Wondering how to make CBD oil with olive oil? It's a super easy process, and we walk you through every step of the way in this informative how-to guide. This gentle method of making cannabis-infused olive oil preserves all of its aroma and benefits through the use of sous vide.
How to Infuse Olive Oil with CBD
CBD oil is sold all over the world by a variety of different manufacturers, each using their own desired cannabis strains and oil types. There are a number of products out there to choose from. Due to so many options, some people say there’s no reason to learn how to make CBD-infused oil yourself.
However, as any good home cook or homebrewer knows, there is a certain pleasure in getting things done your way. And as the old saying goes, ‘if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.’
Creating your own CBD oil can be an empowering experience.
You have the ability to choose exactly what ingredients you’re going to use, control of the overall process, and an added benefit is the fun you’ll have working with your hands.
Another advantage of home-made CBD oil is the absence of industrial practices and chemicals. You can control the process from start to finish, giving you the final say over the end product. So how do you actually do it?
How to make CBD oil: Tips for the Average Joe
Commercial production of CBD oil is a refined and industrial process, replete with high-tech CO2 extraction equipment and razor-thin profit margins.
None of this is a major concern for you. Your batch of CBD oil will be specially prepared for your own unique needs. However, it’s useful to know how larger companies and manufacturers do it, so you can understand what you’re trying to emulate when you going the DIY route.
Generally speaking, most companies produce CBD oils using an extraction method wherein they remove the CBD from cannabis using superheated CO2. This allows them to fully remove any traces of other cannabinoids from the final product, and then suspend that finished result in an oil solution.
For making CBD oil at home, though, you won’t have access to this fancy supercritical CO2 equipment; you’re going to have to use good old, tried and true methods that work on a small scale. Like, for instance, a frying pan.
Making DIY CBD-infused olive oil doesn’t involve fancy machinery or expensive extraction equipment. Rather, we rely on the traditional, tried and true methods like a hot plate and a frying pan.
However, before you can start making your CBD oil, you need to choose your oil. As this is a guide for how to make CBD oil with olive oil, let’s go over why you’d want to use olive oil over other oils.
Making CBD-Infused Olive Oil: Why Olive?
You can make CBD oil out of basically any oil type you want, but the quality, taste, and preservation qualities of the final product will all be different. Olive oil is an excellent choice because of its inherent flavor. It is a versatile oil and can be applied to many different purposes.
In particular, olive oil has been a go-to cooking oil for millennia, meaning you can use the final product in all sorts of recipes, something that other CBD oils can’t do as well. Furthermore, its flavor doesn’t interfere with the dish. (You wouldn’t want to spoil a delicious pasta salad with an oil that has an overpowering flavor, like coconut, now would you?)
So anyway, let’s take a look at the process of how you can make your very own high-quality CBD oil from olive oil.
Step #1 – Choosing Your Strain
In order to infuse a proper homemade CBD oil, you’ll need to make it from actual cannabis buds. If you don’t really care about the total CBD content of the final product, you can use any variety of cannabis. But if you want to ensure that the final product is a CBD oil (rather than a THC oil), it’s important to know what strain you’re using.
Try and buy a high-CBD strain of cannabis such as ACDC or Charlotte’s Web. If there’s little to no THC within the bud, you can avoid getting high or implementing any psychoactive properties in your infusion.
On a side note, however, high-CBD flower is really only available in top-end marijuana dispensaries. So unless you live in a state where an assortment of strains is readily available, you may find it difficult to track down the proper starting material.
Step #2 – Preparing Your Bud
Anyway, to prepare your bud, you’ll first need to decarboxylate it. Our bodies have trouble processing the principal cannabinoids within cannabis unless they have been decarboxylated, which basically just means they’ve been heated to a certain temperature. (When you smoke weed, the combustion process decarboxylates the compounds “automatically.” If you’re using it in cooking – or in making CBD oil – you’ll need to do it yourself).
To “decarb” the bud, simply put it in on a baking sheet in the oven and set it to roughly 230˚F for about 20 to 30 minutes. You’re looking for the buds to just slightly begin to turn brown, as well as slightly crisp. You don’t want to fully cook it or burn it all.
If you want to skip this step, you can just finely grind your bud into a powder; this makes it a lot easier for the cannabinoids to leach out into the hot oil later in the process, allowing you to skip the decarboxylating step.
Once you’ve got your bud prepared, it’s time to cook!
Step #3 – Choosing Your Olive Oil
The actual process of making CBD oil is surprisingly simple. But first, you need to decide what type of olive oil you want to use.
Extra virgin olive oil will taste the nicest (and will be the most expensive), but it has a habit of developing a bitter taste if you cook it at too high a temperature. Depending on your stovetop, you might find that extra virgin gets burnt during the process of CBD oil production. With this in mind, get the highest quality, non-extra virgin (robust) olive oil you can.
Step #4 – Steeping the Cannabis in Oil
Next, you’ll need to make a simple half water/half olive oil mixture in your chosen saucepan. Add your prepared CBD cannabis buds and get comfortable, because you’re going to be here for a while.
Start the heat at quite a low setting, stirring the water and oil mixture constantly to ensure nothing clumps up or gets stuck to the bottom of the pan.
You want to keep increasing the heat slowly, until the water within the mixture starts to approach boiling temperature. You can tell it’s doing this because tiny bubbles will begin floating to the surface in anticipation of it beginning to fully boil. Once you’ve reached this point, dial the heat back a little bit and try and stick to a low boil. Your ideal temperature for infusing CBD into olive oil is in the realm of 200˚F.
The key temperature you want to avoid reaching is 300˚F, as is this is where many of the cannabinoids will start to evaporate and dissipate into the air, instead of into your olive oil.
Once you hit 200˚F, keep stirring and allowing the mixture to gently simmer.
The reason behind combining water and olive oil is two-fold. Firstly, it makes it easier on ourselves to separate out the cannabis from the final product. Furthermore, the combination of both the water and the olive oil keeps the cannabis from becoming charred. Burned cannabis won’t make for good CBD oil.
Anyway, you’ll want to cook your water and olive oil mixture for around 30 minutes, until it looks like most of the water has evaporated away and the cannabis has begun floating to the top. Once this happens, you can move on to the final stage!
Step #5 – Cooling & Separating the CBD-infused olive oil
Once your CBD oil has finished extracting the cannabinoids from the cannabis buds, you need to let the whole thing cool. Wait until it reaches room temperature (so you don’t burn yourself!) and then strain the infusion (using a fine-mesh sieve) into a convenient storage receptacle, like a Tupperware jar with a lid.
You should be left with a pot of CBD-enriched olive oil and a handful of leftover, still warm cannabis buds.
Most people simply toss these buds out, but you can use them as garnishes or a flavor addition in several recipes (as well as cannabis-infused smoothies!).
Seal the pot containing the liquid mixture and put it in the fridge for 2 hours, or overnight. Once everything is fully cooled, the olive oil will harden and coagulate, forming a layer of dense CBD oil along the top with the water completely separated out along the bottom.
Simply squeeze the receptacle you’ve stored your mixture in to allow the walls of the pot to widen, and then drain away the water and discard it.
That’s it! You’ve made CBD olive oil — easy enough, right!?
Final Thoughts on How to Make CBD Oil with Olive Oil
Despite its complicated appearance and description, CBD olive oil is nothing more than infused olive oil with raw CBD-rich cannabis flower. With nothing more than a few simple kitchen utensils, a bit of heat, and a whole lot of patience, you can very easily make a dispensary-worthy CBD oil.
Keep your CBD-infused olive oil in a sealed container, ideally in a cool and dark place, as sunlight can degrade cannabinoids (keep it away from windows!).
To consume, simply take a small amount and swallow it, or better yet, apply it under your tongue. And of course, you can cook with the CBD oil in place of any other kind of oil — your meals will become infused with CBD goodness! In all, making your own CBD-infused oil can not only shake up your old CBD routine, but it can also be fun and simple too.
For those of you who haven’t got the time or energy to start making your own CBD oil, we’ve listed below some of this year’s top-rated CBD brands:
Cannabis-Infused Olive Oil
Before cannabis can be used in a recipe, it must be activated or decarboxylated to maximize all of its benefits. Traditionally, decarbing meant heating the buds in a low oven for two to three hours, a process that can destroy flavor. Decarbing using sous vide, on the other hand, preserves the floral and fragrant flavors known as terpenes. After decarbing, you’ll gently infuse the cannabis in olive oil, creating an aromatic ingredient you’ll be able to use in both sweet and savory recipes, from aglio e olio pasta to chocolate pretzel cookies and a citrus-infused cake. You’ll need an immersion stick circulator, cannabis grinder, vacuum-sealable bag, and avacuum sealer for this recipe. Note: As cannabis regulation continues to evolve across the United States and around the world, please consult your local laws.
3 ½ grams cannabis flower (see Notes below), about 1⁄8 ounce
3 tablespoon distilled water
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Set the immersion circulator to 200°F and place in a medium saucepan filled halfway with water. Grind the cannabis buds into small pieces and place in the vacuum-sealable bag with the distilled water. Using the vacuum sealer, seal the bag completely. When the circulator reaches 200°F, drop the sealed bag into the water and decarb for 30 minutes, rotating the bag every 5 to 10 minutes.
Transfer the bag to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and to preserve the terpenes; let cool. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl; strain and reserve the cannabis, discarding the liquid.
In a small saucepan, combine oil and cannabis in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat; continue to cook for 20 minutes, stirring often. Remove saucepan from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes more.
Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a resealable heat-proof food container with an airtight lid. Keep refrigerated and use within 30 days.
Choose a strain of cannabis that complements or contrasts with your recipes. Like wine, the attributes are wide ranging, from sweet and earthy to citrusy and berry-like. Also consider the desired effect; certain strains are championed for their anti-inflammatory abilities while others are known for maintaining focus. A dispensary can steer you in the right direction.
Each tablespoon of Cannabis-Infused Olive Oil contains about 29 mg THC, based on the use of a 20 percent THC strain. Plan accordingly to substitute for a portion, but not all, of the olive oil in a recipe.
This recipe was developed in partnership with Kitchen Toke, the first media company dedicated to teaching people about culinary cannabis for health and wellness.