This easy, step-by-step guide will teach you how to make cannabis-infused olive oil at home. This recipe is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to make a dairy-free, plant-based cannabis olive oil that can be used as a base for many cannabis-infused recipes.
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Olive Oil For Good Health
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is widely known as one of the world’s healthiest oils (1).
So much so that people tend to live longer and healthier lives in areas where olive oil is a staple part of the diet.
Like hemp seeds and hemp seed oil, EVOO has a high percentage of omega-3 fatty acids.
According to the FDA, having two tablespoons of EVOO daily may reduce your heart disease risk (2).
EVOO is also extremely rich in antioxidants. It contains polyphenols which act as antioxidants by reducing oxidative stress throughout your body.
Antioxidants also aid in strengthening your immune system, making your body more resistant to infections and inflammation (3).
Extra Virgin Olive Oil vs. Pure Olive Oil
There are many different types of olive oil on the market today.
Extra-virgin olive oil is unrefined and the highest-quality olive oil you can buy.
It is cold-pressed, meaning that it undergoes no heat during extraction and is in its raw, organic form.
EVOO is made from pure, cold-pressed olives and is not treated with chemicals or altered by temperature.
It also contains more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in olives.
Finally, extra virgin olive oil has more of the true olive taste, and it has a lower level of oleic acid than other olive oil varieties.
Pure olive oil is a blend of both cold-pressed EVOO and other processed oils.
Extracting this oil involves heating and/or chemical use, removing any flaws from the fruit.
Pure olive oil is of lower quality when compared to extra-virgin olive oil.
It also has a lighter color, a more neutral flavor, and a higher oleic acid content (3-4%).
Cooking With Cannabis-Infused EVOO
Extra-virgin olive oil has a smoke point of 400° Fahrenheit, which is why EVOO is oftentimes suggested to be used for dips, dressings, and any other uncooked recipes.
Pure olive oil is considered an all-purpose oil.
It is much lighter in color and can withstand higher heat, making it a more useful oil for sauteing frying and other cooked applications.
Like olive oil, when working with cannabis, maintaining an ideal temperature is critical.
Heating cannabis at too high of a temperature can denature the compounds and create little to no effect.
If cannabis is heated above 300° Fahrenheit, you run the risk of denaturing many important plant compounds.
For this reason, we recommend using a digital-read thermometer during your cooking process to ensure you never go above the safe temperature threshold.
That is why, if you are going to be using olive oil for cooking, choosing a pure olive oil to infuse will be the best choice.
If you plan to use olive oil for non-heat cooking methods, extra virgin olive oil is recommended.
How to Make Cannabis Olive Oil
Below is a general guideline explaining the most important steps you need to take to make cannabis olive oil at home.
Step #1 - Decarboxylate Your Cannabis
To reap the benefits of activated CBD or THC, cannabis decarboxylation must occur before cooking, baking, or extracting oil from the dried flower buds of the cannabis plant.
Consuming dried cannabis flower buds or raw cannabis will provide little to no intoxicating effect at all.
Although there are associated health benefits with CBDA and THCA, this can be good or bad depending on your desired experience.
However, most cannabis consumers want to feel CBD or THC's full effects when making homemade edibles.
For this recipe, we decarboxylated our cannabis flower in the oven before combining it with the olive oil and placing it into the crockpot.
Therefore, we can have a shorter cooking time, two hours.
If you're brand new to the process of decarboxylation, get the full decarbing guide here.
Step #2 - Infuse Your Olive Oil
This cannabis olive oil infusion is a fairly straightforward process that uses both heat and fat to extract the cannabinoids from the plant.
This process infuses a full-spectrum of cannabinoids and plant compounds from the plant into the oil.
The cannabinoids extracted will depend on whether or not you have CBD flower or THC dominant flower.
The method involves heating the olive oil and cannabis flowers together in a closed container placed inside a temperature-controlled water bath.
This simple process allows you to essentially 'set it and forget it' once it is all set up.
Step #3 - Consider These Additional Factors
Many factors can affect your results when cooking with cannabis.
Here are a few additional considerations to keep in mind that will affect your final outcome.
The Strain of Flower Used
The strain of cannabis flower you are using will impact decarboxylation time and temperature recommendations.
Each cannabis strain contains varying amounts and ratios of different cannabinoids and terpenes.
Because each cannabinoid and terpene decarboxylates at a different temperature, you will want to consider the best temperature and cooking time for your particular strain.
Additionally, the final potency and intoxicating effects will vary depending on THC or CBD dominant strain.
CBD dominant flower options and THC dominant cannabis flower options to choose from.
The Freshness of Product
You will have noticeable differences in the final product depending on the freshness of the material you start with.
Cannabis olive oil can be made with raw cannabis leaf trimmings to make a CBDA dominant oil.
It can also be made with traditionally dried and cured flower buds, decarbed or not.
The concentration of cannabinoids will vary with the freshness of the starting material, the cannabinoid concentration of the material, which will ultimately impact your final product's potency.
You can make cannabis olive oil with various pieces of equipment.
Additionally, we do have recommendations for at-home cannabis infusion machines below that can do the work for you.
Step #4 - Save The Leftover Pulp
After the straining process to separate the plant matter from your infused oil, you will be leftover with a ball of spent cannabis flower, also called leftover pulp or sludge.
While some folks say it’s garbage and throw it away, we’ve heard too many success stories of people using the pulp with great results.
While it would be challenging to guestimate the potency of what is leftover in the cannabis pulp, an educated guess as a registered dietitian tells me that at the very least, there would be important plant nutrients like dietary fiber.
This supports the theory that at least some percentage of cannabinoids are left behind in the plant matter.
I believe in both nutrition and sustainability, so I recommend keeping your leftover pulp to use in any one of these 15 Recipes To Use Up Leftover Cannabis Pulp.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions I get asked about making cannabis-infused olive oil that wasn't addressed above.
Can I Infuse Olive Oil with FECO or RSO?
Yes, you can infuse olive oil with full-extract cannabis oil FECO (or RSO) instead of cannabis flowers.
I recommend mixing 1mL of FECO with 30mL of olive oil for a strong batch, but you can choose to mix 1mL FECO with your desired oil amount.
Can I Make A Smaller Batch of EVOO?
Yes, of course!
This recipe makes a larger batch, using 2 cups of olive oil to 1 ounce of cannabis flower.
However, you can easily scale this recipe to a smaller size to meet your needs.
You can even infuse more flower into the oil if you want a more potent product.
Simply use this cannabis flower to oil ratio guide to help you decide how much to infuse.
The process of infusion will remain exactly the same regardless of how much you use.
How to Determine The Dosing
Want to get a more accurate guesstimate of the potency of your cannabis infusions and extractions? Try our popular edibles calculator!
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Cannabis-Infused Olive Oil
- 16 ounces organic, extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ounce decarbed cannabis flower
- 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 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 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.
- 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.
- Evenly divide the decarbed flower between the olive oil-filled jars. Wipe the rim of the jars with a clean 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 olive oil to whatever jar you would like to store it in.
- Store the prepared cannabis olive 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:
- Avocado oil
- Hemp seed oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Coconut oil