This easy, step-by-step beginner's guide will teach you how to make cannabis-infused MCT oil at home. This oil infusion can be used as a sublingual tincture or a base for many cannabis-infused recipes.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Cannabis-infused MCT oil is a popular type of cannabis oil infusion made from 2 simple ingredients: cannabis flowers and MCT oil.
MCT oil is a type of fat extracted from coconuts. They are rapidly digested and absorbed by the body.
MCT oil remains liquid at room temperature, is completely clear, and has no flavor, making it one of the reasons it is so popular in my Well With Cannabis Community.
In this guide, I will show you my super easy process for infusing MCT oil and talk about some important tips and tricks to help you on your cannabis journey.
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- MCT Oil - a clear, tasteless oil. You can learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of MCT oil below. If needed, you can purchase MCT oil here.
- Cannabis Flowers - You will need your desired amount of cannabis flowers, ranging from 3.5 grams up to 1 ounce. Choose THC, CBD, or CBG dominant flowers. You can purchase them from your local dispensary or purchase hemp flowers from my online shop here.
- Lecithin, optional: If you're new to working with lecithin, you can learn more about adding lecithin to edibles here. If needed, you can purchase liquid lecithin or powdered lecithin. This ingredient is optional.
Note: a complete list of ingredients with amounts and printable instructions is located in the recipe card below.
The Step-by-Step Process
- Step 1 - The goal is to create a water bath that stays at approximately 180-190° F for the cooking process. The printable instructions in the recipe card below are for using a crockpot to create the water bath.
- Step 2 - While the water bath is heating in the crockpot, measure and decarb the cannabis flower. Learn how to decarb in an oven or decarb in an Instant Pot.
- Step 3 - Evenly divide the decarbed cannabis flower and MCT oil between the mason jars you plan on using. If you plan on using sunflower lecithin, add it to the mason jars now.
- Step 4 - Carefully place the jars into the water bath. Then, place the lid on the crockpot and leave it alone to infuse for 4 hours. After 4 hours, remove the jars from the hot water and allow them to cool.
- Step 5 - Whether it be a paper filter and funnel, cheesecloth, French press, or a simple coffee filter, you will want to set up a straining station to separate the plant matter from the oil.
- Step 6 - Once cool enough to handle, strain the prepared oil with your method of choice. You can save the leftover cannabis pulp for use in future recipes.
- Step 7 - Return the prepared oil to whatever jar you would like to store it in; I use a small amber tincture dropper bottle.
- Step 8 - Store the prepared oil in a cool, dry place. It will last longer if stored in the refrigerator and even longer if stored in the freezer.
Note: complete step-by-step printable instructions are located in the recipe card below.
Store your prepared MCT oil in a cool, dry place. It will last longer if stored in the refrigerator and even longer if stored in the freezer.
Is This MCT Oil A 'Tincture'?
I’ve seen lots of people, including those inside my cannabis community, fuss over the terminology of a tincture.
However, you’ll often see people refer to MCT oil as tinctures simply because they are oftentimes held under the tongue for sublingual application.
This is the difference between holding an oil or tincture under your tongue vs. simply swallowing it. While the difference is small, the different effects can be quite noticeable from other application methods.
Sublingual Use for MCT Oil
Sublingual, meaning under the tongue, involves holding oil or tincture under your tongue to be absorbed by our mucous membranes into the body.
There is a dense concentration of capillaries under the tongue and around the mouth, so products held in the mouth are delivered directly to the bloodstream, making sublingual administration quick and easy (2).
Some people prefer this method due to the quick absorption rate and high bioavailability rate of around ~30%, producing a quicker, more effective absorption into the bloodstream.
For this application method, it is recommended to hold the oil or tincture under your tongue or inside your cheek for as long as possible for the best results and most efficient absorption.
Many people like this method because the typical onset time starts fairly quickly, between 15-30 minutes. The typical duration time lasts for an average of 2-4 hours.
The cannabinoids in the oil or tincture are then absorbed into the bloodstream and circulate throughout the whole body.
This method bypasses digestion and the first-pass metabolism in the liver, unlike cannabis edibles.
Edible Use of MCT Oil
Unlike sublingual absorption, edible consumption is a bit more complicated.
Edibles, also known as oral cannabis consumption, involve eating cannabis that is then processed through the gastrointestinal tract.
This is because the ingested cannabinoids pass through the digestive system.
Once the cannabis is eaten and digested, the THC is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the liver, where it undergoes the hepatic first-pass metabolism.
During this process, enzymes hydroxylate THC (Δ9-THC) to form 11-hydroxytetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC), a potent psychoactive metabolite that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier (3).
This means that eating cannabis can provide stronger, more potent, or intoxicating effects in some individuals.
There are even anecdotal reports of people experiencing hallucinogenic effects when too much THC has been consumed.
This potent intoxicating metabolite, 11-OH-THC, causes potentially unwanted (or wanted) side effects for many unknowing cannabis consumers.
This is why with edibles, it is so important to be careful of accidental excess cannabis intake by overeating.
MCT Oil vs Coconut Oil
It is important to note some differences between MCT oil and coconut oil, primarily when baking or used in recipes.
While both are derived from coconuts, there is a noticeable taste and texture difference.
|Coconut Oil||MCT Oil|
|Derived from Coconut||Derived from Coconut|
|Solid at room temperature||Liquid at room temperature|
|Opaque when solid||Remains clear|
|Refined has no flavor, unrefined has a slight coconut flavor||Has no flavor|
|Easy to substitute in baked goods||Not as easy to substitute in baked goods|
|Not great for sublingual application||Great for sublingual applications|
|May cause digestive distress in large amounts||May cause digestive distress in large amounts|
|High smoke point, 350° F, great for cooking||Low smoke point, 284° F, not good for cooking|
MCT Oil and Digestive Distress
One important thing to note is that MCT oil in large amounts may cause digestive distress in some individuals.
Many members of my cannabis community have reported that consuming too much MCT oil, either in an edible or sublingually, causes digestive problems.
MCT oil can cause significant gastrointestinal distress, such as diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, and cramping, because it is metabolized differently by the body.
Additionally, it is not recommended for individuals who have liver problems.
That is why it is important to start low and go slow, just like all things cannabis, that way, you can see how your body reacts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions I receive in my Well With Cannabis Community about making infused MCT oil at home.
Yes, if you want a stronger, more potent infusion, you can make this MCT oil infusion with FECO. Follow the directions for making FECO here, including directions for mixing with MCT oil after cooking. You can also make infused MCT oil with other types of cannabis concentrates.
You may want to consider making a small test batch before making a larger batch. This recipe calls for 1 ounce of flower and 16 ounces of MCT oil, which will yield a large batch. If you want to make a smaller batch first to see if MCT oil infusions are right for you, use this cannabis flower to oil ratio guide.
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How to Make Cannabis-Infused MCT Oil
- Fill your crockpot with enough warm to hot water to cover the top of the mason jars you plan on using by an inch to create a water bath.
- Place the digital thermometer into the water. Start the crockpot heat on high. When a temperature of 185° F is reached, turn the crockpot to low.digital thermometer
- While the water bath is heating in the crockpot, measure and decarb the cannabis flower. Click here for a full cannabis decarboxylation tutorial, if needed.
- If you plan on using sunflower lecithin, add it to the mason jars now.
- Evenly divide the decarbed flower between the MCT oil filled jars. Stir well. Wipe the rim of the jars with a clean paper towel and place the lid on. Tighten the metal ring to finger-tip tightness, it does not have to be tightened all the way. Do not tighten too tightly.
- Once the water bath reaches a temperature of 185° F, carefully place the jars into the water bath.
- Place the lid on the crockpot and leave it alone to infuse for 4 hours.
- After 4 hours, carefully remove the lid, followed by the jars from the hot water. Set them aside to cool.
- Save the leftover cannabis pulp for use in future recipes. Then return the prepared cannabis oil to whatever jar you would like to store it in. We use a small amber tincture jar.
- Store the prepared cannabis MCT oil in a cool, dry place. It will last longer if stored in the refrigerator and even longer if stored in the freezer.
- Yield: ~16 ounces / ~2 cups
- Temperature Control: The water bath does not need to stat perfectly at 185° F the entire time. Any temperature between 170°-190°F is OK.
- Safety First: I recommend you sanitize your jars by keeping them submerged in the 185° F crockpot for 10 at least minutes. This step is not necessary, but good practice for safety and hygiene.
- Floating Jars: Sometimes the mason jar will float when placed in the water bath. This is no need for concern, simply put something heat and water safe over the top of the jar to weigh it down, a clean rock works well.
- Alternative Carrier Oil Options Include:
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Hemp seed oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Coconut oil