The Tab’s ultimate guide to making your own cannabis oil
It makes about 10 portions of pure death
Everybody always says they make the best special brownies or that they’ve perfected the recipe for space cake, but at the end of the day, what makes a good batch of edibles from a bad one? If you haven’t guessed yet, it’s the quality of your cannabis oil. As you may know, digging around on the internet will yield dozens of different opinions and methods varying from simple and stupid to complex and even risky. What we have here for you is a simple, straight forward method that will yield consistent results with as little room for error as possible.
With a little bit of theory, and a hint of creativity, you can now be the one to launch your friends to space with a little snack.
Assemble the joint committee and gather your supplies, here’s a simple list of what you will need to be the kief justice of your high court.
- A large pot
- A sauce pan or a smaller pot if you don’t have one (as long as it fits into the large pot)
- A lot of pot (We actually recommend about half an ounce for the first run)
- Tin foil
- A cooking thermometer (This is critical)
- A grinder for your green
- Vegetable/Olive oil
- A baking tray
- A wooden spoon
- An oven preheated to 240F
- 2 burners on a stove
- A mesh filter or a coffee filter if you don’t have one.
- A container for your final product (wider is better)
1) Decarboxylation: The theory here is that you want to convert as much of the inactive THCA into THC as possible through the process of decarboxylation. You are essentially removing a CO2 group from the predominant THCA in your starting material and aiming to get as much of it converted into active THC as you can. This process should take no longer than 1 hour to achieve about 90% THC activation.
~ 45-60 minutes
- Pre-heat the oven to 240F.
- Grind down all of your starting product so that no large buds remain.
- Place the starting material onto the baking tray and slide it into the oven once it is pre-heated.
- Only open the oven door to stir the product with the spoon once every 10 minutes, so that it dries evenly.
- Begin the next part of the procedure while you wait for the material to dry out and complete the reaction.
2) Preparing the double boiler: While your starting material is decarboxylating in the oven, you should begin to set up the next step in your process. You want to begin this step while your starting material is in the oven.
~ 10 minutes
- Fill the larger pot nearly to the top with water and add a generous amount of salt (1 cup per litre of water if possible).
- Set the large pot onto the stove and set the burner to max, bringing the water to a boil
- Prepare your sauce pan / small pot by putting an equal amount of oil as you have starting product (just under 1cup per ounce, you can always add more so don’t over-do it).
- Set your cooking thermometer up on the side of the smaller pot/sauce pan so that it reads the temperature from the top layer of oil. (You can also hold it and periodically check the oil temperature manually if needed).
3) THC extraction: This is the part where you actually pull the active THC from your decarboxylated product and extract it into the oil you will use for consumption. THC is fat soluble and will diffuse into the oil as you heat it, you will also decarboxylate your product further in this process. You will control the temperature of the oil in the smaller pot by using a double boiler, which will keep the temperature roughly at the point of boiling water (~212F). This will prevent you form overheating your product and losing active THC.
~ 60-120 minutes
- After your starting material has spent at least 45 minutes in the oven, and your water is boiling in the large pot, inspect the starting material and ensure that it is slightly brown and dry. If it is not yet ready, then allow for it to sit in the oven for another 10-15 minutes until dry.
- Remove your dry, decarboxylated product from the oven and deposit it directly into your oil in the smaller pot or sauce pan.
- Ensure that there is just enough oil to entirely cover your decarboxylated product, adding a touch more if needed.
- Put the small pot/sauce pan onto a smaller burner set to medium.
- Allow for the oil temperature to reach ~240F, checking periodically and stirring while you heat. Be very cautious as the temperature may suddenly climb very quickly.
- Once the oil has reached 240F, you may see bubbles forming. This is evidence of more THCA decarboxylating within your oil, and of active THC diffusing into your solution.
- At this point, remove the sauce pan/small pot from the burner and put it into the boiling water, it should be partially submerged. Ensure that it is stable and will not tip over. Be careful to avoid any steam that may form as a result.
- Lay a piece of tin foil over your sauce pan / small pot so that it covers the oil but not the water in the large pot (don’t let condensation into the oil or it will splash at you)
- Monitor the temperature of the oil over the course of the next 1-2 hours. You want it to remain between 210 and 250F at all times, if you need to add temperature, re-heat the sauce pan / small pot on the burner as needed, and re-submerge it in the water. Continue to heat the oil in water for at least one hour. If you can afford to do this for the full 2 hours, do so
4) Obtaining your final product: Once you have let the extraction process with the double boiler complete, remove the sauce pan/ small pot and let it cool as you prepare the next step. This is where you will obtain your completed cannabis oil for future use.
~ 10-20 minutes
- Remove the sauce pan / small pot from the double boiler and allow for it to cool.
- Set up the mesh or coffee filter over the container you wish to use for your product.
- Slowly pour the cool oil through the fine mesh or filter, leaving your ground-up product on top or in the filter.
- Allow for as much of the oil to drip down into the container as you can, and gently press down on the ground-up product to drain as much oil from it as possible.
- The final product that you will have in your container should be a dark green colour, potentially slightly brown. If you have a different result, refer to the FAQ at the end of this procedure.
5) Congratulations! You have now made very potent cannabis oil. You can bake with it in place of added oil, you can cook with it at low-mid temperatures, or you consume it directly. Experiment with lower doses first so that you don’t couch-lock your accomplices, and up the doses as needed. Following is a list of questions that you may have an answers to them.
Frequently Asked Questions:
I don’t have a cooking thermometer, can I eyeball the oil instead and guess the temperature?
- Yes you can, but it’s not recommended. It is difficult to gauge the difference between 180, 220, and 300f temperature of the oil with just your eyes. If you insist on doing this without taking the temperature, keep your eye on the bubbles forming in the oil and only heat for one hour. Attempt to have CO2 rising from the solution in your sauce pan / smaller pot for a full 60 minutes, but do not let it brown or discolour.
I live in an apartment building that does not let me smoke inside, will this smell?
- Yes! This will smell. A lot. Avoid doing this if your neighbours will come knocking looking for you, as you will have no way of plausibly denying having done this.
I don’t have fresh cannabis to use, but instead want to use ABV (Already-been-vaped) weed, is that ok?
- You can try to use ABV material, but it is recommended that you remove the first decarboxylation step. Do not put it into the oven and instead begin with the double boiler. Don’t forget to adjust the amount of oil that you use as well.
I want to consume the oil without cooking it in anything, is there something I can do about the taste?
- Yes. You can place your starting materials in a warm water bath for a few hours before hand, dissolving out the nasty-tasting water-soluble compounds prior to baking in the oven. THC is not water soluble and will not be lost, but be sure to not lose any starting material when you drain the water, and account for a longer baking time in the oven. Only begin the double-boiler THC extraction once the product is dry.
My final product is very light or too dark and bitter. What went wrong?
- If the final product is too light you probably did not allow for the reactions to take place for long enough, or had too much oil or too little heat. Consume it anyway, because you’ve already made it and be more careful the next time. If it is too dark and looks burnt, you have heated it for too long or at too high of a temperature. It’s not recommended to consume this, as it may not be potent and because it is harmful to consume burnt substances. Try again and be more careful.