How to make cannabis oil?

When compared to traditional methods of cannabis consumption, cannabis oil is a much safer method of experiencing the effects of cannabis. Another convenient aspect of cannabis oil is that you can make it yourself if you have the right equipment! With some common kitchen supplies, you can have your very own homemade cannabis oil within a few simple steps.

Cannabis oil extraction methods

In order to extract cannabis oil, different chemicals must be introduced in specific proportions to get the desired results. The most common methods for extracting cannabis include:

  • Alcohol-based Extraction
  • Propane and Butane-based Extraction
  • CO2 based Extraction

Alcohol-based Extraction

The most common cannabis oil extraction method is by submerging the plant in ethanol. Ethanol has the ability to mix with water to dissolve certain chlorophyll-based molecules. After the plant has been submerged in the mixture for the desired period of time, the liquid is strained to remove any unwanted plant material. The liquid that remains is a combination of ethanol and the desired cannabis extracts.

The mixture is heated up to ensure that the ethanol evaporates. This makes the co-extraction of CBD and other desirable compounds possible. There is also no toxic residue left behind during this process.

Propane and Butane-based Extraction

This extraction method is very risky and should be approached with extreme caution, even when conducted by professionals. Since Butane is highly flammable in a gaseous state, it is important to use high quality air filtering tools to avoid any gas explosions. 

Pressurised heating systems and air-filtration units are necessary to regulate Butane levels in the surrounding air. Refining circulators are also crucial to extract residual Butane particles since it is heavily toxic to humans. Once Butane and cannabis are brewed together, it becomes possible for the Butane to evaporate when it is heated in a vacuum condition.

Despite the added danger levels of using Butane during cannabis extraction, it is still a very popular extraction method. Since the necessary equipment is not as expensive as the equipment used in other methods, some producers prefer to use Propane as an alternative. This process is the same as with Butane; Propane simply evaporates at a lower temperature.

CO2 based Extraction

Critical CO2 based Extraction is extremely expensive and requires high-end equipment. However, this is also the most efficient extraction method and yields the best results. 

Under high pressure and heat, supercritical CO2 is formed. This compound exists as both a liquid and a gas. When the plant is introduced to supercritical CO2, specific chemical concentrations within the cannabis can be extracted simply by adjusting the temperature and pressure of the compound. 

CO2 based Extraction is also the safest and recommended method for extracting cannabis. It is used within the medical field as any CO2 residue simply evaporates from the final product. The CO2 used during the process can also be filtered and used again. This makes CO2 based Extraction economically beneficial in the long-run.

Homemade cannabis oil

Homemade cannabis oil is a highly versatile product that can be used in edible recipes, topical ointments, or as is. Since cannabinoids like THC and CBD are repelled by water molecules, cannabis must be infused in a carrier oil with fatty acids in order to create a liquid form.

What Supplies Will I Need?

In order to prepare for the process of making cannabis oil, you will need:

  • 1 cup of ground decarboxylated cannabis (also known as activated cannabis)
  • 1 cup of oil (coconut or olive oil is suggested)
  • Cooking thermometer
  • A double boiler (you can also create your own make-shift double boiler by placing a stainless steel bowl on top of a water-filled saucepan, or you can use a slow cooker)
  • Cheesecloth
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Glass bowl
  • Storage container (glass jars with lids are recommended)
  • A few grams of raw cannabis (there are emerging health benefits within the raw components of the cannabis plant as well)

It is important to note that this process will leave a very strong cannabis scent wherever you are making your oil. You can open some windows, put on a fan, and spray some air freshener when you are done to mask the odour a bit more.

To make the process easier, you can also use our all-in-one Magical Butter Machine to make cannabis oil quickly and efficiently without extra hassle.

Instructions for making cannabis oil

1. Decarboxylate your cannabis

Grind your buds into smaller pieces and spread it evenly on a baking sheet. Set your oven to 110 °C or 120 °C. The period for which you should keep it in the oven will vary depending on the strain of cannabis you are using:

  • THC-dominant strains: 25 to 30 minutes
  • CBD-dominant strains : 50 to 60 minutes
  • Balanced THC and CBD strains: 45 minutes

2. Prepare your boiler

Add water to the bottom compartment of your double-boiler. Add one cup of your preferred oil to the top section. If you are using a crock pot, you can put it on the low/warm setting. Wait until it has fully melted.

3. Add your cannabis

Stir 7-10 grams of your decarboxylated cannabis into your melted oil. You can also add in some of your raw cannabis during this step.

4. Heat your cannabis and oil mixture

Heat the mixture over a low heat for about 30 to 60 minutes and stir it occasionally. You can use your cooking thermometer to check when the mixture has reached 50 °C to 65 °C and infuse it for about one hour.

5. Strain the mixture

Once your mixture has reached the desired temperature, line a strainer with cheesecloth. Position the strainer over a glass bowl, and pour the mixture through a strainer. Gently squeeze the excess oil from the cannabis by gathering the cheesecloth.

Note that your mixture will be hot at this stage and your hands will get covered in greasy oil. You can wear food-grade gloves to avoid these issues.

6. Store your cannabis oil

Transfer your strained cannabis oil into your container. A glass container with a tight-sealing lid would be the best option. You can store the oil in a dark and cool location. You can even place it in the fridge.

How long will the cannabis oil last?

It is recommended that you use your homemade cannabis oil within a period of 6 months to a year. Check your oil for moulding if you are going to use it after this time period. THC potency can decrease over time, but most forms of THC naturally convert to CBN, which is a cannabinoid that promotes better sleep.

How can I use my homemade cannabis oil?

You can use your homemade cannabis oil in a variety of different ways, such as:

  • Use it as a topical salve to soothe skin issues and muscle aches
  • Add it to your meals or edible recipes
  • Stir a small dose into a warm beverage like tea
  • Hold some oil under your tongue (sublingually)

Equipment available at Cannarite for extracting oils

At Cannarite, we have a variety of cannabis accessories and products to make your cannabis experience as enjoyable as possible. Some of our top-selling oil extraction products include:

Magical Butter Machine

With a precise heating unit and immersion blender, the Magical Butter Machine allows you to easily infuse your herbs into your desired oils. This machine includes a fully automatic and microprocessor-controlled program sequence with a laboratory-grade temperature control system. Use this self-cleaning machine to make 2-5 cups of deliciously infused oils during each cycle.

Magical Butter DecarBox Thermometer

With a food-grade silicone shell, the Magical Butter DecarBox Thermometer prevents the loss of valuable cannabis compounds that may be destroyed by using a normal metal thermometer. Its digital display provides easy and accurate measuring during the creation of your cannabis oil.

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