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What We Learned From Infusing Oils and Testing THC Levels

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 with the results from our infusion testing.

 

THE BIG REVEAL: You can infuse right in your decarboxylator, after completing the decarb step. 

It’s a simple process:

  1. Place the decarbed cannabis into a glass jar of butter or oil, or use our Concentrate and Infusion Sleeve for a perfect fit in your Nova!
  2. Put the jar back into the decarboxylator for a second cycle. The second cycle will pull the THC from the plant into the oil.
  3. When the process is complete, strain the plant material from the oil.
  4. The infused butter or oil can then be used to make any cannabis product.

Get our new organic coconut oil infusion kits here 

infuse in nova

 

1. Infusing decarbed herb in the NOVA will NOT damage the THC

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.

Our 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 THCAActive THCTotal Potential Active THCTotal Infusion %Decarb %Testing Results
Sample A: 1 gram of Raw Plant – Gorilla Glue 170mg18mg168mg*10%View Results
Infusion A: 1 gram of raw plant Gorilla Glue infused in NOVA with 1 oz coconut oil with no pre decarb98mg47mg136mg*80%33%View Results
Sample B: 1 gram of Raw Plant – Red Congo206mg13mg193mg*6%View Results
Infusion B: 1 gram of raw plant Red Congo infused in NOVA with 1 oz Grapeseed oil with no pre decarb143mg35mg159mg*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%. Thus, you can only 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.

 

2. What’s the best oil for infusions?

We tested many several types of oils to figure out which type of oil produced the highest THC levels after infusion.

Details of the test:

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 OilAmount of decarbed flower placed in 1 oz oilTotal mg THC extracted into 1 oz oilInfusion PercentageLink to Testing Result
Extra Virgin Olive Oil2 g ~ 400mg392mg96%View Results
Fractionated Coconut Oil2 g ~ 400mg332mg81%View Results
Walnut Oil2 g ~ 400mg370mg91%View Results

Choosing a good oil for the infusion isn’t too difficult. Every oil we tested had an infusion rate of 80% or higher, 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

 

3. Controlling the potency is also easy 

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 OilAmount of Material placed into 1 oz of oilTotal MG extracted into 1 oz oilInfusion % 
Butter0.5 - 100mg93mg93%View Results
Avocado0.5g -100mg92mg92%View Results
MCT0.5g -100mg91mg91%View Results
Grapeseed1g ~ 200mg163mg81%View Results
MCT4g ~ 800mg707mg87%View Results
Coconut4g ~ 800mg670mg82%View Results
Walnut4g ~ 800mg679mg83%View Results
EVOO4g ~ 800mg675mg83%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.

4. For even MORE potency, use kief or concentrates

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 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 it with the oil and put it back in the decarboxylator for another 30 minutes, to allow the contents to heat and blend.  

Perfect Decarb And Infusion In One

Activate and infuse with the Nova

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Questions? Comments?

We love to hear from you guys, please drop us some comments below – we’ll be answering them all!

Comments

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  • Me 1 year ago

    Hi – I decarb then extract with 200proof organic grain alcohol (which then evaporates naturally, safely outside). The gooey, dark remains my now only effective medicine.

    Thanks for product – I have referred you many people! What the “stores” have (legal/medicinal etc.) is just too compromised in quality or communication/knowledge of product.

    You are doing a great service!

  • Hatty 1 year ago

    This is great!

  • buy2keep@gmail.com 1 year ago

    YOU STATE 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.
    Does that mean its ok to turn off the power 30 mins into the cycle with no harm to the machine?

    • Miriam 1 year ago

      Absolutely 🙂 If you need to turn off your unit mid-cycle, simply hold down the main button for 15-20 seconds. Once the light has turned from red to green, the unit has turned off.

  • sheldon 1 year ago

    would there be a difference in the high if i used a sativa or indica or even a hybrid?

    • Miriam 1 year ago

      Each cannabis type (sativa, hybrid, indica), and more importantly strain, will have its own profile when it comes to effect which will translate into your infusions as well. For example, when you infuse a sativa flower into oil, you will end up with a “sativa-oil”!
      Making any product strain-specific is a pretty awesome benefit of infusing in your NOVA, and one our team loves to utilize in our own lives 🙂

  • Lori 1 year ago

    This is great news. I have been using my NOVA to decarb, then using the Mighty Fast Herbal infuser to make oil, butter and recently tintcher. That has been working fine, except you have to prepare quite a bit each time you use it. I’m looking forward to using the NOVA for both steps, using smaller amounts to experiment…. glad it’s my day off ☺
    Thanks for all the great info.
    Lori

  • Maria Sweeney 1 year ago

    This is very exciting and looking forward to trying, definitely makes this product more versatile and accessible!

  • Bryan 1 year ago

    Shanel thank you for the NOVA!

  • H.A.F. 11 months ago

    I think I have this thing figgered out 😉
    Dry herb – I just decarb then grind, and weigh out doses. I just mix it in food as is.

    Also, I like butter! I found the easiest way is to use keif (for butter or oil) I also found that the dosing is more important than the butter amount. Easier to have more potent, small doses than to have to use ALOT of butter for a regular dose. You can always add plain butter to the dish if needed.

    Quick clarified butter – bring just to simmer. When milk-fats start to rise, add a small spoon of corn starch and whisk it in. It binds to the fat, and you can strain it immediately. 1 stick (8tbsp) yields about 7tbsp clarified.

    Guessing the keif at 70% 1g = 700mg. So no matter how much butter you use, if you divide it into 14 even doses, each is 50mg. 1 stick of butter clarified leaves about 7tbsp. See the math getting easy?

    A silicone mold with 12-15 compartments works great, and I use a large (turkey injector) syringe to fill them to prevent loss – this is strong stuff LOL. Lastly, because it is potent, I put a kettle of water on, then rinse of my utensils into the pan, and scrape the edges and bottom of the pan. Oil (butter) floats. Put it in the fridge and let it solidify.
    Hope this helps.

  • Dean Pickersgill 3 months ago

    I wasn’t sure how to decarb & infuse hash in my Ardent, so I dropped a quick mail to the support guys. Quick answer to confirm that I can, and a link to this helpful page. WELL DONE ARDENT! My Hash oil infusion is powerful and suits all my medicinal needs, thanks to the Lift 😉

  • Cindy 2 months ago

    I think this is a great thing I’m so interested in purchasing!

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