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How to Use Cannabis Oil

The use of marijuana for medical purposes has opened up a market for infusing oils with Tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise know as THC. As we all know THC is the psychoactive substance that gives users the effects they are looking for when they consume marijuana. As the health benefits of marijuana have become widely acknowledged, consumers have begun cooking with weed oils as part of their regular diets. This blog is meant to explain the process on how to make THC oils, provides tips for making infused products and most importantly shows you eight ways to use marijuana oils.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

How Do I Prepare Cannabis To Make Weed Oil?

The first step is to decarboxylate your flower. If you are unsure of how to do this, here’s an article on how to decarboxylate cannabis, and here’s another explaining what decarboxylation is.

Decarbing your cannabis before infusion is a critical step before making any sort of canna oil. You can go with an oil you prefer, as it is often comes down to personal preference regarding which oil is better to infuse with cannabis. To get the most out of your decarbed cannabis, choose an oil with good infusion rates. You can see more about the infusion efficiency of different oils here. Once you figure out which oil you want to use, whether it is coconut oil, olive oil or something more exotic it is time to begin the infusion process. That involves infusing the decarbed product with your oil of choice.

If you have the NOVA, place the oil and decarbed cannabis inside for the infusion process. Ideally, do not grind it but rather break it up into popcorn sized nugs, but it is fine to use shake or ground bud as well. Throw your cannabis right in your decarboxylator (putting it in silicon or a shot glass if you’re using kief/concentrates) and let it run its cycle while you gather your ingredients.

How To Infuse The Oil?

When you have finished decarbing you will want to do a quick infusion with your oil. For the oil to get infused with the THC it needs to get heated thoroughly and evenly. Providing too much heat or too little heat will affect the process. Uneven heating will also impact the process.

When your canna oil is done infusing, remove any plant matter by carefully straining it through cheesecloth (available in the cooking section of stores like Target or Walmart) or a coffee filter. Pour your infused oil into a container and you’re done! If you are looking to make cannabutter, be sure to place it in the fridge to harden. Canna oils, on the other hand, are fine to store on the counter. The most important thing is to keep it in an airtight container (mason jars work great) in a cool, dark space.

Now, there are differences of opinion on how long to infuse cannabis oil. Some who feel the infusion process must be at low heat for 6 hours or more while others believe that the time can be cut short. Take the guessing out of accurately measuring your dosages and how long it takes to infuse THC oil with the NOVA Decarboxylator. The overall objective is to retain as much THC from the material as possible, and we have the testing results to show the effectiveness of the Ardent infusion process

How To Accurately Measure Dosage

The ideal ratio for making weed oil is to calculate the amount of cannabis it will take to get the THC dosage that you want, and then mix with the desired amount of oil. It is important to understand the dosage that you want for your oils before you start infusing the marijuana.

Typically decarbed cannabis flower has between 5-20% THC content, which means about 50-200mg of THC in every gram of decarbed flower. It may be more or less depending on how the plant was grown. You can use more or less decarbed cannabis in your infusion to dial the dose up or down. After infusion, you can separate the material from the infused oil. For even cleaner oil, use a fine screen to remove the decarbed marijuana from the oil after infusion.

Many consumers enjoy making THC oil with coconut oil due to its ability to mask the taste of cannabis. As there are a growing number of edible users who don’t like the taste of marijuana.

How To Use THC Oil

Once the infusion process is complete and you have poured the filtered cannaoil into a container, the next commonly asked question is “how to use thc oil?” There’s really no end to what you can do with THC oil. Again, based on yours interests, a dessert, toast or any dish which uses butter or oil can be made. How much can go into each of these dishes will be based on the recipe of the dish.

If you are not sure on how to measure the dosages of cannabis, you can read our guide on accurately dosing cannabis by taking THC measurements. In a medical situation it’s advised to consult your doctor on how much marijuana you should consume for each dosage. Many consumers use a dropper with the oil decanter to measure the amount of oil used each time. Whether you are making brownies or chocolates at home you can measure the dosages based on the amount of decarbed cannabis used to make the cannabutter or canna oil.

How To Use Cannabis Oil (8 Best Ways)

All of these activities are home-based. This means you can handle the preparation of weed oil or cannabutter and the subsequent dishes on your spare time. As long as you have all the ingredients and the equipment to get it done correctly, the process is simple and can quickly save you a lot of money quickly. The Ardent NOVA Decarboxyolator is the perfect tool if you are looking for the best way to decarb cannabis to make THC oil without wasting time or material.

If you wish to add flower to your food intake, there are multiple options to do it depending on your taste and personal preferences. There are plenty of canna oil recipes that you can use. Don’t forget there are also benefits of using decarbed cannabis without going through the infusion process. There are even recipes for making cannabis ice cream. Since there are a lot of ways to use canna oil and cannabutter, we put together a list of uses, along with the best oils for each one. You can also see this next link for more information on the best oil to infuse THC.

1. Baking

Using cannabutter or alternatives such as cannabis canola (here’s how to make edibles without butter) oil in baked goods are classic ways to make edibles, but a lot of people have started using cannabis coconut oil in their favorite sweet treats since it’s vegan and paleo-friendly. You can also use infused olive oil in your baked goods although it’s important to know that most olive oils have a strong flavor that may change the flavor of your finished goodie.

2. Cooking

Cooking with weed oils like olive, peanut, or canola are great ways to inject THC into your meal. Cook with it as you would normally, just be mindful of how much you’re using since the effects of ingesting cannabis are slower to set in and last much longer than smoking. Ideas: saute veggies, roast potatoes, marinate meat, or mix up a vinaigrette for your favorite salad.

3. Capsules

If you’re already using cannacaps or want to start, infused coconut oil is a great addition to your capsules. Because coconut oil has a high saturated fat content, it helps your body best absorb the cannabinoids, delivering a stronger effect per dose of medicine (THC and CBD) than other oils. In addition, coconut oil has a long shelf life, meaning that cannacaps made with this oil will last an extremely long time (especially if stored in the fridge or freezer!)

4. Pain Salve

Cannabis-infused salves and topicals deliver quick pain relief and a feeling of relaxation to your muscles, without any psychoactive effects. Coconut oil infusions are a good choice for creating your own pain salves because coconut oil is a great transporter of CBD from your skin into your body’s cannabinoid receptors. Better CBD absorption means more relief for sore muscles, arthritis, and other localized pains. It also becomes as easy as adding your infused coconut oil into a non-cannabis product you already own and love!

5. Skincare

In addition to pain salves and balms, cannabis coconut oil is a great addition to almost any skincare routine. Mixed with aloe vera and vitamin E, it makes a great lotion for everyday use or for healing sunburns. Some skincare gurus swear by cannabis coconut oil as a facial moisturizer, claiming that with regular use, you’ll get a glowy complexion and see the anti-aging effects of cannabis.

6. Smoothies

Cannaoil in your smoothie? Yes! Due to its reputation as a superfood and the creamy texture that results from blending coconut oil, it has become a popular addition to smoothies. There are a lot of cannabis recipes out there but you can experiment by adding a tablespoon of cannabis coconut oil or less if your infusion is strong (5-10 mg is a good starting point) to your favorite smoothie recipe.

7. Tea

Adding cannabutter or cannaoil to your tea may sound strange, but it actually results in a creamy, latte-like drink. As far as oil goes, coconut oil is the best choice due to the flavor and the fact that unlike other oils, it gets creamy when mixed up. Just brew a cup of your favorite tea and stir in the cannabutter or cannabis coconut oil until it’s mixed well. The result is a warm, comforting, medicinal cuppa, sure to make you feel good.

8. Coffee

“Bulletproof coffee”, coffee with unsalted butter or coconut oil in place of cream or milk, has exploded in popularity over the past few years. It’s a staple in paleo and keto diets and many vegans enjoy the coconut oil version. Of course, mixing in cannabutter or cannabis coconut oil is a great way to get the perceived benefits of bulletproof coffee along with a healthy dose of THC. Stir into your favorite brew, or put it in the blender for a frothy morning drink.

Additional Canna Oil Recipes

If you are wondering what type of dishes to prepare with your canna oil, we recommend several different ways of eating decarbed weed in our recipes. Whether you are looking to make baked goods, alcoholic drinks using weed oil, or infused recipes for food, the possibilities are endless. Some of our most popular canna recipes include:

Keep in mind the proper dosages for your recipe of choice. We must also note that the consumption of marijuana for is age-restricted. If there are children at home, take all proper precautions to ensure they don’t ingest weed oil or cannabis butter or accidentally add it to their food.

Perfect Decarb Tool

If you are looking for the best way to decarb marijuana, we recommend you purchase the Ardent NOVA Decarboxylator to get the perfect decarb each time. Whether you are looking to make canna oil or cannabutter. Our goal is to provide some inspiration for your cannabis cooking adventures. Whether you’re a recreational or medicinal user, there are lots of ways for you to use cannabutter or canna oil in the kitchen. Share your favorite recipe in the comments!

There are also direct uses of THC oil. Some people decide to put a few drops of the oil below their tongue for it to have an almost immediate sublingual effect. As mentioned earlier, using coconut and sweeter oils in the preparation of your canna oil will help remove the odor and give it a better smell. Lastly, savory canna oils pair better with more savory dishes, just as you would expect.

How to use cannabis oil to best effect it's not all about baking canna oil recipes! 8 tips on using THC oil to put your weed to good use!

What Is the Difference Between Weed Oil and Cannabutter?

And where does CBD oil fit in?

With 4/20 around the corner and more legalized recreational marijuana than ever before, both heavy stoners and first-time tokers are asking the same question when it comes to weed in the kitchen: What is the difference between weed oil or cannabis oil and cannabutter (aka marijuana butter, cannabis butter, or weed butter)? While they do have a lot of similarities, confusing the two can have serious consequences—getting uncomfortably stoned, ruining a pan, or even wasting your weed. To truly understand their unique and similar qualities, we need to look at how they’re made, how they’re used, and where you can get them.

How They’re Made

While historians have found recipes involving weed dating back to 15th century Europe and even 10th century India, pot brownies were introduced to pop (or should we say “pot”?) culture in the 1968 movie “I Love You Alice B. Toklas.” Objectively, the most common way to make weed-laced snacks is marijuana butter, but baking with cannabis oil can be even more effective. While these two products have many similar uses and come from the same cannabis plant, they’re produced and used in very different ways.

Cannabutter/Marijuana Butter (and Cannabis-Infused Oil)

Beyond Pot Brownies The History and Evolution of Cannabis Cookbooks Part of weed culture since the 1960s, weed butter (or whichever other name you want to call it) can be made in a variety of ways. The process begins with some version of decarboxylation—or activating the THC. (Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the psychoactive chemical compound of cannabis—what gets you stoned and what separates marijuana from hemp.) Decarboxylation can be done a multitude of ways, but typically involves cooking the weed at a low temperature for a prolonged period of time in butter or oil. Keep in mind, however, like any other dish you’re making, too much time in the oven or too much heat will torch the ingredients—rendering the THC ineffective.

While weed butter is best for baking in my experience, vegans and the health-conscious can rest easy knowing that using olive, vegetable, canola, or coconut oil for the process will produce a very similar product (which is cannabis-infused oil). One thing to consider in choosing your oil or butter is fat content—the higher the fat content, the more THC it’s capable of absorbing.

Finally, strain the weed from the oil or butter using a cheesecloth. The finished product is a potent and effective weed-infused ingredient, perfect for nearly any cooking application—minding any food preparation processes that could burn the THC.

Cannabis Oil

Ivan Stajkovic / EyeEm / Getty Images

Now that we’ve gone over cannabis-infused oils, let’s dive into their similarly monikered cousin: cannabis oil. Similar to olive, vegetable, or coconut oil, cannabis oil is made through a chemical extraction process. There are a variety of methods that the marijuana industry uses to extract oil, resulting in similar but unique products. Most cannabis extraction methods involve a solvent, like butane or CO2—or extreme heat and pressure—to extract the cannabinoids. These processes can be time-consuming and usually involve expensive laboratory equipment. Without proper training and the right tools, extracting THC from weed using certain methods is downright dangerous. Unless you’re using a solventless method, the excess yield—or product that isn’t cannabis oil—needs to be removed in order for a clean, non-toxic final result. For those of us who aren’t chemistry experts, most methods of this process should be left to the professionals.

CBD Oil

Another potential point of confusion: CBD oil, which is not the same as cannabis oil. CBD-only products, which have skyrocketed in mainstream popularity, do not contain any THC—meaning they won’t have any of the psychoactive effects of THC/marijuana, but are widely touted for the health benefits of CBD (or cannibidiol), such as treating chronic pain, and helping to reduce stress and anxiety.

Hemp Oil

And then there’s hemp oil, which contains neither THC nor CBD, but is widely used for all sorts of products from soap to supplements. For the purposes of this article, that’s all we’ll say about CBD oil and hemp oil—so back to cannabutter and cannabis oil.

How They Can Be Ingested

Marijuana Butter (and Cannabis-Infused Oil)

Marijuana butter and cannabis-infused oil can be ingested in a variety of ways. Once you’ve created the product, it can be used as a cooking ingredient for any recipe—minding that most baked goods work best with butter. However, one thing to consider is the temperature of the dish you’re preparing—heating the marijuana butter or oil to temperatures exceeding 245 degrees Fahrenheit will burn the THC. For a more simple application, the butter can be used as a spread on toast or even just dosed orally by itself. Some choose cannabis-infused oil as a medicinal ingredient in topical salves, lotions, and ointment, as it can be absorbed through the skin once it has gone through the decarboxylation process.

Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil extracted via heat and pressure can be used in topicals or ingested by itself orally, but the taste and consistency leave a lot to be desired. The most common way to consume cannabis oil, also known as “concentrate” or “dab,” is by vaporizing or smoking it, but it can also act as an ingredient for an easier method of making weed butter. By simply melting the dab with some butter or oil at a low temperature, mixing them into one substance, you’ve made marijuana butter! Keep in mind, however, that cannabis oil needs to adhere to the same temperature cap of 245 degrees Fahrenheit to minimize the destruction of the THC. One downside to cooking with butter derived from cannabis oil versus marijuana is the stickiness of the product—certain types of oil can leave behind a difficult residue on cookware. (For those reading this tip too late, try rescuing your pan with 99 percent isopropyl alcohol! It’s super effective.)

However, making marijuana butter with concentrate is not the same as using traditional bud. Firstly, depending on how the oil is extracted, the THC can be already activated. This means you can skip the process of heating it up—it’s already ready to be used or ingested. Usually dispensaries can direct you to types of dab that have and haven’t undergone the THC activation process. Second, and perhaps more importantly, cannabis oil is an extremely concentrated (hence the nickname!) form of marijuana and can be much more effective than using regular Mary Jane. A good way to measure a comfortable dose is by simply doing the math. If a gram of cannabis oil is 70 percent THC (dispensaries usually disclose this information on the package), that means it contains 700mg of THC. With 48 teaspoons in one cup of butter, each teaspoon serving would boast 14.5mg of THC if you melted the cannabis oil gram with the butter. Most dispensaries have edibles in individual 10mg THC pieces, which is a great starting point for seeing what is comfortable. Another major difference is flavor: Some types of cannabis oil have intense flavors which carry over to whatever you’re cooking. Pick your concentrate carefully, as it can really affect the taste of the dish.

Differences in Accessibility

One major difference between marijuana butter and cannabis oil is their accessibility. In states where marijuana is legal, cannabis oil can be readily found at nearly any dispensary. In one-gram packages, cannabis oil comes in a plethora of consistencies, including shatter, wax, crumble, cake batter, sauce, diamonds, and more. While dispensaries in legal states aren’t hard to find, marijuana butter can be. While many shops carry a mass-produced industrial edible marijuana oil or butter product, other shops only carry smokable cannabis oil and traditional bud. It can be a niche product, and I’d suggest calling ahead to check availability. As someone with the privilege to access legal weed, I’ve still found the most consistent way to have marijuana butter is to make it myself. For those in less marijuana-friendly states, cannabis oil can be impossible to find and using the traditional method of making a personal batch of weed butter is their best bet for experiencing edibles this 4/20.

All in all, they’re not so different—but they’re definitely not the same. Cannabis oil can be used to make marijuana butter, but not all marijuana butter is made from cannabis oil. While nearly anyone with cooking experience can make marijuana-infused oil or butter, making cannabis oil should be left to the chemists, and while weed and cannabis oil are mostly readily available in legal states, pre-made marijuana butter can be hard to find—leaving both legal residents and those getting their bud on the black market in the same boat: making it at home.

Or Leave It to the Pros

How Cannabis-Infused Edibles Evolved Into High Art & Exacting Science

Disclaimer: This article is about cooking with cannabis, which may or may not be legal in your area. Neither Chowhound nor its parent company encourage or endorse any irresponsible behavior or illegal activity. If you choose to use cannabis , please do so responsibly and only where permitted by law.

Header image by Chowhound, using photos from Getty Images and Shutterstock.

What is the difference between THC weed oil and cannabutter? And how do you use them? ]]>