Often hailed as the latest ‘superfood’ that is great for good health and wellbeing, you might think that coconut oil should really have nothing to do with cannabis.
While it is high in saturated fat, there have been claims that it can help reduce cholesterol and even rumors that it may well impact on diseases like dementia. While the jury is out on many of these claims, it hasn’t stopped coconut oil becoming extremely popular with health conscious consumers.
The high levels of fatty acids in coconut oil actually make it ideal for infusing. It’s the perfect carrier for those who are looking to use cannabis for medical purposes and has become popular in recent years among those in that community.
But does it work? We take a closer look at the pros and cons as well as how to make cannabis coconut oil.
What is a Cannabis Infusion?
An infusion is any product where the flavor, smell, and potency are transferred into another. A simple example is a cup of coffee where the taste of the coffee is added to hot water. Cannabis infusion is used in a wide variety of products such as making oils and cooking edibles.
Coconut oil is widely available from most stores and is made from pressing the white flesh on the inside. You’ll often find it on the same shelf as sunflower and olive oil in your local store.
Cannabis coconut oil is a fairly recent addition to the list of things that you can do with your marijuana plant after you have finally finished harvesting it. The main reason for the increase in popularity is the supposed health benefits of coconut oil that adds to the power of medical cannabis in particular.
The Benefits of Coconut Oil
There has been much written concerning the health impact of coconut oil and not all of it is easy to understand. Small amounts of research can often be taken out of context and you need to take many major claims with a pinch of salt.
Here’s our quick low down on the latest claims:
Coconut oil contains high levels of saturated fats compared to other products like olive oil (80% compared to about 20% in certain products). Some research suggests that it also has high levels of good LDL or cholesterol.
This is an area where there is a lot of debate at the moment – the general consensus is that saturated fats are actually bad for you in large quantities. Proponents of coconut oil point to research that suggests the balance between good and bad cholesterol is the important factor and this is what makes it so healthy.
The jury is out at the moment as to whether coconut is good for your heart health or not. As with any food product, it’s a question of moderation in use.
There is some suggestion that the MCFAs or medium-chain fatty acids contained in coconut oil can help with weight loss. This is a notion that has gained a lot of traction over the last few years, mainly on the internet. There are, however, few pieces of research that support some of the bold claims. The one that is often cited has actually been taken out of context according to the scientist involved and doesn’t actually mean that weight loss can be promoted by using coconut oil in your diet.
The use of coconut oil in skin care has increased dramatically over the last decade along with accounts of its growing health benefits. It has been shown to act well as a moisturizer and can even alleviate some complex skin conditions such as eczema.
All in all, there needs to be a lot more work done on the potential benefits of coconut oil but, if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure, you may want to steer clear of taking large quantities of it. Having said that, it’s often used in cooking to add flavor and, as long as you don’t overdo things, it shouldn’t cause too many health problems.
The Uses of Cannabis Coconut Oil
Assuming you’re still going to forge ahead and make your own cannabis coconut oil, then you’ll want to investigate how to use it. The good news is that it can be used in cooking, to spice up your coffee, as part of a topical pain ointment as well as other things.
Here’s our top 6:
- Cooking With Cannabis Coconut Oil: As with cannabis infused butter, you can use cannabis coconut oil to replace ingredients in your cooking, whether that’s for main meals or the archetypical brownies.
- Putting It In Your Coffee: Adding butter to coffee is also a thing though it is largely a matter of taste. It’s an interesting way to give you cup of morning joe a hit and should see you through the rest of the day. If you’re really up for a challenge, it can also be used in tea, though this really is an acquired taste.
- Topical Pain Relief: Coconut oil is great for moisturizing the skin but many people combine it with cannabis to sooth away aches and pains too. It’s commonly used for conditions such as joint pain and arthritis.
- Eating On Its Own: You can eat small quantities of cannabis coconut oil on its own, without any cooking at all. Drizzle some warm oil onto your salad if you want to add some flavor to your lettuce leaves.
- Moisturizer: Many people like the moisturizing effect of coconut oil and combining it with cannabis seems to make sense. Some say it helps prevent signs of ageing or at least leaves you feeling less worried about them for a short while.
- Lubricant: Finally, people do use cannabis coconut oil as a lubricant for their more intimate moments. Some says that it heightens their experience but we can’t confirm that as no one in Seedsman has tried it to date!
How to Make Cannabis Coconut Oil
Finally, we get down to the nuts and bolts of how to make your very own cannabis coconut oil. The good news is that it’s fairly straight forward but it does take a bit of time (as is the case with cannabutter).
The ingredients you need are about a cup of dried, cured and ground cannabis flower and an equal measure of coconut oil. You’ll also need a small amount of water to stop things drying out while you do the infusing.
The kit you’ll need is: something to heat the mixture up with, some fine cheese cloth to strain the finished product, and a jar with an airtight lid to store.
The key here is that you want to combine the two main ingredients and keep them on a low heat for a good few hours. There are some favorite ways to do this.
- Some people utilize their slow cooker and put everything in, while adding some water. All you need to do is turn it onto the lowest setting and leave.
- Others use a double boiler or even a small pan. You may need a little more water for these as the last thing you want is for the mixture to scorch on the bottom of the pan.
What you’re trying to create here is a process called decarboxylation which essentially activates the THC so that it infuses into the coconut oil. If your doing it in a slow cooker, you’ll need about four to six hours. In a double boiler about 8 for a good result. In a pan, because the underlying heat is a bit stronger, you can probably get away with three hours.
Makes sure you stir the mixture regularly. Many a cook has forgotten their mix and come back to find it congealed at the bottom of the pan.
What you are left with at the end of the cooking process is a mix that looks pretty unsightly. You need a fine cheese cloth and should use this to strain the plant parts out. Don’t be tempted to squeeze the cloth to get all the dregs as this will add more chlorophyll to your final product which can affect the taste.
Strain into a jar and then let this cool. In an airtight jar in the fridge, this should last at least a couple of months.
What to Do Next?
You can either use your cannabis coconut oil in food preparation or, if you want to make a topical ointment, combine it with beeswax. You can also add it to your coffee in the morning if you want a great start to the day.
Coconut oil cannabis is not everyone’s cup of tea but is widely used by those who take it for medicinal purposes. If you don’t want to use your main cannabis buds to make it, the above method is ideal for your trimmings and other offcuts.