In addition to making cannabutter MMJ patients can make cannabis-infused coconut oil. Coconut oil is a good solvent for THC, CBD and other compounds in medical cannabis. Making coconut oil is a way to use trim and leaves, etc., as well as flowers. It can be used as an medible or topical. That’s right: you can eat it or rub it on.
Coconut oil is a good oil and contains approx. 50% lauric acid so it’s heart healthy. It tastes good, has a high heating point, and doesn’t go rancid quickly. Use organic coconut oil (it’s worth the extra price).
Making coconut oil in bulk allows you to calibrate how strong it is. How much should you eat? Start with a small amount first and adjust the serving size up or down as needed. It may take as long as an hour or more to feel the full effect so be patient.
Raw cannabis contains THC-A and CBD-A, neither of which is active. The acid forms of THC & CBD must be decarboxylated to make them useable. For the maximum THC heat it to 245° F for 60 minutes and for CBD 245° F for 90 minutes. Heat the cannabis in a covered glass pyrex casserole pan. When properly decarboxylated, the cannabis will be darker, drier, and crumble easily. Your kitchen will smell so plan ahead.
Coarsely crumble the decarboxylated cannabis. Fill a Mason jar half full with the cannabis and coconut oil. Put the lid on the jar and place it in a pan of water, making a water bath. Heat the water to just below boiling for 1 hour. This prevents the oil from overheating.
Use 1 gram of decarbed cannabis for every ounce of coconut oil. Use more if you use only fan leaves; less if you’re using high quality flowers or want to make a stronger batch.
Strain the oil to remove the plant material. Be sure to press all of the liquid out of the cannabis. A quick way to strain it is to use a french press coffee maker. Or you can use cheesecloth or a jelly bag if you’re so inclined.
At this point the coconut oil can be eaten as is, used as an ingredient when cooking, or used as a topical (salve, lotions, etc.). You can cook with the oil as long as the temperature is less than the boiling point of THC, 315° F.
Add lecithin to the coconut oil to help the cannabinoids cross the cell membrane. Set 1/8 of the oil aside, heat the rest slightly, and add as much soy or sunflower lecithin as it will hold. When no more lecithin will dissolve the oil is saturated. Add the remaining oil to dilute it enough so the lecithin won’t fall out of suspension.