How to Activate Concentrates to Infuse Into Coconut Oil
By Alex Harvey
We all hear the same spiel from budtenders about making homemade edibles from non-activated concentrates. The most common reasons consumers rely on others to make medicated goodies is that they don’t have the time or the technical ability. In reality, it is much easier and is a relatively easy process to master.
The process starts by breaking the cannabis flower up by grinder or by hand. Find a relatively flat, oven-safe dish and place the broken down cannabis in the oven at ~200*F for about an hour or so (see chart below). Bud density and quality all come into play when activating oil. Activating is a term for converting THCA into THC, so the consumer can experience psychoactivity, better known as the stoney feeling. After about an hour in the oven the bud is mostly activated and can be mixed, or infused, into a fatty substance like butter or oil. This step involves pouring the infused material through a filtering material, like cheesecloth, to get rid of as much plant matter as possible.
When activating concentrates, the process is relatively similar. Edibles made from concentrates tend to taste better. Concentrate derived edibles don’t have much chlorophyll as raw cannabis to negatively affect the taste.
Most single grams of concentrate will range from 600mg-900mg of activated THC depending on it’s tested potency. The concentrate starts unactivated, meaning THCA is more present than THC. To start, set the oven at 200* F. Once preheated, place the concentrates into a glass jar and cook for an hour or two. Initially, the concentrate will start to look like it’s boiling, this is the reaction you want. During this process, the ‘A’ of THC-A is boiling off and the concentrate is starting to activate. This boiling off is why total THC% is less than total THC-a%. The process is nearing an end once the concentrate stops boiling.
Now, the concentrate is ready to infuse that into a fatty medium, as fats will bind to THC and be more easily absorbed into the body. Following the infusion, it is possible to put the mixture into capsules for easy consumption. Take the coconut oil (or another medium) and add it to your stock of concentrate oil.
Ingesting activated THC oil from Co2 syringes is also an option. Binding it to a medium(i.e a fat or oil) protects the THC from the harshness of the stomach acid and allows more THC to reach the liver. Stomach acid can destroy a lot of the THC which makes less potent. This principle is what makes sublingual edibles very effective because they are allowing a good portion of the THC to be absorbed by blood vessels in the mouth. There are a lot of different ways to activate and infuse your cannabis but understanding the science behind it makes it go a lot further and can be very fun in the process.