I haven't been sleeping very well lately. It has been rugged. 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 Infused 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 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 edibles or cannacaps, and I wanted to celebrate cannabis infused oils this morning by sharing this excerpt from Dazed + Infused that 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.
Viva la cannabis oil infusions!
I hope you love it 🙂
Choosing a Carrier Oil for Cannabis [an Excerpt from Dazed + Infused]
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 [Dazed + Infused] with more information as soon as we can find some conclusive evidence about potency.
Cannabis Infused Coconut Oil
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
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
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
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 Dazed + Infused 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 Dazed + Infused.