Last updated: May 4, 2020
Sometimes it’s preferable to consume cannabis in a denser, easier to consume form. Constantly burning or vaping plant matter is fairly messy, and smoke inhalation generally isn’t a very good feeling process on human lungs.
This is why many cannabis connoisseurs turn to cannabis oil. THC and CBD—the main psychoactive and health-benefiting substances found in cannabis—are soluble in both fats and alcohol.
There are other substances as well, such as butane, but for the home cook who is not looking to adding dangerous chemicals to their kitchen, fats and oil are the best options. The process differs ever-so-slightly from each other, so let’s go over the basic recipes for both fat and alcohol-based cannabis oils:
This process is for those who wish to cook food with their cannabis, or just want a minimal extraction process with little room for error.
The oil can be anything from olive oil to coconut oil, or even butter as long as it has a high-fat content.
There are a few tools needed as well, specifically a cheesecloth, a slow cooker, and a hand grinder if the cannabis is still in one piece.
The slow cooker isn’t exactly necessary—anything that can keep the temperatures low and consistent works—but it’s by far the easiest way to go about this.
That’s all there is to this extraction. The mixture can be used in many recipes, but shouldn’t be heated too much, as high temperatures will damage both THC and CBD.
Alcohol extractions are a bit more involved than a cooking oil one, but the end product is much more versatile and can even be inhaled if done properly.
Only do this in a well-ventilated kitchen or outdoor area. Alcohol fumes can get pretty nasty in an enclosed space. Have an assistant if possible.
Also, only use cooking grade alcohol. High-proof varieties such as Everclear work great, but something like rubbing alcohol will not work if the end product is intended for human consumption.
Technically just these two ingredients mixed will produce a very potent beverage known as The Green Dragon, aka cannabis-infused alcohol. Not recommended for the faint of heart, but it’s possible.
To create oil from this mixture, the alcohol has to be heated. Once again, a slow cooker is ideal here, but a double boiler works as well.
Once cooled, the oil will harden up fairly quickly. Warm, slightly, to reconstitute it into a more liquid state. This can be used in any number of ways from cooking to vaporizing.
Following either of these guides will produce a much more dense, and easier to consume product than cannabis flowers alone. Some caution should be taken not to overdo things when first trying the product, as both of them can be quite potent.
Have fun and stay safe!
Featured Image: Julia Teichmann from Pixabay