How to make cannabis cooking oil
Infusion is often the most challenging part of cooking with cannabis and the reason why many people turn to their vaporizer in defeat. I’m here to tell you that you can do this! Not only is it doable, but it’s worth it.
If you haven’t yet discovered the wonder that is cannabis-infused eating, I’m excited for you because you’re in for an adventure. The experience from start to finish is significantly different from common inhalation methods. The effects are typically longer, stronger, and slower to set in.
For this reason, always start with a low dose and see how an edible affects you—especially if you’re cooking your own as it is impossible to calculate their potency.
Self-isolating? Order cannabis online with Leafly Pickup or Delivery
Cannabis-infused oil is probably the most versatile medium and a great place to start, since it can be used for baking desserts, sautéing veggies, frying up your morning eggs, or putting in your salad dressing. In addition, as is the case with cooking anything at home, you have complete control over its preparation. Does peanut oil hold a special place in your heart? Make cannabis-infused peanut oil!
Recipe for cannabis cooking oil
- 1 cup of ground cannabis flower (or less for milder potency)
- 1 cup of cooking oil of your choice
Note: When making canna oil, you want to use a 1:1 ratio of cannabis to oil.
Choosing the right cooking oil base for your canna oil
Picking the right oil for infusion comes down to your flavor preferences and the dishes you plan on cooking. Oils will have different consistencies at room temperature, so be sure to put thought into how you will be storing and using your oil.
Many oils work well with baking too! So you might want to choose an oil that will have a flavor and consistency that works for multiple recipes. For example, if you are looking for an oil that can be used in a stir fry as well as a pie crust, coconut oil is a great option. It adds great flavor to veggies and remains solid enough at room temperature to hold up as a pie crust.
If you are looking for an oil with a mild flavor, vegetable and canola oil are going to be great options. They are also very versatile and work with most recipes calling for oil.
If you want something a little more robust in flavor, you can infuse olive or avocado oil. Both stand up well to the cannabis flavor and can be stored in your pantry. One of the most surprisingly delicious deserts I ever had was an olive oil ice cream. So feel free to get creative!
- Strainer or cheesecloth
- Grinder (a simple hand grinder works best; appliances like blenders and coffee grinder pulverize the cannabis, resulting in edibles with bad tasting plant material)
- Double-boiler, slow cooker, or saucepan, etc.
- Grind the cannabis. You can include the entire plant, just the flower, a little bit of both—this is all a matter of preference. Just keep in mind that anything small enough to fit through the strainer will end up in your finished product, so again, do not grind your cannabis into a fine powder.
- Combine oil and cannabis in your double-boiler, slow cooker, or saucepan, and heat on low or warm for a few hours. This allows for decarboxylation (activation of THC) without scorching (which destroys the active ingredients). In all cases, a small amount of water can be added to the mixture to help avoid burning, and the temperature of the oil should never exceed 245°F. Cooking can be done a variety of ways:
- Crock pot method: Heat oil and cannabis in a slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Double-boiler method: Heat oil and cannabis in a double-boiler on low for at least 6 hours (8 is better), stirring occasionally.
- Saucepan method: Heat oil and cannabis in a simple saucepan on low for at least 3 hours, stirring frequently (a saucepan is most susceptible to scorching).
- Strain and store the oil. Do not squeeze the cheesecloth; this will simply add more chlorophyll to your oil. All remaining plant material can be discarded or used in other dishes if desired. The oil’s shelf life is at least two months, and can be extended with refrigeration.
Note: Be cautious when using the oil to prepare dishes that require heating. Do not microwave and choose low heat whenever possible.
Tips for reducing odor when making cannabis oil
The trick for reducing odor is using the right tool for decarboxylation. The steam produced during cooking might not give off a pungent odor at first, but it gets stronger with time. It takes hours for the oil to finish, so you can imagine that the odor can build, and, if you are in the same room the whole time, you may not notice the gradual increase in dankness.
Using kitchen devices with rubber seals on their lids will allow you to lock in the majority of the odor during the cook. Finding a crock pot or pressure cooker with this feature is easy. The seal allows you to be strategic in where and when you open the lid.
Whether you take it outside or put it under your kitchen vent, not allowing the odor to fill your space is paramount when it comes to discretion. But accidents happen! If you find yourself in a situation where your space is too pungent, check out our article on how to get rid of the cannabis odor.
How to cook with your weed oil
Now that you have successfully infused your oil of choice, be sure to try a little before you make an entire meal. You want to make sure the dosage is right so the meal is delicious as well as enjoyable afterward.
You also want to be sure not to scorch the oil while cooking (just like when you are making the oil). It would be a shame for all that hard work to go to waste and to be left with a cannabis-tasting creation without any of the effects.
Now get cooking! I suggest finding a few of your favorite recipes and see if an infused-cannabis oil could work. Experimenting with different recipes is half the fun, and here are a few of our favorite recipes to get you going:
- Martha Stewart’s “to-die-for” pot brownies: A classic done right!
- Cannabis-infused mayo: From ranch dressing to aioli, mayo is the base to some of your favorite condiments!
- Cannabis-infused coconut roasted citrus shrimp: Feeling fancy?
- Cannabis-infused chocolate hazelnut spread: Find a dessert or savory snack this doesn’t make taste better, I’ll wait.
- Canna-oil vinaigrette: Balsamic vinaigrettes are great too!
Next up: Learn how to make infused coconut oil!
This post was originally published on September 19, 2013. It was most recently updated on March 20, 2020.
Learn how to make cannabis oil to use when baking desserts, sautéing veggies, frying up your morning eggs, or in your salad dressing in 3 easy steps.
Cooking with CBD oil is only worth it if you keep these 4 rules in mind
WeвЂ™ve officially reached peak CBD obsession. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a non-inebriating compound in cannabis believed to soothe anxiety and pain, as well as facilitate sleep, among other benefits. CBD oil has emerged in a myriad of food productsвЂ”not only your classic gummies and chocolate bars, but even salad dressing, pizza, and tacos. Whether it works, especially in the small doses that go into food, is still up for debate. Still, you can hit up countless dispensaries and eateries for CBD-infused bites, and you can also whip up your own. As with any ingredient, though, there are a few cardinal rules for cooking with CBD.
Henry Lu, executive chef of LoosieвЂ™s Kitchen in Brooklyn, and Gabe Kennedy, cofounder of cannabis wellness brand Plant People and the Season 3 winner of ABCвЂ™s primetime cooking competition, The Taste, dished advice on how to cook with CBD oil to ensure your CBD-spiked dishes are not only delicious and responsibly sourced, but also retain the compoundвЂ™s potential efficacy.
Do your research
Treat CBD as you would any ingredient, and investigate how it was sourced. In general, CBD extracts fall into three categories: full-spectrum oil, broad-spectrum oil, or isolate powder, Kennedy explains. Full-spectrum oil contains high levels of CBD and less than 0.3% THC, the compound that gets you high. (CBD and THC are cannabinoids, compounds that act on the bodyвЂ™s endocannabinoid system, hypothesized to help regulate pain, mood and other biological functions.) CBD oil also contains other cannabinoids, terpenes (compounds that give cannabis its smell), and phytonutrients. Broad-spectrum oil contains high levels of CBD, no THC, and lower levels of other cannabinoids and terpenes than full-spectrum oil, while CBD isolate consists almost entirely of CBD.
Plant People, for example, uses full-spectrum oil. вЂњFrom our perspective, the closer to the whole plant, the better,вЂќ Kennedy says. Indeed, some research suggests that THC and other compounds in cannabis act synergistically to yield its various biological effects, which Kennedy likens to how whole foods offer greater nutrition and other benefits than dietary supplements.
He also suggests checking a productвЂ™s lab results to ensure that it contains what the company claims it contains, and that it doesnвЂ™t contain heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides, or residual solvents from the extraction process, which may also be harmful. Many companies publish lab results on their website, and some product labels display quick response, or QR codes that direct you to them.
Start low, and go slow
Everyone responds differently to CBD oil. Kennedy suggests limiting yourself to 10 mg of full-spectrum oil to start out. If you feel good, add a slightly higher dose the next time around. And if you have any questions regarding dosage, consult with a medical professional.
DonвЂ™t overheat it
DonвЂ™t cook CBD oil over direct heat вЂ” don’t even saute with it, and definitely don’t deep fry with it, Kennedy says. Lu agrees, and also recommends not heating it above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. вЂњItвЂ™s not a very good cooking oil,” he says. “It gets really bitter.вЂќ Overheating the oil could also cause the CBD to lose its potential efficacy. Lu likes blending it into vinaigrettes or using it as a finishing oil.
For hardcore culinary geeks, he suggests poaching with CBD oil at very low temperatures using an immersion circulator, a device that allows you to cook food slowly, with precise temperature control. Try poaching tomatoes, which are in season now, in CBD oil. вЂњGet them nice and tender,вЂќ Lu says. Add herbs like rosemary and thyme into the oil for extra flavor.
Let its natural flavor shine
Although flavor varies from one brand to the next, generally speaking, CBD oil tastes like вЂњa very earthy, aggressive olive oil,вЂќ Lu says. вЂњThereвЂ™s a very distinct smell and flavor to it, almost like cut grass infused in olive oil.вЂќ It may not be a flavor youвЂ™re used to, but that doesnвЂ™t mean you need to mask it. Lu’s philosophy? вЂњIf youвЂ™re going to use something, let it shine.” You can add a pinch of salt and a spritz of lemon before drizzling it over a dish, but you donвЂ™t need to.
If youвЂ™re worried about CBD oil overpowering an entire dish with its robust flavor, create balance by spreading it out over multiple parts of a dish, Lu suggests. Not only does he incorporate it into, say, aioli, but he also dresses salads with it and uses it as a finishing oil. ThereвЂ™s a wide array of CBD-infused olive oils on the market, which may have lower concentrations of CBD than CBD oil, but are easier to use in cooking. Plant People and Vireo both sell CBD-infused extra virgin olive oils that can be more user-friendly than straight CBD oil when youвЂ™re using it in food or drinks.
Cooking with CBD oil may seem intimidating, but, again, think of it as just another ingredient in your pantry. Check out this mouthwatering pesto recipe from Lu (which is amazing slathered on roasted cauliflower, fyi), plus a refreshing hemp smoothie recipe from Kennedy and Plant People, to get you started:
Cilantro Cashew Pesto
Whisk ingredients in a bowl.
Nourishing hemp smoothie
Blend all ingredients until smooth and top with garnishes.
WeвЂ™ve officially reached peak CBD obsession. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a non-inebriating compound in cannabis believed to soothe anxiety and pain, as well as facilitate sleep, among other benefits. CBD oil has emerged in a myriad of foodвЂ¦