This easy, step-by-step guide will teach you how to make cannabis-infused olive oil at home. This recipe is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to make a dairy-free, plant-based, cannabis olive 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!
How to Make Cannabis-Infused Olive Oil
Cannabis-infused olive oil is a light, delicious, and versatile cannabis infusion that is an important staple recipe for any cannabis consumer to master.
Making infused cannabis olive oil is a fairly straightforward process that uses both heat and fat to decarboxylate the cannabis flower and extract the cannabinoids from the plant.
The method involves heating the olive oil and cannabis flowers together in a closed container placed inside in a temperature-controlled water bath.
This simple process allows you to essentially ‘set it and forget it’ once it is all set up. The final product is a cannabis-infused oil that can then be used to make so many different delicious cannabis recipes like our popular cannabis-infused pesto.
Please join my Well With Cannabis Facebook Community if you have any questions about cooking with cannabis, making cannabis-infused olive oil, how to make this recipe specifically, or anything else you can think of!
Decarboxylate Your Cannabis
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.
Consuming dried cannabis flower buds or raw cannabis will provide little to no intoxicating effect at all. Although there are associated health benefits with CBDA and THCA, 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 homemade edibles.
For this recipe, we decarboxylated our cannabis flower in the oven before combining it with the olive oil and placing it into the crockpot, therefore, we can have a shorter cooking time, about four hours.
If you’re brand new to the process of decarboxylation, get our full decarbing guide here.
OLIVE OIL FOR YOUR HEALTH
Extra-virgin olive oil is widely known as one of the world’s healthiest oils. So much so that people tend to live longer and healthier lives in areas where olive oil is a staple part of the diet.
Like hemp seeds and hemp seed oil, EVOO has a high percentage of omega-3 fatty acids.
These omega fats include polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats which are not only healthy but actually essential for proper heart health. In fact, according to the FDA, having two tablespoons of EVOO daily may reduce your risk of heart disease (1).
EVOO is also extremely rich in antioxidants. It contains polyphenols which act as antioxidants by reducing the oxidative stress throughout your body.
Antioxidants also aid in strengthening your immune system, making your body more resistant to infections and inflammation.
In addition, this oil has also been proven to help regulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity, assist in reducing risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and aid in weight loss.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil vs. Pure Olive OiL
There are many different types of olive oil on the market today.
Extra-virgin olive oil is unrefined and the highest-quality olive oil you can buy. It is cold-pressed, meaning that it undergoes no heat during extraction and is in it’s raw, organic form.
EVOO is made from pure, cold-pressed olives and is not treated with chemicals or altered by temperature. It also contains more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in olives.
Finally, extra virgin olive oil has more of the true olive taste, and it has a lower level of oleic acid than other olive oil varieties.
Pure olive oil is a blend of both cold-pressed EVOO and other processed oils. The process of extracting this oil involves heating and/or chemical use, removing any flaws from the fruit.
Pure olive oil is lower quality when compared to extra-virgin olive oil. It also has a lighter color, more neutral flavor, and a higher oleic acid content (3-4%).
So how does it affect your cooking?
Extra-virgin olive oil has a smoke point of 400° Fahrenheit, which is why EVOO is often times suggested to be used for dips, dressings, and any other uncooked applications.
Pure olive oil is considered an all-purpose oil. It is much lighter in color, and can withstand higher heat, making it a more useful oil for sauteing frying, and other cooked applications.
Just like with olive oil, when working with cannabis, the temperature is very important. Heating cannabis at too high of a temperature can denature the compounds and create little to no effect at all.
If cannabis is heated above 300° Fahrenheit, you run the risk of denaturing many important plant compounds. For this reason, we recommend using an instant digital-read thermometer during your cooking process to ensure you never go above the safe temperature threshold.
That is why, if you are going to be using olive oil for cooking, choosing a regular olive oil to infuse will be the best choice. If you are planning to use the olive oil for non-cooking methods, extra virgin olive oil is the recommended choice.
Additional Factors to Consider
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:
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. There are CBD dominant hemp flower options and THC dominant cannabis flower options to choose from.
THE FRESHNESS OF PRODUCT
You will have noticeable differences in the final product depending on the freshness of the material you start with.
Cannabis coconut oil can be made with raw cannabis leaf trimmings to make a CBDA dominant oil 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, the cannabinoid concentration of the material, and this will ultimately impact the potency of your final product.
You can make cannabis coconut oil with various pieces of equipment like a crockpot or slow cooker or instant pot, but there will be small variables in the cooking equipment which may impact your final product.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH THE PULP?
After the straining process to separate the plant matter from your infused oil, you will be leftover with a ball of spent cannabis flower, also called leftover pulp or sludge.
While it would be extremely difficult to guestimate the potency of what is leftover in the cannabis pulp, an educated guess as a registered dietitian tells me that at the very least, there would be important plant nutrients like dietary fiber.
Anecdotally, many people have reported still receiving pleasant, intoxicating high effects when consuming the pulp, supporting the theory that at least some percentage of cannabinoids are left behind in the plant matter.
We believe in both nutrition and sustainability and appreciation for the beautiful cannabis plant, so we keep our leftover pulp to use in any one of these 15 Recipes To Use Up Leftover Cannabis Pulp.
CAN I INFUSE Olive OIL WITH FECO OR RSO?
Yes, you can infuse olive oil with full-extract cannabis oil FECO (or RSO) instead of cannabis flowers.
Because of the sticky, molasses-like texture of the FECO, many people prefer to mix in a carrier oil which will help to dilute the FECO and make a more viscous, tincture-like oil.
I recommend mixing 1mL of FECO with 30mL of olive oil for a strong batch, but you can choose to mix 1mL FECO with your desired amount of oil.
- 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 warm to hot water to cover the top of the mason jars you plan on using by an inch to create a water bath.
- Place the digital instant-read thermometer into the water. Start the crockpot heat on high. When a temperature of 185° F is reached, turn the crockpot to low.
- While the water bath is heating in the crockpot, measure and decarb the cannabis flower in the oven at 240° F for 40 minutes. Click here for a full cannabis decarboxylation tutorial, if needed.
- Evenly divide the olive oil between the mason jars you plan on using. You can either use pint-sized or half-pint sized jars, it’s you’re preference, just be sure they fit in your crockpot. No matter the size, be sure to leave a 1/2 inch headspace from the top.
- Evenly divide the decarbed flower between the olive 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 tightness, it does not have to be tightened all the way. Do not tighten too tightly.
- Once the water bath reaches a temperature of 185° F, carefully place the jars into the water bath. Place the lid on the crockpot and leave alone to infuse for 4 hours.
- After 4 hours, carefully remove the lid, followed by the jars from the hot water. Set them aside to cool.
- Once cool enough to handle, you will want to strain the oil through a paper filter and funnel or cheesecloth to separate the plant-matter from the coconut oil.
- Save the leftover cannabis pulp for use in future recipes. Then return the prepared cannabis olive oil to whatever jar you would like to store it in.
- Store the prepared cannabis olive oil in a cool, dry place. It will last longer if stored in the refrigerator and even longer if stored in the freezer.
*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 for safety and hygiene.
*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.
*If you are storing the oil in the fridge or freezer, never use the microwave to soften it, as the heat will destroy important cannabinoids.
FURTHER YOUR CANNABIS EDUCATION
Are you looking for a more in-depth way to learn about cannabis and how to use it to maximize your healthy and wellness, I would love to invite you to learn more about my Cannabis Compass Online Course.
This online cannabis education course will show you how to use, apply, and dose cannabis in a safe and effective way so that you can begin to manage your anxiety, pain, and inflammation the natural way, from the comfort of your own home.