You set out on a drive that should take about two hours – but you arrive in just 90 minutes. “We really got here quickly!” you think.
You put a pot of water on the stove to boil – and after ten minutes, you’re still waiting. “This water is taking forever!” you think.
90 minutes was quick, but ten minutes took forever. Here’s what that tells you: “quick” is a relative term.
Making weed oil (some people call it canna oil) isn’t an-all day process, but you can’t just whip it up and be ready to make a batch of edibles in a few minutes. So when we describe how to make canna oil “quickly,” don’t expect the process to take ten minutes. Instead, figure on about two hours – and if it only takes just 90 minutes, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how quickly you got there.
Before we talk about the process, though, it’s important to understand why you can’t just throw weed into some cooking oil and have ready-to-use weed oil.
Cooking With Cannabis: The Important First Step
Everyone talks about THC content.
How much THC is in this strain? What’s the THC-to-CBD ratio? How much THC should be in weed if you want to get totally blazed?
We’ll leave those questions for other discussions, and focus on an important fact about the marijuana plant: it doesn’t contain THC at all. What’s in the plant is actually a compound called THCA, a “precursor” that only becomes psychoactive THC under the proper conditions. And by “proper conditions,” we mean when it’s heated.
That happens automatically when you smoke or vape buds because weed obviously won’t produce smoke or vapor until it’s heated. Otherwise, all you have is a pungent-smelling flower that can’t get you high.
That presents a big problem if you’re planning to make edibles. Unless you turn your pot’s THCA into THC, all you’ll end up with is brownies, cookies, or candy with little plant chunks in them. The same is true if you want to make use of weed to cook with, or make cannabis lotions, salves or ointments.
Solving the problem is easy, though. You just have to “decarboxylate” your weed before you use it; exposing it to heat will turn its THCA into THC and make it psychoactive. Most people call the process decarbing, and it’s a simple process. Is it quick? Sure – just expect that it will take forever, and you’ll be delighted when it only takes 30-45 minutes.
How To Decarb Weed
We weren’t kidding when we said that decarbing is simple.
- Break your buds into small pieces, no smaller than a grain of rice. If they’re ground too finely, they’ll burn.
- Lay a sheet of crumpled tin foil (or parchment paper) on a baking sheet, and then spread the buds out on the foil in a single layer. Lay another sheet of foil on top.
- Bake at 225°-230° for 30-45 minutes, until the weed is golden brown. Then cool.
Couldn’t be easier, right? Now you’re ready to make canna oil.
The Fastest Way to Make Weed Oil
Let’s start with choosing the oil.
Coconut oil is far and away from the best choice as the base for canna oil, and going organic is worth the extra cost.
Coconut oil has its own health benefits, it’s a refined oil so it has a high smoke point (meaning it won’t burn at the temperatures we’ll be using), and it’s easy to store because it solidifies at room temperature. Olive oil and avocado oil are other good choices, but they will remain liquid when you store them. Canola oil is the best of the “cooking oils” if you want a completely flavorless weed oil.
The oil and the decarbed herb are the only ingredients you need, so let’s get started.
- Coarsely grind one cup (between seven and ten grams, or ¼ ounce, if you prefer those measurements) of decarbed weed. Don’t grind it too fine – if it turns into powder, you’ve gone too far.
- Heat a cup of oil to 130°-180° in a double boiler (150° is the sweet spot), and then mix in the weed. The temperature of the oil is important, because if it approaches 200° the THC will begin to degrade. Since it’s difficult to guess how hot oil is when it’s cooking, it’s smart to use a probe thermometer to monitor the temperature throughout the process.
- Cook the mixture for 30 minutes to an hour. The longer it cooks, the better the infusion will be.
- Line a strainer with cheesecloth, and strain the oil into a glass bowl. When the oil has completely cooled, it’s ready for use or storage. If you store it, it should be good for at least two months, and six months or more if you refrigerate it.
You can increase or decrease the amount of oil you make with this recipe, but always maintain a 1:1 oil: weed ratio.
Was that quick? Well, if you figure 30 minutes for decarbing, 30 minutes for prep, and 30 minutes for cooking – we’re at 90 minutes. It didn’t even take the full two hours; we really got there quickly!
If you want more THC infused into your oil, let it cook for an extra hour; it’s worth the investment of time.
What You Can Do With Weed Oil
Most people immediately think of edibles when they think of canna oil (or cannabutter), for good reason. They’re one of the best ways to consume weed (and certainly the most delicious). Just use the same amount of canna-oil or butter that your recipe calls for, and you’ll be getting baked shortly after your delicacies.
Speaking of getting baked, administering the oil sublingually (under the tongue) is one of the fastest ways to get THC into your system, without having to inhale smoke or vapor into your lungs.
Weed oil is great for cooking, too. You can use it to marinate meat, roast or sauté vegetables, or simply toss it with some freshly-cooked pasta and parmesan cheese. It’s ideal for use in salad dressings as well, and adding it to smoothies or tea will let you enjoy the health benefits of cannabis as well as some of its psychoactive effects.
Finally, canna oil can be used to make topical creams, balms, and lotions, by mixing the oil with your favorite skincare products – or by applying the weed oil directly to your skin. Since weed oil is likely to contain more THC than CBD, it may not be as effective at providing pain relief as CBD cream. But it’s definitely worth a try.
How to Make Canna Oil (Weed Oil) Quickly
Q: Can you just mix the oil and flower together and cook them, without having to decarb the weed first?
A: Many people do just that, believing that heating the cannabis for a long period of time during infusion will take care of decarbing as well. Unfortunately, they’re mistaken. Only about 10-25% of the THC will be activated in this manner, so you’ll end up with weed oil that’s a lot less potent than it should be.
Q: Is there a slower method for making canna oil that’s more effective?
A: Not specifically, but if you let the oil and weed simmer together at a lower temperature for four, five, or even six hours, it will become even more potent than when it’s cooked for 30-60 minutes. You’ll have to stir it every 30-60 minutes, though. A more efficient method would be to cook them together in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours.
Q: Won’t making weed oil stink up my kitchen?
A: Absolutely, particularly if you decide to let the mixture simmer for hours. The slow cooker method is the best way to minimize the odor since you can seal the device’s lid tightly.