Seeing through the smoke

Christopher Gallagher

Two simple methods to make cannabis-infused oils

Ar 170709800
Adobe Stock
Ar 170709800
Adobe Stock

THC Basics for the Hungry Stoner Looking to Expand His or Her Horizons and to Use What May Otherwise Be Considered Waste In Order to Get Really High:

1) It is the chemical in cannabis responsible for getting you high.

2) It is converted from THCA by the process of heating.

3) It is absorbable in fat or alcohol.

(It also cures cancer, but that is another conversation for another day.)

Last week here at STTS, we discussed the process of decarboxylation of cannabis trim and a simple method to convert tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) to delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Now, we get to take a look at some of the fun and intoxicating uses for that decarbed material and to get your creative culinary juices flowing at the same time.

First, let’s look at the fat solubility of cannabis and explore a few basic recipes for creating oils that can be used in any fashion your creative chef heart desires. To infuse cooking oils – olive and coconut in particular – is a very simple process that can be achieved using decarboxylated trim, and low, slow heat. I suggest making a fairly potent batch with the idea in mind that it can always later be regulated by adding additional oil to weaken it.

To create a concoction combining cannabis and coconut oil is relatively easy and allows for the creation of an end product which can, depending on temperature, be a pure liquid – useable in any recipe that would use coconut oil as an ingredient (I strongly suggest it as a substitution for butter in making weed cookies), or a semisolid – a great situation for creating single dose cannabis capsules which can be stored in the refrigerator and used as needed. Since you will be using trim that is already activated, the mission here is simply to use heat to draw the THC from the trim into the oil; this is done by combining the trim and the oil at a 1:1 ratio in a pan, a double boiler or a slow cooker, and letting the ingredients interact over low heat for two hours. At the end of that time period, strain the oil through cheesecloth into a second container, which will then serve to store it. I would recommend repeating this process two or three times when using trim in order to create a nice, strong concoction. Remember: You can always add more oil later if you want to lessen the potency.

Olive oil, being the queen of cooking oils, affords you a practically unlimited palate from which to create cannabis infused foods – think chicken fried weed steak with pan fried pot-tatoes (Get it? POT-tatoes!) and a nice salad topped with a canna-gerette dressing; the possibilities are endless. There are two ways to make an olive oil infusion. The first is to follow the recipe above, substituting “olive” for “coconut”; two hours later, get to business.

The second method requires no heat. Take a mason jar, fill it with decarbed trim, add olive oil (liquid at room temperature) and store in a place that is warm but not in direct sunlight (you can use a paper bag to keep the sun off of the jar), shake it once daily, and in two weeks, you will have a cannabis infused trim with which you can prepare a nice trout and asparagus dinner.

These are two methods to put your excess trim to use, and, of course, bud can be always used in place of trim. Next week we will examine how to create cannabutter and two varieties of tincture. Be well ’til then.

Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at chrstphrgallagher@gmail.com.