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Cannabis Coconut Oil vs. Cannabutter: The Best Oils for Edibles and Cannabis Infusions

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I haven’t been sleeping very well lately. It’s been rough. And after counseling many people on sleep issues, I can’t believe it took me so long to finally do something about it. Last night, I took a scant 1/4 teaspoon of some Nova Decarbed Cannabis Coconut Oil and I slept like a baby. Well… like someone else’s baby. It was 8 hours of pure bliss and I woke up feeling well rested and cheerful.

And this morning, when my brain got all fired up from all of those REM cycles, I started thinking about how I sometimes take cannabis infused oils for granted.

Since I have a kid and a business and a busy life these days, I don’t use cannabis infused oils during the day anymore. After taking several tolerance breaks and microdosing cannabis regularly, I find them to be very strong and somewhat difficult to dose.

Sometimes when I take cannabis infused oil, I like the effects so much that I take more and end up groggy and usually get the munchies. Sometimes I overdo it from the start. Sometimes they’re totally perfect and I feel like goldilocks.

But every once in awhile, I member. I member how infused oils changed my life several years ago. And when I check back in and try them again, I’m always taken aback at how helpful these infusions really can be.

I find infused oils incredible for help sleeping or calming mad anxiety and for releasing painful tension. I used to be prescribed a muscle relaxer in my pill popping days and fat based infusions have been a great replacement for that.

And the sleep… oh the sleep.

Many of you have asked me which oil is best for making weed edibles or cannacaps, and I wanted to celebrate cannabis infused oils this morning by sharing this excerpt from Wake + Bakethat goes over all of that.

Before you ask, this post doesn’t cover HOW to infuse these oils. I go over allll of the oil infusion methods I’ve ever used in the book.

And these days, I almost always use my Ardent FX or Mini when I make infused oils in my home kitchen. You can read my opinion about the Ardent here.

Viva la cannabis oil infusions!

I hope you love it 🙂

Choosing a Carrier Oil for Cannabis [an Excerpt from the Wake + Bake Cookbook]

Fat Based Oils in a Nutshell: cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are fat soluble, meaning that you can put cannabis in oil or butter and when you remove the plant material, the cannabinoids will stay put. 

The jury is still out on which oils or butters are the best carriers for cannabinoids.

And by the jury, I mean that after calling several cannabis testing labs and looking at the most up to date research, we couldn’t find a satisfactory, well designed study to use as a reference when guiding you on making the most efficient cannabis oils and butter.

So instead of arguing “Saturated fat absorbs more!” or “No you idiot! It’s not the fat, it’s the size of the fatty acid chain” like a troll on a forum, we’re going to talk to you about the pros and cons of using each fat infusion, so you can decide based on what you’d like to do with it.

I’ve made all of these and they are all effective, but you’ll have to test them yourself and adjust your dosage as necessary, because some do seem to be more potent than others (but again, the research on this topic is sparse).

I’ll also update this book [Wake + Bake] with more information as soon as we can find some conclusive evidence about potency. 

Cannabis Infused Coconut Oil

infusing coconut oil with cannabis

Cannabis coconut oil is my go-to fat-based infusion. Even though I’m not totally convinced that the high saturated fat content makes it more potent than all of the rest, it is incredibly potent and is the most versatile oil out of the bunch. It’s amazing for creating salves, baked goods and cannacaps.

On its own, coconut oil has a myriad of health benefits like improved memory, energy, digestion, and skin issues and has been known to help in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Arthritis and UTIs (to name just a few).

You can put it anywhere in your body (including on your naughty bits and up in your unspeakable parts) and it’s the basis of most of the fat-based recipes in this book. I love the flavor of cannabis infused coconut oil and when the smell fills my kitchen, a feeling of nostalgia and warm joy fill my whole body. Yeah, I’m pretty into it.

If you’re going to make just one fat based cannabis infusion from this book, I’d recommend this one. I like the big jug of unrefined Nutiva because I use it a lot and the flavor/scent is really delightful. If you don’t like the taste of coconut or you’d like to save some money, the refined stuff is a bit cheaper and doesn’t have a tropical smell.

Cannabis Infused Butter/Ghee

Butter is one of the most popular cannabis infusions out there, but I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon and call it the BEST fat based infusion.

Yes. It’s high in fat and arguably great at holding onto cannabinoids and terpenes. Sure. It’s widely available. Totally. It’s a good option if you’re allergic to coconuts. And okay. The words “buttery flavor” are a selling point.

Hash infused butter played a starring role in my cannabis infused grilled cheese induced overdose and resulting revelations that changed my business and my life. I’ll forever be grateful to infused butter for that experience. Namaste Butter. 

But there are some downsides to using butter.

First, you can’t put it all over your body… I mean, you probably can, but I don’t think butter weed lube is a thing that you could talk a sexy stranger into.

Second, dairy can agitate the digestive system and can cause a bunch of other issues. If you’re not Norwegian (or of some other cold tribe ethnicity), you could be intolerant or allergic to dairy without even knowing it. Hold on for a second, while I get my soap box.

Reports estimate that nearly 75% of the world’s population has a hard time digesting dairy and that fluctuates depending on your heritage. If you’re of northern European descent, you only have about a 25% chance of farting all night after eating two bites of ice cream. If you’re African American or asian, that number is around 80%.

Consuming conventional pasteurized dairy from factory farmed cows that are given hormones and antibiotics can also contribute to excessive mucous, inflammation and unchecked growth of candida. And despite the totally debunked myth that dairy is good for our bones (you could be more likely to break a hip if you drink milk every day), for some reason it continues to be promoted by the dairy industry as a “health” food.

As a health coach, I steer clients away from regular dairy consumption, especially if they have arthritis, MS, fibromyalgia, IBS, migraines or cancer or any other inflammatory, autoimmune or tumorous condition.

Third, one of the analytical chemists I talked to while putting this book together mentioned that it’s hard to dose because the milk fats separate in the fridge causing the suspension of the cannabinoids to have higher concentrations in one of the layers.

To me, the health benefits of cannabutter seem to be lacking and there are better options for your infusing adventures. 

Ghee doesn’t have this separating effect, has less casein in it, and grass fed varieties contain higher amounts of CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid). If you’re allergic to coconut oil, you aren’t dealing with any of the above conditions and aren’t sensitive to dairy, ghee can be a good alternative. I like this ghee

Cannabis Infused MCT Oil

cannabis and mct oil

MCT Oil is a medium chain triglyceride oil derived from coconuts. When eaten, MCT’s are digested easily and head straight for your liver. And your liver is the place where that mystical THC to 11-Hydroxy-THC takes place. So for cannabis infusions, it’s very effective. It’s also great for making extra strength weed lube, massage oil, oil pulling and cannabis coffee.

The science behind it is simple but incredible. MCTs go directly from the digestive system to the bloodstream without being digested first. This makes MCT oil ideal for people with digestive disorders. In my experience, this quick turnaround to the blood stream means that cannabis infused MCT oil comes on a little more quickly than other fat based infusions. While butter and coconut oil contain MCTs, MCT oil only contains fatty acids and is in a concentrated form making it a higher energy oil than butter or coconut oil.

Even without cannabis, I’ve been really loving putting a couple of teaspoons in my afternoon tea. I was skeptical at first about the whole MCT craze, but I really feel an energy boost that lasts for a couple of hours. MCT has a number of benefits that can help support your health while you’re medicating. Stacking functions!

I use a full spectrum MCT oil derived from organic coconuts that is solvent free (this one). If you’d like a more concentrated form of the smaller chain MCTs like Caprylic Acid, this one is very popular.

Cannabis Infused Olive Oil

infusing olive oil with cannabis

I like cannabis infused olive oil mainly for the health benefits of the oil. Olive oil is high in Oleic Acid which reduces inflammation and could be beneficial for reducing your risk of cancer. Infused olive oil is starting to show up in dispensaries, and I imagine they’ll be very popular with the foodie crowd.

I think infused olive oil is my favorite as far as flavor goes. I might be an outsider on this opinion, but since I enjoy the taste of cannabis, I find that most strains that I’ve tried pair well with olive oil and really go well with Italian dishes and salad dressings. I prefer using a short steep (1.5 hours) using the small batch stovetop method or the Levo for making infused olive oil because those methods seem to really protect the flavor.

I LOVE dipping naturally leavened bread into a plate filled with infused olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sprinkled with real salt and some cracked pepper. I also really enjoy it drizzled over some organic edamame pasta (or pasta of your choice) with some chopped basil and tomatoes (I’m eating it right now). When I really want to eat my weed and enjoy the flavors combined with healthy food, olive oil is molto bene! I use whatever olive oil I have on hand. This Kirkland brand one is affordable and surprisingly high quality. 

Other Oils I’ve Infused with Cannabis

cannabis massage oil

Avocado Oil – Avo oil is very similar to olive oil with a more nutty avocado-y flavor. Like olive oil, it has a high oleic acid content. But avocado oil especially beneficial for folks with arthritis and skin conditions (like psoriasis). It also helps with the absorption of nutrients and antioxidants. Avocado oil is best for low heat recipes and salad dressings. It can be used in place of olive oil for many recipes, but the flavor is different so taste test as you go along. I like this one

Red Palm Oil- Red palm oil has a similar fat composition to coconut oil, which makes it a great option for a cannabis carrier oil. Some people don’t enjoy the flavor (almost like artificial butter mixed with carrots). But the health benefits may outweigh the odd taste. Like coconut oil, red palm oil is filled with medium chain fatty acids. Unlike coconut oil, red palm oil also contains Vitamins A + E, high levels of carotenoids, and antioxidants that are water soluble. Red palm oil is good in capsules, and on popcorn with lots of salt, pepper, herbs and coconut oil.

Just a tip: Large palm plantations have taken over all of the orangutan habitat in Borneo and Sumatra and have burned millions of acres of rainforest jungle to dedicate to mono-cropped palms. It’s good… but nothing is that good. Only purchase unrefined virgin red palm oil and make sure to get it from a company that sources from small farms. I like this one.

Walnut Oil– My favorite for making pestos, salad dressings and dips. It’s expensive and doesn’t seem to be the most potent extraction, so you can do 1/2 MCT and 1/2 Walnut oil for a more cost effective blend. It can be used to substitute olive oil in many recipes. This one is my favorite. 

Sweet Almond – I used this oil as the base for the massage oil in The Wake + Bake Cookbook because massage therapists dig it and it absorbs into the skin quickly, but not too quickly. You can easily substitute MCT oil for Sweet Almond as a massage oil.

For more information, check out The Wake + Bake Cookbook.

What’s your favorite oil infusion? Let me know in the comments below!

Much love,



Corinne Tobias

My name is Corinne Tobias and I’m the creator of this site that is all about cannabis and health (and having a good time combining those things!). Since 2013, I’ve helped millions of people on their cannabis journey and have been featured in publications like High Times, Merry Jane, Jezelbel, Westword, and Vice.

44 thoughts on “Cannabis Coconut Oil vs. Cannabutter: The Best Oils for Edibles and Cannabis Infusions”

    1. Hi, I’ve just accidentally stumbled on to this site and so happy I did – I live in the UK and have got 6g hash the brown stuff and trying to make hash butter
      How do I decarb this in the oven? Every where it’s the green weed but none for hash. Please can you help

  1. Have you done much with raw? I juice leaves and bud. For anxiety all nerve, Nero, and MS, Parkinson’s GM. Take the leaves and little fluffy buds from the bottom of your plants. About15-20. Pretty green leaves (these can be from anywhere on plant) or with 2large buds.. or I use 10-15 little fluffy with trim… add organic carrots 6-8. Little apple juice or water. I keep a few buds and pour some juice into blender and blend,,, just can’t juice all the buds, blend some. Pour in ice cube tray. 1/2 to 1 three times a day. May give you a nice rest as well. Can improvise..sorry this is so long…

    1. I love raw cannabinoids! Just made 4 quarts of concentrated juice for ice cubes from a friends end-o-season prune. I’m going to juice some bud at harvest this year to see the difference. Do you notice a difference between the blended and juiced buds? If so, why not skip juicing and blend them all?

      Much love,

  2. Gut myself a gift the Magical Butter machine and used it the same day. This way it’s all program no need to do much only push 2 buttons. Take 1oz hybrid OG Kush (or other cannabis) 2 cups coconut oil + 2 tabsp Lacitin. Decarb cannabis in a covered mason jar lay on a cookie sheet 240 for 1 hour then let coll and put in the Magic machine with liquid coconut oil + lactin. You can do the same in a slow cooker for 2 hour 180.

  3. Hey Corrine!
    I have some bud infusing with lavender and calendula flowers into Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride oil right now. I’ve read that it’s better than MCT for salves and lotions and whatnot so I’m giving it a try.

  4. I totally agree about the olive oil. I have even made infused oil to dip bread into before, much like what you described. I’ve found that thinking of the flavor of cannabis as an herb like any other you would use in cooking is helpful for thinking of foods to put it in. I definitely tend toward savory foods after years of making edibles, firecrackers, etc.

    Then again, I’m like you and I just like the flavor of cannabis anyway! Provided it’s not burnt.

    Alright, I’ve ranted enough. Love the blog!

  5. Hi Corinne! Such a useful and informed site.
    I have been using coconut oil to do my baking and that when everything cools after being strained, there’s a layer at the bottom of the oil that’s lighter in color and softer in texture at fridge temp. Have you ever noticed this?
    I should mention I have historically used water/crock pot/ lecithin. Haven’t tried with no water yet.

  6. I infused some red palm oil. A spoonful stirred into a serving of soup, pasta, beans…any hot dish works well. Lots of health benefits.

  7. Ok I’m sold on coconut oil over butter. But I’m not a good enough baker that I know what works better in different edibles. For example I want to make some cannabis caramels but want to get the chewy texture, not soft goo. Have you ever made these with infused coconut oil and had good results?

  8. I’ve really loved all the canna oil and oil infusion/butter recipes, but have been searching for an easier than “crock pot” method. So, would love your opinion on both the Levo or MB? They’ve both been refferenced for oil infusions in your blogs, pros and cons? Thanks so much! Love Waking and Baking, looking for the easier cleanup and oil making option!

  9. Hello Corinne, I stumbled on your site by accident but I am so glad I did. I am a 10 year Army Combat Veteran that suffers from combat PTSD. I am 100% service connected disabled and reside in Oregon. One of the battles I fight on a daily basis is insomnia. Since I live in Oregon access to cannabis is not a problem. In your opinion, what would be a good recipe for edibles to help with sleep issues? Can you advise me on what strains of cannabis would work best? The sleep meds I get from the VA Hospital are horrible, addictive and down right dangerous to the point I’d rather go without sleep than take them. Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Hey! Welcome to Wake and Bake! We’re glad you’re here! Edible recipes of any kind would definitely be the way to go for sleep as the digestive process helps the effects last longer. The important part comes when choosing your strains. For most people, indica strains tend to be more relaxing and sedating, but with PTSD, high levels of THC can also excite anxiety… so watch your potency, especially if you don’t have much of a tolerance. If you can find a good Indica/CBD hybrid this would be ideal.

      Another option you have… as THC degrades over time and by exposure to air and light, it changes to a different cannabinoid called CBN. This cannabinoid has been found to be 5 times as sedative as Valium, and doesn’t have much of a psychoactive effect at all. Many dispensaries will carry CBN capsules or lozenges. You might give something like that a try. Decarbing your bud a little longer will also help produce more CBN if you’re making edibles.

      Hope this info helps and keep us posted on how it goes!

  10. I just did an olive oil infusion in my crock pot….I think it got to hot and smells burnt. Did I ruin my medicine ?? It is super dark like strong coffee 🙁

    1. I just bought an Edioven for $100. It decarbs and infuses all in one little machine. It’s less than 1/2 the price of other models I’ve tried and works just as well or better

  11. If a recipe calls for butter can I use coconut nut oil instead? Also I have a old Butterscotch brownie recipe that called for 1/4 cup of straight MJ. The recipe has 4Tbsp of plain butter. Can I add MJ coconut oil? Is 4Tbsp enough?

  12. Have you ever tried infused coconut butter (like Nutiva’s coconut manna) if so, any recommendations for ways to use it?

  13. Do you leave the lid off of the slow cooker on low for hours to infuse the oil or do you use the lid and remove long enough to stir it ? I don’t want to overheat / overcook the oil. Can you make the oil stronger than the 7grams to 1 cup to 1 tbls lecithin ratio ?

  14. Corinne, I share your views on coconut oil. I am convinced that it enhances the potency of the substrate. Terrific site you have created! Jeff

  15. Hi
    Used your recipe for cannabis infused coconut oil. I am concerned because it is all strained through cheesecloth in the fridge, but is still liquid! What did I do wrong? I did not add any water, just refined solid white Nutiva organic coconut oil, cannabis and sunflower lecithin. Is is ruined?

  16. Hi, can you please help with how i can decarb hashish the brown stuff in the oven (not the green weed) I’m trying to make hash butter. So any help in how to make this would be really really appreciated. Xx

  17. I have not yet tried the MCT oil, but I have made cannabutter and cannaoil with coconut. I like the butter for baking and the coconut oil for beverages, massage and lube.

  18. I have tried every infusion out there and this is still my go to.
    Coconut oil is the best for everything, edibles to topical.

  19. Greatly written and layed out, it’s quite challenging finding easy to glance websites nowdays. I’m often left with anxiety and rarely finish an article. I enjoyed your content

  20. Coco or cacao butter is much better than coconut oil in my opinion and trials. Coconut oil has been the worst batches of infused oils out of cacao,olive,coconut,ghee. The problem with coconut oil is that it doesn’t need to be digested by the liver making it harder for the cannabinoids to make it there.

  21. Hi. Really enjoying this site! Thanks for all the info, especially for us “Older Folk” who grew up with a different kind of weed.
    I am a culinary arts science instructor and wanted to point out that avocado oil actually has the highest smoking point of any oil. The smoking point is the temperature at which a fat begins to smoke because it starts to break down and decompose, releasing toxic fumes and free radicals. It also signals the danger of reaching the flash point where the fat will catch fire. Which is why I use avocado oil for high heat cooking. Butter has lowest smoking point, followed by olive oil. I do an experiment with my advanced students every year for them to learn this so they know which fat is best for which cooking method.

  22. Bonnie J Shoemaker

    I’ve made the coconut infused oil twice now 😀this time I quadruple the batch! It is such amazing stuff that there’s so much you can use it for🌸 thank you for the wonderful recipe! Was gonna post a picture but I’m not electronically brilliant like most lol

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