Much like the decarb process, there’s a lot of mystery surrounding cannabis infusion. This is mainly due to the lack of data regarding the infusion process – there’s little to no real testing to show the maximum amount of THC you can get into butter or oil infusions.
We set out to change that by bringing in MCR Labs to test a number of infusion samples extracted using the Nova. We were excited with the results – the rest of this post will present you the results on our infusion testing.
THE BIG REVEAL: You can infuse right in your decarboxylator, after completing the decarb step.
It’s a simple process:
When you add the decarbed flower into the fatty oil, the oil encapsulates the flower, acting as an insulator.
That’s why it’s necessary to decarb BEFORE you infuse.
The oil acting as an insulator means that you won’t get a fully activated product if you don’t decarb before the infusion process.
The testing below shows the infusion of flower that was NOT decarboxylated prior to infusion. The flower was mixed with oil and placed in the decarboxylator.
|Acid THCA||Active THC||Total Potential Active THC||Total Infusion %||Decarb %||Testing Results|
|Sample A: 1 gram of Raw Plant – Gorilla Glue||170mg||18mg||168mg*||10%||View Results|
|Infusion A: 1 gram of raw plant Gorilla Glue infused in NOVA with 1 oz coconut oil with no pre decarb||98mg||47mg||136mg*||80%||33%||View Results|
|Sample B: 1 gram of Raw Plant – Red Congo||206mg||13mg||193mg*||6%||View Results|
|Infusion B: 1 gram of raw plant Red Congo infused in NOVA with 1 oz Grapeseed oil with no pre decarb||143mg||35mg||159mg*||82%||22%||View Results|
*Total Potential THC = THCA x .87 + THC. When THCA converts to THC the acid molecule (carboxyl group) is released, reducing the total molecule weight by 13%. You can get the full potential THC with precision decarboxylation.
While there was good infusion into the oil (80%), you can see the vast majority of the cannabinoids are still in the acid THCA form (almost 100mg). This means that when using this oil, instead of getting the effects of the expected 130mg dose of THC, you would only get 47mg.
We tested many different types of oils to figure out which type of oil produced the highest THC levels after infusion.
Starting flower for all of the infusions was 20% THC after precision decarb in the Nova. That means in each gram of starting material, there was 200mg of THC. See our dosing guide for more details on dosing after decarboxylation. In the table directly below, 2 grams of decarbed flower totaling 400mg of THC was placed inside a glass container with 1 ounce of oil and infused for 1 cycle. The testing results below show how much of the 400mg were pulled into the ounce of oil during the infusion.
|Type of Oil||Amount of decarbed flower placed in 1 oz oil||Total mg THC extracted into 1 oz oil||Infusion Percentage||Link to Testing Result|
|Extra Virgin Olive Oil||2 g ~ 400mg||392mg||96%||View Results|
|Fractionated Coconut Oil||2 g ~ 400mg||332mg||81%||View Results|
|Walnut Oil||2 g ~ 400mg||370mg||91%||View Results|
Choosing a good oil for the infusion isn’t too difficult, every oil we tested had 80% or higher infusion rate, and some over 90%. Keep scrolling to see infusion percentages of more oils and information on increasing and decreasing the potency.
Check them out:
|Decarbed Flower 20% THC||~ 200 milligrams per gram of flower (200mg/g)||View Results|
Changing the potency is a matter of adding additional cannabis – you can use as little as a half a gram of flower. For those who need a higher dose, just increase the amount of cannabis.
We were able to get up to 700mg in an ounce of oil out of a total of 800mg (4gm) of flower material.
That was the highest saturation point for this particular strain of flower in one ounce of oil (though you could get higher using more potent flower, concentrate or kief).
|Type of Oil||Amount of Material placed into 1 oz of oil||Total MG extracted into 1 oz oil||Infusion %|
|Butter||0.5 - 100mg||93mg||93%||View Results|
|Avocado||0.5g -100mg||92mg||92%||View Results|
|MCT||0.5g -100mg||91mg||91%||View Results|
|Grapeseed||1g ~ 200mg||163mg||81%||View Results|
|MCT||4g ~ 800mg||707mg||87%||View Results|
|Coconut||4g ~ 800mg||670mg||82%||View Results|
|Walnut||4g ~ 800mg||679mg||83%||View Results|
|EVOO||4g ~ 800mg||675mg||83%||View Results|
*Dosing with edibles should start low (5mg) and then titrate up 5mg per 2-3 hours after your last dose to test and reach the appropriate dose. Most legal states limit dispensary doses to 10mg per dose, with 10 servings (100mg) per package. Patients using cannabis for severe pain relief may need to use more than 100mg per day.
Follow the same procedure of decarbing the kief or concentrate first, then mixing with the oil to infuse.
However, you can choose whether to strain the kief. If you plan to strain, put the material through an entire infusion cycle in order to make sure the maximum amount infuses into the oil. With concentrates, its really more of a mixing process than an infusion process (concentrates will blend with the oil; there is no straining necessary or even possible).
After decarbing the concentrates, you can mix with the oil and put it back in the decarboxylator for just 30 minutes, to allow the contents to heat and blend well.
Activate and infuse with the Nova
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