Coconut Oil and Cannabis: A Perfect Pairing
With a stash of cannabis-infused coconut oil nearby, you’ll be ready to take on the world. Even your pets will benefit. The best part? It’s super easy to make. Monica Mansfield explains how.
Cannabis-infused coconut oil is one of the most versatile products you can create right in your own kitchen. It can be used in all kinds of edibles from salad dressing and sweets to coffee and capsules. You can slather it on your skin to reduce pain and inflammation, treat eczema, or heal a sunburn. All you need is your oven and a crockpot, and you’re ready to go.
Benefits of Cannabis-Infused Coconut Oil
Even before adding cannabis, coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils on the planet. It is full of healthy saturated fats that provide a quick source of energy, boost fat burning, and increase the good HDL cholesterol in the blood, which reduces your risk of heart disease. A 2009 study showed that simply adding two tablespoons of coconut oil to your diet per day promotes a reduction in abdominal obesity.
It also has amazing benefits for your skin, hair, and nails. It is antifungal, antibacterial, full of antioxidants, and will block about 20 per cent of the UV rays from the sun. It works miracles on dry skin and eczema, tames frizzy hair, and can even be used in homemade deodorant recipes that actually work. Is there anything coconut oil can’t do?
Adding cannabis to coconut oil is a no-brainer. The high fat content gives it the ability to absorb more THC, cannabinoids, and terpenes than any other oil. Coconut oil and cannabis are a perfect match.
If you ask 10 different cannabis chefs and connoisseurs, you’re likely to get 10 different recipes for infusing your coconut oil, each varying slightly in time and temperature. Some chefs decarboxylate their cannabis first, while others don’t. At the end of the day, you may need to experiment with what you like best, but this tried and true recipe is sure to do the trick.
First things first, always decarboxylate your cannabis. Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that uses heat to convert THCA into THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. When you light up a bowl, decarboxylation occurs instantly, making THC available for absorption through inhalation. It occurs to some extent when you heat the buds in coconut oil, but your oil will be so much more potent if it’s decarbed first. The difference is dramatic.
The process is as simple as heating the cannabis in your oven. Now, there aren’t many scientific, peer-reviewed studies out there when it comes to decarboxylation, but there are a few solid experiments that have been backed up with lab testing.
Their research indicated the vapor point for many of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids was between 246.2°F and 435.2°F. Because of this, they stressed the importance of keeping the oven temperature at 240°F or below so as not to lose any of the medicinal benefits.
Read also: Decarboxylation: Activating THC in Cannabis
The THCA content of the kief was 24.5 per cent before decarbing, 2.6 per cent after 30 minutes, and 0.1 per cent after 60 minutes. The THC content of the kief was 3.8 per cent before decarbing, 25.4 per cent after 30 minutes, and 25.5 per cent after 60 minutes.
The THCA content of the trim was 6.5 per cent before decarbing, 2.9 per cent after 30 minutes, and 0.2 per cent after 60 minutes. The THC content of the trim was 0.6 per cent before decarbing, 4.8 per cent after 30 minutes, and 6.9 per cent after 60 minutes.
Their lab results indicate the THCA fully converts to THC after 30 minutes in a 240°F oven for kief, and after 60 minutes (at 240°F) for trim. This data is the basis for the following recipe and you’re sure to be happy with the results.
Step 1: Decarboxylate
To decarb your cannabis, preheat your oven to 240°F. Break up your buds and lay them in a glass pan or on a cookie sheet. Place the pan on the middle rack and set your timer for one hour. When the time is up, your cannabis will have a bit of a roasted smell to it. Super easy.
Step 2: Infuse
Now you’re going to add equal parts cannabis and coconut oil to your crockpot. The easiest way to do this is to add the coconut oil first so it can melt down to a liquid, since it is solid at room temperature. Then add the cannabis and mix so it is completely covered by the oil. Set the crockpot on low for eight hours, stirring occasionally, and wait.
Fair warning, this is a smelly endeavor, so if you don’t want your house to smell like cannabis all day then you might want to put the crockpot out in the garage or in a separate room with the door shut.
Step 3: Strain
Once the oil is done cooking, you’ll need to strain it to remove the plant matter. Layer a few pieces of cheesecloth in a colander and place the colander over a bowl.
After you pour all the oil through the colander, gather the corners of the cheesecloth and squeeze any remaining oil out of the buds.
Let the oil cool down a little, but not enough to solidify, and then pour the oil into a container of your choice. The original coconut oil container is an ideal and discreet way to store your oil.
That’s it. You now have your own batch of cannabis-infused coconut oil to do with as you please.
Read also: Understanding Hemp, CBD, and Cannabis Oils
Here are some great ways to use your cannabis oil:
- Use as-is for topical pain relief. You may be a little skeptical about how effective it will be for your sore muscles, but the relief is almost instant. The pain dissipates almost as soon as you rub it in.
- The smell isn’t too skunky, but if you want to get fancy, you can add essential oils to your oil make it smell pretty. Coconut oil is an ideal carrier oil for essential oils. Lemon, orange, and peppermint oil are great options.
- You can also make your oil into more of a lotion by whipping it up with vitamin E oil and some cocoa butter.
- Anti-aging face moisturizer. There are so many stories from older women about how cannabis coconut oil dramatically reduced their wrinkles. Apply the oil to your face as a night cream and watch your fine lines get finer. It’s also great for treating eczema and sunburns.
- Add a scoop to your coffee. Nothing is quite as wonderful as cannabis and coffee together. You can even mix it up in a blender if you want a frothy texture.
- Put it in capsules for easy dosing. You’ll have to experiment to find your ideal dose, but once you find it, use a syringe or dropper to easily add it to some gelatin capsules for a discreet way to consume.
- You can replace coconut oil in any recipe with your cannabis-infused oil. Use it to sauté vegetables, make desserts, prepare meat dishes and eggs, add to sauces, drizzle over pasta, put it in a smoothie, add it to your tea, make a salad dressing, or even add a scoop to a bowl of soup. The possibilities are endless. But a word of caution: dose responsibly. This oil is strong and it’s never pleasant to green out.
- Give it to your pets for pain and anxiety. Senior dogs with arthritis and all dogs on the 4th of July will benefit from a small dose of oil. Too much might make them throw up, but a dose about the size of three to four grains of rice for an 80-pound dog is perfect. In about 15 minutes, your old dog will feel young again. And fireworks? What fireworks?
Now that you have your cannabis-infused coconut oil prepared and have plenty of ideas on how to use it, go ahead, take a bite and rub it on your sore spots. You’ll be feeling happy, relaxed, and pain-free in no time.