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How to Make Cannabis-Infused MCT Oil

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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.

How to Make Cannabis-Infused MCT Oil

What is Cannabis-Infused MCT Oil?

Cannabis-infused MCT oil is a popular cannabis infusion made with just cannabis flowers and MCT oil.

MCT oil is a type of saturated fat extracted from coconuts that are rapidly digested and absorbed by the body.

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a unique type of fatty acid naturally found in coconuts that support the metabolism and are easily digested and burned by the body for energy and fuel” (1).

MCT oil remains liquid at room temperature, is completely clear with no color, and has no flavor.

Many people prefer liquid MCT oil for infusions because it is tasteless, and some people find it easier to digest than other oils.

MCT is also a popular staple in the popular bullet-proof coffee trend.

This infusion can be used two ways, either sublingually (held under the tongue) or in cannabis edibles.

The process for infusing MCT oil with cannabis is the same as making traditional infused coconut oil and can be achieved in many different ways.

You can use this simple at-home process with printable directions below to make a crockpot cannabis-infused MCT oil tincture, or you could use an infusion machine like the LEVO II to infuse for you.

Join thousands of members inside the Well With Cannabis Facebook Community if you have any questions about cooking with cannabis!

How to Make Cannabis-Infused MCT Oil

Is This An MCT Oil ‘Tincture’?

I’ve seen lots of people, including those inside my Well With Cannabis Facebook Community, fuss over the terminology of a tincture.

Technically a tincture is an alcohol-based preparation, like this cannabis-infused alcohol tincture.

That means this cannabis MCT oil will be considered an infusion.

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.

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 bloodstream, affecting 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, involves eating cannabis that ingested and then processed through the gastrointestinal tract.

You can consume cannabis orally in many forms, including capsules, tincturesoilsbrowniescookiescoffeetea, and even spice mixes.

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 OilMCT Oil
Derived from CoconutDerived from Coconut
Solid at room temperatureLiquid at room temperature
Opaque when solidRemains clear
Refined has no flavor, unrefined has a slight coconut flavorHas no flavor
Easy to substitute in baked goodsNot as easy to substitute in baked goods
Not great for sublingual applicationGreat for sublingual applications
May cause digestive distress in large amountsMay cause digestive distress in large amounts
High smoke point, 350° F, great for cookingLow smoke point, 284° F, not good for cooking
How to Make Cannabis-Infused MCT Oil

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 Well With Cannabis Facebook 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.

Start With A Small Test Batch First

Additionally, 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 guide below.

Cannabis Flower to Oil Ratio Guide

Can I Make Infused MCT Oil With FECO?

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.

Step-By-Step Guide With Photos

If you are a visual learner, this step-by-step guide with photos will show you how to set up your entire process from start to finish.

How to Make Cannabis-Infused MCT Oil

Step #1 – Prepare a Water Bath

There are many different ways to create a water bath using either the stovetop, a crockpot, Instant Pot, or sous vide machine.

The goal is to create a water bath that stays at approximately 180-190° F for the cooking process.

The printable instructions below are for using a crockpot. The images shown here are for a sous vide set up.

For the crockpot method:

Lay a clean tea towel down on the bottom of the crockpot.

This will create a buffer between your mason jars and the crockpot, potentially preventing any jar from moving or cracking during cooking.

Fill your crockpot with enough warm or 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 instant-read thermometer into the water.

Start the crockpot heat on high. When a temperature of 185° F is reached, turn the crockpot to low.

For the sous vide method:

This is not technically sous vide because we are not cooking under a vacuum in the jars, but we use an immersion circulator to keep a constant water temperature.

Simply prepare a large vessel to hold your water and set the immersion circulator to a temperature of 185° F.

Step #2 – Prepare and Decarboxylate the Cannabis Flower

While the water bath is heating in the crockpot, measure and decarb the cannabis flower in the oven at 240° F for 40 minutes.

Click here for a full cannabis decarboxylation tutorial, if needed.

How to Make MCT Infused Oil

Step #3 – Prepare the Jars for Submersion

Evenly divide the MCT oil between the mason jars you plan on using.

You can either use pint-sized or half-pint-sized jars, it’s you’re preference, just be sure they fit in your crockpot.

No matter the size, be sure to leave a 1/2 inch headspace from the top.

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 and 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 but do not tighten too tightly.

How to Make MCT Infused Oil

Step #4 – Place the Jars in the Water Bath for 4 Hours

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.

How to Make MCT Infused Oil

Step #5 – Strain & Store The Oil

Once cool enough to handle, you will want to strain the MCT oil through a paper filter and funnel, cheesecloth, or French press coffee filter to separate the plant matter from the oil.

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.

Printable Recipe & Instructions

Cannabis-Infused MCT Oil

Easy Cannabis-Infused MCT Oil

Yield: 16 ounces
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

This easy, step-by-step beginner's guide will teach you how to make cannabis-infused MCT oil at home. It can be used as a sublingual tincture or a base for many cannabis-infused recipes.

Instructions

  1. Lay a clean tea towel down on the bottom of the crockpot. This will create a buffer between your mason jars and the crockpot, potentially preventing any jar moving or cracking during cooking.
  2. 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.
  3. Place the digital instant-read thermometer into the water. Start the crockpot heat on high. When a temperature of 185° F is reached, turn the crockpot to low.
  4. While the water bath is heating in the crockpot, measure and decarb the cannabis flower in the oven at 240° F for 40 minutes. Click here for a full cannabis decarboxylation tutorial, if needed.
  5. Evenly divide the MCT oil between the mason jars you plan on using. You can either use pint-sized or half-pint sized jars, it's you're preference, just be sure they fit in your crockpot. No matter the size, be sure to leave a 1/2 inch headspace from the top.
  6. If you plan on using sunflower lecithin, add it to the mason jars now.
  7. 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.
  8. Once the water bath reaches a temperature of 185° F, carefully place the jars into the water bath.
  9. Place the lid on the crockpot and leave it alone to infuse for 4 hours.
  10. After 4 hours, carefully remove the lid, followed by the jars from the hot water. Set them aside to cool.
  11. Once cool enough to handle, you will want to strain the MCT oil through a paper filter and funnel or cheesecloth to separate the plant matter from the oil.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.

Notes

**Yields: ~1 pound / ~16 ounces / ~2 cups

*We 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.

*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.

*If you are storing the oil in the fridge or freezer, never use the microwave to soften it, as the heat will destroy important cannabinoids.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

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