more harm than good in the long run.
Chronically increased amounts of cortisol often lead to fatigue, headaches, and cognitive impairments. Moreover, overusing the THC-infused cannabis coconut oil bears a risk of psychological side effects such as increased anxiety or paranoid behavior.
So, How Are You Going to Use Your Cannabis Coconut Oil?
Now you know everything about the benefits of cannabis coconut oil, what to use it for, how to prepare your own jar of this perfect infusion, and what to look out for.
Long story short, you’re armed and ready to take on the task and make a solid base for your future homemade cannabis products. The benefits of coconut oil and cannabis oil separately are amazing, and when brought together, these two ingredients reveal their true potential.
So, what will be the next thing you will use your cannabis coconut oil for? Leave a comment below!
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About James Reed
James Reed is the founder and editor-in-chief at iSum. He’s a big advocate of marijuana and spent most of his time writing about these topics, sharing what he learned over the years.