How to Make Cannabis Oil, Butter, and Edibles at Home
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Hey, pass the doobie… err, the gummy. You hear the latter more often these days, because the love of edibles is growing like a weed (see what we did there?).
In 2014 in Colorado alone (aka the capital of cannabis), 2.85 million units of edible cannabis-infused retail products were sold. Plus, nearly 30 percent of people who enjoy weed say they use it in edible or beverage form.
But hold up — can we interrupt this programming and say we aren’t encouraging you to eat edibles?
Fair warning: In recent years, cannabis-related visits to the ER have tripled in Colorado. Between 2014 and 2016, about 10 percent of emergency room visits were a result of ingesting cannabis.
Proper measurement of cannabis is crucial. And it’s better to take a less-is-more approach. Remember, it takes longer to feel the effects of edibles, and those effects last longer and can be more intense.
The first thing you need to learn is how to make cannabis-infused oil and butter. Soon you’ll be on your way to gummies, chocolate bars, and gluten-free crispy rice treats that’ll take you and your taste buds on a ride.
Have you ever made an herb butter? Cannabutter is no different. To make your own cannabis-infused butter, the only ingredients you need are:
- 1 pound butter
- 1 cup water
- 1–2 ounces cannabis
Combine butter and water in a pot over low heat. Once butter melts, add ground cannabis to the mixture to simmer for 2–3 hours. Stir the mixture occasionally so it doesn’t come to a boil and so the THC is evenly distributed throughout.
Use and store like regular butter. If you’re new to making cannabutter, you can get more in-depth info at Marijuana Doctors.
Just like you can infuse cooking oils with herbs and other ingredients, you can infuse them with cannabis. Any oil — olive, coconut, whatever you have on hand — will do.
To make the oil more potent (so you feel the effects more), the weed has to be decarboxylated.
It’s way simpler than it sounds: Preheat the oven to a low temperature (about 225 degrees) and bake 1 cup of ground cannabis for 40 minutes.
To infuse the coconut oil, combine the following ingredients in a slow cooker:
- 1 cup coconut oil (or oil of choice)
- 1 teaspoon sunflower lecithin
- 1 cup decarboxylated cannabis
Stir at least every 30 minutes to mix evenly. Simmer for 8–12 hours, and then let the oil cool in the slow cooker. Place a large piece of cheesecloth in a bowl or cup and carefully pour the oil mixture into the cheesecloth.
Secure with a string and use your hands to squeeze out the canna oil. Pour the oil into a mason jar or another container and let it cool in the fridge. Use the canna oil as needed.
Below are five recipes for weed edibles you can make at home. Just remember that edibles have a delayed onset (of up to 3 hours), unlike the instant high of inhaled smoke. So start small and be patient. Moderation is your friend.
Tip: Refer to The Cannabist to learn more about how much THC to add to your edibles.
Important note: Statistics show an increased number of calls to poison control centers due to children, adults, and family pets consuming cannabis edibles because they look like familiar treats and were not stored safely. Please label and store your creations with care.
1. Paleo berry cannabis gummies
You’re going to need a gummy bear mold for this recipe, and it’s worth it. Once you see how easy it is to form these little bears, you’ll reminisce about eating an entire bag of Haribo in one sitting.
But please don’t eat these with abandon. This isn’t just a sugar high.
These gummies have just five ingredients (two of which are water and lemon juice). You can also freeze your weed gummies so you’re ready for all the festivals (or just a night out with your besties).
2. Vegan cannabis chocolate bar
This is a chocolate bar you won’t be able to eat in one sitting — and not because of a lack of self-control. If you eat the whole thing… well, we don’t even really know what would happen. But just take our word for it: You’ll be way too high.
Pull out the typical ingredients you’d use to make this easy chocolate, but instead of regular coconut oil, use the cannabis kind.
We’re pretty sure this recipe was created for those of us who can’t even when it comes to spending time in the kitchen. Just melt chocolate and cannabis oil in a pot, coat the bananas, and freeze them.
Yep, that’s it. High-five for fast recipes that can get you… high.
4. Gluten-free cannabis crispy rice treats
Meet the new pot crispy treat. Made with nut butter, brown rice syrup, and cannabis butter or oil, these treats are going to snap, crackle, and pop their way into your mouth.
Just don’t make them for the charity bake sale.
5. Vegan weed brownies
Who’s ready to get chocolate wasted? Literally.
Made from sunflower seed butter, honey, flax, egg, cocoa powder, and cannabis, these brownies rival the ones you made in high school.
For a paleo version, use a regular egg and a nut butter of your choice. And here’s a recipe for a more standard pot brownie.
Now you’re on your way to making cannabis treats at home. And hey, tell your friends to watch who they’re calling a pothead: Some people believe weed has helped them get in the best shape of their lives, and yes, that includes athletes.
Seven magical recipes for canna oil, butter, gummies, brownies, crispy rice treats, and more.
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.