Cannabis-Infused Olive Oil: The Must Have Ingredient For Your Pantry
Cannabis-infused olive oil delivers the heart healthy components of EVOO alongside the protective features of cannabinoids.
Cannabis has changed the world of recreation, health, and even food. Many foodies are applying their passion to cannabis cuisine. If that applies to you, then you already know that there are two staple ingredients that appear in medibles recipes: cannabutter or cannabis infused olive oil. But, where can you find these? Well, you make them of course! Cannabis-infused olive oil offers more than just a buzz to your cooking; it also conveys cardioprotective benefits and host of other therapeutic properties.
As of 2018, cardiovascular disease (CVD) was been declared a global epidemic. A report from the American Heart Association revealed that CVDs are the leading cause of death in the U.S., taking about 800,000 lives annually. About $329B is spent directly and indirectly on CVDs annually in the U.S.
The Role of Cannabinoids in Heart Health
A study published in 2013 examined the effects of cannabis and the endocannabinoid system on heart health. The study concludes that: “Modulation of the ECS, CB1, and TRPV1 antagonism, as well as CB2 agonism, have proven to modulate disease state and severity in CVD.” Basically, by triggering these receptors, cannabinoids can protect the heart. However, the authors also note the need for further research and clinical studies.
The Role of EVOO in Heart Health
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) may have cardioprotective traits. For a long time it was believed that EVOO’s cardiovascular benefits originated from oleic acid. But this theory was challenged when it became apparent that other substances containing oleic acid do not afford the same cardiovascular benefits. It is now emerging that polyphenols found in EVOO are responsible for the cardiovascular effects.
Other health benefits of EVOO include:
- Protecting the liver from oxidative stress
- Reduction of cholesterol levels
- Stroke prevention
- Management of depression symptoms
- Potential protection against acute pancreatitis
- Potential protection against ulcerative colitis
Needless to say, cannabis and EVOO is a perfect combination for making healthy medibles.
How to Make Cannabis-Infused Olive Oil
What you will need:
- A strainer or cheese cloth
- A hand grinder (use one with at least three compartments to catch kief)
- Mortar and pestle
- A slow cooker
- Two saucepans
- Enough cannabis flower to produce 1 cup of ground bud
- 2 cups of high quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 whole garlic, roasted
- Grind your cannabis flower. Be careful not to overdo it; you want a fine grind, but you do not want a powder.
- Smash your roasted garlic in the mortar and pestle until it is a smooth paste. Put the cannabis and garlic both in the slow cooker. Adding garlic to this recipe gives a zing to the taste and boosts the therapeutic benefits. Garlic improves poor cholesterol, which may help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Next, stir in the olive oil. Phytocannabinoids are lipophyllic, meaning that they bind to oils. So, the extra virgin olive oil gives the cannabinoids a good surface to bind to.
- Time to turn the slow cooker on. Make sure that the temperature does not exceed 240°F. Let the mixture heat for 3 to 4 hours until decarboxylation is complete. However, it’s important to remember that too much heat will destroy the cannabinoids. Keep your eye on things and stir regularly.
- Turn off the heat on the slow cooker from the heat and set aside to cool. NOTE: If you don’t own a slow cooker, you can create a double boiler by putting the ingredients into a metal bowl over top of a pot of water on slow boil.
- Pour the mixture through a strainer or cheese cloth to remove the chunks. Avoid over-squeezing the oil as this will add more chlorophyll to the finished product. This will give it an unappealing green hue. Store your cannabis infused olive oil in a lockable jar away from direct sunlight and heat.
The expected shelf life of this oil is two months, but can be extended with refrigeration. Cannabis infused olive oil is great in pastas, salad dressings, on breads, in bruschetta, and more!