This easy, step-by-step beginner’s guide will teach you how to make cannabis coconut oil at home. It is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to make a dairy-free, plant-based, cannabis-infused coconut oil that can be used as a base for many cannabis-infused recipes and self-care products.
Are You New to Consuming Cannabis Edibles? Be sure to read my Beginners Guide to Consuming Cannabis Edibles before getting started to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience!
Dairy-Free Cannabis Coconut Oil
Cannabis coconut oil can serve as a cannabutter alternative and is also an important staple recipe for any cannabis consumer to master.
Making infused cannabis coconut oil is a fairly straightforward process that uses both heat and fat to decarboxylate the cannabis flower and extract the cannabinoids from the plant. This process extracts a broad-spectrum of cannabinoids and plant compounds from the plant.
Find all of my cannabis recipes here.
Don’t Forget to Decarboxylate
Consuming raw or dried cannabis flower buds will provide little to no intoxicating effect at all. This can be good or bad depending on your desired experience. However, most cannabis consumers want to feel the full effects of CBD or THC when making edibles.
In order to reap the benefits of activated CBD or THC, cannabis decarboxylation must occur before cooking, baking, or extracting oil from the dried flower buds of the cannabis plant.
For this recipe, we decarboxylated our cannabis flower in the oven before combining it with the coconut oil and placing it into the crockpot, therefore, we can have a shorter cooking time, about four hours.
Truthfully, you can skip the extra decarboxylation step altogether and simply adjust your cooking times to cook the coconut oil for longer, at least 8 hours. The longer cooking decarboxylates the flower for you.
Cannabis Oil For Your Health
As a Holistic Cannabis Practitioner, I help my students improve their lives with my holistic cannabis plus nutrition approach. Many of my clients follow a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, which is why I needed a cannabis-infused butter recipe that was dairy-free.
Coconut oil is the perfect substitute for butter when making dairy-free and vegan cannabutter. The coconut oil performs similarly to the butter in regards to extracting the cannabinoids from the plant matter, and it remains solid at room temperature like butter.
Coconut oil is naturally dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, and allergen-friendly. This cannabis-infused coconut oil is a great option for anyone who is following a specialty diet or just looking for an alternative to traditional butter.
Important Factors to Consider
If you asked 100 different Chefs, you would likely get 100 different variations on how to make your own cannabis-infused coconut oil or butter at home. There are a lot of factors that can affect your end results when cooking with cannabis.
Here are a few additional considerations to keep in mind:
It is important to keep tight temperature control applying cannabis to various culinary applications. While heat is needed to decarboxylate the acids into the active form of cannabinoids our bodies can use, extreme temperatures can destroy many of the important plant materials that contribute to positive health outcomes, like terpenes.
Each individual terpene may have it’s own therapeutic health benefits, but also carries its own sensitivity to heat. If cannabis is heated above 300 degrees farenheit, you run the risk of denaturing many important plant compounds.
The Strain of Cannabis Used
The strain of cannabis flower you are using will impact decarboxylation time and temperature recommendations. Each cannabis strain contains varying amounts and ratios of different cannabinoids and terpenes.
Because each cannabinoid and terpene decarboxylates at a different temperature, you will want to consider the best temperature and cooking time for your particular strain.
Additionally, the final potency and intoxicating effects will vary depending on if it is a THC or CBD dominant strain.
The Freshness of Product
You will have noticeable differences in the final product depending on the freshness of the material you start with. Cannabis oil coconut oil can be made with raw cannabis leaf trimmings, and it can also be made with traditionally dried and cured flower buds.
The concentration of cannabinoids will vary with the freshness of the starting material, impacting your final product.
You can make cannabis coconut oil with various pieces of equipment like a crockpot, slow cooker, or instant pot, but there will be small variables in the cooking equipment which may impact your final product.
Different crockpots will have different temperatures when setting to the same setting, which is why we recommend a digital thermometer be used throughout the cooking process.
What Type of Oil to Use
There are many different types of coconut oil on the market today, the three most common being unrefined coconut oil, refined coconut oil, and MCT coconut oil.
It is ultimately your decision on which type of oil you want to infuse, but here are some important considerations when making your decision.
Virgin or Unrefined Coconut Oil
Virgin or unrefined coconut oil is about as close to the natural substance as you can get. Unrefined coconut oil is made from the ‘meat’ of fresh coconuts and then cold-pressed, leaving just the oil which has a pure coconut flavor.
Unrefined coconut oil has a more natural, more prominent, topical coconut taste and smell. Like refined coconut oil, unrefined coconut oil is 63% MCTs and 50% lauric acid, meaning it infuses exactly the same.
If you choose to use unrefined coconut oil, this is the organic virgin unrefined coconut oil we recommend.
refined Coconut Oil
Refined coconut oil is an oil made from dried coconuts that have been put through additional processing. Some companies use harsh chemicals to bleach the coconut to remove the taste and flavor, while others use steam to refine the oil.
Refined coconut oil has a very neutral taste and flavor, making it easier to work within certain recipes where the coconut taste is not wanted.
Many people prefer refined coconut oil because it has a less prominent coconut taste. Like unrefined coconut oil, refined coconut oil is 63% MCTs and 50% lauric acid, meaning it infuses exactly the same.
If you choose refined coconut oil, you will always want to make sure you choose organic steam refined coconut oil like this one we recommend.
MCT Coconut Oil
MCTs are a type of saturated fat extracted from coconuts that are rapidly digested and absorbed by the body. Many people prefer this liquid oil for infusions because it is tasteless and some people find it easier to digest.
“Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a unique type of fatty acid naturally found in coconuts that support the metabolism and are easily digested and burned by the body for energy and fuel” (1).
The process for infusing MCT cannabis oil is exactly the same as refined or unrefined coconut oil. One important thing to note is that MCT oil in large amounts may cause digestive distress in some individuals.
If you choose to use type oil, this is the MCT oil product we recommend.
DO I NEED TO ADD LECITHIN?
Lecithin is a natural phospholipid substance derived from soybeans, sunflowers, eggs, and avocados. Traditionally, lecithin is used as a binder to keep opposing ingredients together in recipes like olive oil & vinegar dressings.
Many cannabis chefs swear by adding lecithin to their infusions to make them stronger or the cannabinoids more easily absorbed by the body, although the actual science is still out on whether or not it actually works and how well.
In theory, using lecithin will make valuable cannabinoids like CBD and THC more bioavailable, or ready for use by the body, ultimatley making the edible stronger.
Alternatively, other chefs only use lecithin when combining the cannaoil with other ingredients to make recipes like gummies.
Like MCT oil, some people anecdotally report that lecithin causes digestive issues.
You will definitely still have a great infused cannaoil if you don’t use lecithin, it’s not a make or break ingredient for this recipe. But feel free to use it if you want. Its ultimately personal preference.
SUNFLOWER LECITHIN VS SOY LECITHIN
As a registered dietitian nutritionist, my vote is for sunflower lecithin over soy. Soy is a heavily genetically modified crop that often exacerbates health problems in certain individuals. Sunflower lecithin is available in powder and liquid form, but the liquid is easier to work withi n this recipe.
If you choose to use sunflower lecithin in this recipe, this is the sunflower lecithin product we recommend.
- Lay a clean tea towel down on the bottom of the crockpot. This will create a buffer between your mason jars and the crockpot, potentially preventing any jar moving or cracking during cooking.
- Fill your crockpot with enough hot water to cover the top of the mason jars you plan on using by an inch to create a water bath. We used these jars.
- Start the heat on high then turn to low when a temperature of 185° F is reached.
- While the water bath is heating in the crockpot, measure and decarb the cannabis flower in the oven at 240° F for 40 minutes. If needed, click here for a full cannabis decarboxylation tutorial.
- Evenly divide the coconut oil between the mason jars, leaving a 1/2 inch space from the top. If using sunflower lecithin, add it in here.
- Divide the decarbed flower between the coconut oil filled jars. Wipe the rim of the jars with a clean paper towel and place the lid on, tighten the metal ring to finger-tip tight. It does not have to be tightened all the way.
- Carefully place the jars into the water bath, place the lid on the crockpot, and cook for 4 hours.
- After 4 hours, carefully remove the jars from the water and allow them to cool enough to handle. Strain the cannabis oil through a paper filter or cheesecloth to separate the plant-matter from the coconut oil.
- Return the prepared cannabis oil to whatever jar you would like to store it in.
- Store this oil in a cool, dry place. It will last longer in the refrigerator and even longer in the freezer. If you are storing the oil in the fridge, never use the microwave to soften it as it could destroy the cannabinoids.
– We recommend you sanitize your jars by keeping them submerged in the 185° F crockpot for 10 at least minutes. This step is not necessary, but good practice.
– Sometimes the mason jar will float when placed in the water bath. This is no need for concern, simply put something heat and water safe over the top of the jar to weigh it down, a clean rock works well.
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g