April 21, 2021 by Angela Laufer
Cannabis-infused olive oil is an incredibly versatile ingredient to add to virtually any recipe you desire, transforming it into a medicated meal or snack in which YOU control your own dosing. In order to activate its psychoactive potential however, your cannabis must be heated slowly at a low temperature in a process called decarboxylation. If you’d like to know more about the how and why of decarboxylation, check out our A Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis Decarboxylation before following this step-by-step guide to infusing your own olive oil.
*For this infused recipe I used 3 cups of extra virgin olive oil and 14 grams of Black Jack, an indica-heavy hybrid grown by NSM. This particular batch of Black Jack reached 22% total THC (this is all extremely important information to know, so you can calculate what your final dosage is, and can navigate how you will use it responsibly in your recipes to come). For example, the ratios used here, led to 51.3mg of THC each Tablespoon of infused olive oil. We will explain more on figuring out dosage later in this article. (:
Step 1: Decarboxylation!: Depending on the weight, structure and moisture of your flower, decarboxylation can range from 225° for 45 minutes to 240° for 40 minutes. Use your judgment on temp and time, based on the cannabis you have. Make sure that you cover your baking sheet with aluminum foil, so you don’t lose precious cannabinoids in the process.
Step 2: Prepare Your Ingredients & Supplies: While your cannabis is out of the oven and cooling, get your double boiler and storage jars with secured cheesecloth (either with a sieve or rubber band) set up. Put enough water in the bottom chamber to be able to produce heat and steam for 4-6 hours, but not enough water to touch your upper chamber. Make sure your double boiler has a lid, as you want your infusions to be contained and not free to dissipate in the air.
Step 3: Mix Oil & Flower and Infuse: In the top of your double boiler, mix in your oil and decarboxylated flower. Put on lid & set it on low heat. You can simmer your oil and cannabis mixture anywhere from 4-6 hours. In the meantime, take a bath, nap, read a book, paint, or whatever suits your fancy. (:
(You could also use a crockpot, or for a faster route, a magic butter machine like an Ardent or Herbal Chef… I prefer the experience of the old-fashioned stove-top way, but everybody has their own preference)
Step 4: Filter Your Infused Oil, Cool & Store: Once the 4-6 hours are through, your oil is now infused! Take your double boiler off the heat source and pour carefully into your container or jar(s) through the secured cheesecloth. Lightly place lid on top, and once your oil is fully cooled, tightly close lid and store in a cool, dry place.
For example, let’s say you are using 14 grams of cannabis at 22% THC, and making 3 cups of infused oil.
14,000mg x .22 = 3,080mg total THC in batch
3,080 x .80 = 2,464mg total infused
2,464 / 48 (amount of T in 3 cups) = 51.3mg ea. T
With these ratios, if you use a teaspoon of this oil to say, sauté vegetables for 2 people, each person’s serving of vegetables would contain 8.5mg of THC. (:
Endless Possibilities! With your concentrated cannabis infused olive oil, the possibilities of its uses are practically endless! Broaden your horizons in sauteing vegetables, marinating meats, creating salad dressings, and substitute portions of oil -to suit your desired dosage- in your most favorite recipes. (:
Cooking with Cannabis-Infused Ingredients
A good starting point for ingesting cannabis edibles is to limit yourself to <5mg THC ; even less if you are new to THC-infused food. It can have the tendency to be a lot stronger, more intense, and can differ drastically from smoking it. For one, the effects can take anywhere from a half hour to 3 hours to fully metabolize, depending on an individual’s unique body and metabolic rate. In addition, because the THC is digested through your liver, and can more readily cross the body’s blood-brain barrier, the high can be stronger and last longer.
With that said, your infusion’s potency depends on many factors, from how long and hot it was cooked, to the potency of your starting product, as well as taking into consideration if your strain was indica or sativa leaning. To test the potency and effect of your finished product, try a smaller amount (<5mg) and see how that dose affects you after an hour or so. Titrate your dose as desired, and you can then use this personalized “standard” dose as a baseline for your recipes.