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August 06, 2019

Cooking with Cannabis Part 2. How to Make Marijuana Infused Oil. Decarboxylation Explained

There are numerous ways to cook using cannabis - you can simply decarboxylate your raw material in an oven, infuse it into oil, make it into butter and so on.

Click here to see our video on the subject on YouTube.

Today, the industry offers numerous ready-to-consume edibles and other marijuana infused products, especially in Colorado, but if you have the time and desire to get creative, you can try making your own and see if you can come up with something entirely new.

To do that you need to learn a few tricks and pick how to go about it.

You can make infused products at home in many different ways. But you can not just chop up the precious marijuana flower into your salad and think it will have all the effects of smoking it. The goal is to activate the precious cannabinoids, which can be done through heating. And it has to be done carefully.

We had previously covered the easiest way of making cannabutter, which is commonly used in edibles. There is also decarboxylation of raw flower to be subsequently used in classic edibles like brownies or cookies (we will cover this method later) and there is something a little more complicated - making your own cannabis infused oil that can also be used in a far greater variety of recipes.

First and foremost - do not confuse the oil infused with marijuana flower with the so-called cannabis oil sold online. The latter is usually hemp or hemp seed oil made from industrial strains with no THC - which is crucial - and often does not comply with strict health and safety measures applied to the flower you buy from a licensed cannabis dispensary.

What is Decarboxylation?

Here is the physics or rather chemistry of it all.

Think of cannabinoids contained in the plant as ingredients turning into something else at different temperature. Raw flower will contain plenty of THCa and CBDa - useful, but not what you are looking for. Once you heat it up to no more than 245°F, they turn into what you seek - THC and CBD, and that is called decarboxylation. Essentially, heat removes that "a" or carboxylic acid group from THCa. If you have the results of THCa testing this will give you an idea of how much THC you will get - the average conversion rate is about 70%.

Keep in mind, that if you use higher temperatures, or store flower for too long, THC will fast turn into CBN, which will not get you high but will make you feel sedated.

To get the best end product, you need the best raw material, and at Silver Stem we pride ourselves on our hand-grown, hand-picked and hand-trimmed flower that was grown utilizing everything mother nature gave us. 

Let’s Get Cooking!

The most common ratio in making cannabis oil is 1:1 but that depends on how potent you want it to be. One cup of ground cannabis buds or shake and one cup of olive oil. Coconut oil is a solid alternative as well. 

Once you have everything, mix it all in a slow cooker or a thick saucepan and let it simmer for a few hours on low/medium heat. And remember - 245°F is your magic number.

When you are done, let is cool a bit, and then just strain the resulting matter into a suitable container and you got your own cannabis infused oil!

Store it in a fridge for up to several months and use it at will and tune in next time when we cover our favorite recipes using infused oil.

And before we get into cooking edibles with your own home made oil, it would be wise to check out our Cannabis Edibles Guide that will fill you in on everything you need to know - how, when, do’s and don’ts, dosage, effects.

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