One of the most usable forms of Cannabis Medicine is an infused oil or fat. Not all dietary fats available for infusion are created equally based upon the body’s ability to break down and metabolize. Most dietary fats such as animal, vegetable, nut and seed oils are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs) which are often referred to as LCTs (long chain triglycerides), meaning they consist of 12-18 carbon atoms per molecular chain. These large, difficult to digest fat molecules require enzymatic breakdown and are often stored in the body as fat for long range energy. On the other hand, medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) like those found in coconut oil are smaller consisting of only 6-12 carbon atoms per chain. Due to the smaller size of MCFAs they do not require enzymatic digestion and therefore can easily permeate the bodies cell membranes. The MCFAs in coconut oil are absorbed whole and sent to the liver to be metabolized and converted into a readily available quick burning fuel. Unlike LCFAs they are not stored as fat but are metabolized by the body without producing an insulin spike caused by simple carbohydrates. This alternate biochemical pathway utilized by MCFAs makes coconut oil the “Champion” of all oils and fats and an ideal “carrier” for Cannabinoids. Two thirds of the total volume of raw coconut oil is MCFA’s!
Some folks prefer to use fractionated coconut oil or “MCToil” (liquid coconut oil) for their infusions. Simply put, the primary difference between “MCT oil” and unrefined coconut oil, is the “MCT oil” is processed to remove the MCFA Lauric acid. Isolated Lauric acid has a melting temperature of 100 degrees F, this is why raw coconut oil is a solid fat at room temperature, whereas “MCT Oil” (with the Lauric acid removed) is a liquid at room temperature. Raw coconut oil is comprised of up to 50% of this amazing fatty acid that has many health benefits on its own. The principle reason for the food and cosmetic industry to isolate and remove Lauric acid from raw coconut oil is to use it as an ingredient in dietary supplements, drugs, detergents and cosmetics. The “MCT oil” is a by-product from the process of isolating Lauric acid from pure coconut oil. Though “MCT oil” still contains a considerable amount of MCFA’s, it is missing what many believe to be the most beneficial medium chain fatty acid of them all (Lauric acid). Raw coconut oil contains the highest concentration of MCFA’s and Lauric acid on Earth.
The next highest natural concentration of Lauric acid isin human breast milk, at around 6% by volume! (Remember, coconut oil is 50%) It is a natural anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and an immune system regulator and supporter. Lauric acid is also known to reduce blood cholesterol levels reducing the risk of heart disease. It is no wonder that populations who consume a LOT of coconuts and the oil from them are some of the healthiest on the planet. When assisting those with a Cannabis Medicine protocol such as weak immune systems, compromised liver function, and/or gastrointestinal issues becomes commonplace, it only makes good sense to utilize this wonderful fatty acid in its natural unadulterated state.
The following recipe makes a wonderfully pure infusion suitable for oral ingestion straight out of the jar. Averaging 50% overall decarboxylation the oil can be used “as is” or be used in making baked goods and other Cannabis edibles. When used in baked goods the oven temperatures will completely finish the decarboxylation process for those that prefer a fully activated preparation. We believe a well rounded “full spectrum” preparation should contain a small percentage of Cannabinoids in their acid form. This is why we prefer to use this particular infusion as a “carrier” oil to be blended with fully activated Cannabis Oil (Part #1) to fill custom capsules or syringes (Part #3).
One of the biggest advantages in using the pressure cooker over other methods (slow cooker etc.) is the material will not scorch, even with the higher temperatures obtained cooking under pressure. In our opinion, burning or scorching an infused oil ruins it. Many believe ingesting scorched oil causes irritation within the G.I tract (i.e. upset stomach, nausea, and loss of appetite). Coconut oil has a smoke point of 350 degrees F. Pure Cannabis oil that has been filtered properly has a smoke point right around 295 degrees F. Temperatures inside the pressure cooker will top out at around 250 F.
The water in the recipe creates super hot steam and most importantly, provides a buffer between the Cannabis and the heat source. However, when an infusion is subjected to the same temperatures in a slow cooker without water it can easily scorch. If water is simply added to the slow cooker, the H2O will boil at 212 degrees preventing the overall temperature from rising high enough for sufficient decarboxylation to occur. It is not the coconut oil or the plant resin that scorches, it is the residual plant waxes, proteins and chlorophyll within the extraction. These materials will scorch at much lower temps than pure oils, especially if there is not a water buffer utilized during the extraction process. The pressure cooker allows the material to reach higher temperatures via steam and high pressure, providing a gentle yet thorough extraction of Cannabinoids with a higher overall decarboxylation without scorching.
Note: We will be removing the bulk of the undesirable constituents (waxes and and proteins) after the infusion returns to a solid state.
• 35 Grams High Grade Cannabis
• 35 liquid oz. Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil
• 1 and One half qt. R/O or Distilled Water
• 6 qt. Pressure Cooker
• 6 qt. Stainless Pot (same in Part #1 last issue)
• 8 Inch Stainless Steel Strainer (same in Part#1 last issue)
• 1 White Cotton “Potato Sack” Dish towel cut into quarters (same in Part #1 last issue)
• 1 qt Mason Jar
• 3 Pint Mason Jars with Lids
• Rubber Spatula
• Stove and Refrigerator
• Cold Water for Rinsing
To begin, work the DRY Cannabis buds (or resin coated trimmings) through the 8 inch stainless screen strainer (work through with fingers), if the material is too gummy or sticky spread it onto a cookie sheet and place it in the oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes or so, just enough to drive excess moisture out of the bud/ trim and make it nice and brittle. Discard seeds and stems…
Be certain all jars, lids, pots and dishtowel (straining cloth) are thoroughly washed and sanitized. Just as you would with any other canning process. Cut the dish towel into 12 inch by 12 inch squares and stack two layers into the strainer over the stainless pot. As far as material quantities are concerned, simply remember 35 grams Cannabis to 35 liquid oz. of Coconut Oil, and a 1 to 1.5 ratio of oil to water…..Simple!
Gently melt the coconut oil in a warm water bath, fill the quart mason jar all the way to the top (35 liquid oz.) then empty into the pressure cooker. Add three pints (1 and ½ qt.) Distilled or filtered R/O water (it is important to use a pure water source as we do not want any hard water deposits or chlorine in our final product). Finally, add the prepared Cannabis. Place the cover on securely and set the cooker on the stovetop on medium heat, be sure that the flame is medium (small yellow tips) and NOT high.
If the flame is too high too much water will boil off over the 90 minutes and the infusion will be liable to scorch. At the end of the cooking time there should be about 15-20% water left overall, this is very important as the ratio between water and oil needs to be just right for proper separation between the two during the cleaning and rinsing stage (more on this later). When the cooker begins to rattle and hiss begin timing. Cook for a full 90 minutes, turn off the flame and allow the cooker to cool for 10 minutes. At this point the cooker can be moved into the kitchen sink and a very small stream of cool water can be run onto the lid. This will allow the cooker to depressurize in about 5 minutes enabling the lid to be safely removed.