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How to Make Homemade Cannabis Oil

Learn how to easily make potent and healing homemade cannabis-infused oil, ready to use in edible recipes, topical salves, or even enjoy straight on its own. You can use marijuana, hemp, high CBD, high THC (or any combination thereof) - whatever is legal and desirable for you.
Prep Time10 mins
Active Time1 hr
Decarb Time (if not already done)25 mins
Keyword: Cannabis edibles, Cannabis Oil, Cannabis-infused oil, CBD Oil, Hemp Oil
Yield: 1 cup

Equipment

  • A double-boiler, or make-shift double boiler (such as a glass pyrex bowl or stainless steel bowl perched on top of a saucepan with water below) OR a crock pot/slow cooker
  • Cheesecloth, like this organic unbleached cheesecloth
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Glass bowl
  • Storage container, such as a mason jar with lid
  • Recommended: a probe thermometer
  • A baking sheet, if not using already-decarboxylated cannabis

Materials

  • 1 cup Coconut oil, or other oil of choice (e.g. olive oil)
  • 1 cup Loosely ground decarboxylated cannabis. To be more precise, I suggest to use a kitchen scale to weigh out approximately 7 to 10 grams (a quarter ounce or just over), depending on your tolerance. (If not yet decarbed, see Step 1 below)
  • Optional: a few grams of raw cannabis

Instructions

  • If your cannabis is not yet decarboxylated, grind or tear it up into fairly small pieces. Spread evenly on a baking sheet, and heat it in the oven on 250°F for 25 to 30 minutes. For high-CBD strains, heat it at the same temperature but for 50 to 60 minutes. Or, 45 minutes for balanced THC/CBD strains.
  • Add water to the bottom pan of your double-boiler. Now add 1 cup of coconut oil to the top section of the double-boiler. Heat until it melts. (OR, on the low/warm setting in a crock pot)
  • Stir in 7-10 grams of decarboxylated cannabis into the melted oil. Feel free to also include an optional few grams of raw ground cannabis if you desire.
  • Continue to heat the cannabis and oil over a low heat for 30 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use a probe thermometer to check the temperature. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain the oil below 200°F. (We aim for 130 to 150°F, and infuse for one hour)
  • When the time is up, line a strainer with cheesecloth and position it over a glass bowl. Pour the cannabis and oil mixture through the strainer. Gather the cheesecloth and gently squeeze out the excess oil from the cannabis. Warning: the oil will be hot, and your hands will get greasy! You may want to wear food-grade gloves.
  • Transfer the strained cannabis-infused oil into a glass storage container with a tight-fitting lid. Store the finished oil in a cool dark location.
  • Ideally, use your cannabis oil within 6 months to 1 year. As long as it doesn’t mold, the oil doesn’t “go bad” over time - though the potency can decrease as some THC will naturally convert to a more sleepy cannabinoid called CBN.
  • Enjoy your cannabis oil in body care recipes, meals, or medicated edible recipes. Going forward, try to use as low of heat and cooking time as possible to preserve cannabinoids and terpenes. For example, look for “no bake” cookie or chocolate recipes, or ones that you can only lightly heat the oil again in a double-boiler. Add oil to warm tea with honey. Spread on toast or add to cooked pasta, like butter.
  • See dosing notes below.

Notes

Important Notes on Dosing:
It is nearly impossible to determine the exact potency of homemade edibles (without lab testing, not practical or affordable) no matter if you are using homegrown or dispensary cannabis. There are simply too many variables and opportunities (time/temp) for the THC or CBD to increase or decrease in concentration throughout the process.
Therefore, always start out with very small amounts of cannabis edibles or oil (particularly those containing THC) – also known as “micro-dosing”. Try 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of straight oil and then scale up next time if needed – but not right away! Remember, it can take up to three hours to "kick in".
Sublingual dosing (holding oil under your tongue) offers a faster onset, shorter duration, and lower intensity than traditional oral cannabis edibles.
Once you do figure out the perfect personal dose for your homemade oil, you can work your math magic with an edible recipe to determine how much of it to eat. For example, say my perfect dose is 1/2 teaspoon. I want to make this chocolate recipe, which calls for 1/2 a cup of coconut oil. With a quick Google search, I see that there are 24 teaspoons in half a cup. That means there are 48 Deanna-size doses worth of cannabis oil in that batch of chocolate!
In a perfect world, that recipe yields me 48 individual chocolates, ready to pop in my mouth in the “just right” dose. However, the final yield will depend on the type of chocolate mold I use. Perhaps I will end up with only 24 chocolates. Then, I would need to only eat half a chocolate at a time. Get it? You can apply the same math magic to a cookie recipe, tub of frosting, or whatever else you dream up – assuming you portion them out evenly.
Keep out of reach from children.