- Why Use Coconut Oil?
- Using Wax Instead of Flower
- Infusing Cannabis with Coconut Oil
Cannabis products that are less than desirable such as poor quality buds, trim, or wax are often tossed out by individuals. You can utilize cannabis flower or concentrates that would be unsmokeable and turn them into other potent products such as topicals for salves and oils used for cooking. Edibles and topicals can be an easy way to preserve cannabis in the long-term by storing finished products in the fridge. An additional benefit of topicals and edibles is the ability to conceal consumption by avoiding smoking and releasing a distinct odor. The high from edibles and topicals is different from the high when cannabis is smoked or vaped. You can learn more about the effects from the different forms of ingestion of cannabis in one of my previous blog posts titled, Edibles versus Smoking Cannabis. If you are going to be turning your cannabis buds or wax into edibles or topicals, then there are some important steps to follow to ensure it is done right.
The decarboxylation or “decarb” process is the most important step that involves converting THCA molecules into THC from your cannabis flower or concentrate. This process is accomplished by applying heat over time. When you smoke or vape cannabis, it is decarbed immediately with the high amount of heat that is applied from your lighter, hemp wick, or a hot nail. In order to decarb your cannabis for edible use, then you will have to follow different methods depending on what type or product you have and what materials are available to you. In this blog post we will focus on using cannabis wax to infuse with coconut oil. Decarbing wax is as easy as letting the wax melt and mix with the melted coconut oil in a saucepan while monitoring the heat. If you are using a saucepan, the heat of the stove top can be turned on a low setting and the decarb can be done in 45-60 minutes at 230F. Do not let the heat exceed 240F, otherwise you can risk scorching the oil or burning off THC. This is an important process to remember when infusing your cannabis with butter or oil in this case as it can make or break your edible potency.
Why Use Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil can be used in cooking recipes and can often be used as a substitute for butter. When selecting an alternative for butter, select an oil that is high in saturated fats as cannabinoids bind well to this type of fat. Coconut oil has some of the highest levels of saturated fats out of any oils or butters available at the grocery store. Coconut oil can also be combined with other ingredients to make topical creams, capsules, and other products. If taste is a concern, then you can use other oils and fats that work well such as olive oil, avocado oil, and clarified butter based on your preference.
Using Wax Instead of Flower
Cannabis concentrates, specifically wax, works well when making edibles because you can easily increase the potency without sacrificing taste when it comes to your recipes. When using cannabis flowers your infusion may have a strong cannabis flavor which might not be favorable. You can estimate how potent your oil will be by determining the potency and weight of your wax. I prefer to use wax that is relatively cheap and undesirable. These waxes tend to range in between 60-70% total THC potency per gram. If this is the case then the infusion will contain approximately 600-700mg of total THC per gram of wax used in the oil given the best of circumstances.
|Wax Weight & Potency||Measurement of Oil||Oil Potency|
|1g @ 60% THC||1 cup or 16 tablespoons||37.5mg THC per tablespoon|
|3g @ 60% THC||1 cup or 16 tablespoons||112.5mg THC per tablespoon|
|5g @ 60% THC||1 cup or 16 tablespoons||177.5mg THC per tablespoon|
|1 g (wax) = 1000 mg. 1000mg x 60% total THC (potency) = 600mg total THC. 1 cup (oil) = 16 tablespoons. 600mg ÷ 16 tablespoons = 37.5mg/tablespoon.|
Infusing Cannabis with Coconut Oil
Add ¼ cup of water for every 1 cup of coconut oil used and combine into a small saucepan to prevent scorching the oil. Place the small saucepan onto the stove top and turn the burner on low to melt the coconut oil.
Once the coconut oil has melted, add your cannabis wax to your melted oil in the saucepan. Stir slow and consistently as the wax mixes into the oil. Note: Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil throughout this process. The temperature of the oil should not exceed 240°F.
Heat the oil for 45 minutes to 1 hour in the saucepan stirring occasionally, with the total cooking time depending on the amount of oil being used, the amount of wax being used, and the temperature of the mixture. This is the decarbing process that is converting THCA to THC.
Take the pot off the burner once it has completed the total cooking time and pour it into a container after the oil has cooled down for at least 5 minutes. Place the container into the freezer to cool down the oil.
You can store the container of oil at room temperature or in the fridge. It is recommended that you do not eat cannabis edibles on an empty stomach if you want to maximize the effects of the edible. The key is to slow the rate of gastric emptying or how fast food moves through your digestive system. Normal gastric rates can vary from 60-240 minutes and a slightly slower rate for an individual before, during, or after consumption can help to absorb the THC from the edible.
Mei Wang, et al. (2016). “Decarboxylation Study of Acidic Cannabinoids: A Novel Approach Using Ultra-High-Performance Supercritical Fluid Chromatography/Photodiode Array-Mass Spectrometry”. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. v. 1.1, 2016.