Cannaoil vs Cannabutter? Plus Best Oils for Cannaoil 

By  Cheri Sicard

Dear Cheri,

What is better when cooking with cannabis, butter or oil?  And if oil, what is the best oil for making marijuana infusions?

Cannaoil vs Cannabutter?  I am surprised at how frequently I get asked this question.  The answer is simple:  It depends!

When it comes to cooking, marijuana metabolizes best in fats so you are definitely on the right track.  Marijuana Butter or Cannabis Oil?  Both work well.  

Cannaoil vs Cannabutter for Marijuana Infusions?

 Again, you can get great results with most any edible oil.

Me?  I am a foodie.  Likewise I like to infuse whatever is going to work best for the recipes I intend to make.  

For instance, you probably would not want to use cannabis olive oil to make Pot Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Cannabis infused butter would work far better for this.  

Conversely, that infused olive oil would work far better than oil if you planned on making a Marijuana Vinaigrette.  So infuse for whatever you plan to make.

What are the Best Oils for Cannaoil

This is subset of the original cannaoil vs cannabutter question.  Again, for a purely culinary perspective, the best oils are the ones that work best for the recipe you are planning to make with them.  You can even infuse solid-at-room temperature fats and oils like coconut oil and vegtable shortening.

Which Oil Absorbs the Most THC?

Cannabis author Elise McDonough put it to the test when she was edibles editor for High Times.  The differences were small but depending on which lab test you believe (High Times used 2 different labs) Clarified Butter and Olive Oil fared slightly better.  

But again the differences were small, so for me, I choose by what works best in my recipe.  Check out Elise’s experiment at this link.

Why I Love Cannabis Coconut Oil

Now if you are at a loss for what to infuse and are looking for something that can be used in a variety of ways, I would choose to infuse coconut oil for a several reasons:

  • It has the longest shelf life of any oil, a year or more.  Although for longest shelf life, I always store all my cannabis infusions in the freezer.
  • Coconut oil is versatile, its light flavor pairs with lots of different foods, both sweet and savory.
  • Coconut oil can be substituted for butter, one for one, in baking.  Expect delicious, soft, moist finished baked goods like cakes, cookies, and brownies.
  • Marijuana Coconut oil is great for both edibles AND topicals.

The Bottom Line on the Best Mediums for Cannabis Infusions

So bottom line in the cannaoil versus cannabutter debate is, the best oil or butter to infuse with cannabis comes down to your intended use for the infusion.  

For max potency, go for Clarified Butter or Olive Oil.  Or for versatility, go for Coconut oil.  But any edible fat will do a decent job.

Also don’t forget you can eliminate the need for making cannabis butter or oil entirely and infuse your edibles with concentrates like FECO, hash oil, hash or kief instead.  This is my personal favorite method of cannabis cooking as it’s quick, easy, hassle-free, and imparts less herbal flavor into the food.

Have a burning question about cannabis?  Ask Cheri!  If she doesn’t know the answer, she’ll try to find it or refer you to someone who does.

Marijuana Butter or Cannabis Oil, which is better for infusions?

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This article was originally published in October, 2016.

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How to Make Cannabis MCT Oil Tincture
    • MCT oil is fine. But I still maintain the best oil to use is the oil that fits what you are cooking. I saw no reason to specifically call out individual oils aside from the fact that coconut oil has a longer shelf life.

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