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 can calibrate how strong it is. How much should you eat? Start with a small amount first. 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 levels, heat raw cannabis to 280° F for 30 minutes and for maximum CBD 280° F for 60 minutes. Spread the cannabis on a pyrex or metal tray. I open the oven halfway through and quickly stir the contents. The cannabis will be dark, dry, and it will crumble easily. Be forwewarned: your kitchen will smell.
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 only high quality flowers or want to make a stronger batch.
Coarsely crumble the decarboxylated cannabis. Put it in a Mason jar and add the 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.
Strain the oil to remove the plant material. Be sure to press all of the liquid out of the cannabis. Strain it through 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 if it’s to be used as a topical to help the cannabinoids cross the cell membrane. Set 1/8 of the oil aside, heat the rest slightly, and add as much soy 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.