When it comes to cannabis edibles, the main question we should ask ourselves before deciding on a preparation method is whether or not we want to activate (decarboxylate) our herb first. If activated, we need to choose between making cannaoil or cannabutter as each requires its own process and has its own pros and cons.
The decision between cannabis oil and cannabutter usually comes to personal preference and convenience. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, but we’ll break down the main differences below so that you can arrive at an educated decision as to which method is suitable for you.
The primary advantage of making cannabis-infused oil is that it does not require any heating or cooking as cannabutter does. Instead, all you need is your bud (ground up), a jar, some oil of choice (olive oil or coconut oil are popular choices), water, and a sieve or cheesecloth. If you want to make the process even smoother, try using a decarboxylation machine like the LEVO II.
The LEVO II Oil Infuser is a simple decarboxylation machine that can produce cannabis butter, THC-infused oils, CBD salves, and regular infusions. It’s an ideal decarboxylation device for producing cannabis-infused sweets and ointments.
The ratio of herb to oil you’ll want to use depends on how strong you’d like your end product to be. It’s important to note that this is a general guideline, and you should adjust the ratio according to your preferences. The total process time for making cannabis-infused oil will depend on the method you use.
Cannabutter vs. Cannaoil: What’s the difference?
Although these two goods have many comparative purposes and are made from the same cannabis plant, they’re produced and utilized in very distinct ways. Both have the ability to make edibles that are potent and flavorful.
One of the most common questions we get asked is whether it’s better to cook with cannabis oil or cannabutter? Many people assume that since butter has a higher fat content than oil, THC will bind more effectively to it during cooking. And since baking requires softened butter instead of sauteed oils, they assume butter offers a superior binding medium for cannabinoids.
But there’s one big problem with this idea: THC isn’t water-soluble, so recipes calling for cannabis-infused butter won’t create a “stronger” finished product.
Most cannabis compounds will bind to fat or alcohol instead of water, which is why edibles made from cannabutter retain the herb’s rich green color and flavor (which we don’t necessarily want in our brownies). If you’ve ever seen a batch of weed brownies that failed to darken correctly, it was probably due to insufficient heat during decarboxylation.
Because cannabutter doesn’t dissolve solubilized THC as efficiently as oil (because they contain different ratios of cannabinoids instead of non-cannabinoid plant material), the butter is typically used in higher quantities when cooking; it’s simply less potent than cannaoil.
Making Cannaoil vs Cannabutter
Making cannabutter is easy; all you need is butter and pre-decarboxylated cannabis. But making cannaoil requires decarboxylating the ground bud before infusing it in oil – a step that takes time and effort but delivers far superior results. Heating the herb during decarboxylation activates its psychoactive ingredients (THC and other cannabinoids) and enhances its flavor and aroma. One method to reduce the time and smell involved with decarboxylation is using a decarboxylation machine like the LEVO II. In addition to it being a decarboxylation device for making cannabis infused sweets and ointments, the LEVO II can be used to make cannabutter, THC-infused oils, CBD salves and other creative infusions.
Cannaoil: A Potent Yet Refined Option For Cannabis Enthusiasts
Of course, cannaoil has its limitations. Because it doesn’t absorb the herb’s flavor as cannabutter does, it’s not ideal when making fruity or sweet sweets – especially if you want to maintain your brownies’ signature taste and texture. But for savory snacks like pizza sauce, garlic bread, or fried potatoes, oil-based infusions are hard to beat in terms of pure potency.
No matter what infusion medium you choose when cooking with cannabis at home, remember that the key to successfully baking edibles is knowing how much decarboxylated ground bud to add per serving.
What’s the Verdict: Cannabutter or Cannaoil?
It all comes down to how much work you want to put into your infusion and what kinds of edibles you plan on making with it. If you’re looking for maximum potency with minimal hassle, then making cannaoil makes better sense than using cannabutter as your infusion medium.
However, there’s no denying that cannabutter tastes good too; because it uses a larger amount of herb, it often has the flavor nuances that cannaoil lacks. And if you’re using cannabutter to make brownies or other baked goods, there’s no need for heated decarboxylation. If you’re a vegan, but still want to enjoy the benefits of butter for a baking recipe, you can follow our recipe for homemade vegan cannabutter.
At the end of the day, when it comes to cooking with cannabis, you have two options: cannabutter or cannaoils. The one that is best for your recipe depends on what kind of food you’re making along with your personal preference for taste and health benefits. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference, so try out both and see what works best for you!
If you’re looking to elevate your knowledge and skills in the realm of edible-making, this Elevated Edibles Masterclass might just be the perfect fit for you. Get clarity on things like cannabutter and cannaoil infusions in this 1 hour value-packed course.