Monday January 9, 2017

By Michael Walters


In recent years, coconut oil has received a considerable amount of press detailing the health benefits of the product over alternatives such as butter or olive oil. However, there are other benefits associated with using coconut oil as well. If you prepare food using cannabis, you want ingredients that best absorb cannabinoids.

How does coconut oil stand up to other cooking fats in regards to food preparation with cannabis? Surprisingly well, actually.

Fat Soluble

Compounds found in the cannabis plant are known as fat soluble. This means the chemical compounds break down in fat instead of water. This has a direct impact on how cannabis-infused edibles are prepared. In order to best extract the chemical compounds found in marijuana, you need to cook it with some form of fat. If you have cooked using cannabis in the past, chances are you have used either butter or some form of oil (such as vegetable or olive oil). 

Not All Fats Are Created Equal

When cooking with fats, not everything is created equal. While butter and oil can often be swapped in and out for one another, each offers a different benefit in regards to the absorption of THC and other cannabinoids. Olive oil has long been seen as one of the more desirable options as it absorbs healthy nutrients easier than butter, which is a processed fat derived from animal milk. 

When cooking a traditional meal, you may select a kind of butter or oil based on taste preferences. However, while the same is true with cannabis, what supersedes this is the need to use a fat that better absorbs a chemical compound. This is where coconut oil comes in. 

Due to the makeup of coconut oil, it is one of the very best cooking fats for THC and cannabinoid absorption. Because it can absorb more of the utilized chemical compounds in the foods it is prepared with, it is an optimal fat to use whenever creating cannabis infusions

What Makes Coconut Oil Better?

So what exactly makes coconut oil better than other cooking options? It all comes down to the saturation of the fat. The higher the saturation levels, the easier it is for the fat to absorb the THC and other cannabinoids found within cannabis. Coconut oil itself is made up of 90% saturated fat. On the flip side, olive oil is made up of only 15%. With marijuana being a fat soluble item, it needs this higher fat level to ensure and effective infusion. While butter and olive oil will still do the trick, edibles made with coconut oil have a proven reputation of creating more potent, healthier products.

Isn't All That Saturated Fat Bad For Me?

Normally, when you hear high levels of saturated fat, you likely think of heart conditions and other negative side effects. You don't want to weigh having a higher cannabis absorption level with a higher risk of cardiac arrest. With coconut oil though, you do not need to worry. While coconut oil is 90% saturated fat, it is made up of a fat known as medium chain fatty acids (you may also see this listed on health labels as MCFA). Other kinds of saturated fats are known as long chain fatty acids, or LCFA.

The human body is able to break down the MCFAs easily, while LCFA saturated fat is rather difficult to break down. It actually requires a very specific enzyme to allow it to break down. Because LCFAs are difficult to break down, they are often absorbed into your body as fatty tissue. Conversely, MFCAs are broken down easily and metabolized and turned into energy. 

The Delivery System

Coconut oil used during the preparation of cannabis edibles offers two desirable benefits. The first is its ability to absorb the chemical compounds found in marijuana. The second is its ability to deliver these chemicals to the body during digestion. Because coconut oil is not processed with animal fats, it is able to break down easily. This way, it does not simply pass through your system upon consumption, but instead breaks down naturally and quickly. With the ability to absorb more chemicals from the cannabis and break down quickly within the body, it delivers the nutrients and chemicals found in your marijuana plant through the digestive tract, which absorbs these chemicals. The body than utilizes the absorb material. With the improved absorption potential, if you are looking to improve the benefits of eating food cooked with cannabis, coconut oil is the saturated fat you need to turn to. 

The Experience

Due to the fact that coconut oil infused with cannabis is easier to break down thanks to its saturated fat type, it offers a more intense psychoactive experience. This is due to the higher levels of THC absorbed by the oil and converted in the body. So, if you’re looking to step up your edible game and create more effective infusions, coconut oil is the best fat delivery system available (and it tastes pretty good too). 

Photo Credit: Hafiz Issadeen (license)

Michael Walters Michael Walters

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric, Michael started his journey in the cannabis industry managing content, communications, and technical writing for one of Colorado's largest dispensary chains. In 2016, Michael pivoted to the ancillary sector to become PotGuide's Content Manager and was responsible for overseeing all of PotGuide’s editorial endeavors and content marketing strategies. Now, Michael is PotGuide's Director of Content & Marketing, focusing his efforts toward new educational content and exciting media endeavors.

With a life-long passion for cannabis knowledge and education, Michael devoted himself to becoming a subject matter expert on marijuana at an early age. Now, Michael has worked in the marijuana industry for over four years helping break down negative stigma and promoting safe cannabis practices. An avid consumer himself, Michael has worked tirelessly to improve content marketing strategies for cannabis businesses and is devoted to creating meaningful content that is useful to a wide variety of marijuana consumers. Follow Michael on LinkedIn and Instagram for updates and insights.

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