Ask Cheri

Accounting for Volume Loss After Straining Cannabis Infusions 

By Cheri Sicard
May 19, 2021

Dear Cheri,

I used  1/2 ounce of weed, decarbed it in my Ardent Novathen I infused it in 1/2 cup  of MCT coconut oil. After straining and pressing the oil out of the weed it gave me roughly 2.5 fluid oz (less than 1/3 of a cup).  How do I calculate the loss of oil for potency? Nobody ever talks about this.

You will always lose some oil or butter or whatever you are infusing after draining and straining.  Likewise, I always start with at least 1/4 cup or so more than what I hope to get back.  For instance, if I want a cup of infused butter, I will start my infusion with 1 1/4 cups.

I do notice some cannabis strains seem to absorb more than others, so it is hard to be consistent and know exactly what  each batch will be, but starting out with an extra 14 cup of oil will account for most, if not all, of it.

Also, you will notice the volume loss in cannabis infusions a lot more when you are only infusing small amounts like the 1/2 cup you mentioned above.  

 It also sounds to me, in this particular case, 1/2 cup of oil would barely be enough oil to cover 1/2 ounce of cannabis, so first off I would advise using more oil for the infusion, then add a little extra to also account for absorption.  When infusion you need enough medium to totally soak the cannabis plus some extra.

When it comes time to calculate the dosing, calculate on what you have left after draining and straining.  In other words when it asks amount to be infused in the dosing calculator, enter what you ended up with after straining).

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  • At some point during all of my extracting I was told that most oils have a saturation point of about 700 mg of THC per ounce. I have always calculated the amount of THC in the cannabis I’m extracting, adjusted for loss of THC during decarb, and then divided by 700 to get the amount of oil that I would want to use. I usually round up to the next ounce, once I have extracted and strained out my material, I store the raffinate in a mason jar in my freezer, once that is full I fill with oil to basically wash out any milligrams that could be stuck in said cannabis. The second hand extraction is not quite as strong, but definitely still hits very well due to the fact that there’s lots of milligrams that are just stuck in the oil in the cannabis. At least that’s how I handle it. What do you think about this method?

    • I am not sure where that 700 mg number came from. I have never gotten anyone with any credentials to go on record with such a number. So that is my first question. Likewise I will stick with my method.

      The 2nd wash will have some, I don’t usually bother but you certainly can. I have found when I do this, the edibles I make end up giving me a headache. But that is me.

  • Always enjoy your videos, Cheri!! Your peanut butter cup with the chocolate ganache is one of my favorites. So EZ to make and looks like a million bucks!!

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