Trying cannabis-infused food is an interesting experience. Though often people only think of cookies or brownies when they hear the word “edibles,” there are many options for infusing your meals with cannabis. Continue reading for more information on cannabutter and various types of cannabis oil—the foundation of most edibles—to see which option better suits you!
WHY USE CANNABUTTER?
Delicious, rich butter made from full-fat milk is incomparable. Paired with premium Kush, you have an amazing way to include cannabis in your favourite dishes.
Cannabutter is the key ingredient in brownies, space cakes, and cookies. The butter infuses with cannabis compounds when heated over a period of time, usually 3 to 24 hours according to the recipe. This process makes it so that we can absorb cannabinoids like THC and CBD when we eat them in edibles form. It’s crucial to not let the temperature get too high while you’re simmering your butter, or else you’ll end up burning it and losing all of the beneficial compounds in your weed.
If you want your butter to be especially active, you must decarboxylate your weed beforehand. This involves grinding and baking it for 30–40 minutes at a temperature around 110°C or 230°F. The process of decarboxylation helps convert cannabinoid acids—like THCA and CBDA—into their non-acidic active counterparts (THC and CBD), which results in more potent edibles overall.
ADVANTAGES OF CANNABUTTER
Cooks new to making edibles usually start with cannabutter because it is simple and easy to make. It also has a rich, buttery flavor that can enhance savory or sweet dishes alike. For example, you could add cannabutter to curries for creaminess, use it as the base of cookie dough, or spread some inside a grilled cheese sandwich.
- Easy to make
- Works in sweet and savoury dishes
- Relatively inexpensive
- High fat content supports potent edibles
DISADVANTAGES OF CANNABUTTER
The main downside of cannabutter is the high fat and dairy content. If you are vegan, have a intolerance for diary, or are watching your calorie intake, then cannabutter isn’t an option for you. Cannabis coconut oil is a great replacement that doesn’t skimp on taste! It’s important to remember that butter has a low smoke point; overheating will spoil both the flavour and effect of your edibles.
- Not the healthiest option for some
- Low smoke point
WHY USE CANNABIS-INFUSED COCONUT OIL?
Not only is coconut oil easy for your body to digest and use as energy, but many studies suggest that it also helps promote heart health, aids in fat burning, and much more. Making the switch from regular cooking fats like butter and vegetable oils to coconut oil may provide a host of benefits.
Infusing coconut oil is simple: For anywhere between 8 and 24 hours, cook your cannabis flowers and/or trim in oil and water, depending on the recipe and potency you want. As with making cannabutter, it is crucial that you keep temperatures low (to prevent destroying cannabinoids and burning fat) and decarboxylate your flowers first for a more potent final product.
ADVANTAGES OF CANNABIS-INFUSED COCONUT OIL
Coconut oil has become a popular cooking oil due to its many health benefits, as it is a healthy way to add flavor to your favorite dishes. Additionally, some types of coconut oil do not have a strong flavor, making them ideal for cooking everything from sweet treats to savory delights. And if you’re looking for something new and exciting in the bedroom, try using infused coconut oil as a natural lubricant! THC is known to be a natural vasodilator, which means that it can help increase blood flow to all the right places.
- Highly nutritious
- Versatile fat source (works in sweet and savoury dishes)
- Can also be used as a lubricant and general topical
DISADVANTAGES OF CANNABIS-INFUSED COCONUT OIL
The main disadvantages of cooking with coconut oil as opposed to other oils is that it doesn’t provide the same rich flavor and creamy texture that butter does. However, this really only comes down to personal preference in terms of diet and eating habits. If you’re looking to make a batch of brownies, cannabutter might be the way to go. But if you want a healthier option for stir fry, then coconut oil would likely be your best bet.
- Less flavourful than butter
- Sometimes harder to access
- More expensive than butter
WHY USE CANNABIS-INFUSED OLIVE OIL?
If you want a healthier option that is cheaper than coconut oil, olive oil is what you’re looking for. It has a great taste that works well in dishes from the Mediterranean, salads, dips, and even sourdough bread straight out of the oven.
The process of making infused olive oil is very similar to infusing coconut oil.
ADVANTAGES OF CANNABIS-INFUSED OLIVE OIL
First, olive oil has a lower burning point than other cooking oils, so it shouldn’t be used for high-heat cooking (like steaks or stir fry). It’s also more readily available and affordable than some of the other oils on this list. Plus, olive oil comes with plenty of health benefits: it’s rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants and hasn’t been linked to weight gain or obesity.
- Mild, pleasant flavour
- Great for savoury dishes
- Easy to access
- More price/quality options
DISADVANTAGES OF CANNABIS-INFUSED OLIVE OIL
Cannabis oil made with olive oil as its base has two primary disadvantages. It burns at a lower temperature than other cooking oils, so it can’t be used for food cooked on high heat, such as steaks or stir fry. Also, the strong flavour of olive oil doesn’t match well with some dishes, like sweets or desserts.
- Low smoke point
- Not ideal for sweet edibles
- “Nicer” olive oil is pricey
WHAT OTHER OILS CAN YOU USE TO MAKE CANNABIS EDIBLES?
When it comes to making edibles, you’re not limited to only coconut oil, olive oil, and butter. If you have the means, consider infusing some of the following oils for greater variety in your cooking.
• Almost 70% of avocado oil consists of oleic acid, a super healthy omega-9 fatty acid.
• Avocado oil has been shown to effectively increase HDL (“good cholesterol”) in animals.
• Avocado oil is rich in antioxidants.
• Avocado oil may help the body better absorb nutrients like carotenoids from food.
• Walnut oil has a deliciously rich and nutty flavour that goes great in salads, pestos, and dips.
• Walnut oil is rich in antioxidants.
• Substituting walnut oil for other cooking oils may help decrease LDL cholesterol levels.
• Walnut oil is good for the hair and skin.
• Rapeseed oil is rich in antioxidants and vitamin E.
• Thanks to its high smoke point, rapeseed oil is great for cooking dishes on high heat.
• Rapeseed oil is low in saturated fats and contains no trans fat.
• Unlike some other cooking fats, most rapeseed oil is non-GMO.
WHICH IS STRONGER, CANNABUTTER OR CANNA-OIL?
A primary issue when deciding on a lipid to use for cooking with cannabis is how well it will absorb THC and other cannabinoids from your weed. To solve this problem, High Times author Elise McDonough made several cannabis infusions and sent them to be lab tested in order to see which would produce the most THC.
Three oils – clarified butter, coconut oil, and olive oil – yielded the best results from lab testing by SC Labs and C4 Laboratories. However, McDonough suggests that more research is necessary to better understand these findings.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT FAT FOR CANNABIS EDIBLES
Before you start cooking, it’s important to choose the right oil. Here are three factors to keep in mind that will help you make the best choice:
If you’re looking to make the most potent edibles possible, choose a cooking fat with the highest absorption rate of THC and other cannabinoids.McDonough’s findings show that clarified butter is the best option in this case.
When choosing an oil for your infusions, you should not only keep the potency in mind but also the flavor. This is why it might be a good idea to use two or three different oils. That way, if you’re ever hosting a dinner party with multiple courses, you can use various oils for savory dishes while utilizing butter for desserts (with a vegan coconut oil as an option).
The texture of food is just as important as the flavor. The next time you’re cooking, think about how your oil will affect the dish’s texture and mouthfeel. Most oils have similar textures, while butter and ghee have very unique textures that can complement some dishes and change others entirely.