When I want to make really potent, really healthy edibles or topicals, this cannabis coconut oil is my go-to infusion.
It’s the most popular recipe here on Wake + Bake and it’s the basis of all of the recipes in Wake & Bake: a cookbook. Instead of making a bunch of different butters and tinctures, you just make this cannabis infused coconut oil (lovelingly dubbed “green monster oil” in the book), and plug it in to any of your favorite recipes.
I use this coconut oil almost every day.
Whether I’m rubbing it into sore muscles, baking it into vegan or paleo edibles, tossing a teaspoon into a smoothie or some coffee, or cracking open a jar of weed lube, I seem to find a way to use this oil in new ways all of the time.
In this post, we’ll talk about:
- why cannabis and coconut oil belong together… for-eva
- what decarboxylation is and why it’s the step you can’t skip
- how lecithin can boost the absorption of cannabinoids and how to incorporate it into your cannabis oil recipes
- a simple method for making cannabis coconut oil in a crock pot, with alternatives like the mason jar method and using a Levo
And allllll sorts of other fun things. By the time you leave this post, you will be your local expert on cannabis infused coconut oil. So be prepared to make condescending remarks to all of your friends and neighbors when they bring up edibles, and be sure to scoff when someone hasn’t heard of the word “decarboxylate”. You’ve earned it.
Why Coconut Oil + Cannabis?
Coconut oil is arguably the best oil for creating strong marijuana infusions, topicals and medicinal edibles because it has a high saturated fat content. That makes it capable of absorbing more THC, Terpenes, Flavinoids and Cannabinoids than butter or other types of oil. While butter has a saturated fat of about 60%, coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat.
It’s perfect for those on high-fat healing diets for epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and cancer (like the ketogenic diet). It’s also great for vegans, paleo people and… really anyone without a coconut allergy who would like to ingest cannabis without smoking or vaping.
It’s also really versatile. I spent almost a year of my life trying to put it in every edible I could think of and wrote a book about it (!)… 100’s of recipes later, I’m still not bored with this tasty marijuana infusion.
If you’ve never used coconut oil for your edibles recipes (or if you’ve never tried edibles) make sure to test your oil first. It is strong and it’s not fun to overdo it on edibles. Trust me. I had a run in with a cannabis infused grilled cheese that I’ll never forget, and I want to help everyone avoid that if possible.
If you don’t have a cannabinoid tester like the tCheck (which I LOVE), you have to test it on yourself and do a little dosage math. When playing the guniea pig, always start low and go slow. Try 1/8-1/4 tsp and wait an hour or two before taking more in 1/4 tsp increments. Once you know what dose is effective for you, you can incorporate it into recipes.
Wake & Bake uses a 1 teaspoon dose as a measurement for each recipe and lets you know how many teaspoon doses are in each batch. You can easily dilute the recipe with more coconut oil, cut the recipe in half, or double it to adjust your dosage to exactly what works for you.
Decarboxylation: Converting THC-A to THC
Always decarboxylate your cannabis before making cannabis infused coconut oil or cannabutter. You can read the full post on decarb to get an in depth look at what’s happening when you decarboxylate, but the short and sweet of it is this:
When you heat cannabis at a controlled temperature, the THC-A molecule transforms into the psychoactive and potent molecule THC. If you want edibles and topicals that are effective for pain management, anti-anxiety, nausea, sleep aid, glaucoma or any other medically approved use of THC.
I use the Nova Decarboxylator every time I decarb because it effectively transforms 100% of THC-A to THC without any loss. Most home decarb methods are unreliable, and can waste as much as 30% of the THC originally present in your material. I did the math and the Nova is a no brainer for me since it saves me at least 1/3 lb cannabis every year and makes my edibles and topicals much more effective.
Lecithin + Potent Edibles
Lecithin is a key ingredient in cannabis infused coconut oil. Lecithin helps with absorption of cannabis oil into your intestinal walls and is used as an emulsifier. The small particles in your cannabis oil (or butter) are absorbed more easily, making it more potent and effective.
If you’re testing your oil with a cannabinoid tester (like the tCheck) your mgs of cannabinoids won’t change after adding lecithin, but you won’t have to use as much in order to get the same effects. After incorporating lecithin, I found that I only had to use 1/2 of my typical dose to remain pain free.
I use sunflower lecithin because I’d rather avoid processed soy products and GMO’s. This powdered lecithin from Swanson’s has been my go-to and has lasted over a year.
You can read more about lecithin and edibles in my in-depth post here.
Frequently Asked Questions about Making Marijuana Coconut Oil
Before you send an email or search the comments section, here are the answers to the three most common questions on this post.
- Will it smell up my house/apartment/dorm room? Yes. Decarboxylation and cooking cannabis in the crock pot are smelly endeavors. You can eliminate this smell completely by using a Nova Decarboxylator and using the virtually smell-proof Cannabis Oil in a Mason Jar method or by making your oil in a Levo.
- If I don’t have lecithin now, can I make the coconut oil now, order lecithin, and add it later? Yes. If you’re chomping at the bit to make edibles but don’t have this ingredient on hand, make your oil now and then reheat it and stir your lecithin in.
- Should I add water? This is a hotly debated topic in the world of homemade edibles, and I’ve landed on the side of not adding water. There’s a great article and BadKat’s CannaPharm that talks more about why water is unnecessary and leads to a less effective cannabis oil. In my experience, it leaves oil tasting bitter and can make your oil go bad quickly. I prefer to do a couple of weed washes if my oil doesn’t taste great.
Cannabis Coconut Oil Tutorial
STEP 1: DECARBOXYLATION
Decarboxylation will make your oil potent, activated and ready-to-use.
1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 240°.
2. Spread onto a pyrex baking dish (or a baking sheet if it’s what you have on hand):
1 Cup (approximately 7g) of trim or broken up buds
3. Cover with tinfoil. Bake trim for 40 minutes.
4. Cool and store in an airtight container until use. Use an old gift card to scrape any goodness that sticks to the pan or pyrex dish.
STEP 2: INFUSING THE COCONUT OIL
1. Combine the following in a crockpot on warm or low (warm is usually sufficient in most crockpots):
1 Cup Coconut Oil [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]
1 teaspoon- 1 Tablespoon Sunflower Lecithin: If you reeeeallly don’t like the flavor of lecithin use 1 teaspoon. Otherwise, use 1 Tablespoon per cup.
*Try to keep oil near 160° for best results* For even better results, try the Levo.
1 Cup Organic Decarboxylated Cannabis (about 7g or 1/4 oz.)
Stir every half hour or so.
After 8-12 hours of heating and steeping, turn off the crockpot and allow the oil to cool before moving onto the next step.
3. Set up your strainer so it fits snugly in a container. Line with a large piece of cheesecloth.
4. Slowly pour plant matter and oil into the strainer.
5. Using a string or twist tie, gather the cheesecloth around the plant matter and secure.
6. Squeeeeeeze that sh*t. Save this satchel to make High Chai.
7. Pour oil into a pint jar and place in the fridge until cool. Seal with a lid. Store in refrigerator or in a cool, dark place.
Spread it on toast. Make Wake & Bake recipes with it. Rub it on your achy body parts.
Cannabis Infused Coconut Oil Recipe
Here’s an easy to print and Pin recipe card just because you guys asked for it! And there’s a more detailed tutorial below if you’d like to see it all broken down step by step and learn how to decarboxylate your cannabis first.
8 Bonus Tips For Making Effective Cannabis Infused Coconut Oil Every Time
- Try to use organic shake or trim whenever possible.
- You can make smaller or larger batches using a 1:1 ratio, making sure to use enough coconut oil to cover your decarboxylated cannabis completely.
- If your oil ever begins to smoke, remove from heat immediately and let it cool a bit before beginning the process again with your crockpot on the lowest setting. It’ll probably still “work” but you’re burning off some of the incredible compounds that evaporate at higher temperatures. If you constantly find yourself overheating your oil in your crockpot or on the stove (guilty), check out the Levo.
- If you don’t have a crockpot, you can make the oil in a pot on the stoveor a makeshift double boiler. Just follow the same instructions and make sure that your heat source is on super low and never starts to smoke.
- I’ve totally abandoned my crockpot for a MB these days. I honestly could not say more about what an incredible tool this is if you make lots of oils, tinctures or topicals. I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical at first, because I don’t believe that making cannabis oil is hard (by any means), but my taste testers agree that it makes better oil (maybe because of the temperature stability and shorter duration). I really think it shines in making quick honey and cannabis tinctures. I’ve put that machine through a LOT. I am not a stranger to the customer service department at MB and they’ve always been there to answer questions and help me out when an experiment goes very very wrong. If you make more than 10 batches a year or if you’re a slave to convenience, the Levo is where it’s at. If you’re ready to retire your crockpot, you can use the Levo discount code “wakeandbake” here and get a $10 off coupon.
- You don’t have to finely grind your cannabis no matter what you’re cooking in (in my experience, it makes it harder to strain, leaves a bunch of plant material in that makes for a “greener” taste, and doesn’t improve potency). However, if you’re using buds, break them up a bit before you add them to the coconut oil.
- You can also make cannabis infused coconut oil using hash.
- Have fun! Don’t fret over your canna-oil when it’s in the pot. People on the internet make this much more complicated then it has to be. Not me… but you know… other people on the internet. I was writing a cannabis cookbook and had to overthink it, but you totally don’t. This is a simple process and it should be enjoyable, not stressful. Just follow the instructions below, adapt or substitute for what you have on hand and don’t be afraid to experiment.
*Always remember to test your dosage before putting it in recipes. Beginners… Start with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon and wait for at least an hour before taking more.
Disclaimer: This is not intended as medical advice. I’m not a doctor. I’m also not a lawyer and can’t defend you if you get busted trying to make this recipe in a state that still considers possession or cultivation of cannabis a criminal act. I don’t agree with this law, but I’d never advocate that you break it. Jail would suck. Instead, I strongly advise that you work to change the law in your state or nation by supporting and being active in grassroots organizations that are trying to legalize cannabis in your area (they’re everywhere). This recipe is heretofore only intended for people who live in states or countries where medical or recreational use of cannabis is legal, who are 21 and older, of sound mind and who understand that operating heavy machinery (cars, trucks, planes, etc.) under the influence of any intoxicant, including marijuana, is incredibly dangerous, immature, and wholly stupid. Please don’t ever eat and drive. Support public transportation or use the two legs that evolution gave you and walk your sweet ass wherever it is that you need to go.